This one-week master class is for filmmakers and students who want to sharpen their work with the mentoring of a master documentary filmmaker, specifically addressing how to improve your works-in-progress.

Sep 16, 2024 - Sep 20, 2024

Levels: Advanced, Master,
Workshop Fee: $1595
Workshop Duration: 1-week (Monday-Friday)
Workshop Location: On-campus
Class Size: 12

Note: This master class will be held Immediately following The Camden International Film Festival, a 2-minute drive from campus.

This one-week master class is for filmmakers and students who want to sharpen their work with the mentoring of a master documentary filmmaker. The class will specifically address how to improve works-in-progress. The work-in-progress can be in a written format (proposal, treatment, script) or a film already in production or editing. Projects can be either long or short form. They will be discussed as a group and, as needed, in individual sessions with the instructor.

The class will consider conceptualization, development, research, how to focus the story and structure, scripted and non-scripted storytelling, ethics, interviewing as relationship, how to balance multiple stories, and much more. You will also go deep into the dynamics of launching and financing a project: crafting a pitch and logline, synopses, treatments, key production elements, budgeting, and identifying funding resources and distribution opportunities. Work by the instructor and other documentarians will be analyzed.

Love Means Zero, a film by Jason Kohn. Nick Bollettieri coached a generation of tennis champions, but his relentless desire to win cost him the relationship he valued most.

In addition to their work-in-progress, students are welcome and encouraged to bring one of their finished films to the screen for critique and discussion. You will also have the opportunity for one-on-one sessions with the instructor. By week’s end, participants will have re-evaluated and improved their projects and enriched their palette with tips and guidelines from this accomplished filmmaker.

Meet your instructor, Jason Kohn:

Jason Kohn Profile PictureJason Kohn is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose debut film received the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize and whose films have played to wide audiences on platforms such as Showtime.  Although born and raised in New York, his family’s Brazilian roots led Jason to São Paulo, where he produced and directed his debut film MANDA BALA (SEND A BULLET). That film examined the connections between political corruption and violence in Brazil and won the 2007 Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury and Best Cinematography awards. LOVE MEANS ZERO (Showtime) was Jason’s second feature documentary about legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2017. Jason’s new film, NOTHING LASTS FOREVER (Showtime), investigates the criminal and philosophical controversies surrounding synthetic diamonds.

Earlier in his career, he worked as a research assistant on Errol Morris’s THE FOG OF WAR and on Morris’s TV documentary series FIRST PERSON.

Notable Documentary Workshop Alumni:

Maine Media documentary workshop alumni include Laura Poitras, winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for Citizenfour (2015), and an Academy Award nomination for All The Beauty and the Bloodshed (2022); and Luke Lorentzen, whose feature-length documentaries, Midnight Family (2019) and A Still Small Voice (2023) have been shortlisted for Academy Award nominations. He was awarded Best Director (U.S. Documentary) for A Still Small Voice at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.

Camden International Film Festival (CIFF):

The Documentary Master Class immediately follows CIFF. Recognized as one of the world’s top 12 documentary film festivals, CIFF brings the finest nonfiction cinema to the coast of Maine, showcasing over 80 documentary features and short films from around the globe each fall.

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