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Columbia College Chicago


The Documentary curriculum validates tolerance and understanding, and emphasizes the power and responsibility documentary makers have in a world where communication is dominated by the moving image media.

The curriculum prepares students for work in the many varieties of non-fictional filmmaking, and emphasizes the dynamic interplay between reality, experience and representation. Many fiction directors, cinematographers and editors also benefit from exposure to the direct, improvisational training Documentary provides.

About the Michael Rabiger Center for Documentary Film


The Documentary Center was founded by Michael Rabiger in 1988. It is a dedicated teaching and cultural focus for studying, discussing, screening, analyzing and advancing the documentary genre. The Center supports students in the production of documentary films and provides a diverse course of study designed to help students prepare for a career in documentary filmmaking.


The Center helps stimulate a supportive community for documentary students by offering an informal, centralized location for exchange of information, screenings of films and access to industry news and ideas.

VIVA Doc, the student documentary group, calls the 'Doc Center' home and hosts weekly meetings, workshops and feedback sessions for works in progress.

It is also the impetus behind the International Student Documentary Competition (ISDC), an entirely student run event which elicits films from universities around the world.

Our bulletin boards and resource library are updated regularly, hosting information about filmmakers, screenings, documentary filmmaking, film festivals, television broadcasts and video technology.


The Center's classrooms host documentary courses in aesthetics and production.
Cinema Art + Science Equipment Center offers students a hands-on experience with excellent cameras, sound equipment, lighting kits and related tools of documentary production.

Contact Information

If you would like to receive updates about Doc Center events, please check out www.vivadocumentary.com and sign up for the email list.

Or drop by for a chat and a cup of coffee. Our address is 1104 S. Wabash, Suite 407: email doccenter@colum.edu.

Documentary Courses

Our courses encourage the analysis of documentary’s place in society, as well as theoretical, aesthetic, ethical and practical considerations to do with documentary filmmaking and culture.