Ethical Approaches to Documentary Filmmaking

Speaker(s): Olena Lysenko

Center for Media at Risk Workshop: Olena Lysenko, Ukrainian Filmmaker

About the Workshop

This workshop will explore the ethical challenges that arise during documentary film production and offer a roadmap to better understand the practical and ethical realities of documenting war and revolution. We will discuss some strategies for filmmaking that is ethically sound and avoids exploitative practices, while exploring the responsibilities that filmmakers have to their subjects and audiences. Additionally, we will delve into some elements that make documentary filmmaking distinct from journalism.

From the initial idea, to filming a subject and the final edit, this is a step-by-step guide to the behind-the-scenes process of making a documentary and the ethical considerations that must be made along the way. Viewing of Lysenko’s film, I Never Had Dreams of My Son, prior to the workshop is encouraged but not mandatory. 

About the Speaker

Olena Lysenko is a documentary filmmaker, producer, fixer and freelance journalist from Ukraine. This year, she is a visiting practitioner with the Center for Media at Risk at the Annenberg School for Communication. Most recently, her short film, I Never Had Dreams of My Son, received the Special Jury Recognition Award for Best Documentary Short at the 2022 New Orleans Film Festival. In 2016, she received her PhD in Law from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

Event details

Annenberg School for Communication | Room 300