New York Film Academy
1-888-988-NYFA  |  1-818-333-3558
New York Film Academy Los Angeles

Documentary School at the New York Film Academy Los Angeles

Documentary Showcase BAFTA Student Film Awards Shortlists Film by New York Film Academy MFA Documentary Filmmaking Student Drama Del Rosario NYFA Graduate Muhammah Hamdy's The Square Nominated for the Oscars NYFA documentary students shooting a scene documentary school students soccer pitch documentary school students on set at a building site NYFA documentary students outdoor scene

Documentary School LA

Documentary programs include an exotic one-week trip
From the silver screen to the television screen to the computer screen, documentary films have grown exponentially in popularity and ubiquity in the past several decades. As Michael Moore pointed out more non-fiction books are sold than fictional books, so why shouldn’t it be the same for non-fiction films or documentaries. Whether it be blockbusters like Searching for Sugarman TV channels exclusively dedicated to documentary programming, the genre is more popular than ever before.

Review Of The Documentary Filmmaking Program

The Academy’s top documentary school in Los Angeles aims to foster the next generation of documentary filmmakers through intensive, hands-on education where students learn to make documentary films by actually making films. Students are immersed in the world of documentary filmmaking and learn not just the craft of filmmaking, but how the tools and techniques of narrative films can apply to documentaries.

Part of what makes the Academy one of the best documentary schools is the fact that from the first day, students are behind the camera, learning the aesthetic and technical demands of documentary filmmaking. In addition to students creating their own original documentary films, they also study the theory and history of the genre to best prepare them to succeed as documentary filmmakers. The curriculum at the School of Documentary Filmmaking is focused on combining in-class lectures and seminars with hands-on workshops and independent projects.

Our curriculum emphasizes the importance of interviews, research and development: techniques that are essential to documentaries. To that end we have an arrangement with an archive/stock footage companies that allows our students to study in depth how to use archive materials to achieve their film goals.

In short, aspiring documentary filmmakers can learn their craft in NYFA's Documentary School in Los Angeles. Students not only learn the fundamentals of documentary filmmaking and get extensive experience in the practice, but they also build a portfolio of their films.

International Documentary Association

Documentary students are given a membership to the International Documentary Association (IDA) the premier organization for documentarians around the world. They have access to all of the IDA resources and attend seminars and panel discussions from contemporary documentary filmmakers, editors and cinematographers. Our students learn the current standards, practices and even the controversies in the business today. IDA is an excellent opportunity for NYFA students to meet other working documentary filmmakers as well as the leaders of the documentary community. Students are also invited to attend a number of guest speaker lectures from contemporary filmmakers both on campus and off campus.

Documentary Filmmaking Courses LA

Upon enrolling in a documentary filmmaking course, students can expect to take many of the following courses.

New Media Producing the Documentary Directing the Documentary I & II
Production Sound Post Production Sound The Business of Documentaries
Editing I & II Documentary Film Analysis Marketing the Non-Fiction Film
Advanced Editing Sound Design and Mixing Camera and Lighting I & II and Advanced Cinematography
Industry Perspectives Polishing Tools: Color Correction
Community Film Project Visual Effects and Graphics Documentary Writing I & II
Production Workshops Researching & Developing Thesis Doc Producing the Thesis Documentary

Documentary Filmmaking Classes LA

The Academy’s offering of documentary filmmaking classes offers year-round enrollment. To learn more about the start dates and tuition, please click here to learn more.

Documentary Degrees LA

Offered exclusively at the Academy’s documentary school Los Angeles campus, students interested in obtaining a degree in documentary filmmaking can learn more about the documentary degree program below.

Documentary Filmmaking Workshops LA

For students interested in making a smaller time commitment, but still wish to gain a strong foundation in the methods of documentary filmmaking, the following documentary filmmaking workshop in Los Angeles is recommended.

