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Presence of the Past: History Documentaries

Starts August 5

History is here. But too often mainstream media leaves out historic context and leaves behind the history of diverse peoples. Daniel Pierce Bergin will lead an exploration of history documentaries with a focus on voices of diverse people and the power of place. In addition to reviewing the best work in the genre, Bergin will draw the curtain back on his own local award-winning history documentaries. Participants will be introduced to researching historical content and visual materials, ways to craft a story, creative approaches to writing and structuring, and editing historic nonfiction. With hands-on work that includes camera, working with historic visuals, and editing, the group will collaborate on crafting a short vignette that weaves together people’s history, the power of place, and the past.

Tuition: $100 regular/$50 low-income

dpb2011Daniel Pierce Bergin is Senior Producer & Partnership Manager for Twin Cities Public Television. He was a production fellow for the PBS documentary Slavery by Another Name, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. His notable productions include regional Emmy-winners North Star: Minnesota’s Black Pioneers; Lowertown: The Rise of an Urban Village; Cass Gilbert: Standing the Test of Time; and Slavery By Another Name: Behind the Scenes. His documentary With Impunity: Men & Gender Violence was named Best Documentary of 2012 by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.

Daniel’s short narrative films have screened at the American Film Institute, the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, and the Hollywood Black Film Festival. In the 1990s Daniel produced the groundbreaking Don’t Believe the Hype, Twin Cities Public Television’s Emmy award-winning youth media program.

The Minneapolis native and University of Minnesota graduate has served as a director on the boards of several community media organizations including Intermedia Arts, St. Paul Neighborhood Network, Hennepin Theatre Trust, and IFP MN. Daniel has been an adjunct instructor at St. Cloud State University. He has been recognized as a MN State Arts Board Fellow, a City Pages Artist of the Year, and was awarded a Bush Leadership Fellowship for his work in community media.

Class Registration Guidelines & Cancellation Policy

  • Space is assigned on a first-come basis. Registrations must include payment in full to be valid. Registrations are accepted beyond registration deadlines as long as space is available.
  • If minimum enrollment has not been reached by 5 days prior to the start date of a class, FilmNorth may cancel it, in which case registrants will immediately be notified and receive a full refund by PayPal (online registrations, minus PayPal fee) or credit/debit card (phone or in person credit/debit card registrations) within 5 business days. A check will be issued for registrations that were paid in cash. In lieu of a refund, students have the option of applying their tuition to another class if scheduled in the same calendar year.
  • For those wishing to cancel a registration prior to the class registration deadline, 100% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee (plus PayPal fee if applicable). For registration cancellations received after the registration deadline but prior to the first class session, 50% of the tuition will be refunded minus a $25 administrative fee (plus PayPal fee if applicable). As of a class start date, no refunds or credits/exchanges will be given.
  • Tuition is not prorated for missed class sessions.


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August 5, 2017
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Daniel Pierce Bergin
Registration Deadline
July 31, 2017
Maximum Enrollment
Civi Event ID