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Docufiction (often confused with docudrama) is a neologism which refers to a cinematographic work mixing fiction and documentary.

Concerning a film genre in expansion, the new term appeared at the beginning of the 21st century. It is now commonly used in several languages and widely accepted for classification by the most important international film festivals.

Docudrama is often used as a synonym for docufiction. Drama is confused with fiction, and the concept turns ambiguous. Widely used, it refers specifically to telefilms or other television media recreations, such as a documentary that dramatizes certain events often with actors. The term docudrama is apter in this sense.

The word docufiction is also sometimes used to refer to literary journalism (creative nonfiction).



The term involves a way of making films already practised by such authors as Robert Flaherty, one of the fathers of documentary, and Jean Rouch, in the 20th century.

It also implicates the concept that fiction and documentary are basic genres, due to the ontological status of the filmed image as photography: the double is shown as being the same, as representation and reality. Being both, docufiction is a hybrid genre, arising ethical problems concerning truth.

In the domain of visual anthropology, the innovating role of Jean Rouch allows one to consider him as the father of a subgenre called ethnofiction (Jean Rouch and the Genesis of Ethnofiction – thesis by Brian Quist, Long Island University).

First docufictions by country

Other well-known docufictions

common definitions for docudrama

  • Compact Oxford English Dictionary: «a dramatized film based on real events and incorporating documentary features».
  • Cambridge Dictionary of American English: «a television program whose story is based on an event or situation that really happened, although it is not accurate in every detail»
  • Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary: «a television programme whose story is based on an event or situation that really happened although it is not intended to be accurate in every detail»
  • Wiktionary: «A type of drama (a film, a television show, or a play) that combines elements of documentary and drama, to some extent showing real events and to some extent using actors performing recreations of documented events».
  • American Heritage: «A television or movie dramatization of events based on fact».
  • Rhymezone: «a film or TV program presenting the facts about a person or event»

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Docufiction" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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