Launching the Careers of Non-Fiction Filmmakers


Student Productions

The last two months of our annual Institute for Documentary Filmmaking graduate certificate program are devoted to a group production of a documentary film. Post-graduation, the production teams are able to enter these films into festivals and other screening opportunities all over the world. Many of them go on to screen and win awards at film festivals throughout the U.S. and overseas. 

Film Fests

Read more about where our recent graduates have screened and won awards for the capstone films. 


Alumni Benefits

After you complete the program, you will have many opportunities to participate and grow in the film world and a community of non-fiction filmmakers that we've been growing for the past quarter century. You can attend film screenings, panels and professional development seminars offered by our many Documentary Center partners. Our guest speakers are Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning filmmakers and broadcast industry leaders who bring unique insight into the many questions you have about nonfiction filmmaking. You will meet fellow alumni who have achieved successful documentary careers in broadcasting, independent filmmaking and in non-profit media advocacy.

Once you become a Documentary Center alum we continue to mentor you for years to come and provide you with opportunities—educational and professional—to help you on your journey towards becoming an accomplished documentarian.


Recent Alumni Achievements

Hermon AOC

2010 Documentary Institute Alum Hermon Farahi was a co-producer on the recent smash hit Knock Down the House. After winning big at Sundance earlier in 2019, the new documentary - which follows four intrepid women, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in their primary campaigns for Congress - sold its worldwide rights to Netflix in a record-setting deal. In addition to co-producing, Hermon provided additional cinematography for the film. 

In 2017, we spoke to Hermon about his time at GW and his award-winning documentary feature When They Awake for our Alumni Spotlight



  • May 2019: Katherine Chivers (2016) was promoted to Associate Producer at National Geographic Channel. Also in May, fellow 2016 grad, Sujatha Bagal, joined Katherine's team as a Production Assistant.
  • January 2019: Brad Forder and Caitlin Carroll (2011) were named D.C.'s Filmmakers of the Month by the Office of Cable Television, Film, Music, and Entertainment (OCTFME). The husband and wife team actually met during their time at the Institute for Documentary Filmmaking. They went on to collaborate on the award-winning short film Painted City. Read their interview with OCTFME here
  • February 2019: Renee Bullock (2018) was awarded a fellowship from Docs in Progress. Now in its seventh year, this Program brings together a cohort of emerging documentary filmmakers from across the Washington DC/Baltimore Metropolitan area.
  • September 2018: Deanna Del Ciello (2017) was named D.C.'s Filmmaker of the Month by the OCTFME. Read her interview here. Also in September, Deanna was interviewed on Good Morning Washington about the capstone film she produced at GW, Queens in Training, and its inclusion in the DC Shorts Film Festival. Watch that here
  • August 2018: Logan Werlinger (2017) received a Fulbright Arts Research Grant in Photography. For his project, he went to Europe, using long form documentary photography and documentary video to explore the story of Czech tradition and culture. 


Alumni Profiles 

Want to learn more about what some of our alumni are up to? Some of them have graciously offered to link theirs here for you to explore.