The genres are assigned to give participating filmmakers a direction in which to take their film. Filmmakers are given 2 genres that they can choose from. Some genres are content related and some are form related. You can mix genres as long as it is obvious to a judge that one of your assigned genres is the predominate one. The documentary genres that will be randomly assigned are:
Told from the point of view of the Director - either through off camera narration or an on-camera presence.
Focuses in some way on art and/or artists.
A full account of the facts of the life of a particular person, or closely related group of people (Biography) or an exploration of a single character's personality and current life situation (Character Study).
The application of innovative techniques to non-fiction material - experimenting with new ideas, forms, techniques and expressions. An exploration of how the camera can emulate and/or enhance visual and audio perception.
Focuses on stories of past events and/or people.
Focuses in some way on music and/or musicians.
Focuses on an aspect of the natural physical world, including animals, plants, landscapes, etc.
Focuses on a social and/or political issue.
Focuses on science or technological issues.
Focuses on events and/or people involved in sporting activities (an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition.)
All filmmakers will be assigned a broad theme that must be addressed at some point in their film. The whole film can be centered around this theme or the theme can just appear in one scene, or even in one interview question. In the end, a judge must be able to notice that at some point in the film the assigned theme was brought up. Past themes have included:
2009: Hope and/or Fear