Master in Creative Documentary

28 SEP 2021
Information sessions
19:00h, Online
Sign up

The Master in Creative Documentary is an international benchmark for its quality, its innovative character, its creative freedom and, above all, for its great ability to train new professionals. In its more than 10 courses, more than 33 documentary films have been produced that have participated in the main national and international festivals.

  • Creative Documentary
  • Documentary Film
  • Documentary
Next edition
Classes start
17 January, 2022
Classes end
30 November, 2023 (To be confirmed)
Program ends
15 January, 2024 (To be confirmed)
Variable hours depending on each subject of the Master.
ECTS credits
8900 €

The Master in Creative Documentary provides a solid preparation, both theoretical and practical, on documentary making and production. It is an international benchmark for its quality, its innovative character, for creative freedom and, above all, for its great ability to train new professionals. Since its inception in 1998, the program has more than demonstrated its ability to transform its students' ideas into film.

The program prepares and trains young documentary makers and broadens the perspectives of professionals. It is based on a multifaceted vision of contemporary documentary, guaranteed by the personality and creative and professional experience of teachers and tutors and contrasted with experts from different countries. At the end of the course, each student will have collaborated in the development or production process of a documentary feature film and will have worked on their own project that has been positively evaluated by producers and broadcasters in the European audiovisual scene.

Directors Neus Ballús, Tatiana Huezo, Isaki Lacuesta and Mercedes Álvarez, among many others, have gone through this program. In its 10 courses, more than 33 documentary films have been produced, which have participated in the main national and international festivals (Berlinale, Locarno Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Visions du Réel, and the Seville European Film Festival, among others).

Why choose this program


Creating a school

The master has contributed to developing a distinctive cinematographic movement that is represented by former students such as Mercedes Álvarez, Neus Ballús, Renate Costa, Diego Dussuel, Tatiana Guezo, Núria Esquerra, Isaki Lacuesta, Victor Moreno, Lois Patiño, Lupe Pérez, Pilar Monsell and Amanda Villavieja.


More than 33 films made

The master has become an international benchmark in the production of films such as: En Construcción, Mones com la Becky, De nens, Veinte años no es nada, Cravan vs Cravan, Demonstration, Dies d'Agost, Bajarí, or Lo que arde.


Prestigious Director

The master is directed by Jordi Balló, 2005 National Culture Award winner in the film category, professor at UPF since 1993, visiting professor at Stanford University (California) and a key figure in the international panorama of contemporary documentary.


Work with renowned documentary makers

In previous courses, filmmakers of the stature of José Luis Guerin, Claire Simone, Victor Kossakovsky, Audrius Stonys, Sergei Dvortsevoy, Nicolas Philibert, Avi Mograbi, Claude Lanzman, Marcel Lozinski, Frederick Wiseman, or Óliver Laxe, among others, have given classes.


Learn in a practical way

You will collaborate on real projects and develop your own creative documentary that will be evaluated by producers and broadcasters of the European audiovisual scene.

Who is it for?

The Master in Creative Documentary is aimed at audiovisual media professionals and Graduates in Audiovisual Communication and Communication Sciences or from other disciplines interested in training as project promoters, filmmakers, or producers.

Admission and enrolment


The Master in Creative Documentary is structured into 3 subjects and a documentary project that is developed throughout Subjects I and II. The program ends with participation in the initiative projects of the Master.

Subject I: Narrative, aesthetics, history, and perspectives of the documentary

Tour of the cinema of reality

Film analysis. This subject will delve into the historical origins, forms, and genres of documentary cinema, its most prominent representatives, and their narrative and technical contributions, via a journey through the different styles or schools (direct cinema, cine verité, Kinoks, film-diary, participatory cinema, etc.), dedicating a part of the study to the history of documentary cinema in Spain. At the same time, film analyses will be carried out from the production point of view. Professionals in the audiovisual medium will show a selection of the works that they consider representative of the different trends in contemporary creation. New formats, new forms, and production strategies will be addressed.

