School of Communication


Leveraging Northwestern's strength in interdisciplinary collaboration, our two-year MFA in Documentary Media is founded on the following four principles, many of which also guide Northwestern’s highly successful Writing for the Screen and Stage MFA Program.


What "actual" stories do I want to tell? How can I realize my vision?


What skills and techniques are necessary to take my idea from inception through production and final distribution?


How can I think about documentary in new ways as fiction and nonfiction forms increasingly converge? How can I plug into emerging opportunities in this ever-expanding media landscape? What strategies work best for the stories I want to tell and the audiences I want to reach? How will I lead rather than follow?


How do we come together as a cohort of peers to learn and work to form a close-knit creative community? Northwestern alumni, individually and through the Northwestern University Entertainment Alliance, are known not only for their high profile successes in film, stage, and television, but also for their willingness to help emerging graduates. Beyond our community, how do we engage with the world? What stories are we telling and why?



Pictured above, Northwestern director Jac Reyno (C11) and cinematographer Travis LaBella (C11) on location at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota filming Language of the Unheard, which was named Best Student Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival American Pavilion and for which Travis received an American Society of Cinematographer Student Heritage Award.



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