School of Doc

    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)


    Full Frame’s School of Doc is a free, five-week intensive filmmaking summer program that is open to all Durham Public Schools high school students.

    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 Full Frame at


    Watch School of Doc Videos on Vimeo

    School of Doc News

    Congratulations School of Doc on winning two awards at the 2020 Longleaf Film Festival

    Two School of Doc films selected for the 2020 Longleaf Film Festival

    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)

    Support School of Doc

    Make a tax-deductible donation today!

    The School of Doc is generously supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Baskerville Fund at the Triangle Community Foundation, Durham 150, the Fenhagen Family and Helen’s Fund, IBM, and the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.

    Support School of Doc