The processes in documentary creation: Retake Seminar

Dedicated to specific problems of cinematographic staging. A filmmaker will work for a week with the students around a dramatic situation in their own creative universe, a practical exercise from which the problems posed by the filmic device in question will be addressed.

Documentary photography, school of the gaze. Historical tour through the main schools of documentary photography and their most relevant authors. An analysis that proposes recognizing in the gaze and the photographic method the gestures that constitute the various cinematographic representations of reality.

The documentary image today. Different perspectives (legal, journalistic, ethical, artistic, etc.) on the use of the image in the society of mass communication and its artistic possibilities. The sessions will approach the making and production from questions that arise in the framework of the law on intellectual property, image rights, and professional ethics.

Sound in creative documentary. Sound as a relevant element in the making of the documentary. Reflections on sound design as creative potential and analysis of sound staging strategies at different moments in the history of documentaries, especially in current lines of work.

Film construction through montage. The montage as a backbone of the narrative structure, the construction of characters, film time, etc. Review of the main theories of montage and influence of technological progress on cinematographic language.

New documentary models

Filmmakers of recognized international prestige present their point of view on the documentary gaze based on their own creation and the works that have influenced them. The documentary practice that unites them inscribes the cinema of reality in a field where documentary and fiction converge. Through the experiences that underlie each of their works, the main aesthetic lines of documentary production are reconstructed.

Production, distribution, and exhibition of the documentary project

Seminar oriented to the design of production and the search and management of sources of financing and aid. Analysis of production needs (timing, budget, production plan, financing plan, etc.). Project presentation and sale strategies.

Subject II: Personal project development

Writing workshop

Analysis of the different ways of explaining the documentary project. The students' projects will be worked on to find in each case the writing of the dossier (synopsis, treatments, description of characters, production plans, etc.) and the most appropriate forms of communication.

From the idea to the narrative development of the project. The tutorials are intended to shape the initial idea of each student's project. Aspects referring to the narrative structure, the temporal construction, the treatment of the characters, the formal proposal, the documentation work, etc. will be dealt with.

Master's Final Project

Organized into tutorials, individual monitoring, group sessions, individual documentation work, etc.

Pitching and project evaluation. Students will have the opportunity to present their projects to a group of television producers and programmers who will comment on the formal aspects and their viability. Some sessions will be dedicated to preparing the pitch.

Design and production strategies. Analysis of the production needs of personal projects. The aspects that determine decisions prior to the development of the script and the production process will be addressed: format, budgets, financing plan, and sales strategies. In a final phase, the possibilities of organizing pre-production, production, and post-production will be discussed.

Subject III: Participation in the initiative projects of the Master in Creative Documentary

Editorial support seminar

Documentation needs and all those elements that deal with the discussion and script writing will be raised. As the project evolves, the assessment process on the viability of the documentary, the project financing strategy, and the preparation of the work plan will be looked at.

Production and filming

In this period, the filming of each of the documentary films will take place. Depending on the needs of the project itself and the profile of the students, they will assume different functions that have been assigned to them in the areas of production, documentation/script or filming.

Editing and post-production

In this block, the viewing and selection process of the images shot, editing and sound editing will be undertaken. At the same time, the tasks of presentation, distribution and exhibition will be carried out, as well as the monitoring of the commercialization and dissemination of the film.

Complementary activities

Subject I aims for students to deepen their theoretical and aesthetic knowledge from documentary tradition to contemporary documentary creation, the contributions of documentary photography, documentary practice, and production and exhibition processes. This subject takes place from January to June 2022, with face-to-face classes from Monday to Thursday from 4 pm to 7 pm. On Fridays, there is projection.

Subject II covers the entire development process of each student's project in the master, working in parallel with Subject I (theoretical) and the progress of the Subject III projects. The work of the Master in Creative Documentary is oriented towards the evolution of each student's personal projects until the moment they are ready for filming. If filmed, the credits of the pieces produced must state that they have been developed within the framework of the Master in Creative Documentary. The development of personal projects will take place from January 2022 to February-June 2023 (date of pitch). The schedule for the tutorials will be set personally between the students and the project tutors.

