Department of Visual & Media Arts

It's All True

A Festival of Outstanding Student Documentary Work from Emerson College

The purpose of It’s All True is to showcase student documentary work and to encourage interest in documentary production at Emerson College. In addition to the festival screenings, the host/presenter is a leading documentary filmmaker (previous guests include Academy Award-winners Barbara Kopple and Peter Davis) who also visits documentary classes and meets with student filmmakers. Early submissions of work-in-progress are accepted and encouraged; filmmakers submitting before January 22nd may request feedback from documentary faculty for revisions that will increase the likelihood of being selected.


  • Work completed after January 2015
  • Recommended length is under 30 minutes, but longer works will be considered.
  • Students may submit directly or faculty may nominate non-fiction projects from any Emerson College class, undergraduate or graduate, or from any co-curricular group. Documentary-experimental hybrids are welcomed. Mockumentaries are not.


January 22, 2016, 5pm


The selected films will be shown in early April 2016 in the Bright Family Screening Room.


Projects can be uploaded into Median, Vimeo or YouTube (if password protected please provide password). Be sure to read the Median Upload Guide to properly compress and upload your video into Median.

Works-in-progress will be considered for mentoring, provided they will be completed prior to the festival.

There is no limit on the number of submissions you can make. Just resubmit the form for each production.


Selection for the festival will be made by the Festival Committee comprised of Emerson VMA faculty and staff. A nationally-known documentary filmmaker will participate in the judging and screenings.


The Riley Fund will provide a $500 award for Outstanding Social Action Documentary.  Other prizes include film/video services and rentals, cinema and professional group memberships, and equipment and software coupons and vouchers.

Documentary Information

Emerson College cannot be held liable for print/video materials, which may be lost or damaged. Selection to festival will allow Emerson College to broadcast work on Emerson College cable station and at alumni events as well as to reproduce on DVD for promotional/non-commercial purposes.