non-fiction courses by iSchool

iSchool is a film school established under the DokuBaku IDFF in 2020.


non-fiction courses by iSchool




iSchool is a film school established under the DokuBaku IDFF in 2020.


The Purpose:


Promoting the development of an independent documentary film industry in Azerbaijan, encouraging local young-amateur and professional filmmakers and cinema lovers; Creating a platform for documentary films screening and exchange of experience on local and international professionals; To increase the interest of local TVs in independent cinema and to lay the foundation for this genre and promote co-production; Supporting for the making of new local documentary films; Promoting the creation of potential international products.


Film Courses 


Calling all aspiring Documentary Filmmakers:
Do you have an idea you would like to make? Or a message? Here is your chance to develop your idea and learn about documentary filmmaking from two experienced international filmmakers, tutors Mariam Chachia and Nik Voigt. If you are serious about a career in filmmaking then this course is a unique opportunity, in Azerbaijan, to gain inside information of the film industry and the art form of documentary filmmaking. You do not need to have any equipment but you need to have a good idea, drive, and ambition to get your message out there. The best four applications will be accepted and the course will be free of charge. If this sounds like a good opportunity for you please apply


Application form:




Courses will be held on October 1st – December 1st, 2020 and will be provided in English.


Deadline for Submission: September 25


Our tutors:

  • Nik Voigt



Nik Voigt is an international director and film producer based in Tbilisi, Georgia. Nik graduated with honours from BA Photography and Video Production at De Montfort University, UK, and worked in Botswana and Czech Republic before moving to London where he learnt his trade working as a video producer, DoP, editor and director, producing content for organizations such as BBC, Sky TV, ITV, Marjan TV Network, Vodafone, Bristol Film Studios, Streaming Tank and Matter & Co. Nik Moved to Georgia in 2015 and started producing feature documentary films such as:



‘Listen To The Silence’, a Golden Dove winning documentary at DOK Leipzig 2016, Directed by Mariam Chachia;



‘101 Rooms – Abastumani’, DoP and co Director with Mariam Chachia;



‘Before Father Gets Back’, DoP, Directed by Mari Gulbiani, Produced by Nushi Films;



‘Great Expectations’ DoP, Directed by Sona S, Produced by La Boîte à Songes;



‘Water Has No borders’ DoP, Directed by Maradia Tsaava.



‘Republic’, DoP, directed by Khvicha and Tinatin Emiridze.

    • Mariam Chachia



    Mariam Chachia is a documentary film director and producer who has been working as a tutor for documentary film development for the last 4 years. She has been invited to tutor at  EurasiaDoc script writing residencies and co-production meetings with French organization DocMonde, CineDoc, People In Need, iDocs Beijing and Mariam has also lectured on a course of documentary film at GIPA. Mariam was born in 1982. She graduated with honors from Shota Rustaveli Georgian State University of Theatre and Film – Drama faculty in 2003 where she studied Theatre Directing. After university she worked in the theater as a director for a few years. In 2009 she went on to produce and direct on advertising company.



    In 2012 Mariam began her career in the documentary field. Her first feature documentary film Kirov Street #8 was co-produced with France. In 2014 she founded film production company OpyoDoc and started producing her own documentaries with co-producer Nik Voigt. Her first film by OpyoDoc Listen To The Silence premiered in DOK Leipzig 2016 and won The Golden Dove in Next Masters Competition. 101 Rooms – Abastumani is Mariam’s second feature film, which she co-produced and co-directed with Nik Voigt. In 2018 Mariam began producing films of other directors such as:



    ‘A Stage’ by Georgian director George Varsimashvili;



    ‘Water Has No borders’ Directed by Maradia Tsaava;



    ‘Republic’ directed by Khvicha and Tinatin Emiridze.

Selection Criteria / Questions: 



  • – Do you have enough time to dedicate to the course? 
  • + We estimate it will require at least 14 hours of dedication every week to be able to complete the course. This time will include lessons, written homework, and practical activities. However, watching films will not be included in this time. 
  • – Do you have access to any filming equipment?
  • + Not necessary, but useful to know if you have a camera, microphone, editing software on your laptop.
  • – Letter of Motivation / Intention: 
  • + Explain yourself thoughtfully (1 page). 
  • – Your idea:
  • + Short synopsis of your idea.



Practical Outcomes:



  • What is the final product? A short documentary film 10-20 minutes
  • A packaged project with a logline, synopsis, treatment, basic budget & still images



Learning Outcomes



  • An understanding of what Documentary is and how it fits into our personal and global narrative. Reasons for making Documentaries, the importance of Documentary.
  • How to develop, make, pack, and sell a documentary film.
  • A mix of practical and theoretical skills will be developed including, but not exclusive to:




  • Business and Professionalism;
  • Storytelling;
  • How to write and sell a project;
  • How to shoot a documentary: communicating with characters, communicating with the general public or officials, where to put the camera, recording sound, teamwork on set;
  • Making editing choices.