In Subject III the student will be able to participate in the development of three documentary projects in collaboration with three independent production companies. After the initial period of work with the director, there will be the possibility, depending on the nature of each project and the profile of each student, of joining any of the production phases. This subject will take place from February-June 2023 (date of pitch) until January 2024. The calendar and working hours of each of the projects will depend on the calendar established by the production company itself and the professionals linked to the film. The projects respond to the reality of the film industry, and so the calendar cannot be planned in advance.

Qualification obtained

Once you have passed the program, you will be awarded the title of Master in Creative Documentary, issued by the Pompeu Fabra University.


The Master in Creative Documentary is taught by a teaching team made up of professionals from the audiovisual sector as well as internationally renowned directors and documentary makers.

Academic directors

Jordi Balló Fantova

Associate Professor UPF-BSM


Eva Vila Purtí

Lecturer BSM

  • Mercedes Alvarez Lamata
    Director and screenwriter for documentary film.
    Master in Creative Documentary from Pompeu Fabra University.
    She directed films El Cielo gira and Mercado de Futuros, for which she won numerous awards in different international film festivals.
  • Jordi Ambros Hortensi
    Director and co-producer of TV3 documentaries.
    He also produced La Plaga (2012), Garbo: El espía (2009) and Món petit (2012).
  • Luciano Barisone
    Journalist and film critic. Director of the Festival Visions du Réel de Nyon.
    He was also a member of the jury at different festivals such as the Cannes International Film Festival, Fid Marsella, Bacifi, DocLisboa, Punto de Vista, DocAviv.
  • Sonia Hermán Dolz
    Director and scriptwriter.
    Her works have had considerable international film and television projection, and have won numerous awards. Among the most significant are Yo soy así, Lágrimas negras, and The Master and his pupil. She founded production company HastenSlowlyFilms in Rotterdam.
  • Marie-Pierre Duhamel
    Translator and programmer. She is also a producer, film programmer, critic, and lecturer. She directed the Cinéma du Réel Film Festival, organized by the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, and was member of the jury at several different film festivals (Venecia, Lussas, DocLisboa, DocumentaMadrid, etc).
  • José Luis Guerin
    He has directed films such as Innisfree (1990), Tren de sombras (1997), En construcción (2001, Goya Award for the best documentary feature film), En la ciudad de Sylvia and La Academia de las Musas (2015).
  • Carlos F. Heredero
    Journalist and film critic. Director of the magazine Caimán Cuadernos de Cine.
    Formerly head critic of Diario 16 (1988-2001), member of the Editorial Board of magazines Cinema 2002 (1976/1980) and Viridiana (1992/1997), and regular contributor to the magazine Dirigido por (1986-2007). Author of numerous essays, historical studies and monographies on different authors (Sam Peckinpah,John Huston, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Eric Rohmer, José Luis Borau, John Cassavetes, Iván Zulueta, Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, Pedro Beltrán, Montxo Armendáriz, Wong Kar-Kai, Aki Kaurismäki, etc.).
  • Isaki Lacuesta
    Director and scriptwriter.
    Master in Creative Documentary from Pompeu Fabra University.
    Adjunct lecturer at the Department of Communication of Pompeu Fabra University.
    Among others, he has directed Murieron por encima de sus posibilidades, Los Pasos Dobles, La Leyenda del Tiempo, Condenados and Cravan vs Cravan, winners in film festivals such as Sitges and San Sebastián. In 2012 he was won the National Film Award of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalan Government).
  • Joan Fontcuberta Villa
    Photographer, teacher, essayist and photography historian.
    Bachelor in Information Sciences from the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
    Lecturer of Audiovisual Communication Studies at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona and Harvard University in Cambridge (Massachusetts). He is also chief editor of the magazine Photovisión that he co-founded in 1980, and former artistic director of the Rencontres Internationales de Photographie d'Arles. Author of internationally renowned photography series such as Fauna, Sputnik, Constel·lacions, and the more recent Securitas.
  • Pere Freixa
    PhD in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona.
    Senior lecturer at the Department of Communication of Pompeu Fabra University.
    He has also participated in, coordinated and directed different courses in digital imagery and photography. As a researcher, he is member of Digidoc, Research Group for Digital Documentation and Interactive Communication at Pompeu Fabra University.
  • Thierry Garrel
    Actor, co-producer and director. He currently gives seminars on the subject of documentaries.
    He was also former director of documentaries on TV Arte and has contributed to the production of some of the most outstanding recent Spanish documentaries such as Gaudí (1988), Innisfree (1989), Granados y Delgado, un crimen legal (1996) and En construcción (2001).
  • Luciano Giovanni Rigolini
    Photographer, director and producer.
    He has formed part of the Art Documentaries Unit production team since 1996 from where he directs La Lucarne, one of the most active and relevant creative documentary programs in Europe. He has produced works by filmmakers such as Alexander Sokurov, Sergei Dvortsevoy, Naomi Kawase and Chantal Akerman.
