A highly applied program in the production of non-fictional content for cinema, television, and new media platforms.


Do you want to make a documentary film, but never managed to turn your idea into reality?  Register to the Master of documentary filmmaking program and in two years you will see your ideas come to life. You will learn how to write, direct and produce your own film, from a simple idea to the final cut! This program offers you the opportunity to work with:- professors, tutors, and international experts – filming and editing equipment- some of the most important players in the non-fictional film industry The Master’s program of Documentary Filmmaking (in English) at Babeș-Bolyai University is the first academic initiative in Romania to specialize in the production of non-fiction film. The program is addressed to graduates in Cinema, Photography, Media, or Performing Arts, as well as to graduates from other fields, who have the skills and passion for documentary film.




The candidate will have an interview in English based on an individual documentary filmmaking project. The written and oral project will be accompanied by a 3-minute portfolio of video material, such as a teaser or trailer, either related to the proposed project or from previous projects.




The main focus of Master’s program of Documentary Filmmaking is to learn how to produce, direct, shoot and edit your own documentary film, that will represent the final dissertation work. The program offers various theoretical, and practical courses, with the possibility of choosing from a number of elective courses.


Semester 1:

By the end of the First Semester, students will present in a public pitch, in front of a professional jury, the developing film project. The pitch will be based on a pre-production portfolio that will comprise a written proposal and a work-in-progress trailer.


Semester 2:

During the Second Semester the students will continue to develop the pre-production portfolio, by finalizing the script and preparing the production phase (research, choosing film locations, starting the logistics, production planning, etc.).


Semester 3:

On the Third Semester, students will enter the production phase, and start filming.


Semester 4:

During the Fourth Semester the students will work on the post-production, image editing and sound design.


In order to finalize their studies, students will be expected to have completed all the credits comprised in the learning plan, as well as writing a dissertation paper that will be presented in a public session.


General objectives of the Documentary Filmmaking master program


  • Knowing and understanding the most important trends and evolutions of the documentary film genre in the context of new communicational context, media and audiences.
  • Practical learning, through analysis and practice at the highest standards of specific documentary film genres.
  • Acquiring skills and abilities for non-fictional filmmaking.
  • Developing the ability to use the specific cinematic language, while creatively applying theoretical and practical knowledge in a professional context.
  • Developing knowledge about Romanian and international non-fictional, contemporary film.
  • Developing theoretical knowledge and practical experience in order to cultivate high professional and ethical standards, as well as professional audacity and civic responsibility, as a non-fiction filmmaker.


Sem 1.


Pre-production: Research and Scriptwriting 


Associate Professor Dan Curean  

Asociate Professor John Appel –seminar 

Associate professor Catalin Stefanescu-practical courses  

The content of the PREPRODUCTION course is built up around the  pre-production and story development of the documentary films. The course aims to form knowledge, skills and development techniques in documentary film production, from the identification and selection of the theme to the starting phase of production itself. The course provides the preparation premises of a cinematographic project, with the purpose of elaborating an auteur documentary project in the development stage.


Anthropology and Documentary Filmmaking


Assistant Professor Oana Ivan 

This course focuses on the approach and methods of investigation of socio-cultural facts, specific to anthropology and that can be used in the construction of visual material. At the end of the semester, students should be able to understand and use: the methods of anthropological research and how they can be used, the notions of subjective-objective, cultural stereotypes and cultural relativity that occur when contact with “the other. All these perspectives should help the student in producing an authentic visual product. They will also gain knowledge about the main anthropological theories to understand the context in which visual products are born.


Opțional (1) Contemporary Critical Paradigms / Critical Thinking and the New Media


Associate Professor Claudiu Turcus  

The course focuses on assimilating the main conceptual directions of film and art criticism in the twentieth century. Students must know how to describe the most important directions in the history of documentary film and to argue the importance of visual narrative structures in documentary film the role of criticism, both as an aesthetic manifestation, but also as a socio-ideological product. Students can compare the specificity of various approaches to documentary with other media phenomena and to write two critical essays on established directions of film documentary.


