Types of documentary films

Types Of Documentary Movies.

Documentary movies have always been a great way to learn more about the world around us, and the many different topics they explore. From informative films that provide insight into our history, to those that take us on a journey of exploration, documentary films come in all shapes and sizes. In this article, we will explore the different types of documentary movies and how they can help us better understand certain topics.

Documentary Movies.

Documentary movies are a great way to learn more about different subjects and cultures. There are three types of documentary movies: personal documentaries, history documentaries, and nature documentaries. Personal documentaries follow the lives of people who experience special moments in their life or have unique experiences.

History documentaries look into past events to gain a better understanding of how they impacted the world today. Nature documentaries explore the wonders and diversity of our planet by featuring different wildlife in their natural habitats.

Each type of documentary movie has its own unique charm that draws audiences to it. Personal documentary films provide an intimate window into the lives of people around the world and give viewers a chance to feel connected with them on an emotional level.

History documentarians take viewers through time on a journey uncovering secrets from our pasts allowing us to appreciate our present even more.

Also read – How to get into Documentary Filmmaking?

What is a Documentary Film?

A documentary film is a non-fiction, creative work that covers either real or perceived events. It can be educational, persuasive, or purely entertainment. There are several types of documentary movies ranging from historical records to biographies and more.

The most popular genre of documentary filmmaking is the observational type which uses mostly raw footage and no interviews. This style often allows for an intimate look into people’s lives on any number of topics such as family dynamics, social issues, and culture.

Other forms of documentaries include experimental, issue-oriented films that tackle challenging topics in a more argumentative manner than observational works do.

These types usually use interviews but also rely heavily on archival footage to prove their points. Additionally, there are biographical documentaries which provide an overview of a person’s life with accompanying interviews and other research material about them.

Also read – Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking.

History of Documentaries.

Documentaries are an excellent way to study history, present issues and gain knowledge about different topics. There are various types of documentary movies that cover a variety of subjects. The two most common types are the historical documentary, which looks at past events and people, and the ‘slice-of-life’ or observational documentary which focuses on current issues or topics in greater depth than conventional news reporting.

The historical documentaries examine life in the past through archival footage, reenactments of events, interviews with experts and participants from that era as well as narration by a narrator or presenter.

They are often intended to educate viewers about a certain event or time period. The goal is usually to provide a comprehensive look at the subject matter by looking at it from multiple angles and perspectives.

Also read – Advanced Documentary Filmmaking.

Types: Historical, Biographical, Investigative.

Historical documentaries have been around for centuries, providing an insight into the past and the events which shaped it. Through the use of archival footage, interviews with experts and witnesses, re-enactments and narration they tell us what happened in history both locally and globally. Biographical documentaries on the other hand are a more intimate take on a person’s life story, as they focus on their achievements, traumas and personal experiences.

Through interviews with family members or friends we get to hear first-hand accounts of how this individual’s life unfolded over time. Investigative documentaries delves deeply into a particular issue or controversy by researching relevant facts at length.

This type of documentary usually focuses on raising awareness about an issue that has been neglected by society or misunderstood due to widespread misconceptions. It can be very powerful because it often provides evidence that challenges previously accepted ideas about certain issues.

Also read – Ethics in documentary filmmaking.

Historical Type of Documentaries.

Historical type of documentaries are becoming increasingly popular and provide a unique way to learn more about the past. These documentaries provide an in-depth look into certain times, places, and events that have shaped world history and offer viewers an educational experience.

Often featuring interviews with historians, scholars, authors, or witnesses of events being discussed, these documentaries dive deep into a variety of topics ranging from ancient civilizations to 20th century tragedies.

Depending on the type of documentary movie chosen viewers can explore topics such as wars throughout time periods or famous leaders who left lasting marks on the world. Historical documentaries can focus on specific countries and the cultural changes that have taken place over centuries or showcase technological advances that have helped shape modern society.

Many historical documentary movies also feature reenactments which serve to give a more realistic feel for what it would have been like to live through those events many years ago.

Also read – How to copyright your documentary film.

