Pop Culture dictionary


docu-fiction [ dok-yuh-fik-shuhn ]

What does docufiction mean?

Docufiction is a term for a film style or genre that combines fictional elements with documentary elements or documentary-style filmmaking.

The term docufiction is applied in different ways and to different types of works. It is perhaps most commonly used in reference to a film that uses a documentary style to portray fictional events.

Less commonly, the term is sometimes used to refer to the kind of film called a docudrama—one featuring reenactment and dramatization of real events. Still, these two terms are typically used in distinct ways.

The term mockumentary refers to a type of comedy that depicts fictional events using a documentary style for satire or parody.

Related words

Sundance Film Festival, 🎥 Movie Camera emoji, steamfunk

Where does docufiction come from?

view of professional camera filming a group of people, in blue filter.

The first part of the word docufiction comes from the word documentary, an entirely nonfiction film or show that documents real events. The word fiction is used in docufiction to indicate that the work contains fictional elements.

Early documented uses of docufiction come from the late 1970s and early 1980s. In such early uses, it was often used as a critical term for films that were made in a documentary style but that included fake or scripted events.

Eventually, the word docufiction began to be used in a broader sense to simply refer to films that combine documentary and fiction. In discussion and categorization of films, it is often considered distinct from the more commonly used term docudrama.

Examples of docufiction

“Jack’s Ride” is a docufiction that rather cleverly matches the blurred lines of its own subject’s storytelling at each formal turn.
Guy Lodge, Variety, April 20, 2021
Is it weird that one of my favourite films is a docufiction animal planet style thing about dragons? #DidntThinkSo #KnewItWasNormal
@MaNameIsGeorge, August 14, 2012

Who uses docufiction?

Docufiction is typically used as a way to categorize the style of a film. It is much less commonly used than similarly constructed terms for film styles, such as docudrama and mockumentary.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of docufiction like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of docufiction that will help our users expand their word mastery.