Sem. 2


Documentary filmmaking production 


Associate Professor Dan Curean  

Asociate Professor John Appel –seminar 

Associate professor Catalin Stefanescu-practical courses  

Thegeneral objective of the course is to form specific skills of elaboration, visual transposition, filming and editing of an idea of documentary film in the phase of the production. The course aims to form knowledge, skills, aptitudes cinematic expression and film-specific filming techniques documentary.The main goal of this process is to make sure that the  students are not only familiar with the grammar of storytelling, but they are creative, in control of the tools, and ready to film  a story as the foundation of a documentary film.


Reality and fiction in Documentary films


Associate Professor Marius Sopterean 

The course aims to provide students with the theoretical background in order to be able to define documentary film according to form and content, analyse various examples and to develop case studies. The students will be able to: develop critical approaches regarding the boundaries between fiction and reality, to evaluate properly different digital techniques and animation elements, to analyze documentary film structures/develop theoretical and practical knowledge about documentary films.


Creative Industries 


Associate Professor Ileana Nicoleta Salcudean 

The course offers an overview of creative industries: theories and research paradigms. Students will be able to identify the specific elements of the socio-cultural context in the analyzed creative industries and become familiar with concepts of creative class, creative economy,  cultural policies, creative cities, network, creative clusters, innovation country branding etc.

Also, students will be able to critically analyze creative products, to assess and identify creatively different approaches (sociological, cultural, economic, anthropological, from media and communication etc) and will be able to use interactive methods of analysis.


Optional. 2. Docudrama/Docutaintment 


Associate Professor Dan Curean  

Associate Professor Florin Tolas 

The course on Docu-drama/Docutaintment describes the specific characteristics and role of re-enactments and place of the  Reality Tv formats in the wider landscape of the  non-fictional expression. By acquiring knowledge into the specifics of the genres (docudrama), (docutaintment) Reality TV and certain practical creative experiments, the MA students are offered the opportunity to step into and beyond the world of pure documentaries, with particular focus on the universe of dramatized documentaries and that of of the  Non-fictional  content in formats with entertainment goal and features.


Sem. 3


Documentary filmmaking 2

Associate Professor Dan Curean  

Asociate Professor Florin Tolas –practical courses 

Associate professor Catalin Stefanescu-seminar 


Its objective is the formation of the specific skills necessary for the creative expression of an individual directorial vision and the ability to visually transpose a documentary film concept in the post- production stage. The course also focuses on the formation of specific skills for the editing process. A more specific objective is to elaborate the narrative structure and to achieve the final form of a documentary film in terms of content and form.


New Media Documentary

-shared with DIA

The course explores how the digitization of information, the Internet and the possibility of instantaneous global communication allow the aggregation of the old media formats with the completely new ones, creating the conditions for the emergence of new media genres. Documentary models illustrating these aspects will be analyzed.


Creative  Transmedia Project

-shared with DIA

The course is intended to help students understand the new platforms provided by digital media, the democratization of communication and information through the use of the Internet, as well as the increased access to audio and video digital devices foster the development of new media and film genres. The course introduces students to the production process of interactive documentary by developing individual and group interactive projects.


Opțional 3: Interactive Movies 

Associate professor Robert Wierzbicky

With technology and interactivity becoming more and more distinct and predominant in our lifestyles, culture and society, a demand for interactive experiences and the delivery of more personalized entertainment content becomes noticeable. The course introduces students to the concept of interactive storytelling and digital narratives. For the purpose of this course the term “interactive movie” will refer to animated, filmed, video game-based and any other kind of movies following a main story but enabling user interaction.


 Optional 3: Visual Storytelling

Associate professor Catalin Stefanescu 

Visual Narratives is an exploration of the vast territory of visual storytelling; either static or dynamic,but also in the presence of the contemporary interactive dimension of what we call today the sub genres of visual narratives. From feature films to documentaries, from comics and animation to narrative painting and pictorial narratives, the course is a quest through the world of images and the various ways in which they can tell stories. And this type of exploration also calls for a consistent practical experience for the students, contributing a great deal to the fascination of this challenge.




Postproduction: editing and sound


Associate Professor John Appel 

Associate Professor Andrei Dascalescu -seminar 

Associate Professor Eugen Kelemen-practical courses 

The general objective of the discipline is to provide the know-how of the post-production stages of a documentary. The course focuses on understanding the genre and its editing particularities, learning the methodology of documentary post-production, observing the audio-visual language of the genre, observing the technical quality parameters through computer image processing in post-production, and creating significance through editing.


