BFA: Documentary Film

We find and develop our identity in the stories we hear while growing up--whether they be about our family or our faith, about country or community. Increasingly, film is the medium of choice through which these stories are expressed, and in the nonfiction realm it inherently carries the capacity to examine our past while also exploring the pressing topics and ideas that define the present. The Documentary Film program at Andrews University was designed for the student who embraces the role of the nonfiction storyteller and visual artist.

We believe in telling stories that don’t simply entertain, but inform audiences about deeply important issues and problems in society that require a solution. We want our audiences to partner with us and take action in addressing social inequality, human rights abuses, and environmental sustainability.

Matt filming as Pieter drives his car in the documentary "The Back of My Life"

Film exists only through the advent and practice of technology, so initial courses in the program will introduce students to the cameras, lights, and software that will enable them to explore their craft. Simultaneously, students will be taking a selection of BFA core courses which provide a broad base of art experiences in drawing, design, web development, digital media, photography and art history. With this foundation, the curriculum moves to immerse students in the art of writing, cinematography, editing, directing, and producing. Included are courses in film history and film theory, as well as a periodic rotation through special topics such as international film production, social documentary, ethnographic film, non-profit video, environmental filmmaking, and personal narrative films.

Whether learning how to light beautiful scenes with the latest film cameras, or editing sequences together that moves audiences, students will develop both a competence in the tools of the trade as well as the thoughtfulness to approach filmmaking with creativity and integrity. At the completion of their BFA in Documentary Film, majors will have finished several projects, including a thesis film that they will be able to share with audiences, and market themselves professionally.

Professor Paul Kim instructs his students

Degree Requirements

Student Work

The following student work are examples from different courses:

Pieter Damsteegt - The Back of My Life (Teaser)
FILM486 - BFA Thesis
View Film (Vimeo)

 

Back of My Life (Teaser I) from Pieter Damsteegt on Vimeo.


Joshua Martin - Silent Pain
FILM350 - Cinematography
View Film (Vimeo)

Silent Pain from Joshua Martin Studios on Vimeo.


Nina Marie Rambo - Cries From Within
FILM105 - Intro to Filmmaking
View Film (YouTube)

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