DocNomads School 

Although the study itinerary is based in three different countries DocNomads is unified as a School, it is not a course held independently at each university.

The curriculum and activities throughout the course are interconnected in the framework of a modular school that shares a common learning philosophy emphasizing collaborative methods. The leading instructors of each term participate in key curricular moments of other semesters, and in all transitions between the countries (we call these “Preparation Weeks”). The DocNomads students in the current edition gather once more to attend the screening of the latest students’ film exercises and to discuss their progress.

Instructors’ profiles, pedagogical methods, cultures of origin and professional backgrounds certainly differ between each local university, but we consider these contextual differences to be beneficial since the students’ learning experience is significantly broadened through contact with diverse education approaches and perspectives on filmmaking.

Based on two academic years, the curriculum is divided into four semesters.  


Activities in the Semesters 1 to 3 

The first three curricular semesters, held consecutively in Lisbon, Budapest and Brussels, are articulated around six constant course subjects, whose pedagogical contents and learning objectives build upon one another, from introductory level to advanced level, or complement each other in accordance to the specifics of the academic matters in focus.    

Generically, the subject “Documentary Skills” (6 ECTS) is aimed at the development or improvement of aesthetical, methodological and technical skills, whereas the subjects “Documentary Film Directing” (9 ECTS) and "Directing in the Field" (6 ECTS) encompasses the major filmmaking practice of each semester. The students perform several exercises, including the “semester exam film” that should enrich the individual portfolio of each student.

All film exercises are programmed by the school, and are tightly scheduled, requiring the students to learn to work under time discipline. Crews are very compact, frequently working in assigned pairs. Each student develops, shoots, and edits his or her own film exercises while also assisting on their classmates’ films to gain extensive teamwork experience. Students are continually learning from each other and from the wide-range of practical and aesthetic challenges resulting from the different assigned exercises. 

A hallmark of the course is the regular monitoring and personalised advice that is given by the instructors in each step of the exercises’ development and production. Routinely, the works-in-progress are presented before the class and the assigned instructors or mentors in order to be discussed, analysed and criticised. Ultimately the students have complete freedom in their artistic decisions.

Although the DocNomads program emphasises a practical approach, it is also about reflecting on the practices of documentary filmmaking.

“Documentary History” (3 ECTS) and “PT/HU/BE Cinema, Culture and Identity” (3 ECTS) are the main theoretical courses in each semester, which classes are organized around lectures on theoretical fundamentals, case studies analysis, screenings and discussion.

“Doc Industry Events” (3 ECTS) is an activities-based course, which aim to bring students closer to the international professional environment of festivals.


Graduation 4th Semester 

The final semester, held simultaneously in Lisbon, Budapest and Brussels, centres on the individual Master Degree Project (MDP), which comprises of a thesis documentary and the corresponding dossier that should meet both professional and academic standards (30 ECTS). The framework of this two-part course (Project Development + Graduation Film) is articulated according to evolving steps along the MDPs’ progression that culminates in the final exam before a jury of faculty instructors and guest experts.      



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