about us

Our Approach

Who we are...

The Factual Film and Documentary School (FFDS) was launched to meet the needs of aspiring filmmakers looking for a contemporary and fully accredited institution with a specific focus on short and full qualifications in authentic factual and documentary filmmaking.

What we do...

As one of the few tertiary institutions that specialises in factual and documentary filmmaking, FFDS offers prospective students a combination of accredited online and in-person lectures as well as in-studio practicals, all designed to further the necessary skills needed to flourish in the factual film industry.

How we do it...

FFDS works in collaboration with anderson studios – an established content creation and live streaming studio – who provide the equipment, facilities and expertisefacility where all of the FFDS practical lectures take place. The studio facility is fully equipped with state-of-the-art  equipment used for HD audio and video production, with an experienced in-house team on hand to provide FFDS learners with a structured mentorship programme. .

Students complete numerous practical shooting assignments designed to develop critical skills in documentary film language, camera technique and editing. Lectures, demonstrations (online and in person), screenings, and analytical exercises provide the foundation for the practical sessions.

This approach sees industry-experienced camera operators, lighting technicians and sound engineers assist learners by providing them practical skills as well as access to live production events.

What makes us different

How will I learn

In line with our vision of becoming the leading blended learning factual film and documentary school, we offer a combination of theory and practical workplace and work-integrated learning to give our students a well-rounded education in factual and documentary filmmaking.

Workplace Learning:

FFDS has partnered with anderson studios to facilitate practical, real-world learning experiences for our learners. In conjunction with the theoretical component of the course, FFDS students will attend anderson studios to complete their practical projects. The studio facility has state-of-the-art equipment for film and television production, including cameras, lighting and sound equipment, as well as an editing suite.

If learners wish to complete their practical projects outside of the studio, FFDS has also partnered with Visual Impact to offer exceptionally affordable low camera equipment rentals. Visual Impact has branches in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Workplace Learning:

Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) is experiential learning, whereby a student is either placed in a production environment where real-world learning can take place. FFDS looks to provide students from each course with access to a work-directed project within their respective field of study.

WIL serves the following purposes for our students:

  • Develops their professional identity
  • Introduces them to real-world production pipelines
  • Advances their theoretical knowledge and transferable skills
  • Promotes effective communication to people in diverse roles
  • Engages them in teamwork, problem solving and self-management
  • Improves their digital literacy skills
  • Promotes understanding ethical practice at a practice level

WIL gets continually monitored by the FFDS team to ensure the student experience aligns with specific competencies associated with their chosen media field and educational level. A strict tracking process gets followed with feedback reports and reflective practices from the students.

The Work Integrated Learning programme bears credits for completion and carries notional hours. Students at FFDS will get assessed on their academic results, attendance, diligence, attitude and success in their workplace.

These invaluable opportunities provide a real-world experience of working in the industry, and students can put what they have learnt to the test whilst making career-defining contacts.

Our Vision

To become the leading factual film and documentary institution, providing accessible world-class training through blended learning.

Our Mission

Offer specialised tuition in factual film and documentary making, empowering our students to tell the stories that matter to them. 

Our Core Values

Passion Authenticity Truth Perseverance

We look for those with a passion for passion…who are seeking the skills necessary to tell their story, their truth. We are most valued by those who most value authenticity.