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Documentary Foundation

Gain an understanding of the basics of documentary filmmaking, including the UK film market, budgeting and funding, in this intensive overview of the industry. This five-day course is designed to provide first-time filmmakers with the skills and strategies they'll need to get a factual film project off the ground, and to the finish line.

Work with current industry professionals, learning how to apply effective research and storytelling skills, and come away with the ability to develop your factual film idea into a full treatment, complete with the knowledge of how to pitch to the industry and how to successfully promote your completed documentary project.


Duration: 5 days, full-time
Hours: 10:00 - 17:00

Get the information you need to get your first documentary made. Our Documentary Foundation provides the strategies and skills  first-time documentary filmmakers need to ensure they get their projects to the finish line.

Our course gives you an intensive overview of the documentary industry, including festivals, broadcasters and funding bodies. The week is made up of project consultations and group work designed to move your project forward. You look at how to film an interview discreetly, ethically and safely. In five days you cover:

  • Documentary development involving: researching “the story”, producing and conceptualising, scriptwriting, defining your audience and finding your key team
  • Pitching
  • Budgeting: considering crew size, camera format, sound set-up, length of shoot and postproduction
  • Production: from viewing and logging footage to producing a finished film ready for distribution
  • Key paperwork and example documents including: treatments, release forms, schedules and permissions
  • Directing
  • Post-production: case studies are used to explain different production strategies
  • Exhibition, distribution and broadcast strategies

We offer you practical advice on developing a documentary film career, emphasising the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach and looking at new strategies for making, presenting and distributing in new formats. You can apply with an idea or a project already in development, but more importantly we want to see your enthusiasm and desire to learn.

Course Goals

  • Gain an understanding of the basics of documentary filmmaking, including the UK film market, budgeting and funding
  • Gain pitching skills to successfully promote your documentary idea or completed project
  • Ability to develop an idea into a treatment, using the research and storytelling tools taught on the course

While on the course and for one month after you will receive complementary membership with LFA networking Filmmaker's Club

Want to advance your skills even further? Storyboard, develop, shoot and edit your very own short documentary on our 6-week Documentary Certificate course. Want a tailored training?  Please take a look at our Bespoke Training programmes.


To book your place on this course please:
Apply online or 
Apply by post/fax, print out the application form and post to London Film Academy, 52A Walham Grove, London, SW6 1QR, email admissions@londonfilmacademy.com or fax to 0207 381 6116. As soon as we've received your application we’ll send you a confirmation email containing payment details. Please check your ‘Junk Mail’ folder if you appear to have not received this email.


  • All applicants must be fluent in English: English Language Level: Upper Intermediate
  • Minimum age 18

All international students from outside the EEA (non-EU countries) must obtain a Short-Term Study Visa to enter the UK. The UK government has introduced a Points Based System for Immigration that has several ‘Tiers’ (the Student Tier, Tier 4came into force on 31 March 2009). 

You can check if you need a visa by visiting the UK BORDER AGENCY website. You can also check with the British Embassy or Consulate in your own country or, if there is not one where you live, in a neighbouring country.

Visa applications can be a lengthy process and therefore it is advisable to apply well in advance of your planned trip.

For students studying on a course of 6 months or less (i.e. LFA Certificates, Foundations and Specialised courses)

STEP 1 - Application

Submit your Application Form 

STEP 2 – Course Fees
Your letter of acceptance, which you need in order to apply for your student visitor visa, can only be issued once you have met all of the admissions criteria for the course you are applying for and we have received your full course fees.

STEP 3 – Acceptance

Once we’ve received your full course fees we can issue you with a letter of acceptance, which you can use to apply for your student visitor visa. In order to issue your letter of acceptance we will require:

  1.  A scanned copy or high quality photograph of your passport
  2. Your passport number
  3. Your name as it appears on your passport
  4. Your nationality
  5. Your home address
  6. The address you will be staying whilst studying in the UK

NB: Do not travel to the UK if you wish to study without first obtaining the correct student visa. If you enter the UK under a short-term study visa or the incorrect student visa, you will not be able to switch this to the relevant visa without first returning to your home country.

London Film Academy has been reviewed by QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education) for Educational Oversight.



To apply online please click on the course date below.

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