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Sociology: Events


Social Films - Workshop

Social Films - Workshop
Speaker: Arek Dakessian # University of Edinburgh; Speaker: Mei-Ling McNamara # University of Edinburgh
Hosted by
Introduced by
Date and Time
27th Sep 2014 12:00 - 1st Nov 2014 16:00
Chrystal Macmillan Building 1.12

As social science researchers our research is often disseminated in highly specialised academic circles, inaccessible to the public despite its relevance to wider audiences.

'Social Films' is an interactive workshop for postgraduate SSPS students at the University of Edinburgh, aimed at providing early career researchers with the skills to communicate to the general public through films. 

The workshop is a great opportunity to meet researchers with an interest in engaging more closely with the public through films. The workshop runs in the Chrystal Macmillan Building, and it made up of five half-day sessions. The workshop offers an opportunity to collaboratively learn basic filmmaking skills, culminating in the production of a short film by participant groups. Through the workshop you will learn about: 

  • Different approaches to documentary filmmaking
  • Subjectivity / objectivity in documentary filmmaking
  • Ethics in social research and documentary filmmaking
  • The stages of film production
  • Documentary structures
  • Thinking in pictures and sequences: How to tell a story through film
  • How to plan for a documentary
  • Operating a camera
  • Recording sound
  • Post-production (editing and packaging your documentary) 

The workshop is open to up to 15 participants, who will split into groups and decide upon a topic that they want to engage with through film. At the end of the workshop, participants, using skills learned during the workshop, will produce a short documentary film on a topic of their choosing. 

The Social Films workshop is a credited research workshop: participants will receive 5 credits upon its completion. 

The workshops will take place in CMB room 1.12 on the following dates:

  • 27 September
  • 4 October
  • 11 October
  • 18 October
  • 25 October or 1 November

Workshop times will generally be 12 - 4 pm, but may vary on specific dates.

Upon signing up participants will receive by email a workshop handbook, which contains the structure of the workshop as well as a reading and watching list.

Workshop Instructors:

  • Arek Dakessian is a PhD student in Sociology, his research focuses on filmmaking in Beirut, having previously worked in the Lebanese film industry. Arek is now Co-Project Director of the Lived Zaatari Documentary Project (now LIVED), aimed at communicating and improving the lived experience of school-aged Syrian refugee children. 
  • Mei-Ling McNamara is an investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker working on issues of human rights and social justice. She is a PhD candidate in Trans-Disciplinary Documentary Film where her project explores the political, legal and psychosocial impacts faced by survivors of forced labour in the UK.

Register for event