Production Management and Audiovisual legislation


Associate Professor Dan Curean 

Associate Professor Ana Grgic –seminar 

The Production management and Audiovisual legislation course describes, based on specific methodology of documentary film production , the solutions for managing the creation / production process/legislation aspects, the specifics and challenges of realization of documentary film in the wider context of the media landscape, described by the development in the field of capturing and image processing technology and in the field of new audio- visual communication media.


Optional 4 Documentary film genres


Assistant Professor Oana Ivan 

The general objective is to familiarize students with production methods and general topics addressed by different types of documentary niche  genre,  opening potential creative perspectives formaster students attracted to  accessing a niche genre, understanding the specific notions ,understanding and mastering how to build a visual narrative in these non-fictional genres .



Conf. Univ. Dr. Habil. Claudiu Turcuș


Claudiu Turcuș is Associate Professor of Literary and Film studies and Vice-Dean of Research and Academic Infrastructure at Faculty of Theatre and Film. He obtained his PhD in Humanities (2011) at Babeș-Bolyai University after a fellowship research at Bard College, New York. His research interests are focused on East-Central European Literature, Cinema and Criticism. He published widely on topics such as the cultural memory of Socialism, the representation of Post-communist transition, intellectual history, or the ideology of New Romanian Cinema.His book,Norman Manea. Aesthetics as East Ethics (Frakfurt-New York: Peter Lang, 2016) is the very first monograph about life and oeuvre of this important Romanian-American writer, proposed twice for Nobel Prize. He co-authored (with Constantin Parvulescu) the chapter “Specters of Europe and Anti-communist Visual Rhetoric in the Romanian Film of the Early 1990s”, in Aga Skrodzka, Xiaoning Lu, and Katarzyna Marciniak, The Oxford Handbook of Communist Visual Cultures (Oxford University Press, 2019).


He teaches two courses:

  • Contemporary Critical Paradigms(MA programs: Performative Arts and Film; Documentary Filmmaking)
  • Academic Writing(Theatre and Film Doctoral School, BBU)


Dan Curean, PhD Associate Professor,


Dan Curean specializes in Film and Television Cinematography, Documentary Filmmaking and Media Formats.

PhD in the field of Communication and Culture obtained in 2012 with a thesis  Text and image in mass-media.

He works in mass-media since 1990. From 1994, he works for the Romanian Public Television  (TVR), the Cluj regional studio. He works within TVR as cinematographer, producer, and documentary filmmaker.

He was trained in Aristoteles Workshop, 2006 and Discovery Campus Master school, 2008. He has collaborated with a number of major broadcasters in Europe. His filmography includes documentary film productions (scenario, directing, photography) multi-awarded at festivals in Romania and Europe.

Member of the Faculty of Theatre and Film at the UBB since its founding in 2005 and coordinates the Documentary Filmmaking Master programme.



He teaches courses on:

Cinematography for non-fiction

Pre- production and Documentary filmmaking



John Appel

Visiting Associate Professor

John Appel is a Dutch documentary filmmaker and professor.

Appel graduated from the Dutch Film and Television Academy in 1987. He made his first long documentary in 1993: Johnny Meijer, a portrait of an accordion virtuoso at the end of his career. His breakthrough came with André Hazes – She Believes in Me, which won the Joris Ivens Award for Best Feature Length Documentary at IDFA 1999 and became a big cinema hit in the Netherlands. His more personal film The Player (2009), about his father’s gambling addiction, was crowned best Dutch documentary at IDFA. Wrong Time Wrong Place was the opening film of IDFA 2012.

Appel is regularly mentoring at workshops, at places like Binger Doc Lab, the Film Academy, IDFA and the Greenhouse Development Program. He has also worked as a cameraman.

He teaches courses on:

Pre- production and Documentary filmmaking


Associate Professor Drd.Catalin Stefanescu

Cătălin Ștefănescu is a senior journalist at TVR (Romanian Public Television).

Since 1999 he has been producing the culture show GARANTAT100% , broadcast weekly on TVR1.

His preoccupations include documentary film, dramaturgy and interdisciplinary studies.

His documentaries have been selected at national and international festivals, and awarded at Mediafest, DaKino, Astra Film Festival.

He wrote texts for shows  performed on stages of theaters in Bucharest, Sibiu and Cluj.

