Filmmakers On Documentary Style
This discussion panel was filmed on March 17, 2023 as part of SDFF 2023 at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts.
Panelists Janek Ambros (Ukrainians In Exile), Mimi Chakarova (The Block), Nina Nawalowalo (A Boy Called Piano), and Jaime Sunwoo (Handwritten) discuss the variety of stylistic elements they use to craft their films; from animation, live action and performative elements, to rich audio beds with narrations that tell vibrant and personal stories. The discussion is augmented by clips from their films, which highlight their stylistic choices.
Of the decisions a director makes as they bring a film to life, the choice of style is paramount. For documentarians, this is doubly true, as style is bound up with how the reality captured in raw footage will take shape on-screen. Style not only impacts what a film says through, and about, its subjects, it can, in effect, shape how its viewers perceive reality.