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The Art of Documentary Design

By Seoyeon Bae

Documentaries provoke deep thoughts within an individual and reflect current societal events. They have helped us learn about technology, nature, and science and have allowed us to form our own opinions and views regarding these topics. However, something that most people might not realize is that in order to make these documentaries viewer-friendly and enjoyable, filmmakers have to find the perfect balance between giving researched information and a story or plot that one can follow. This is where Documentary Design comes in handy. Documentary Design is the combination of many artistic choices that determine the visual aspects of a documentary, like the cinematography and graphics of the film to aid the filmmaker’s storytelling.

FCFF 2021 has some of the most beautiful and eye-opening documentaries of this era. Starting with the relationship between the exponential growth of technology and artificial intelligence, and what that means for our mortality, “A.rtificial I.mmortality” by Ann Shin explores the idea of immortality and consciousness through artificial intelligence. With a sleek and modern aesthetic and dynamic story, you have to personally witness the visuals of this documentary to fully get the experience. If you want to watch her documentary you can buy the tickets here!

Additionally, our festival has documentaries exploring the relationship between the First Nations people, Canada, and land such as “Blood and Water,” and “Seawolf” to name a few. “Seawolf” by Alexander Sworik has some of the strongest cinematography in the festival this year, as they combine the beautiful scenery Canada with powerful narration on the history of the land. You can find both “Blood and Water” and “Seawolf” in Program #12: Water Shorts, a bundle of short films and documentaries centered on water.

The Ontario Screen Creators Conference also has a Documentary Design panel for those who are interested in the actual process of design. Filmmakers such as Ann Shin, director of the previously mentioned “A.rtificial I.mmortality,” will be talking about their process in designing and planning their documentaries. If you are interested in this panel, purchase your tickets today!