Documentary Filmmaking Programs LA

Documentary filmmaking students wishing to make a longer commitment to their documentary studies and course work are advised to take the following documentary filmmaking program.

NYFA Student Work: Documentary Highlight Reel

A Reel of 2015 and 2016 student documentary work (shown as trailers) from the Los Angeles Campus.

Documentary Filmmaking Faculty LA

The Academy’s documentary school in Los Angeles is comprised of documentary filmmakers whose unique and impressive backgrounds helps them to guide students interested in a particular area of documentary filmmaking. Many have studied at the best film schools in the country. Our faculty members remain active in the industry, providing students with an exclusive view into the contemporary environment and trends. Our classes are small and faculty members work directly with students, ensuring that each and every student receives a level of instruction and assistance that will help them develop their craft and the skills of documentary filmmaking.
NYFA documentary school Los Angeles Chair Sanora Bartels Sanora Bartels:
Chair of Documentary Department
Sanora Bartels holds a master's of professional writing degree from University of Southern California. At USC, she studied screenplay under Syd Field, the author of "Screenplay," the industry’s bible on screenwriting. Her screenplay "Straying Home" was a semi-finalist in NexTV Writing and Pitch competition. She has worked as an assistant director on several projects, including reality television shows for Discovery and NatGeo Channel. She has also produced several feature documentaries including “Michael & Me” and “Taking the Hill: A Warrior’s Journey,” a documentary about PTSD, and she travelled all over the world as the field producer for the documentary “Greedy, Lying Bastards,” executive-produced by Daryl Hannah. She currently teaches screenwriting, documentary writing, and producing at New York Film Academy.

NYFA documentary school Los Angeles faculty member Denise Hamilton Denise Hamilton: A writer and producer with an extensive background in television, Hamilton’s production credits include work for the Discovery Channel, the Fox Family Channel, de Passe Entertainment, Quincy Jones-David Saltzman Entertainment, and NBC and ABC affiliates in Boston and New York. In addition, she also wore and produced the documentary “Ngone’s Story: A Tale of Africa’s Orphans,” which was part of the NBC/IBC series Horizons of the Spirit, served as a coordinating producer for the ABC-TV documentary Motown 40: The Music is Forever, and was a coordinating producer on WNBC-TV’s For Peace Sake: Youth Speaks Out, which was the winner of three local Emmys.

Documentary Alumni

The Academy’s documentary school is Los Angeles has turned out a number of alumni who have gone on to make films and work in different roles in the industry.

Please note: NYFA does not represent that these are typical or guaranteed career outcomes. The success of our graduates in any chosen professional pathway depends on multiple factors, and the achievements of NYFA alumni are the result of their hard work, perseverance, talent and circumstances.

Click here to learn more.

GQ logo Vice logo CNN logo
Rolling Stone Magazine logo David Lynch Foundation logo
Wall Street Journal logo

Contact Us

For more information about the Academy’s documentary school in LA, please call the Los Angeles office at +1 (818) 333-3558 or follow the links below.

All Locations
Apply Online Online Brochure
First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Phone Type*
Country Code*
Phone Number*
Mailing Address*
Zip Code
Preferred Start Date*

Program Type*
Program of Interest*

How Did You Hear About Us?*
Please Specify:*
Highest Level of Education:*
Graduation Year:
Have You Served in the U.S. Military, or Are You a Dependent of a U.S. Military Service Member?* 
Yes      No

* Required Information
Your privacy is important to us.

By submitting this form, you give New York Film Academy your consent to contact you regarding our educational services using email, text or telephone. Msg. & data rates may apply. Please note, you are not required to provide this consent to learn more about NYFA or to enroll in our programs, we invite you to contact us directly at: +1-212-674-4300 and speak with a representative.

New York Film Academy Los Angeles
New York Film Academy
3300 Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91505
Phone: (818) 333-3558
New York Film Academy Disclaimer
New York Film Academy Disclaimer