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The Complicated Lens of Trauma at Guth Gafa Documentary Festival 2015

Tutors: Laurent Bécue-Renard Helen Simon Moderator: Dr. Jeanne Cashin

Date: Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Duration: 10am - 1pm (plus screenings)

Venue: Guth Gafa Doc Festival, Headfort House, Kells, Co Meath

Cost: €25

Course Profile:

Screen Training Ireland, in association with Guth Gafa Documentary Festival In Kells, are seeking participants for this half-day workshop to explore the many perspectives of filming trauma in documentaries, the issues of responsibility to the subject and subject matter, as well as the psychology of trauma, secondary trauma and re-traumatization in the context of documentary film.

Award-winning directors Laurent Bécue-Renard (Of Men and War – winner Best Feature Doc, IDFA 2014 and SFIFF 2015) and Helen Simon (No Lullaby – winner Viktor Award, Munich Doc Fest 2014) will participate in a workshop moderated by trauma psychologist, Dr Jeanne Cashin, whose main area of work is the generational aspects of war trauma and sexual abuse.

The filming of trauma requires the use of more than just the camera lens. This is a workshop that will consider the many lenses of filming trauma.

How does a filmmaker decide who or what to film – the lens of choice?
Can the filmmaker understand and be sensitized to inner psychological states, their own as well as the subject’s – the lens of the traumatized person?
What is seen, and how is that reported with care and accuracy, and how can it be done without adding additional trauma – the lens of responsibility?
How much does the filmmaker need to know about trauma, retraumatization, and secondary trauma – the lens of psychological expertise?
And is there a way to protect oneself and the subject from further harm – a safety lens?

Using extracts from their two films: Of Men and War and No Lullaby, directors Bécue-Renard and Simon, the two directors will explore the maze of intricacies and nuances the filmmaker needs to consider in order to choose a lens that will bring forth something close to the truth without further injury to self and others. As we may come to see through our own personal lens, this is not an easy task.

Participant Profile:

This workshop is aimed at emerging and experienced filmmakers, including directors, producers, cinematographers and people in other creative roles who are interested in trauma in documentary films, or who are looking to, or have already filmed traumatic subjects and topics.

Application Procedure:

Please apply directly to

Please note the deadline for applications is Thursday the 1st of October 2015.

Please note the fee includes tickets to two screenings.

For further details, contact Criona Sexton in Screen Training Ireland at or David Rane, Festival Director at Guth Gafa at

Guth Gafa Documentary Festival  takes place in Kells, County Meath from the 2nd – 4th of October 2015.

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