Creative Documentary (M.Cr.A.)


"My road is towards the creation of a fresh perception of the world. Thus I decipher in a new way the world unknown to you."
- Dziga Vertov


The first film ever made was a documentary. Since then, the practice of filmmaking, and of documentary film in particular, has undergone a huge transformation. New technologies have made way for different stories and unheard voices to emerge and together they have evolved into a variety of forms, styles and genres that allow for highly individualised ways of seeing and showing reality. This forms the crux of the master’s programme in Creative Documentary at Srishti. Engaging with social, political, cultural contexts and navigating research processes students will learn to identify cinematic material from the world around them. Through continuous making, they will also learn how the techniques of filmmaking can be employed creatively to tell stories about real people places and events, through their own subjective viewpoint.

Key Values in the Curriculum

  • Exploration of personal vision and position
  • Critical response to context
  • Subjectivity, Objectivity and Point of View
  • Ethical and responsible imagemaking
  • Impactful storytelling

Course Structure

  • Studios encourage active, contextual learning where students develop core disciplinary skills and knowledge.
  • Workshops provide intensive learning experiences in specific aspects of documentary filmmaking.
  • Electives are liberal arts courses aimed to cultivate intellectual and reflective abilities in students, which in turn inform their practice.
  • Self-initiated projects are end of semester short duration making exercises that allow students to synthesise and demonstrate their learning from the semester
  • Capstone project is an individual film, or a still image narrative piece that demonstrates the student's ability to conceive and develop an original idea and line of enquiry and bring it to completion.

Learning Approach

Learning at the master’s level will be through course work and self-initiated work. The course will expose students to the history and practice of documentary film in the world and in India, through screenings and readings. As they hone their filmmaking craft, they will be encouraged to develop a critical approach to their own work and that of others. They will have the opportunity to enrich and expand their practice by engaging with the rich variety of allied disciplines taught in Srishti. Facilitators and mentors will guide students through an independent learning process.


  • Using image & sound as a way of seeing & understanding the world
  • Using different research methods & critical thinking to arrive at a hypothesis
  • Articulating ideas and concepts in written and spoken form
  • Understanding and constructing narrative
  • Exploiting the possibilities of the edit process
  • Experimenting with technique, form and material
  • Understanding subjectivity and objectivity
  • Conceptualising and producing a short documentary film independently


  • Undertake the making of independent or commissioned documentary films.
  • Work in any organisation engaged in audio-visual production.
  • Work as media consultant for national and international agencies.
  • Pursue doctoral research in film.


For further information please email Swati Dandekar at

Disciplinary Intersections

This postgraduate program in creative documentary intersects with the following disciplines:

Research and Collaboration

Students of film courses have the opportunity to engage with and draw upon, the knowledge resources of other schools as well as the labs and centres at Srishti.

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