6 - 9 September 2017


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Dmytro Petrenko: a documentary film is not less interesting as a fiction film

Dmytro Petrenko, a media expert, a TV-show presenter and a researcher of visual culture, started a set of his master classes of IX International Television Festival “Dytiatko”. Within an hour Dmytro Petrenko demonstrated to children different scenes from documentary films, each scene showed various methods of creating such films, he also told about his own researches in this sphere.

The speaker emphasized at the beginning of his master class: “Today my purpose is to prove that a documentary film can be not less interesting than a fiction film.”. The speaker emphasized many times that any documentary film should reflect a phenomenon, a person or an event as plausible as possible, but subjectivity of perception always leaves its imprint. 

As an example the media expert mentioned some films used in psychology, namely in gestalt theory which actually refers to human perception of visual images. When looking at a questionable picture the children tried to guess if it was an image of a duck or a hare, as it had parts both of one animal and another one.

The same thing can be said about documentary films – it is nearly impossible to achieve absolute actuality. Dmytro Petrenko gave an advice to the newers – documentary makers - ask yourself the main questions before creating a film:  “What do I want to demonstrate by my project? What message do I want to send to the society?”

The mindset of a future film, its content accents, type of characters and application of any operator’s methods depend just upon that.  During the dialog with festival participants the speaker noted that in his opinion the films focused to document the endangered species of nature, extraordinary places of the planet are especially interesting and important. They draw our attention to necessity of environment protection, encourage careful attitude towards it.

At the end of his master class Dmytro told festival participants of “Dytiatko” about relationship between a stage director, film crew and characters of documentary films who are not professional actors. Indeed, such people do not feel comfortable in front of cameras, that is why it is impossible to show plausibly their real emotional state and what they are in reality on the first take. For example, it can take 5 years to make some films about family life, because only during a long period of time it is possible to feel and understand human psychology to the fullest and to make people to be open in front of cameras.

In conclusion, the speaker noted that any documentary film is, first of all, a deep study of phenomenon, an endeavor to understand characters, their problems and emotions to the fullest, after all, the key to creation of a documentary film which demonstrates a certain world problem through relationship of characters plunges into the inner world of any person.