Get your documentary boot camp experience

You’ll probably learn more in 5 weeks of workshop than in years of film school.

We’re calling for you

AW welcomes all who share our love for documentary filmmaking as a vital, ongoing dialogue with the past, present and future. We’re looking for people with talent, passion, commitment, a voice of their own, and, above all, the ability to collaborate.

Our courses are designed for people with previous film and/or video experience.

Professional training that encourages the independent spirit, innovation, and creative risk-taking is provided by the most prominent leaders in the field.


Applications open March 25th – June 1st, 2019

in partnership with


  • You’re ready for one of the most intense learning experiences as a filmmaker in your life. Aristoteles Workshop is one of the precious few hands on documentary workshops in the world.
  • You put your hand up for your make-or-break kind of experience. You’ll share that with some of the finest filmmakers of today, who did just that here in the past 14 years.
  • You want to meet bright young artists like you. It’s all in who you work with.
  • You need expert, full and edgy tutoring from voices shaping the documentary landscape today to help you find your artistic freedom of expression.
  • One in three films we produced made it to festivals and received awards and honors, including Cannes Film Festival. That’s 24 awards in 14 years!
  • You might just be up for the fish out of water at world’s end kind of breakthrough.


There is a €850 participation fee, which covers accommodation (including two daily meals), the use of the HD production and post production equipment for the full length of the workshop, as well as training, tutoring and eventual feedback from renowned documentary film experts.


AW respects each person’s right to privacy. Your application data and your sample of work will be treated confidentially. Please be aware, if you are selected, your data, as provided by you, will be published on our website.


Deadline: June 1st, 2019

Selection to be announced by June 20th, 2019

Applications for the class of 2019 are now open!


After this workshop, it seems, to me at least, that everything is possible. Change my job, change my life …

Bogdan Craciun

Producer, Romania

The Location

In Beliș. a commune în Cluj County, Romania. Mother Nature did a fine job crafting this place located in the Apuseni Mountains – an area full of history and mistery, often called ,,the sea between the mountains”.

It stands 494km NW from Romania’s capital Bucharest, and only 55km W of Cluj-Napoca. All major European airlines will fly to either.

Thierry Garrel

Thierry Garrel was head of Arte France’s Documentary Department and Animation and Video Art Programming, for 21 years. He launched highly successful series such as: Palettes, Contacts, Cinema de Notre Temps, Histoire Parallele, La Lucarne and the series of feature length documentaries called Grand Format. He was also Head of Documentaries and Archives at the Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA). He notably produced the series: Cinecourt, Le Choc des Cultures, Rue des Archives, Juste une Image (winner of the Grand Prize for Television) and L’Inapercu.

Thierry Garrel is a producer and actor, known for Waltz with Bashir (2008), Charlotte, ‘vie ou théâtre?’ (1992) and Profit & Nothing But! Or Impolite Thoughts on the Class Struggle (2001).

Get a camera, shoot something, show it to someone… Sounds easy, doesn’t it? While cruel reality is closing in on us, Aristoteles Work- shop provides a safe haven where if you have a story to tell, you don’t feel as if the “powers that be” have put duct tape over your mouth, instead, you’re free to tell it, shout it even, and you have the means and logistics to back you up in your storytelling, thus making filmmaking as easy as one, two, three. I just wanted to thank you for the opportunity you gave me to learn and experience new things, be free in creating a film, and of course your infinite patience towards me. You gave birth to something wonderful, and I hope that this is only the begining.

Rastko Petrovic

Filmmaker, RS

John Appel

John Appel is guest lecturer at the Netherlands Film Academy and Amsterdam Filmschool. Coach for many young filmmakers; Mentor at many (inter)national workshops, a.o. Greenhouse Development Programme in the Middle East (since 2006), Binger Doclab in Amsterdam (2005 & 2010), Aristoteles Workshop in Romania (since 2010). Part time  commissioning editor for Human Broadcasting.

Since 1987, he directed more than 45 films for cinema and television. Worked as a cameraman on more than 40 documentaries. His production company VOF Appel&Honigmann is a cooperation with internationally acclaimed director Heddy Honigmann.

He leads masterclasses all over the world, from China to Mexico and is a jury member in major festivals like IDFA, Karlovy Vary, Visions du Reel.

His latest film The Voice of Holland (2018) is a portrait of The Netherlands by public speeches on weddings, funerals, ceremonies, political meetings etc.

In 2009 he won the IDFA Award for Best Dutch Documentary for his film The Player, a personal film based on memories to his gambling father. This film also won the Filmfund Award for Artistic Succes 2010 and other international awards.

His film Wrong time, wrong place, opening film of IDFA 2012, is a feature length documentary about coincidence and the fragility of life based upon the dramatic killings and bombings by Anders Breivik in Norway 2011. The film was screened in many major filmfestivals and internationally awarded.

