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Paris in Motion


Paris in Motion – Urban Documentary Film Workshop

Film has a unique capacity to reveal the personal, anonymous, and collective routines of daily life in cities. This workshop is a mixture of theory and practice with special emphasis on new migration/refugees, urban studies, cityscapes. Each workshop will produce 10 short films to be exchanged and screened in both Paris and London. The workshops will consist of a 2-day period of pre-production, documentary training, story development, and research examples, followed by ‘the shoot’ and a further 2-day edit and post-production.

This workshop aims to examine how ‘thinking’ with, and ‘through’, images can produce insight with regard to certain anthropological and sociological questions. In the process deepening the medium’s analytical power and enhancing its audience reception. To this end we will examine how a range of media may be utilised to produce rich insights and creatively satisfying outcomes. Together we will develop short narratives about contemporary London. The films produced by the workshop will be screened by the LIDF and the University of London Institute in Paris.


To provide an overview of documentary theory and practice, while involved in telling a contemporary London story through film. The core objective of this project is to explore in an inter-disciplinary manner various media as tools for urban research. The challenge will be to see how film enriches and provides research insights, while at the same time creating new ways of experiencing that research.

The workshop focus will be on new migration and refugees in London. During the workshop participants will learn to apply the basic principles and tools of documentary film making to anthropologically informed research. Key films and key texts will be viewed and discussed. The course is experimental in nature, and aims to broaden theoretical horizons. It will provide access to the core concepts of documentary filmmaking, as well as offering an opportunity for content-rich insights.


New Migration and Refugees in Paris

We will focus on the impact that new migration and refugees have had on the ‘urban feel’ of Paris:

How has Paris changed its looks and appearances, how has new migration altered everyday life in (some parts of) the city, how do migrants and refugees live, work, and move in and through the city, and what is their own experience and perception of living in a global city like Paris?

Through the documentary workshop we want to explore the idea that there are different (but also similar and overlapping) parallel ‘Paris’: migrant groups inhabit and imagine Paris in their own manner, creating specific networks and mental maps of the city, and interacting with other Parisians in culturally specific ways.

Applying to the Workshop

No prior knowledge or familiarity with filmmaking is required. However, applicants will be required to demonstrate an active interest in the themes, a clear motivation for acquiring documentary filmmaking skills as a tool for urban research, and to describe their personal contribution to the course.

Personal Statement

We ask all applicants to complete a short personal statement (maximum 400 words) to enable us to select participants for the workshop. We are looking for people who can demonstrate a specific interest in our theme, which is new migration and refugees in Paris, as well as clear reasons for wanting to acquire documentary film skills. Specifically, we ask you to demonstrate the following:

(a) the skills and experience you have gained, either in paid work, voluntary work, through your studies, or through your leisure activities, which you think are relevant and which you believe makes you a suitable candidate for the workshop;

(b) your motivation for applying for the course;

(c) what you believe would be your contribution to the group; and

(d) what you propose to do with the knowledge and experience you gain on the course







If you have any further queries about the course, please email: [email protected]


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