Skip to main content

50 Documentary Logline Examples

Logline Examples for Documentaries

Explore our list of outstanding documentary logline examples, each illustrating how to powerfully convey the core idea of a documentary in just a sentence or two.

  1. Earthlings: Using hidden cameras and never-before-seen footage, Earthlings chronicles the day-to-day practices of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit.
  2. The Salt of the Earth: The life and work of photographer SebastiĆ£o Salgado, who has spent forty years documenting deprived societies in hidden corners of the world.
  3. Senna: A documentary on Brazilian Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna, who won the F1 world championship three times before his death at age 34.
  4. David Attenborough - A Life on Our Planet: One man has seen more of the natural world than any other. This unique feature documentary is his witness statement.
  5. O.J.: Made in America: A chronicle of the rise and fall of O.J. Simpson, whose high-profile murder trial exposed the extent of American racial tensions, revealing a fractured and divided nation.
  6. Stop Making Sense: An innovative concert movie for the rock group Talking Heads.
  7. Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father: A filmmaker decides to memorialize a murdered friend when his friend's ex-girlfriend announces she is expecting his son.
  8. Home (I): With aerial footage from fifty-four countries, 'Home' is a depiction of how Earth's problems are all interlinked.
  9. Won't You Be My Neighbor?: An exploration of the life, lessons, and legacy of iconic children's television host, Fred Rogers.
  10. Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom: A documentary on the unrest in Ukraine during 2013 and 2014, as student demonstrations supporting European integration grew into a violent revolution calling for the resignation of President Viktor F. Yanukovich.
  11. The Cove: Using state-of-the-art equipment, a group of activists, led by renowned dolphin trainer Ric O'Barry, infiltrate a cove near Taijii, Japan to expose both a shocking instance of animal abuse and a serious threat to human health.
  12. Hannah Gadsby: Nanette: Australian comic Hannah Gadsby reshapes standard stand-up by pairing punchlines with personal revelations on gender, sexuality and childhood turmoil.
  13. They Shall Not Grow Old (II): A documentary about World War I with never-before-seen footage to commemorate the centennial of the end of the war.
  14. 13th: An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality.
  15. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills: A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence.
  16. Hoop Dreams: A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.
  17. Koyaanisqatsi: A collection of expertly photographed phenomena with no conventional plot. The footage focuses on nature, humanity and the relationship between them.
  18. Apollo 11 (I): A look at the Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon led by commander Neil Armstrong and pilots Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.
  19. Free Solo: Alex Honnold attempts to become the first person to ever free solo climb El Capitan.
  20. Before the Flood: A look at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do to prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems and native communities across the planet.
  21. The Red Pill: The Red Pill chronicles filmmaker Cassie Jaye's journey following the mysterious and polarizing Men's Rights Movement. The Red Pill explores today's gender war and asks the question "what is the future of gender equality?"
  22. Virunga: A team of brave individuals risk their lives to protect the last mountain gorillas.
  23. Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret: Follow the shocking, yet humorous, journey of an aspiring environmentalist, as he daringly seeks to find the real solution to the most pressing environmental issues and true path to sustainability.
  24. The Act of Killing: A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers.
  25. Searching for Sugar Man: Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock n roller, Rodriguez.
  26. Inside Job: Takes a closer look at what brought about the 2008 financial meltdown.
  27. Seaspiracy: Passionate about ocean life, a filmmaker sets out to document the harm that humans do to marine species - and uncovers alarming global corruption.
  28. Zeitgeist Addendum: Zeitgeist: Addendum attempts to locate the root causes of the pervasive social corruption, while also offering a solution.
  29. George Harrison: Living in the Material World: Filmmaker Martin Scorsese examines the life of musician George Harrison, weaving together interviews, concert footage, home movies and photographs.
  30. Paris Is Burning: A chronicle of New York's drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on balls, voguing and the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality.
  31. The Last Waltz: A film account and presentation of the final concert of The Band.
  32. The Dawn Wall: In an unbelievable story of perseverance, free climber Tommy Caldwell and climbing partner Kevin Jorgeson attempt to scale the impossible 3000ft Dawn Wall of El Capitan.
  33. Blackfish: A documentary following the controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales.
  34. Jodorowsky's Dune: The story of cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky's ambitious but ultimately doomed film adaptation of the seminal science fiction novel.
  35. Zeitgeist: Moving Forward: A feature length documentary work which presents a case for a needed transition out of the current socioeconomic monetary paradigm which governs the entire world society.
  36. My Octopus Teacher: A filmmaker forges an unusual friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest, learning as the animal shares the mysteries of her world.
  37. Zeitgeist: Mythology and belief in society today, presenting uncommon perspectives of common cultural issues.
  38. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters: Die-hard gamers compete to break world records on classic arcade games.
  39. Metal: A Headbanger's Journey: An examination of the heavy metal music subculture that tries to explain why, despite the longevity and popularity of the genre, fans are marginalized and ridiculed for their passion.
  40. The Fog of War: The story of America as seen through the eyes of the former Secretary of Defense under President John F. Kennedy and President Lyndon B. Johnson, Robert McNamara.
  41. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse: Documentary that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problem, nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director.
  42. Woodstock: Oscar-winning musical chronicle that brilliantly captures the three-day rock concert and celebration of peace and love that became a capstone for the Sixties.
  43. Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief: A documentary looking at the inner-workings of the Church of Scientology.
  44. Citizenfour: A documentarian and a reporter travel to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with Edward Snowden.
  45. The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz: The story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life at the age of 26.
  46. Exit Through the Gift Shop: Following the style of some of the world's most prolific street artists, an amateur filmmaker makes a foray into the art world.
  47. Waltz with Bashir: An Israeli film director interviews fellow veterans of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon to reconstruct his own memories of his term of service in that conflict.
  48. Earth: Feature-length version of the documentary TV series Planet Earth (2006), following the migration paths of four animal families.
  49. Touching the Void: The true story of two climbers and their perilous journey up the west face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985.
  50. The Corporation: Documentary that looks at the concept of the corporation throughout recent history up to its present-day dominance.