Visual Encyclopedia

Documentary film

A documentary film is a nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record. Such films were originally shot on film stock—the only medium available—but now include video and digital productions that can be either direct-to-video, made into a TV show, or released for screening in cinemas. "Documentary" has been described as a "filmmaking practice, a cinematic tradition, and mode of audience reception" that is continually evolving and is without clear boundaries.

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The Institute is a documentary film about a unique scavenger hunt / art experience in San Francisco called the Jejune Institute. Learn more: www.missionmission.org

Contributed by Kathryn Vercillo

This is my own documentary that I made in an audio/video production class two years ago that won first place in the short film category at the Pearland High School Film Festival. It basically answers common questions us twins get asked almost daily; some insightful, some that make you want to bang your head into the wall repeatedly...

Contributed by Bridget Landis

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