School of Doc

Congratulations to our summer 2018 School of Doc students for presenting their final project, Renaissance of Reuse: The Scrap Exchange, below. Watch all of the School of Doc films on vimeo. Enjoy!

About School of Doc

“Thanks to School of Doc and Full Frame, I now have a clear idea of what I want to spend my life doing.” 
– Destini Riley, Full Frame Alum (2016) and School of Doc Student (2015)

The School of Doc, launched in 2011, is a completely free program (including meals) serving Durham teens who participate in the five-week intensive summer course taught by professional filmmakers. The program is held in Full Frame’s theater and classroom space, where students work as a crew to produce a professional documentary film. Coursework includes all technical elements of the craft: camera, lights, sound, editing, and special effects, as well as pre- and post-production considerations such as rights and clearances, graphics and credits. Each School of Doc student spends time working in each of these areas.

Students build self-esteem as they work as a team, choose their own subject (often a local not-for-profit organization), and create a final film. Students also discover the link between documentary filmmaking skills and real-world job skills. Throughout the program, students visit local job sites where these tools are applied, such as ABC11, Trailblazer Studios, and the Durham Bulls television studio. At the end of the five weeks, the students present their final film to more than 100 excited audience members in the Full Frame Theater. The event is free and open to the public.

The following April, students attend the festival free of charge, visit with professional filmmakers, and present their work to the public as part of the festival’s free programming. Their filmmaker instructors supervise the students throughout the four-day event.

For questions, please contact Education Coordinator Ashley Solesbee at or 919.433.4100.


School of Doc News


School of Doc Hall of Fame

“Not only did School of Doc teach me how to make documentaries, it also taught me how to appreciate them.”
– Marie Cox-McMahon, School of Doc student (2017) and intern (2018)

Marie Cox-McMahon is a rising freshman at the UNC Chapel Hill. Marie is a recipient of the competitive Pogue Scholarship for Leadership and Diversity; she credits her experience in School of Doc, which she spoke about in her essay, as a driving factor for her selection.


As a School of Doc student, Destini Riley was introduced to the process of filmmaking. She and Duke M.F.A. student Nick Pilarski premiered their film, I, Destini, a 17-minute animated documentary featuring Destini’s sketches and exploring the trauma of having an incarcerated family member, at Full Frame in 2016. The film went on to be featured on OpDocs by the New York Times, and Destini was named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by MovieMaker Magazine.


Mario Daye (class of 2011) is the owner and CEO of Day&Knight Productions. He graduated from North Carolina A&T State University with a Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communication. His first short film won second place in a 48-hour film contest, and he is soon directing his second short film.


Mishel Gomez (class of 2012) is a senior at Wake Forest University majoring in Communication and Spanish. She is interested in combining her passions for filmmaking and social justice, and is finishing her last semester of college in Salamanca, Spain!



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The School of Doc is generously supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Baskerville Fund at the Triangle Community Foundation, the Fenhagen Family and Helen’s Fund, IBM, and the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.