1st Edition

Hybrid Documentary and Beyond

By Rachel Landers Copyright 2024

    Hybrid Documentary and Beyond explores the theories, production techniques, ethics, and impact of hybrid documentaries.

    Often described as simply a blend of fact and fiction, the author challenges this definition of hybrid documentary through an interrogative examination of not only why and how they are made, but also of their real-world impact upon subjects, filmmakers and audiences. Combining theoretical analysis withe real-world case studies and interviews with luminaries in the field she effectively demonstrates that hybrid documentaries can be creatively liberating for all involved and why their appeal and impact are growing globally.

    Offering a fresh and bold perspective on hybrid documentary filmmaking that goes far beyond the existing canon on the subject, this book will be an essential resource for practitioners, scholars and students working in the areas of media arts and production, film studies and documentary.

    Introduction: hybrid documentary and beyond

    Part I. Overview: hybrid documentary theory and the truth

    1.    What are hybrid documentaries?: re-contextualising the hybrid documentary in theoretical contexts, challenging the non-fiction–fiction definition

    2.    Documentary and the obsession with definitions: identifying the traits of hybrid documentary through classic 20th-century antecedents

    3.    What is the truth?: beyond the non-fiction–fiction blur, using philosophical, ethical frameworks to communicate the truth in hybrid documentary and beyond

    Part II.  Praxis: why make hybrid documentaries?: methodology, ethics and impact

    4.    A model for teaching hybrid documentary workshops

    5.    Collaboration: exercises, problem solving, script development, design as metaphor, form as content. The impact of hybrid workshops on graduate careers

    6.    Subjects in hybrid documentaries: casting, collaboration and co-creation. Whose story is it? What happens when hybrid documentaries behave badly and compromise the veracity of the content and integrity of the subjects? Are there check and balances? Should there be? What are the experiences of participants/subjects of hybrid documentary?

    Part III. Beyond: contemporary hybrid filmmakers; interviews with contemporary documentary makers working in hybrid documentary forms.

    7.    Explorers: Late 20th-century innovators in form – Errol Morris, Brian Hill

    8.    Adventurers: 21st–century hybrid documentary makers – Lynette Wallworth, Anna Broinowski, Robert Greene

    9.    New visions: acclaimed debut hybrid documentary features – Payal Kapadia, Kirsten Johnston



    Professor Rachel Landers is a filmmaker, author and historian. She is currently head of Media Arts and Production and Animation Production at The University of Technology, Sydney.