He has been signing a weekly article in Dilema Veche magazine since 2010.

He teaches courses on  : Storytelling, Documentary filmmaking



Associate Professor Drd.Andrei Dăscălescu

Assistant Professor


Andrei Dăscălescu is an established documentary filmmaker, producer and editor.

He studied Sound and Editing at the I.L. Caragiale National University of Theatre and Film, graduating in 2008. During the student years, he worked as a Studio Manager for BBC World Service Romania and as an Assistant Editor to Walter Murch, on Francis Ford Coppola’s film Youth Without Youth.

His documentary debut, Constantin and Elena, won the First Appearance Award at IDFA in 2008, the Debut Award at TIFF and the Special Jury Mention at Sarajevo Film Festival, in 2009.

His second feature length documentary, Planeta Petrila, had 4 nominations at the Gopo Awards and won the Prize for Best Documentary. It also won the Audience Award at TIFF in 2017.

His third film, Holy Father, won the Special Jury Award at Sarajevo Film Festival and the Audience Award at Astra Film Festival in 2020.

Andrei created Filmlab, his film production company, in 2007. He initiated and organized 12 editions of Filmul de Piatra Film Festival. He published the photo book Planeta Petrila, in 2017.

He currently teaches courses on :Documentary Filmmaking and Post production


Associate Professor. PhD, Habill. Florin Țolaș

Florin Țolaș-Associate Professor. PhD, Habill.


Florin Țolaș is a cinematographer in film and television field, where he has been working for over 35 years, and since 2011, lecturer at the Faculty of Theater and Film, Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca.

He obtained his PhD in Cinematography and Media (2009) at the National University of Theater and Cinematography in Bucharest.

He has collaborated as Director of photography at many fiction and documentary films in the studios Romania Film (Buftea), Media Pro Studios and in the national television channels TVR, PROTV, Antena 1, Digi24, making films, television series and shows (national and international productions).

In TVR he also collaborated as a screenwriter and director on the TV series “Abracadabra”, with which he had numerous participations in international and national festivals (Bratislava, Chicago, Lisbon, Munich, Plovdiv, Costinesti, Bucharest), some of them awarded interrnational.

He performed as a Lighting Designer at the theater “L.S. Bulandra ”, as well as audiovisual projects event“ Milenium 2000 ”,“ A la recherche du Brancusi ”or Live Shows.


He teaches courses on:

Documentary Filmmaking



Professor Rodica Mocan. Ph. D.


Rodica Mocan is Associate Professor at the Department of Cinema and Media and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Theater and Television.

She earned a PhD in Sociology, with a theme related to the impact of technology on education, and a PhD in Theater and Performing Arts, with a research on interactive digital performance.

Her research focuses on the impact of digital technology on different aspects of life, particularly the relationship between reality and digital interactive arts. She specializes in digital media practice and researches emerging artistic genres such as interactive documentary and intermedia performance.

Her publications include: eLearning – A Sociological Perspective (Cluj-Napoca, Risoprint, 2007), Emerging Media Genres – New Media Documentary(Cluj-Napoca, Risoprint, 2013) and Critical Paradigms in Interactive Digital Performance (Cluj-Napoca, Cluj University Press, 2017).


She teaches courses on:

Transmedia Project

New Media Documentary


Professor Marius Șopterean


Marius Șopterean specializes in theatre and film directing (fiction and documentary).

He received his Ph.D in aesthetics and history of film in 2002at The National University of Theatre and Film “I.L.Caragiale”, Bucharest, with a thesis entitled Tradition and Modernity in cinema of Krzysztof Kieslowski.

His artistic work and research are focused on the art of film directing, film history, film styles, documentary film.

He is the author of the book Utopia and Film (Bucharest:UCIN Press, 2008). His publications include over 120 articles published at the rubric “1001 Nights and Film” in Tribuna journal (Cluj-Napoca) 2005-2010.

His films have been presented in festivals such as Montpellier, Berlin, Toulouse, NewBrandenburg, Malecorto etc.  He won prizes: UCIN prize for the best short film, UCIN prize for the best film book. He is the director of TV productions broadcasted by TVR 1: Imposibile Iubiri [Impossible loves](fiction),2005; Pasărea de foc [The bird of fire] (documentary), 2000. In theatre, he directed: Cristofor Columb at the National Theatre, Cluj-Napoca, 1992.

