Documenting Justice Application 2018-2019
Documenting Justice is a specialized interdisciplinary course in documentary filmmaking that focuses on topics of social justice. Students devote two semesters to completing the class, which involves study in film theory, documentary history, nonfiction storytelling techniques, documentary ethics, and production techniques. The class culminates in the creation of an original short documentary film. Designed for non-film majors, we encourage students with no production experience to apply.
About the Class
The fall semester of the course is dedicated to instruction, exercises, and readings that familiarize students with the fundamentals of video production and their application to documentary. Assignments in production, theory, and criticism help students understand the practical and ethical issues in documentary filmmaking. By the end of the first semester, students will be comfortable with the techniques of production and will select topics for their films.

During the spring semester, students work in pairs to shoot and edit a documentary film. Demonstrating a concern for justice in Alabama, such pieces may focus on an individual, a relationship, an occurrence, an institution, a sub-culture, or a worldview. Students will become well acquainted with their subjects through extensive fieldwork, interviews, and research. In producing the final film, students will have access to state-of-the-art digital video cameras and post-production facilities at the College of Communication & Information Studies. The completed films premiere at an always well-attended public screening at the Bama Theatre in Tuscaloosa at the end of the semester.

Award-winning filmmakers collaborate as instructors in this team-taught course: Andrew Beck Grace ( director of Documenting Justice and member of the University of Alabama's Department of Journalism and Creative Media and Rachel Morgan, Creative Director at Sidewalk Film Festival and instructor of radio and TV at Lawson State Community College. The course also includes guest lectures from other professionals with expertise in documentary filmmaking.

Course Information
Documenting Justice is open to any student pursuing a bachelor’s or graduate degree in any department or graduate school at the University of Alabama. The course requires no prior experience in filmmaking or production.

Undergraduate (400-level) credit for the course is available through Journalism and Creative Media, New College, and the Honor’s College. For graduate students, a 500-level credit is available through Journalism and Creative Media. Class size is limited to 12 students and requires permission of the instructor.

How to apply
Interested students should complete the online application below. Priority deadline for application is Friday, March 31, but early application is encouraged. As applications are received, students will be contacted to schedule an interview with the instructor. If you have further questions, please email the instructor at

Name *
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Email Address *
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Phone Number *
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Address *
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Current Standing *
Major *
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Current GPA *
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Please provide the name & e-mail address of an academic reference: *
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In a few sentences, please tell why you are interested in Documenting Justice. *
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Please list three to five courses you have taken that might help inform your experience in the class. These are not expected to necessarily be film classes, but classes across the University that have helped you think more broadly about the world. Feel free to elaborate about why they might be pertinent to your interests. *
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In your opinion, what are currently the most pressing social issues facing our community and state? *
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What other time commitments (course loads, extracurricular activities, jobs, etc.) during the academic year could affect your ability to devote an adequate amount of time and energy to this course? *
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By typing my name below, I understand and agree that in order to receive full credit in the Documenting Justice course, I must complete both the fall and spring semesters of the course. I understand and agree that a preliminary grade will be issued in the fall, but a final grade for the course will not be granted until I complete the spring semester. Dropping the spring semester course will result in a failing grade for the fall semester. *
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