The definition of “documentary” is a film, television or radio programme that provides a factual report on a particular subject. Further to that, media satisfies one basic human craving – the desire for information. Each day we are bombarded with information from various sources, hobbies and leisure activities.
Research shows that at the end of 2015, YouTube had over a billion subscribers. In other research Netflix CEO announced recently that subscribers streamed a total of 42.5 billion hours of video during the year.
Film is a powerful medium for information sharing; each film that is produced has two purposes, and those are to entertain and to inform. A documentary filmmaker’s aim is to share information, to make the public aware of events that may not be common knowledge. So in essence, it is to educate, inform and expose.
Thomas Jefferson said that “Knowledge is power, knowledge is safety and knowledge is happiness”. We live in a world where, we are more knowledgeable of the Kardashian lifestyle than we are of the story of James Foley.
We are able to recite statistics of Cristiano Ronaldo’s footballing career and yet we are unaware that a feature of Oscar Pistorius’ life is being filmed.
Documentaries are not only a source of information. They are the most influential tool with the ability to be a catalyst for change.