Emily Bell discusses new forms of hybridisation in documentary with revered directors Kevin Macdonald and Penny Woolcock, and producer Alan Hayling.

Panel Discussion: From Left Field – New Hybrid Alternatives

Documentary filmmaking has a history of crossing borders, breaking the existing rules and pushing the form. Telling ‘the truth’ through ‘fictionalising’ is no exception anymore. Re-constructing and inventing ‘reality’ to produce highly interpreted works is increasingly common and used to reveal issues through confrontation or humour. Besides familiar instruments such as re-enactment or animation, today’s technological opportunities trigger new forms of hybridisation. From user generated footage to the possibility of telling multi-platform stories, the documentary filmmaker’s toolbox has grown.

These, often radical, works raise some interesting and equally relevant questions. How far should a ‘creative interpretation’ of reality go when traditional access to an issue is not possible? Who verifies the construction of and authenticity of collected material? What does the audience believe they are seeing?

Kevin Macdonald
Alan Hayling
Emily Bell
Penny Woolcock

This panel discussion took place at Between the Lines festival in 2013. Presented by DocHouse and the Frontline Club, Between the Lines explored the challenges facing documentary makers, investigative journalists and citizen reporters in the new media landscape.