Biological Type of Documentaries.

Biological type of documentaries have been gaining more popularity in recent years. These types of movies focus mainly on the biology of living organisms and their life cycles, with special attention to the environment in which they live.

Types Of Documentary Movies.

From interesting sea creatures that are rarely seen by humans to extreme anatomical changes within the human body, these documentaries offer a unique way of understanding biology and its relationship with other aspects of our world.

These movies give viewers an insight into how different animals exist in their respective environments and how they survive under certain conditions. They also provide detailed information about the anatomy, physiology, evolution, and development of living things such as plants and animals. It is a great way for people to learn more about the natural environment while engaging with some amazing footage from nature itself.

Also read – 5 Essential Elements Of a Documentary.

Investigative Type of Documentaries.

Investigative type documentaries offer an in-depth look at a particular issue or event. They are often used to expose the truth and bring attention to problems that need addressing. These types of documentary movies can be particularly powerful, as they often combine shocking visuals with hard facts, creating an emotional impact on the viewer that is difficult to ignore.

These investigative documentaries are usually produced by independent documentary filmmakers who spend months researching their subject matter and then presenting it in a compelling way for the audience. They interview experts, analyze data and research archives in order to create a convincing narrative around their chosen topic.

Many times these films will focus on controversial topics such as corporate corruption, environmental degradation or political scandals which may garner significant public attention and spur action from viewers.

Also read – How much it costs to make a BBC Documentary.

Feature Length Docs.

Feature length documentaries are a powerful form of storytelling. These movies explore topics that range from the personal to the global and often take us on an emotional journey. The types of documentary movies vary greatly, but each gives us a chance to learn something new and gain insight into subjects we may not have known much about before viewing.

The most common type of documentary movie is the biographical film, which tells one person’s story in depth and often reveals their life history as it relates to a particular issue or event. Another type of documentary is investigative journalism, which looks into real-life issues such as corruption or inequality on a deeper level than news reports.

Additionally, there are historical documentaries, which explore events from the past through interviews with people who experienced them firsthand or through archival footage.

Also read – The price tag of filming a documentary.

Short Subject Docs.

Short Subject Docs are a unique type of documentary movie that can focus on a wide range of topics. They typically range in length from less than 10 minutes to around an hour, and they often provide perspectives that aren’t usually seen on the big screen.

Short Subject Docs can take on many different forms, including docudramas, investigative reports and fictionalized stories. They often tackle extremely specialized topics that don’t get covered in traditional documentaries.

Some popular examples include biopics about famous people or events, interviews with experts and firsthand accounts from people dealing with specific issues. These types of movies are particularly appealing because they tell compelling stories without taking too much time out of our day-to-day lives.

Also read – How much do you get paid to appear in a documentary.


Documentary movies are one of the most popular types of films in recent years. Not only do they educate viewers on a particular topic, but they can also be highly entertaining and captivating. From biopics to nature documentaries, docuseries have become increasingly popular due to their ability to tell stories like no other type of movie could.

In a typical docuseries, each episode focuses on a different topic or person related to the overall subject being explored. It can take an entire series for viewers to gain a clear understanding of the full story behind it. Documentaries are used as educational tools and often provide insight into historically significant figures or issues that might otherwise go unnoticed by society.

For example, some docuseries have covered topics such as war and poverty in various parts of the world, giving audiences an opportunity to gain perspective on issues that affect people around the globe.

Also read – Do celebrities get paid to appear in a documentary?

Conclusion: Variety of Documentary Movies.

The variety of documentary movies available to us today is almost limitless. Whether one is looking for a lighthearted look at the lives of animals, a deep exploration into the human condition, or an examination of our political climate; there is bound to be something out there that has been documented on film.

Documentary films allow us to explore different cultures and regions from around the world, all from the comfort of home. They can even help guide our own personal reflections by giving us insight into how people are living in different parts of the world.

With so many options, it can be hard to choose which films best suit our interests. The most important thing when choosing any type of movie, especially documentaries, is ensuring you pick something that aligns with your values and beliefs.