Started in 2012 within the pilot project ‘Bearing, Alternative education workshop’ (Barlad), the workshops meant for high school students are introducing youngsters aged 14 to 18 to the world of documentary film-making. By working with small groups of participants (12-16) we manage to personally coach each student and we encourage teamwork in all the stages necessary to make a documentary: from identifying and developing an idea, visualising it, preparing the storyline to production and post-production.

The duration of a workshop, on average, is two weeks and consists of daily sessions and interactions with the group and tutor team (4-6 hours) but also individual work (2-3 hours). Participation is free of charge, and the necessary equipment is provided by Vira and its partners.

By participating in the workshop on documentary films, the high school students develop a complex set of skills that presume the analysis and understanding of the universe nearby, as well as visually representing a subject in that sphere. The result of each workshop is a number of four to seven short documentaries, made entirely by the students and oriented and inspired by their own lives and communities. All the movies are publicly available, in cinemas, schools, community and cultural spaces.



ACTIVITIES  // What do the students do during the documentary film workshop?

  • They are planning, filming and editing a short documentary about the city
  • They prepare a storyboard, while being aware of the importance of the way the story must be told.
  • They learn filming techniques
  • They are using non-linear editing techniques
  • They work creatively with a group of colleagues
  • They help in getting stories out about the community

EXPERIENCE // What are the skills and abilities that the participants develop?

  • They learn to use a professional camera
  • They learn to use video-editing software.
  • They discover another way of looking at films and the understanding of the process behind them.
  • They connect and are aware of the world surrounding them by better knowing the city and community they are a part of.
  • They develop creativity and empathy.
  • They practice their teamwork skills and improve communication.
  • They practice the planning a project and the developing of a concept.
  • They discover new activities that might interest them.

RESULTS // What happens after the documentary fim workshop?

  • The films made by the students are made available publicly, in cinemas, schools, community and cultural spaces
  • The films are entered in competitions at film festivals.
  • The films are published on  www.atelieredefilmdocumentar.ro and promoted for being used for educational purposes
  • The participants are included in the alumni network of the workshops, and that opens opportunities such as: participating in future workshop as assistants, coaching and support for courses and other similar workshops in the country, coaching for extending their skills as a specialist in the field.
  • The participants are coached and receive support for developing their own initiatives in the field (their own projects) education (organizing school film clubs) or social (information campaing on subjects of interest such as fighting against discrimination, promoting tolerance, etc.)

BENEFICIARIES // Who’s it for?


  • High school students aged 14 to 18, no matter if they had previous experience or not
  • For the parents of the students
  • For the schools from which the participants come from
  • For the communities the participants come from.