Join us for a deep dive into creative nonfiction
featuring four in-depth discussions with
pairs of creative nonfiction filmmakers
What is creative nonfiction?
Creative nonfiction films are more than mere information dumps; instead, these films are as much about how they’re about their subject as what they’re about, exploring the meaning of terms like ‘truth’ and ‘reality’. These films are both constructed and real.
Think films like Stories We Tell, The Look of Silence, NUTS!, and Faces Places.
Why attend the Creative Nonfiction Workshop?
Explore how documentary can tell stories not possible through fiction and discover why every movie lover and storyteller should be thinking about and watching nonfiction films.
Our speakers are boundary-pushing nonfiction filmmakers who are thoughtful and articulate about their work and have changed how we think about nonfiction filmmaking.
Each session of the 2021 Creative Nonfiction Workshop will feature a facilitated discussion with a pair of filmmakers with similar interests to go beyond what you’d find in a regular interview or Q&A and deeper into filmmaking process and philosophy.
Get a chance to ask questions directly to each of our speakers and meet fellow nonfiction film lovers and filmmakers among the attendees to share your enthusiasm for the genre.
In short: we believe that this workshop will be a revelatory experience whether you’re more inclined toward fiction or nonfiction, whether you’re a filmmaker or just a film fan.
Watch the livestreams & talk to the filmmakers
With your ticket to the 2021 Creative Nonfiction Workshop, you’ll get an invitation to join us on Zoom for each of the discussions. During the Q&A, turn your mic & camera on to ask the filmmakers questions directly.
Can’t make the live stream? The recording will be available after for you to catch up.
Two weeks before each event, we’ll email you about how to watch films by the filmmakers, highlighting essential works and what to watch for.
Watch the films
We’ve secured worldwide virtual screening rights for the following boundary-pushing documentaries by our guests, which you can access free with your ticket:
- Bisbee ’17 (Robert Greene) — currently otherwise unavailable outside the US
- Sleepless Nights (Eliane Raheb) — currently otherwise unavailable
- No Ordinary Man (Chase Joynt and Aisling Chin-Yee) — currently otherwise unavailable outside of Canada
- Still Processing (Sophy Romvari)
- What He Did (Jonas Poher Rasmussen)
Discuss the sessions & the films with a community
Meet other film lovers and filmmakers who are also attending The 2021 Creative Nonfiction Workshop and discuss the sessions, and the movies in our online community.
We’ll also be holding informal Zoom meetups with ticket holders prior to each masterclass to discuss the films.
Plus, we’ll make some of the hard-to-see films by the filmmakers available to you free as an attendee.
Get the book + read early excerpts
The Creative Nonfiction Workshop will coincide with the August 20 release of Seventh Row’s new book on creative nonfiction, Subjective realities: The art of creative nonfiction film, in which all of our guests are featured.
With your ticket, you’ll get a free copy of the book. Plus, we’ll release excerpts from the book throughout the event to complement your viewing.
The first two livestreams have already happened, but you can watch the recordings of these fantastic discussions. Join us in August for the final two livestreams.
Session 1: How can creative nonfiction films reclaim history?
Cheryl Foggo (dir. John Ware Reclaimed), Aisling Chin-Yee (dir. No Ordinary Man), and Chase Joynt (dir. No Ordinary Man discussed how they navigated telling stories that had rarely been told before and connecting that history to the present day lives of marginalised people.
Cheryl Foggo is a Canadian author, filmmaker, screenwriter, and playwright. In John Ware Reclaimed (2020), Foggo uses reenactment, animation, and music to explore the history of the Black diaspora on the Alberta prairies, focussing on the story of rancher John Ware and how it continues to resonate today.
Chase Joynt is Assistant Professor of Gender Studies at the University of Victoria. In 2020, he co-directed his first feature with Aisling Chin-Yee, No Ordinary Man. Aisling Chin-Yee is an award-winning producer, writer, and director based in Montreal, Canada and Los Angeles, California. No Ordinary Man, which rewrites the narrative around 20th-century trans jazz musician Billy Tipton by auditioning and interviewing transmasculine actors, exploring how Tipton’s legacy relates to their lives today.
Confirmed screening access: Stream No Ordinary Man with the masterclass. The film is otherwise only available in Canada or theatrically in the US. John Ware Reclaimed is streaming free in Canada and available to rent on VOD elsewhere.
