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Documentary Filmmaking Course


Starting 5th May: 7 Saturday days & Thursday evenings

€900 (membership included)

This popular part-time course, aimed at beginners, guides students through the development of a short documentary from start to finish and culminates in the production of two short docs over a weekend.



This popular weekend course, guided by Award-winning director Colm Quinn (Needle Exchange) and aimed at beginners, encourages students to write and present documentary proposals, develop and research ideas, produce, direct and interview. Other subjects taught on this course are digital camera skills, sound recording and advice on funding & markets.

Two proposals are selected to be made into short documentaries over a weekend.


Course content:

  • Introduction to Documentary Filmmaking
  • Writing proposals
  • Researching
  • Camera and lighting
  • Location sound
  • Producing
  • Directing documentary
  • Scriptwriting for documentary
  • 2 Day weekend shoot
  • 3 Day edit with a professional editor


Lead Tutor: Colm Quinn

Working in both documentary and drama, films such as Break Away (2004) No Regrets in the West (2007), The Discreet Charms of the Refugee (2008), The Knife (2009), and Needle Exchange (2010) have been recognised with awards and nominations from some of Ireland and the UK’s main industry events including the Irish Film Television Awards (IFTA), the Royal Television Society, Edinburgh Film Festival, Cork Film Festival, Galway Film Fleadh and the Sheffield DocFest. Further afield his work has played at over 50 international film festivals and received commissions from the Irish Film Board and the Berlinale Talent Campus. He also completed the short drama Joy for Filmbase/RTE.

Selected Awards:

Joy – Honourable Mention, Galway Film Fleadh 2012; Needle Exchange – Best Short Documentary, Galway Film Fleadh 2011; The Knife – Honourable Mention, Galway Film Fleadh 2009; The Discreet Charms of the Refugee – Special Mention, Cork Film Festival 2007; Winner Best Short, Ranelagh Arts Festival 2008; Honorary Mention, Chicago-Irish FF 2008; prize winner, Waterford FF 2007;
No Regrets in the West :: Nominated Best Short Film, Irish Film & Television Awards (IFTA) 2008; Nominated, Prix UIP, Edinburgh Int’l Film Festival 2008.

Guest Tutors:

A selection of guest tutors will join Colm in teaching this comprehensive course on Documentary Filmmaking



  • Starting 5th May, 7 Saturday days and Thursday  evenings
  • email to book your place on the course
  • part-time course is run over 7 weeks (on Saturdays and Thursday evenings)
  • 2 day (weekend) shoot
  • 3 day edit with a professional editor

Class times:

  • Saturdays – 10.30am to 5pm
  • Thursday – 7 to 10pm


  • €900 (Deposit: €400 non-refundable)
  • Filmbase Membership is also included in the price!
  • This fee covers all course materials, production costs for one weekend shoot, one weekend edit and a copy of the completed film on DVD
  • Flexible payment options available on request


  • Filmbase, Temple Bar, Curved street

To reserve your place on this course, please contact Filmbase Reception on 01 679 6716 and dial 0. For more information, email our Training Department at Please read our Terms & Conditions before booking a course.



Going the Distance, dir. Deirdre Mullins – Made as part of the Documentary Filmmaking Course 2012.

Winner of the Audience Award at Dingle International Film Festival 2013. Official Selection at Stranger than Fiction Documentary Film Festival 2013