Founded in 2014, the annual Storytellers’ Institute, part of the John B. Moore Documentary Studies Collaborative (MDOCS), is a five-week residency hosted at Skidmore College. For the month of June, the Institute welcomes its Fellows to work on independent projects and engage in an annual theme. 

Residency spots are open to four professional documentary practitioners (Visiting Fellows) and 10 Skidmore College student and faculty/staff members. We value all non-fiction forms and select Fellows working in a wide range of mediums including but not limited to: audio, performance, film/video, written word, photography, interactive media, etc.  The five-week residency provides an intensely focused period of time for the Fellows to work independently and collaboratively in order to hone their craft and advance their current projects. Towards the goal of non-hierarchical learning, we foster a collaborative learning community in which Visiting, Faculty/Staff, and Student Fellows learn from each other through group critique and informal seminars.  Along with an honorarium, practitioners are provided with room, board, workspace, and the opportunity to take advantage of MDOCS’ production equipment, media lab and other resources.

Opportunities for public presentations of current or past work are offered to Visiting Fellows during the annual documentary Forum –– a public events series combining festival presentations of artistic work with symposium-style conversations around an annual theme. The forum is free and open to the public, as well as the linternational documentary community.

This year our theme is Humor: Laughing With Reality and applications are now closed but please check back in March/April to register for Forum.

What to expect:

60%-70%- intense work on your proposed project

30%-40%- participation in Institute activities including: giving/taking seminars, giving/taking workshops,  giving/taking critiques, group meals, outings AND participating in the final exhibition (not mandatory) and Forum (mandatory)

In the words of 2015 and 2016 storytellers: