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Posted On: 1 July 2022 05:00 pm
Updated On: 13 October 2022 11:39 am

Short Documentary Lab with Rithy Panh 2022-2023 (Part 1)

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Short Documentary Lab with Rithy Panh

Event Details:

Location: Open to citizens and residents of Qatar.
Date: 1 September 2022 - 5 November 2022
Time: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
Ticket Purchase: Online
  • Registration - 2,800QR
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During this workshop, filmmakers will gain first-hand experience working alongside Oscar-nominated documentarian Rithy Panh. The world-renowned storyteller will teach participants his method of narration through working with memory, culture, and identity to gain an in-depth understanding of personal traditions, celebrations, community, and the oral history of a country.

His teaching techniques build on the foundations of cultural memory to capture fragile moments through film. Participants will be encouraged to find their own narratives that explore the idea of identity and origins by truly living, working, and breathing with their subjects.

  • The first part of the lab will focus on development and pre-production, and participants will spend the first-week meeting in person daily with lead mentor Rithy Panh. Participants will continue meeting online every week for the subsequent eight weeks, with the weekly group and individual sessions.
  • The second part of the lab will resume after a two-month period of independent work, where participants develop and scout their projects on their own. In mid-January 2023, the weekly online meetings will resume with a more direct focus on pre-production, preparing for the final in-person documentary production intensive in May 2023. In the period between the final sessions, filmmakers will shoot independently and upload their footage for evaluation by the lab mentor.
  • The third and final part of the lab entails production, editing, and post-production in person at our Doha Film Institute production villa. During this intensive period, participants are immersed in the process of documentary filmmaking under the close guidance of master filmmaker Rithy Panh. Participating filmmakers attend group sessions at the production villa 6 days per week, engaging in constant dialogue with Rithy, fellow lab participants, and experienced professional mentors.

Application Deadline: 24 July 2022

Schedule and Course Description:

  • Application Deadline: 24 July 2022
  • Dates: September 2022 – June 2023
  • Fee: 2,800 QAR
  • Language: English
  • Group Size: Up to 10 participants

Programme Level: Intermediate/Advanced

How to Apply:

  • Applicants should submit a proposal of no longer than one page for a short creative documentary film inspired by Rithy’s course introduction (maximum duration of 10 minutes). This proposal can be a simple idea or a theme; it must show the personal resonance and motivation of the student. Applicants should provide the reasons they want to make the proposed film and explain why they are the right person to tell the story they have chosen. Selected applicants are welcome to change their idea or develop new ideas during the lab. We understand that projects often evolve drastically during the development process.
  • Filmmakers are also welcome to apply with works-in-process. In this case, they should submit the documentary treatment, along with links to project material or sequences.
  • Please note that submission of materials does not guarantee admission. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status in a timely manner after the submission deadline passes.

Submission Requirements

  • Please send the following together as one document (in Word or PDF format) to [email protected], including your full name, email, and contact number:
  1. A brief letter of intention explaining why you are applying to the lab (maximum one page).
  2. Short documentary film proposal/treatment (maximum one page).
  3. If applying with a work-in-progress, submit the project treatment and a link to selected clips or sequences.
  4. Previous work and/or artistic portfolio.
  5. Short biography.


  • Applicants should have made at least one short film and demonstrate experience with documentary filmmaking.
  • This programme is open to citizens and residents of Qatar; applicants are requested to attach a copy of their Qatar ID to their submission.
  • Important: Filmmakers admitted to the programme should commit to full participation in the lab sessions and all filmmaking assignments.

Source and image credit: Doha Film Institute