Session 2: How can nonfiction filmmaking be used to tell personal stories?
Watch the recording of the discussion between directors Kirsten Johnson (Cameraperson and Dick Johnson is Dead) and Sophy Romvari (Still Processing) on telling personal stories through cinema and how film can be used as a tool to process and preserve emotions.
Confirmed screening access: Stream Still Processing free as part of the workshop.
Session 3: August 15 at 2:30 pm ET: How do you collaborate with friends to craft a nonfiction portrait?
Directors Jonas Poher Rasmussen and Eliane Raheb will discuss collaborating with a friend to tell their story in a collaborative and accurate way, and how creative techniques allowed them to do that.
Confirmed screening access: Watch Raheb’s previous feature, currently unavailable elsewhere, Sleepless Nights (2012)
Session 4: Sunday August 29 at 3pm ET – How do you craft character studies in nonfiction?
Robert Greene and Joe Bini will discuss their approach to documentary characters studies and making films without resources.
Confirmed screening access: Watch Greene’s Bisbee ’17 free worldwide; it’s currently otherwise unavailable outside the US. Bini’s Little Ethiopia will also be available to stream.
As soon as you buy your ticket…
The fun starts right away.
- We’ll send you an excerpt of our new ebook, Subjective realities: The art of creative nonfiction film
- We’ll email you links to your two first free films, two of the best (and most underrated) films of the year: No Ordinary Man and Still Processing. This is the only way to watch No Ordinary Man outside of Canada (or digitally in the US).
- Catch up with the recordings of the first two sessions.
- The next livestream is August 15! In the next week, you’ll receive digital access to films by the two filmmakers to prep for the session. During the livestream, you’ll get to ask them your own questions, too.
An intro to creative nonfiction
We started using the term ‘creative nonfiction’ to describe boundary-pushing work in nonfiction filmmaking after filmmaker Penny Lane described her own documentaries with the term. Check out our Lockdown Film School session introducing creative nonfiction from last year. We’ll be building on this session with the Creative Nonfiction Workshop.
What does a ticket to the workshop include?
Explore boundary-pushing documentary through:
- Four masterclasses on reclaiming history, personal cinema, documentary character studies, and more (note: if you can’t make any of the sessions, you’ll have access to recordings after the fact!)
- Insights from guest speakers Robert Greene, Kirsten Johnson, Sophy Romvari, Joe Bini, Eliane Raheb, Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Cheryl Foggo, Aisling Chin-Yee, and Chase Joynt
- Screening access to brilliant films such as Bisbee ’17, John Ware Reclaimed, and Sleepless Nights, and Still Processing
- An early release copy of our upcoming ebook, Subjective realities: The art of creative nonfiction film
- Access to virtual community spaces where you can meet likeminded folks, on a message board and through regular, casual Zoom discussion groups
We’d like to thank Canadian filmmaker Patricia Rozema for sponsoring this event.
We’d like to thank our other sponsors:
We are still accepting additional private and corporate sponsors and donors.
Become a Sponsor
The Lockdown Film School Creative Nonfiction Miniseries sponsorships offer a valuable opportunity to showcase your brand and gain targeted exposure to filmmakers, film lovers, film educators, and film students.
The Creative Nonfiction Workshop is a Lockdown Film School miniseries. We recommend checking out the recordings of past Lockdown Film School events, particularly our intro to creative nonfiction which is a great preview of what’s to come this summer.
Because we’re inviting the most exciting creative nonfiction filmmakers working today, some of their films are still on the festival circuit or not possible to find around the world. We’re currently working on licensing screenings of films by as many of the filmmakers as possible. The cost of the screenings will be integrated into the ticket price.
Whether you’re a casual viewer or a film expert, the series is for you. We won’t talk down to you, but we also won’t go over your head with technical jargon. The series is designed to help you think about creative nonfiction film and its possibilities and how directors achieve their vision.
As a ticket holder, you’ll be able to access a recording of each livestream after the event so you can watch or rewatch the conversation.
No. The workshop is intended to be an ongoing discussion series built around a community of attendees. As such, you can only attend by purchasing a ticket to the entire event (all four sessions).
A ticket to attend the full series is $199.99 CAD.
If you can’t afford to attend the series, 20 free tickets for each livestream event will be available for free on the day of the event. You won’t receive any of the other benefits though of being a ticketholder.