Out of the box, into the bottle: an example of documentary film as a new research tool in the South African wine industry

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Due to recent developments in digital video technology, the documentary film format is increasingly being used and adapted in unconventional ways, including in the illustration of research in academia and as an educational tool in corporate contexts. Generation Wine is a feature-length research documentary created by Gosia Podgorska and myself between 2012 and 2013 and submitted as a Master's in Media Creative Production at the University of Cape Town. The aim in creating the film was to use the documentary format as a research tool to investigate key contemporary marketing and media-related issues in the South African and French wine industries, and to ultimately communicate these research findings to academics, industry professionals and other interested parties in a highly engaging manner, thus demonstrating the effectiveness of the documentary format in research contexts. This paper serves as an explication to accompany the Generation Wine video, which uses the documentary as a departure point for discussing theoretical issues regarding the use of documentary film as a research tool, as well as the production process and wine industry-related content explored in the documentary.

Includes bibliographical references.