He teaches courses on:

Fiction and Reality



Assistant Professor Habil. Ileana Nicoleta Sălcudean

Ileana Nicoleta Sălcudean, PhD

Ileana Nicoleta Sălcudean holds a PhD in sociology at Babeș-Bolyai University with a thesis entitled Cultural Policies and Identity Constructions in the European Context.

Her research interest is focused on: cultural studies, sociology of culture, creative industries.

Books: Cultural Policies: from Bucharest to Brussels, Cluj-Napoca: Risoprint, 2016; Handbook of Creative Writing, co-author, Cluj University Press, 2014; ‘Social’ and ‘Cultural’ in the European Context, Cluj-Napoca: Risoprint, 2013.

From 2014 she is a CreArt Ambassador, Municipal Foundation of Culture. Valladolid City Council (ES). She is a member of the European Network Association (January 2018 – present) and of the Ekphrasis Research Center (2016 – present). She was the director of the Center for Continuos Education and Lifelong Learning, Babeș-Bolyai University (2012-2014).


She teaches courses on:

Creative Writing

Creative Industries


Assistant Professor, Phd. Oana Ivan


Oana Ivan is an anthropologist with expertise in visual anthropology and environmental anthropology. She is also a documentary director and producer focused on cultural changes occurring in the Romanian rural communities.

Oana Ivan got her PhD in Anthropology in a co-tutelage program between University of Kent, U.K. and Babes-Bolyai University, analyzing the cultural changes in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve fishing village from the Danube Delta, focusing on consequences of tourism and environmental programs.

After 7 years of field research and filming, Oana Ivan made the anthropological documentary “Lives among Waters” on the fishermen’s life in the Danube Delta, screened at various international film festivals, as well as academic conferences in Europe and USA. Link:

Oana Ivan is consultant and contributor for National Geographic Romania and World Bank.


She teaches courses on:

Anthropology and visual culture

Documentary Film genres



Eugen Kelemen

Assistant Professor


Eugen Kelemen specializes in the art of film editing at I.L.Caragiale National Film and Theatre University.

His work was presented over the years at many film festivals: Locarno FF, Trieste FF, Thessaloniki FF, Tallinn Black Nights IFF,TIFF and many more.

Eugen Kelemen edited SUPERMAN, SPIDER MAN OR BATMAN, short film directed by Tudor Giugiu which won The Best European Short film Award at European Film Academy.

Eugen Kelemen is the main editor of SHADO

WS, one of the most appreciated TV series produced in Romania by HBO EUROPE.

Also he is the founder of HARDCUT, a creative boutique specialised in film trailers and film posters.

He teaches courses on Post-production


Ana Grgić, PhD

Visiting Associate Professor


Ana Grgić is a professor and researcher in film studies, and a film industry practitioner.

In 2016, she received her PhD in Film Studies at the University of St Andrews, Scotland (UK)with a thesis on visual culture, cultural memory and early cinema in the Balkans. Prior to this, she completed a Master Research Degree in Cinema and Audiovisual Studies at the University of Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris in 2011 with a dissertation on film restoration theory and archives.

Her research is focused on East European and Balkan cinemas, film history, visual culture and film archives.She acted as Co-Chair of the SCMS (Society for Cinema and Media Studies)Central/East/South European Scholarly Interest Group between 2016-2019. She is currently anAssociate Editor of Studies in World Cinema: A Critical Journal (BRILL).

She currently teaches courses on Project production Management


Adelina Laura Bulibașa, PhD student

Assistant Professor


Adelina Laura Bulibașa is a multimedia artist, specialized in digital art, also working in the field of new media arts, directing and producing films, photography and theater. She also manifested an interest in different domains like robotics, human-computer interaction and light-art.

She finished her master degree in the field of Interactive Multimedia at Theater and Film Faculty, Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca and her bachelor degree in Photography-Video-Computerized Processing of the Image at Arts and Design Faculty, West University of Timișoara. Now, under the coordination of Associate Professor PhD Rodica Mocan, Adelina studies to get her own scientific PhD in the area of new media arts.

Her multimedia/digital arts focused projects were exhibited at national and international festivals

Adelina is teaching for Documentary Filmmaking master programs the course: Transmedia Creative Project