Smashcut Expands With NYU Tisch School of the Arts and & NY Times Doc Ops For Online Documentary Course and Scholarships

Susan Hornik

Smashcut, a next-generation online learning platform and content studio, today announced an expansion of their relationship with New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

The company is launching their Documentary Workshop course, which will include lessons created in collaboration with NYU Tisch and The New York Times’ Op-Docs division. This course will allow students from around the world to learn about nonfiction filmmaking and receive feedback from some of the leading names in the field.

“It’s great to build on our successful relationship with NYU Tisch. Over the last three years we’ve worked closely together to launch a range of compelling online filmmaking courses that have been taken by everyone from high school students, to undergrads, to adults seeking to develop a new set of creative skills,” Smashcut Founder, Daniel Blackman told
Daniel Blackman, SmashcutSmashcut

Smashcut has previously created college and high school level courses with NYU Tisch, and collaborated with other major universities and educational institutions including John Hopkins, Columbia University and The Digital Fashion Group.

Documentary Workshop will cover every aspect of the genre, from concept development through research, writing, directing, producing, and editing. Students will learn a range of styles and techniques and become well-versed in the relevant legal and ethical issues facing documentary filmmakers.

Op-Docs staffers and filmmakers will be featured in video lessons created jointly by Smashcut and NYU, as well as participating in live Q&A sessions. As part of this initiative, scholarships will be available.

“We’re thrilled to team up with two of the most distinguished institutions in the world to help nurture the next generation of documentary filmmakers,” said Blackman. “Smashcut’s goal is to radically improve the online education experience, and it’s exciting to have our platform and content studio embraced in this way.”

The program will be led by Shivani Khattar, a New York-based independent filmmaker whose work ranges from feature films to branded content and commercials. She previously made future-forward documentaries for NBC News’ streaming platforms.

“This is an extremely compelling alliance, and I am looking forward to being a part of it and sharing my knowledge and experience with the students,” said Khattar. “Op-Docs is an important voice in the documentary field, and their contributions will add tremendous value to this course. It’s a significant step forward in the evolution of remote learning for the creative arts.”

“In recent years, the documentary space has experienced a boom driven by both industry forces and consumer interest,” said Christine Kecher, Senior Commissioning Editor of Op-Docs. “Now in its tenth year, Op-Docs has established itself as a vital home for short documentaries from both established and up-and-coming filmmakers. It is a pleasure and a privilege to share our expertise with students who will go on to tell unique, compelling stories of their own.”

To learn more about the courses and scholarship opportunities email or visit

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