The Documentary Center

The Institute for Documentary Filmmaking

Documentary Center student filming

There are no other intensive graduate documentary studies programs in the nation like the one here at the George Washington University. The Institute for Documentary Filmmaking is held annually between January and June and leads to a Certificate in Documentary Filmmaking. For the past 25 plus years, we have been the only institution that offers this accelerated training and education in nonfiction production. Maintaining a standard of excellence found across all of the programs offered by the School of Media and Public Affairs at GW, the Institute for Documentary Filmmaking has been ranked one of the top ten documentary schools in the nation. 



Alumni John Dillon



"A year before graduating from the GW Doc Institute I was a college graduate working a minimum wage job in my hometown with the dream of getting into documentary filmmaking. I had worked on a few independent projects but the Institute provided me with a professional skill set in a matter of months. As Producer at the Doc Institute I learned how to manage a team and produce a film on a deadline. Today I am working as a Video Producer in DC and was lucky enough to film in Afghanistan for a nationally aired PBS documentary."

– John Dillon, Class of 2012

Our Films

Cover for A Short History of Sweet Potato Pie

A Short History of Sweet Potato Pie

In the tradition of ‘Chocolat’ comes Sweet Potato Pie. Here is the true story of Pearl Mallory who works as a cook at the St. Mary’s Court Retirement Home in Washington, D.C.

Cover for the Matador

The Matador

The Matador is the epic tale of David Fandila's quest to become the world’s top-ranked bullfighter. 
It is a love story - of a son for his family, of a people for their traditions, and of the bullfighter’s paradoxical love for the beast that he must kill to create his art.

Cover for Parables of War

Parables of War

Parables of War explores the intersection of art with the artist and the ways in which art can help bind the wounds of war -- both for the soldiers themselves and for those they left behind.

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