  • J. Carles Guerra Rojas
    Artist, art critic and freelance curator.
    PhD in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona.
    Adjunct lecturer at the Department of Communication of Pompeu Fabra University.
    Former director of the Virreina Image Centre (2009-2011) and Curator at the Contemporary Art Museum of Barcelona MACBA (2011-2013). He was also member of the Greenroom Project, involving the analysis of contemporary documentary practices at the Center for Curatorial Studies of Bard College, New York.
  • Victor Kossakovsky
    Director of documentary film.
    He has directed 10 films that have won more than 100 awards: Losev, The other day, The Belovs, Wednesday, Pavel and Lyalya, I loved you…, Tishe!, Svyato, Vivan las Antípodas! and Demonstration, an initiative of the Master in Creative Documentary.
  • Andrés Hispano
    Film and television director and scriptwriter, historian and film critic.
    Bachelor in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona.
    Lecturer at the Department of Communication of Pompeu Fabra University.
    He has also published several books on film. He has written and directed experimental film programs for Canal Plus and numerous programs about films, music, and video clips for BTV.
  • Ricardo Iscar Alvarez
    Documentary film maker and teacher.
    He was also on the Jury at several festivals (documentary in Malaga, newcomers in Nyón, short animation in Dresdén, L'Alternativa in Barcelona). He has coordinated different production workshops in Barcelona and Atlantidoc (Uruguay). His extensive filmography has gained him distinctions at festivals such as Berlín, BAFICI, Malaga and Kiev. He has also worked in Photography, Sound and Montage for films by other directors. Highlights of his career include documentaries A la orilla del río, Badu. Historias del desierto del Negev, La Punta del Moral, El Cerco y Tierra Negra and El Foso.
  • Margarita Ledo Andion
    Journalist, and writer in the Galician language.
    Professor of Audiovisual Communication and Advertising at the Faculty of Information Sciences of the University of Santiago de Compostela.
  • Carlos Muguiro
    Director and scriptwriter.
    Lecturer at the Department of Audiovisual Culture and Communication of the University of Navarra.
    He has a long background in the study of documentary filmmaking, and was involved in cultural programming in festivals as well as professional practice.
    This includes editing books on Japanese documentary, Soviet documentaries, and on filmmakers such as Alan Berliner and Ermano Olmi, as well as collaboration in collective books and magazines
  • Aví Mograbi
    Director of documentaries and video artist.
    Committed to political, cultural and social justice in the Middle East, among others he directed Once I Entered a Garden, Mrs. Goldstein, Will you please stop bothering me and my family, Happy Birthday, Mr. Mograbi, Happy Birthday and Deportation
  • Nicholas Philibert
    Director of documentaries.
    His most well-known works include La ville Louvre, Le pays des sourds, Un animal, des animaux, La moindre des choses and Être et avoir, which was a great box-office success.
  • Oscar Pérez Ramírez
    Director and producer at Getsemaní Produccions.
    Bachelor in Film Practice from the London College of Communication (United Kingdom).
    He was also part of the jury at documentary film festivals IDFA (Amsterdam), DocLisboa (Portugal) and MFF (Bosnia). His productions include Salve Melilla and El Madrid, El Sastre, If the Camera blows up and Hollywood Talkies, co-directed with Mia Ribot.
  • Paco Poch
    Member of the Catalan Film Academy, producer and distributor.
    PhD in Social Communication from Pompeu Fabra University.
    Lecturer of Audiovisual Communication Studies at Pompeu Fabra University.
    He also produced two essential documentary films in Catalan film, Gaudí (1988) by Manuel Huerga and Innisfree, by José Luis Guerín. Director of production company Mallerich Audiovisuals. He produced El caso Pinochet (2001), by Patricio Guzmán, Buenaventura Durruti, anarquista, by Jean-Louis Comolli, and Cravan vs Cravan, by Isaki Lacuesta. As a distributor, he introduced film makers such as Béla Tarr, Pedro Costa, Mia Hannsen-Love (Le père de mes enfants) and Bruno Dumont (Camille Claudel).
  • Angel Quintana Morraja
    Film critic.
    PhD in Communication Sciences from the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
    Lecturer in History and Film Theory at the University of Girona.
  • Elena Oroz
    Researcher, teacher and film critic.
    PhD in Communication from Rovira i Virgili University (Tarragona).
    She was also co-founder, co-director and editor for non-fiction online magazine Blogs&Docs ( up until March 2012. She has collaborated with magazines such as Scope, Travelling, Cahiers du Cinema – España, Caimán Cuadernos de Cine, La Vanguardia,, Archivos de la Filmoteca and Secuencias. History of Film magazine.
  • Frederick Wiseman
    Director of documentaries and theatre.
    His films are investigations into the exercise of power in American society, through filming the dark side of its institutions. He is author of many renowned documentaries including Titicut Follies (1967), High School (1968), Law and Order (1969), Welfare (1975), Model (1980) and Public Housing (1997).
  • Tue Steen Muller
    Independent international consultant for documentary film.
    He also worked for the Danish Film Board for over 20 years as head of distribution and commissioning editor for documentaries. He was director of the EDN, European Documentary Network for 10 years.
  • Andrius Stonys
    Independent filmmaker and producer.


