Announcements

Image from Fireflies: A Brownsville Story

Is it possible for a documentary work not only to expose, but also to heal the wounds of a community? This was the question and challenge recent Duke MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts graduate Nick Pilarski (’15) faced as a Lewis Hine Fellow in Brownsville, New York, working at a justice center situated in the middle of longtime antagonistic housing projects and their rival gangs. 

In-game shot of the "Fireflies: A Brownsville Story" docu-game in which a bright moon glows against a city skyline.

The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) is proud to recognize two students graduating in Fall 2022 with an undergraduate Certificate in Documentary Studies. Charlotte Cohen (Duke University) and Kendra Tse (UNC–Chapel Hill / Robertson Scholar) will receive their certificates and present their final projects in a public event at CDS. More information on the students and their projects below.

The Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) will pause its annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival for ​the 2023 season as the organization continues a strategic planning process around the Center’s next chapter led by Executive Director Opeyemi Olukemi with unanimous support from the CDS Board of Directors. Full Frame was held entirely online for the 2020–22 festivals due to COVID-19. Plans are to return to an in-person event in 2024.
  

White Full Frame Documentary Film Festival logo (the words "Full Frame" in a text box) on a black background.

The Cassilhaus Travel Fellowship is made possible through a three-way partnership between Cassilhaus, an arts incubator featuring an artist residency and exhibition program, and the Duke Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts (MFA|EDA), the Duke Center for Documentary Studies (CDS). It was created with the idea that travel can be transformative in the life of an emerging artist.

Still from "Medusa and The Abyss." Two children's hands hold toys against a bright blue sky with clouds.

The Center for Documentary Studies is proud to recognize Walter Hergt and Evangeline M. Mitchell, students in its continuing education program—CDS Courses—who will each present their final project and receive their Certificate in Documentary Arts in an online event on Thursday, May 19, 2022. Filmmaker Randy Benson, a longtime CDS Courses instructor, worked with these students in a Final Project Seminar as they completed their certificate program of study and substantial documentary work. Read more about the artists and their final projects below.

The Julia Harper Day Award was created by the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) in 1992 in memory of the young woman who was CDS’s first staff member, a writer and photographer of real accomplishment. This $500 award goes to a graduating Duke University senior who has demonstrated excellence in documentary studies and contributed significantly to CDS programs.

A photo of Sierra Winters slightly smiling with trees in the background.

The Julia Harper Day Award was created by the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) in 1992 in memory of the young woman who was CDS’s first staff member, a writer and photographer of real accomplishment. This $500 award goes to a graduating Duke University senior who has demonstrated excellence in documentary studies and contributed significantly to CDS programs.

A photo of CJ Cruz.

The Center for Documentary Studies is proud to recognize Marie Bongiovanni and Cathia Friou, students in its continuing education program (CDS Courses) who will receive their Certificate in Documentary Arts and present their final project in an online event on December 3, 2021. Filmmaker Randy Benson, a longtime CDS Courses instructor, worked with these students in a Final Project Seminar as they completed their certificate program of study and substantial documentary work.

Media innovation executive Opeyemi Olukemi is the new director of the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University.

Photo of Opeyemi Olukemi. Forest Hills Park, Durham, North Carolina. Photograph by Samantha Everette.

Myron Dewey (1972–2021), former Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor of Documentary and American Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, died unexpectedly on September 26, 2021.

Headshot of Myron Dewey.

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