Documentary Filmmaking School

Hands-On Programs and Workshops at NYFA

The field of Documentary Filmmaking includes feature films, doc-style TV series, micro docs and social media content, which aims to portray an aspect of reality to an audience in a compelling way. At NYFA’s Documentary Filmmaking School, located at our New York and Los Angeles campuses, students learn the fundamentals of telling engaging stories about real people, places, and events.

Studying under the guidance and mentorship of professional filmmakers, students receive practical, hands-on training through the completion of short films and projects, advancing in their collaboration, interviewing, presentation, and pitching skills.

As the original disruptors of the Hollywood gate-keeping system, NYFA is committed to making education in documentary filmmaking accessible to the most diverse, international, and broadest spectrum of students. At our Documentary Filmmaking School, we foster an environment that is creatively challenging, respectful and supportive of each unique student and of a collectively diverse student body.

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Documentary Filmmaking Degrees

NYFA offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree program in Documentary Filmmaking at our NYFA Los Angeles campus. This accelerated, two-year graduate program is designed to educate talented and committed prospective documentarians in a total immersion environment. The intensive curriculum aims to challenge, inspire, and prepare candidates to pursue their goals in documentary film and non-fiction film. Throughout the program, students are in documentary production and complete a series of short films, culminating in a final thesis film.

For students who want to explore film, media, and entertainment while maintaining a focus in Documentary Filmmaking, NYFA also offers a comprehensive Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Entertainment Media. This program is complemented by liberal arts classes designed to support their development as a visual artist. Students may then choose the Documentary Filmmaking concentration, where they learn fundamental skills in storytelling, writing, filmmaking, editing, and producing by creating their own short films and content. The BFA in Entertainment Media is offered at NYFA New York.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Documentary Filmmaking

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Entertainment Media

Documentary Filmmaking 1-Year Certificate Program

For students eager to create their own non-fiction films and content, the 1-Year Certificate program in Documentary Filmmaking provides a substantial amount of practical training.

Through the creation of a series of their own short documentary films of increasing length and complexity, students develop skills in filmmaking, directing, writing, and editing.

1-Year Documentary Filmmaking Program

Documentary Filmmaking

The Documentary Filmmaking workshops enable students to explore the fundamentals of documentary storytelling, writing, filmmaking, and editing. During the short-term programs, students create their own short documentary projects and gain an introduction to the craft. These workshops are offered in-person and online.

Online Documentary
Filmmaking Workshops

NYFA offers full-time and part-time online workshops for documentary filmmaking. Online documentary workshops cover similar topics and projects, with the primary difference being the class times in which the online workshops are offered.

Documentary Filmmaking
School Faculty

At NYFA, students work directly with our faculty of professional filmmakers and directors, gaining mentorship and guidance. As our faculty is composed of individuals who actively work in the film, television, and entertainment industries, students learn the unique challenges and realities of this ever-changing field.


Bob Eisenhardt


Andrea Swift

Chair of Filmmaking

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Documentary Filmmaking
School Alumni

The Documentary Filmmaking School at NYFA strives to offer an intensive and focused education that provides hands-on experience and practical training. The achievements of our NYFA alumni are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances, and we’re proud of the numerous alumni who have gone to find success in film and entertainment. A number of our alumni have earned awards such as an Emmy Award, Academy Award nomination, honors at Sundance and numerous other major festivals, as well as positions as Director, Writer, Cinematographer, Assistant Director, Producer, Programmer, and Showrunner with VICE, Rolling Stone, HBO, October Films, Alex Gibney, and many others.

Laura Snow  

Laura Snow


Braulio Jatar  

Braulio Jatar

Director | Cinematographer | Producer

Amy Wright  

Amy Wright

Writer | Producer


Please note: Equipment, curriculum, and projects are subject to change and may vary depending on location. Students should consult the most recently published campus catalog for the most up-to-date curriculum.