The teaching and learning methodology in the Master in Creative Documentary combines theory with practice. The student's own documentary project will be developed and presented in a pitch organized by the master.


Combination of theory and practice

The sessions combine theoretical knowledge and practical application, which allows you to see in depth the challenges that documentary professionals encounter on a daily basis.


Connection with professional reality

The program has had a great impact on the sector: 73 projects by students on the master have ended up being made, together with 33 films by established and new directors promoted by the master. All of them have been awarded at the best international festivals (Cannes, Locarno, IDFA, FID, among others).


Real internships

Students participate directly on the conception and realization of documentaries by filmmakers and/or novices, while they are developing their own project in parallel. There is no simulation, they are works of great impact in the real world and can change things. This transmission model has been a reference for other universities and training and creation centres around the world.


Presentation of the developed written project, with an audiovisual teaser and a production plan, in a final pitch in front of a panel made up of professionals from the sector.

A theoretical work, which relates the seminar of Module 1 'Tour of the cinema of reality' with reflection on the staging of each project.


Project-oriented learning and the combination of lectures and active methodologies such as case studies, flipped learning, solving real problems and professional simulations allow the student to connect theory and practice, acquire advanced skills and achieve learning which is transferable to work.

You will have:

  • Master's or postgraduate work to learn by doing
  • A personal mentor to monitor your Master's Final Project (TFM) or Postgraduate Final Project (TFP)
  • Digital resources to achieve transversal skills
  • Interdisciplinary activities and workshops

Professional Future

On the Master in Creative Documentary you will share a classroom with national and international students and you will learn to examine new models of production, current and real. You will also undertake your own documentary project in collaboration with producers and broadcasters of the European audiovisual scene. You will be able to participate in the development and production of a documentary feature film and create your own documentary at the end of the master.