His film The Last Victory (2003), about the Palio, the famous horse race in Siena (Italy), won many (inter)national awards and was nominated for Best European Documentary 2004.

In 1999 he won the IDFA Joris Ivens Award for Best Feature Length Documentary for his film Andre Hazes/She believes in me. This film about Holland’s most popular singer is the most successful documentary in Dutch cinema released in 60 years.

Jeroen Berkvens

Dutch documentary filmmaker, as well as a tutor in documentary directing. He also is a commissioning editor at a public broadcaster in the Netherlands.

Jeroen graduated in 1993 at the Academy of Arts in Breda, in the south of the Netherlands, with LET ME HAVE IT ALL; a documentary search for soul pioneer Sly Stone. The film won the ARTE AWARD for best European student film.

His later films on music include JIMMY ROSENBERG – THE FATHER, THE SON & THE TALENT (winner of the GRAND PRIX in Krakow, the GRAND PRIX at Montréal’s Festival du Films sur d’Art, a BIG SKY AWARD in Montana and GOLDEN CALF in the Netherlands). Also among his acclaimed music documentaries are A SKIN TOO FEW – THE DAYS OF NICK DRAKE which was described ‘a cinematic tone poem as much as a biography’ by the NY TIMES during its US theatrical release. And in the film PARADISO Amsterdam’s pop temple is seen from the perspective of several performing artists. It received the GRAND PRIZE at the Jecheon Music & Film Festival in Korea.

From 2000 to 2010 he was teaching cinematographic design at his alma mater in Breda.

Since 2010 Jeroen is appointed to the NETHERLANDS FILM ACADEMY in Amsterdam teaching documentary directing.

He also is a guest tutor at various educations like the post- graduate Sandberg Institute, Master Media & Culture University of Amsterdam, IDFA Summer School, Master Media & Ethics University of Humanistic Studies, and several international workshops (IDFA documentary workshop, Aristoteles-Romania, Documentarist- Turkey, Screen Training-Ireland, Back Lot-Surinam). He was a jury member for International film festivals (IDFA, Krakow), and is working as a script- and directing-coach.

At HUMAN, a public broadcasting company in the Netherlands, Jeroen is commissioning editor for several series with documentary topics explored from a philosophical perspective.

Lotte Mik Mayer

Danish filmmaker, Lotte Mik-Meyer holds an MA in International Development Studies and Media Studies from Roskilde University Center and the University of Copenhagen, with studies at the University of Durham and Jussieux Paris VII.

For the past 15 years she has worked as a documentary director and as a teacher in documentary and television in Denmark, Europe, Vietnam, the Middle East and the United States. Previously, she has been the director of the Program Quality Project on DR TV.

Lotte has many years’ experience filming alone in conflict areas like Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Madagascar.

Her film ‘The Arab Initiative’ was about the difficult art of diplomacy during the ‘drawing crisis’, shown at a number of Middle Eastern film festivals, and shortlisted for the Danish DOX Award, in the International Competition, Docudays, at the Beirut International Film Festival and in addition On TV 2.


Return of a President – After the coup in Madagascar (2017) * Arab Initiative (2008) * What We See (2006) * Drawing (2006) * Tolerance and Participation (2006) * A Meeting and a Kiss (2005)

Laurent Bécue-Renard

French director and producer. He graduated from Sciences Po (Paris graduate school of political science) and is an alumni of ESSEC Business School. He was a Fulbright Fellow at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Human Rights.

In 1995 and 1996, while living in Sarajevo during the siege, he served as editor-in-chief of the magazine Sarajevo Online and published a series of short stories called The Sarajevo Chronicles.

After the conflict, he began exploring war’s enduring impact on three widows at a rural therapy center in Bosnia. The documentary he wrote, directed, and produced about them, War-Wearied (De guerre lasses), screened at more than fifty festivals and received the Berlin International Film Festival’s Peace Film Award (2001), among others.

Shifting focus to young men returning from battles in faraway lands, Bécue-Renard continues to explore war’s psychological aftermath with Of Men and War, the second volume of his Genealogy of Wrath trilogy.

Of Men and War opened at the Festival de Cannes (Official selection 2014), was nominated for Best European Documentary at the European Film Academy Awards 2014 and received the VPRO Award for Best Feature-length Documentary at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam IDFA 2014 as well as the San Francisco IFF Golden Gate Special Jury recognition Award 2015 among others.

I’ve learned a lot from people who became my friends. I felt connected to the rest of the world at the highest professional level, which meant a lot to me. A very generous idea, solid structure, a turning point for me, you learn, you get motivated, you do it, and in the end you have something to show. To quote Rafi Pitts, my teacher and friend, “if we don’t meet again that means that we are in the wrong business.”

Dan Curean

Filmmaker, Romania

Cluj Napoca Airport

Bucharest Airport