Ones to Watch – Documentaries

What better excuse to immerse yourself in films and television than to be studying an MA with Film and Television in the title? The more you watch, the more you should get an idea of where your own production interests lie. In particular, we’d recommend watching as many documentaries as possible, as not only is there a module on Documentary Film-making, but you’ll also have the chance to produce your own factual piece over the year.

Sky have compiled an excellent list of the Top 100 Documentaries, two of which (The Thin Blue Line and Roger and Me) are often screened as part of the MA teaching. I’d recommend watching anything from this list – my own favourite is Man on Wire (2008) – and if you can get hold of films from a range of decades this should give you a good sense of how documentary style and subject matter has evolved. There’s some crossover between Sky’s list and Total Film‘s 50 Weirdest Documentaries, but between these two there should be something to pique everyone’s interest!

There are loads of excellent made-for-television documentaries as well, both series and one-offs. Check out 4oD for plenty of intriguing content and on the BBC Panorama is probably the best-known (and longest-running!) of all current affairs documentary programmes. From nature, to history, to music and beyond, BBC Four is also great for new factual output.

So, that should be enough to keep you entertained and informed over the next few months! It’s by no means an exhaustive list, however, and we’re always keen to hear of further recommendations in the FTV office, so if there are any docs out there that you feel we really need to see and haven’t mentioned, let us know!

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