The Institute faculty have produced five documentaries that have aired nationally on PBS. Our focus has been largely social or political documentary, or more specifically, how government policies and institutional and individual prejudices result in the violation of human and civil rights. Our approach to filmmaking has evolved over the years and our films run the gamut from public affairs to historical to observational, but our commitment to producing well-crafted stories remains paramount.
The capstone experience for the students in the Institute master’s program is the production of the creative thesis film. These films not only serve as benchmark for all that has been learned and experienced in the program, but also as a ticket for entry into the world of professional filmmaking. DI student films have aired on PBS stations and cable networks including the Sundance Channel and have been recognized with Student Emmy and Student Academy Award nominations and wins. In addition, students’ films have been named as official selections in over 50 national and international film festivals and have received Best Documentary awards at several notable film festivals in both student and non-student categories, including Hot Springs, Urban World, Houston WorldFest and the Angelus Awards.