Faculty of Arts


Mockumentary and Docu-Genres

Please note: this is archived course information from 2020 for MEDIA 316.


This course introduces students to key debates in documentary studies, cinematic realism and generic innovation. From its inception, documentary’s ontological status has been fiercely contested. Critics have struggled to define the genre’s relationship to fact, truth and reality and to differentiate it from other cinematic practices. Audiences find fake documentary and mockumentary tactics alternately engaging and infuriating.

By looking at ways in which the documentary form has been modified, hybridised and applied to non-documentary genres, this course explores how truth claims have been constructed and how genres undergo transformation. Mockumentary, fake documentary, ethnographic surrealism, docu-horror and comedy vérité demonstrate not only how documentary is conventionally conceptualised, but also how reflexivity, irony and parody operate in factual filmmaking and increasingly in entertainment more generally. In addition to exploring these various aims, this course offers students the opportunity to see a diverse range of films either classified as "documentary" or classified in relation to documentary.

Availability 2020

Not taught in 2020


Coordinator(s) Associate Professor Sarina Pearson


MEDIA 316: 15.0 points


30 points at Stage II in Media, Film and Television


FTVMS 220, MEDIA 220, FTVMS 316

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