Community Film Workshop Hosts Documentary Filmmaking Intensive

Filmmaker and screenwriter Ava Duvernay once stated, “In documentaries, there’s a truth that unfolds unnaturally, and you get to chronicle it.” Through its Introduction to Documentary Filmmaking, a six-week intensive class from April 3rd – May 11th, 2024, the Community Film Workshop of Chicago (CFWC) will teach students the art of chronicling the truth. 

“Documentary filmmaking plays a crucial role in amplifying voices, challenging stereotypes, educating audiences, and fostering empathy and understanding,” states CFWC lead instructor David Weathersby, award-winning filmmaker and founder of City Vanguard. He went on to say, “It is an essential medium for storytelling, advocacy, and social change, contributing to a more inclusive and equitable society.”

For over 50 years, the Community Film Workshop of Chicago (CFWC) has provided access to hands-on media training and mentoring to people of color, women and other disenfranchised groups in the film and media arts industry. 

CFWC Executive Director Margaret Caples shares, “If you are a collector of your family and community’s history and wish to document these important milestones formally, this class is for you. You will learn the technical and ethical process while collaborating with others to tell inspiring stories. We must tell our stories.”

Verified Market Reports, a leading market research firm, identifies that “current trends in the quickly changing documentary film and TV show market indicate a rise in demand for a variety of socially conscious and varied content.  Furthermore, there is an increasing emphasis on using documentaries as effective tools for social change, as evidenced by the increased collaboration between advocacy organizations and filmmakers.” 

The Introduction to Documentary Filmmaking class, “offers students a rich and multifaceted learning experience that equips them with valuable skills, fosters creativity and critical thinking, and empowers them to become effective storytellers,” explains Weathersby.

The fee for the six-week intensive course from April 3rd – May 11th is $600 and includes 12 sessions in total.  Classes will be online on Wednesdays from 7-9pm and in-person on Saturdays from 10am – 2pm at Harris Park, 6200 S. Drexel Avenue. 

To register for classes, go to the CFWC website: cfwchicago.org/classes or contact Margaret Caples, 312.636.4412 or cfwchicago@sbcglobal.net.

About the Community Film Workshop of Chicago 

For over 52 years, Community Film Workshop of Chicago (CFWC) has provided access to hands-on media training and mentoring to people of color, women and other disenfranchised groups in the film and media arts industry. CFWC advocates for equity and employment in the media field. Many graduates have worked successfully on production crews at local and national television stations, on feature films, commercials and made-for-television movies. Others have become independent filmmakers, art administrators, teachers, and college professors. 

About David Weathersby 

David Weathersby is a filmmaker and founder of City Vanguard, aiding indie filmmakers in crafting community-focused documentaries for educational institutions. His works span documentaries, music videos and art projects, including, “Got the Love,” “Jazz Occurrence,” “Thee Debauchery Ball,” and “The Color of Art.” Featured on the Africa Channel, WTTW, and renowned film festivals, like Pan African Film Festival and the Black Harvest Film Festival, David Weathersby’s impact resonates widely.

Introduction to Documentary Filmmaking is possible through support from the Illinois Arts Council, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), IFFund Chicago Cultural Treasures, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, and the Chicago Park District.

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