We teach curiosity! Some say that curiosity leads straight to hell, but Documentary Academy shows that it leads to learning about the world. Documentary films are a tribute to curiosity. We believe that they can make people curious about one another.
Documentary Academy for schools!
The Documentary Academy has been running its school program for 4 years now. Documentaries selected from the broad range of movies screened at festivals serve to introduce young viewers to a wide variety of topics and complement the new syllabus of many school subjects. Documentary Academy events consist of a film screening followed by a debate moderated by a facilitator. Schoolteachers also receive lesson plans for use in the classroom. Movies are screened in cinemas, community centers, and schools. Over 200 schools and educational institutions throughout the country have taken part in our program so far – we’ve shown films in schools in Warsaw, Włocławek, Olsztyn, Gdańsk, Gdynia, Poznań, Wesoła, Katowice, Świętochłowice, Gliwice, Sanok, and even in rural Czarna in the Bieszczady mountains.
Our primary school program consists of short documentary films divided into 8 subject sections – OKI DOKI. Documentaries aimed at children don’t have to be difficult and boring! Kids all around the world, like in Holland or Scandinavian countries, love documentary films. Documentaries let children watch their peers dealing with important, sometimes thorny issues, they serve as a doorway to their private universes where the subject and the protagonist matter – just like in children’s novels and schoolbooks. Documentaries resonate with the young viewers' emotions and facilitate debate and identification with the participants of the events on screen.
Our middle school program consists of 9 movies offering a different, less common perspective on contemporary issues. We structured our course to feature movies that would appeal to students interested in humanities and science subjects alike.
Our high school program is divided into 4 sections. Each section supplements and complements the issues covered in the syllabus for many subjects – current events, culture education, history, biology, geography etc – as well as ones that should be included in the basic educational program in schools.
Documentary Academy for teachers!
Teachers and their education play a key role in educating young viewers. This should be reflected in our approach to these interconnected topics. The issues discussed in documentary films are a part of our quickly evolving reality, which makes documentaries an excellent addition to the educational toolkit. Documentaries screened during our training classes for educators show contemporary problems encountered by schoolteachers at work. The addition of Erwin Wagenhofer’s Alphabet, the cinematographic motto of our program, was a watershed moment for the Documentary Academy. This movie sparked a tremendous emotional response among parents and educators.
Intergenerational Documentary Academy!
The Documentary Academy decided to open itself to new audiences and bridge the generation gap. People of all ages have a lot to learn from one another. We’re firm believers in trading knowledge and experience across generations, and this is why we’ve created Old enough to go to the movies – a selection of films that can be enjoyed by grandparents and grown-up children.
Documentary Academy for university students!
The Documentary Academy’s university courses consist of weekly screenings of documentary films followed by lectures and debates with university professors and their special guests. The courses are schoolwide – undergraduate and graduate students of all specialties may register for the semester-long program. Final grades are based on an exam or essay. The courses we’ve offered so far include The Documentary Movie Academy, The Faces of Globalism in Film, The Faces of Art, The Faces of Humankind in Film, and The Faces of Propaganda. Politics, economics, media. The interest in our courses is tremendous – they’re attended by 350 students per semester at the University of Warsaw alone. Several courses were also offered at other universities, including the University of Gdańsk (together with the Philology Department and the Miłość Blondynki Movie Discussion Club), the University of Wrocław (together with the Dolnośląskie Centrum Filmowe), the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw and Poznań, and the Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz.