Studying documentary film was part of the Department of Directing from the beginnings of FAMU. The Department gained independence in 1961, in particular thanks to the influence of Antonín F. Šulc. Prominent filmmakers who helped shape Czech documentary film and TV programmes worked at the Department ever since the beginning (for example, Jiří Lehovec).
The development of documentary and journalist approaches in film and, more notably, television brought about the need to raise comprehensively prepared author and director personalities. The Department went through various periods during its development, depending also on what the political/social demand required of bringing up documentary filmmakers. The relatively liberal period of the 1960s was followed by the 1970s marked by strong attempts at ensuring that the curricula, school assignments and the teaching staff cater to the requirements of the ‘normalising’ society. A certain ‘thaw’ occurred in the latter half of the 1980s when non-conformist films and topic (within the period confines) started appearing. Following November 1989, the Department transformed gradually into its current form where documentary film is understood as a specific art discipline that involves a varied spectrum of approaches to film, with emphasis placed on original (authorial) film.
Practical study is complemented by other theoretically focused subjects aimed at gaining knowledge and education in art science and humanities, and field-specific seminars that develop both analytical and creative abilities.
Practical (hands-on) exercises form a substantial part of study, with students producing them to acquire technical skills, gain experience and confront their knowledge with schoolmates who study other fields at FAMU. The goal of the studies is to raise an independently thinking and creating personality whose work and attitude can earn respect and interest in the topics and issues presented among the general public.
prof. Mgr. Rudolf Adler, doc. Miroslav Janek, MgA. Vít Klusák, Mgr. Petr Kubica, doc. Martin Mareček, RNDr. MgA. Alice Růžičková, doc. Ing. MgA. Martin Řezníček, prof. MgA. Helena Třeštíková, MgA. Jan Šípek, MgA. Lukáš Kokeš, MgA. Lucie Králová, Ph.D.
GRADUATES WHO SUCCESSFULLY CONTINUE IN THEIR OWN WORK
Ladislav Cmíral, Mira Erdevički, Jiří Fedurco, Fero Fenič, Daniela Gébová, Tomáš Hejtmánek, Erika Hníková, Jan Gogola jr., Vít Janeček, Štěpán Kačírek, Vít Klusák, Tereza Kopáčová, Petr Kotek, Vladislav Kvasnička, Ivo Macharáček, Andrea Majstorovič, Vladimír Michálek, Jan Mudra, Marek Najbrt, Zdeněk Podskalský, Marián Polák, Irena Pavlásková, Šárka Pavlicová, Viktor Polesný, Viliam Poltikovič, Oskar Reif, Theodora Remundová, Filip Renč, Janek Růžička, Robert Sedláček, Marek Sklář, Petr Slavík, Dagmar Smržová, Jakub Sommer, Olga Sommerová, Marek Straka, Jan Svěrák, Jan Šikl, Vlastimil Šimůnek, Pavel Štingl, Martin Štoll, Václav Táborský, Helena Třeštíková, Petr Václav, Markéta Válková, Bohuslav (Woody) Vašulka, Roman Vávra, Kamila Vondrová, Dan Wlodarczyk, Ivan Zachariáš, Andrzej Zajaczkowski, Petr Zahrádka, Stanislav Zeman, Karel Žalud a další.
Brotherhood (2021) by Francesco Montagner, winner of the Golden Leopard - Filmmakers of the Present, Locarno International Film Festival
Intensive Life Unit (2021) by Adéla Komrzý, world premiere at the KVIFF - section: East of the West Competition