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Frames Issue 12, Winter 2017 – Call for Papers


Frames Issue 12, Winter 2017

Innovation and Iteration: The Potential of Documentary

In recent years, developments in digital technologies and social spaces have radically affected the ways in which documentary film functions. Challenges to and innovations within the field (for instance, digitally manufactured ‘realities’ and current questions of ‘truth’ in the media) have resulted in a proliferation of moves towards new manifestations of documentary such as iDocs, sensory ethnography and trans-media expressions that subsume cinema within a greater whole. Though some of these transitions do mark a shift in the form and function of documentary, which reflect global changes in our perception of the world and reality, and the ways in which we communicate, many elements of these innovations can be traced back to iterations of historical moments in the history of documentary, such as early cross platform collaborations and disavowals of the influence of the filmmaker.

By taking stock of recent developments, such as interactivity, cross-medialities and experiments with ‘unmanned’ recording developing within documentary cinema today with regards to their relationship to or diversion from earlier documentary forms, this issue of Frames seeks a reflection of the influences between the past of documentary and its future, asking what the studies of prior moments in non-fiction film can tell us about its present and possible futures and vice versa. In turn, it asks what enduring problems and practices, resurrections of lapsed forms, or marked shifts, tell us about our collective expectations and understanding of documentary- what is constant, what is a restructuring of the past and what is truly new.

We invite analysts from any discipline working with non-fiction film, and makers grappling with these questions practically, to submit papers examining the following topics:

  • Early documentary forms and the history of documentary innovations
  • The influence of older documentary films on contemporary works
  • Future possibilities for documentary
  • Documentary in a ‘post-truth’ age
  • The impact of new technologies on non-fiction film
  • Interactive documentary
  • Visual ethnography and cinema as research
  • Developments in television documentary
  • Peripheral developments in documentary

We seek abstracts for our features section (5,000-7,000 words) and our POV section (1,000-3,000 words) as well as video contributions enquiring the proposed topics.

Proposal abstracts of no more than 250 words (plus brief bio and indicative bibliography) are to be received by 10th September 2017. Please submit your proposal to:

Cassice Last and Sophie Hopmeier (editors-in-chief) , E-mail: framesjournal@gmail.com