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Master classes with Oscar documentarians coming up in October and November

Two-time Academy Award nominated filmmaker James Longley and Academy Award winner Thomas Lennon will be the first instructors of Hong Kong Documentary Initiative’s Master Classes with Oscar Documentarians on 29–30 October and 5–6 November held at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre (JMSC), The University of Hong Kong (HKU).


Application to attend the master classes is open until Tuesday 11 October. Professional and aspiring local documentary filmmakers, and students showing strong filmmaking skills with a passion for documentary work are welcome to apply.

Along with the master classes, a series of film screenings and talks by the documentarians will be held from 31 October to 4 November at HKU. Academy Award-winning director and JMSC filmmaker-in-residence Ruby Yang will be moderating the talks and helping to guide us through the documentarians’ celebrated careers and plunge into their multi-faceted work and unique artistic visions.


Saturday 29 October & Sunday 30 October | Master Class for 20 participants

Master Class with James Longley at Eliot Hall, HKU

Lecture and live feedback on your individual projects by James Longley, the one-man crew of award-winning war documentaries (see full details below)

Monday 31 October* | Free event. Open to all

Screening of Iraq in Fragments (2006) and Q&A with James Longley

Tuesday 1 November* | Free event. Open to all

Screening and Q&A with James Longley (details to be confirmed)

Wednesday 2 November* | Free event. Open to all

Panel discussion with James Longley and Thomas Lennon, moderated by Ruby Yang

Thursday 3 November* | Free event. Open to all

Screening of The Warriors of Qiugang (2010) and Tongzhi in Love (2008); Q&A with Thomas Lennon & Ruby Yang

Friday 4 November* | Special event for participants of the Master Classes

Special screening of Thomas Lennon’s work-in-progress documentary and Q&A

*All the screenings and Q&A sessions will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Theatre 303 of the Chong Yuet Ming Cultural Centre, HKU

Saturday 5 November & Sunday 6 November | Master Class for 20 participants

Master Class with Thomas Lennon at Eliot Hall, HKU

Lecture and live feedback on your individual projects by Thomas Lennon, director and producer for ABC, PBS, HBO and owner of a production house (see full details below)

Details of the Master Classes

Saturday (29 October or 5 November) 9:30 a.m.12:30 p.m.


Get inspiration from world-class documentarians and learn about their creative processes

James or Thomas will share their unique artistic visions and perspectives on documentary filmmaking

Saturday (29 October or 5 November) 25 p.m. &

Sunday (30 October or 6 November) 9 a.m.4 p.m.


There are no universal rules, each approach is different depending on the work

Following on from the Saturday morning classes, selected attendees will receive live feedback on short work samples from their current projects

The master classes are designed for

  • Directors or producers seeking to understand the creative process from a world-acclaimed documentary director’s perspective
  • Documentary makers of all types seeking to refine their directing skills
  • Enthusiasts who want to develop a deeper understanding of how high quality documentaries are made

Classes will be conducted in English and each class can have 20 participants.

Fee: HK$1,000 per weekend

Refundable for full-time students or participants with a monthly salary lower than HK$15,000.Salary proof and valid full-time student identification have to be submitted together with the application. Full refunds will be given to those eligible after attending the classes on Saturday and Sunday, and two of the screenings / panel discussions from 31 October to 4 November.

Please apply online at and follow us for updates. For enquiries, please