FILM 150: Documentary Advocacy

This film production course is aimed at serving non-film studies majors who wish to make a documentary in support of a cause or an organization. Students will learn the fundamentals of documentary film production while studying examples in which documentary films have been used to advocate on behalf of groups and individuals seeking to make social change. Production lessons include shooting verité footage, lighting interviews, the use of wireless lavalier microphones, and documentary editing techniques. This course is especially designed for seniors with specific interests in social issues that can be addressed by shooting in the immediate Middletown area and is also open to seniors with a more general interest in advocacy filmmaking.

Watch previews of some of the documentaries completed in the course:

Past Projects

  • 2011: WildWes

    A vital portrait of the permaculture activist phenomenon known as Wild Wesleyan.

  • 2011: WESU

    A profile of the DJs and leadership of WESU, one of the nation’s oldest college radio stations.

  • 2011: Spokebenders

    A look at the past, present, and future of the Spokebender’s, Connecticut’s championship wheelchair basketball team.

  • 2011: Kidcity

    An inside look at Middletown’s gem of a children’s museum, Kidcity.

  • 2011: Convicted Scholars

    A compelling portrait of the teachers and scholars of the Wesleyan Center for Prison Education.

  • 2010: Soldier’s Story

    A revealing portrait of Iraq War veteran Tim Green, class of 2011, who talks about his quest to make others aware of the real costs of war.

    Soldier’s Story by Jack Pearce

  • 2010: Miller/Bridge

    A hard look at the aborted attempt to relocate residents of the Miller St./Bridge St. neighborhood in Middletown.

    Miller/Bridge by Nora Christiani and Sarah Leitson

  • 2010: Lawns

    An impassioned look at the hows and whys of sustainable landscaping, featuring interviews with several New England landscape designers on the cutting edge of this exciting field.

    Lawns by Miles Bukiet

  • 2010: Gilead

    A tender and affecting portrait of the clients and staff of Gilead Community Services, an innovative Middletown agency that provides vital services to people in the mental health community.

    Gilead by Emily Brackman and Sena Ito

  • 2010: Fighting Discrimination

    A fascinating profile of the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, the oldest civil rights agency in the nation.

    Fighting Discrimination in Connection: CT Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities by Steve Koch and Zuleikha Hester