The Doc Unit

The Doc Unit combines class credit with the professional experience of creating short documentary works on behalf of real clients.

Students enrolled in Studies in Documentary: The Doc Unit (CINE 381) provide professional film services to a wide range of clients across Columbia College Chicago and community groups within the city. Active since 2013, The Doc Unit is led by Cinema and Television Arts associate professor Jeff Spitz.

Student Videos

Myra Rivera‘17 worked with lawyers from the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University Law School to develop a motion graphic video explaining their 137-page report on juvenile confidentiality and expungement practice in Illinois. The resulting video, Burdened for Life: The Myth of Juvenile Record Confidentiality and Expungement in Illinois, helped propel state lawmakers to pass a new automatic expungement law for juveniles in Illinois.

In 2018, a Doc Unit team created an orientation modular video program for the Circuit Court of Cook County's Domestic Relations Division. "Focus on Children" will be used by Cook County trainers and mediators for parents going through divorce proceedings. Learn more about this collaboration between The Doc Unit and Cook County.

The Doc Unit produces multiple video projects each year, all under three minutes or less. Visit the Doc Unit's Vimeo page for more.

The Doc Talk Show

The Doc Talk Show is an open-mic event for Columbia students and Chicago-area documentary filmmakers and professionals to network and discuss non-fiction short films. Students in The Doc Unit film and edit The Doc Talk Show and intro videos for the series, and the monthly off-campus showcase often features the work of The Doc Unit students.