Sound in documentary film: A phenomenological attitude – Martine Huvenne & Elias Grootaers

£10.00 Ex VAT

Does sound in documentary film start from listening?

In this session, Martine Huvenne and Elias Grootaers ask what constitutes a phenomenological attitude in filmmaking, and in documentary film in particular? How can we think about sound and audiovisual composition within this context?

Can we state that sound in documentary film starts from listening? Is there a difference between thinking about sound in relation to images  and words, and thinking about sound in light of the experience and perception of the audience? How important is it to create auditory lived spaces in documentary film, and what kind of documentary strategies are we using then? How can we work with sound to present concrete situations, evoke memories or transmit experiences?  

Martine and Elias will present execerpts from
La ville Louvre (Nicolas Philibert, 1990)
Lo sguardo di Michelangelo (Michelangelo Antonioni, 2004)
Dukhovnye golosa [Spiritual Voices] (Aleksandr Sokurov, 1995)
The work of Johan van der Keuken
Lignes. En quête d’une mémoire (Elias Grootaers, 2006)
Not Waving, But Drowning (Elias Grootaers, 2009)
Inside the Distance (Elias Grootaers, 2017)

2 hours including Q&A.


Elias Grootaers (1981) is a Belgian documentary filmmaker and a lecturer in documentary film. His filmography includes Cinema Central (2005), Lignes: En quête d’une mémoire (2006), Not Waving, But Drowning (2009), the video installation The season has changed but we are still standing in the same place (2009), and Inside the Distance (2017). He co-edited, amongst others, Muito além (Mario Gomes, 2010), Kosmos (Ruben Desiere, 2015) and Un pays plus beau qu’avant (Hannes Verhoustraete, 2018), and edited La fleurière (Ruben Desiere, 2017). He has taught at KASK / School of Arts Ghent since 2006 and he has also taught at LUCA School of Arts, P.A.R.T.S. (Performing Arts Research and Training Studios) and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He has been a guest professor at the Beijing Film Academy and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In 2013, he co-founded Sabzian, for which he has written articles and compiled and translated texts. From 2013 to 2019, he was Sabzian’s artistic director. He has curated several film programs for Sabzian and under the moniker Zéro de conduite.


Dr. Martine Huvenne retired after a career teaching and researching in the audio-visual field. She was a senior lecturer in Sound and Music for Film at the Kask – Conservatorium School of Arts, Ghent, where she developed a phenomenological approach to music and listening. She graduated from the University of Amsterdam in 2012 with a dissertation on sound in film, “The sound in film as an inner movement in the transfer of an experience in film: a phenomenological approach.” Her research and teaching focuses on the auditory aspect of the creative process of filmmaking. Huvenne was curator and co-organizer of the Film Fest Gent annual Seminar on Music and Sound in Film. She coordinated the curriculum development of the European Postgraduate in Arts in Sound (EPAS).

Martine’s new book, The Audiovisual Chord: Embodied Listening in Film, published by Palgrave Studies in Sound, 2022, is available online.

Read her essay, ‘Transmitting an Experience’, in the TEACHING section of this website.

Your video will be available on our site under My Account > My Recordings.