Student profile

You will share a classroom with students from different national and international origins, which will allow you to grow not only academically, but also culturally and personally. Our students come from various academic backgrounds and professions. This contributes to creating a multidisciplinary and collaborative spirit, enriching for all.


Average age


International students


Previous studies in Audiovisual Communication


Previous studies in Journalism


Previous studies in Psychology

Career opportunities

At the end of the master, thanks to the training received and participation in real projects, students will be able to join different positions in the cinema and audiovisual sector, with a special focus on the field of the documentary genre.

  • Project Producer
  • Audiovisual editing
  • Production
  • Director of photography
  • Director's Assistant
  • Cultural Management
  • Film management

Admission and enrolment

Our admission process consists of a rigorous evaluation of each application to preserve the quality of the group as well as the training, experience, and work capacity of all students.

Who can apply?

University graduates in Audiovisual Communication, in Fine Arts, in Journalism, in Communication Sciences or in other degrees at this university level related to these fields.

It will be an essential requirement to submit an idea for the project from which the pre-registered participants will be selected, an idea to be developed in a minimum of two pages.

Those participants who do not have Spanish as one of their mother tongues or who did not have it as a teaching language in their training studies, must prove that they have at least a B2 level of Spanish (Common European Framework of Reference), as well as fluently take part in a personal interview with the academic director, if necessary.

How to apply?

To apply for admission to this program, students must read and accept the Terms and Conditions of Contract once they start the application for admission through the following form.

Application for admission

Complete your application within the next admission rounds:

RoundApplication deadlineAdmission resolution

Applications for admission will be evaluated when you complete the following steps:

  • Complete the online admission form.
  • Pay the €120 admission fee. This amount will be returned if you are not admitted.
  • Send the following documents through the online platform e-registrar:
    • Presentation letter or video
    • CV
    • Scanned copy of university degree (if you are in the last year of your degree, you can provide your academic records)
    • Scanned copy of Transcript of Records. Make sure that it includes your GPA (Grade Point Average)
    • Scanned copy of ID Card or Passport
    • Passport-size photo (jpg format)

Additional documents may be requested in certain cases.
Application rounds are subject to the number of places available on the program.


  • The Admissions Committee will select the candidates on the basis of a personal or CV-based interview.
  • You will be notified of the admission decision in writing.


  • Registration must be paid within a 15 days after the admission.
  • Once the letter of acceptance to the program has been received, you will need to submit the following original documents before the course begins:
    • Stamped and/or authenticated photocopy of your university degree.
  • If you have a foreign degree you may need to submit additional documents.
  • Paying the reservation fee (25% of the program's tuition fees) is essential in order to reserve your place
  • If you pay the tuition fees by bank transfer you will be required to introduce the program code. The program code for this course is 1013.
  • The remaining tuition fees must be paid 2 weeks before the start of the course.

Grants, scholarships and financing


The UPF Barcelona School of Management offers you different means of financing so that you can take any of our programs without worry. We offer you the opportunity to finance part of your program, either by rewarding your talent through scholarships, through grants from entities dedicated to promoting education or through collaboration agreements with financial entities.

Grants and discounts


Financing simulator

You can choose how to finance your studies by consulting our simulator and receive an answer in less than 24 hours.

Go to the simulator

Collaborating entities

In addition, UPF Barcelona School of Management collaborates with various banks and financial entities which provide study loans on favorable terms. For more information you can contact any of the following links (in Spanish).

Note, however, that in order to benefit from these special conditions you must have a NIE if you are not a European Citizen. Therefore, UPF Barcelona School of Management strongly recommends international students to seek first for students loans at bank entities of their country of origin, or to search for funding opportunities through international entities.

The Agency for Management of University and Research Grants of Catalonia (AGAUR, in Spanish) also offers loans to university students with legal residence in Catalonia through the PREPOST program.

Application for admission
You are applying for admission to the program:
Master in Creative Documentary
Modality: Presencial
Language: Spanish
Price: 8900
Admission fee: 120
We will deduct this amount from the total registration fee if your application is accepted. If your application is rejected, we will reimburse you.

Master in Creative Documentary