Like many others, our festival this year is entirely online. To keep you enthralled, we have chosen six thoughtful, hard-hitting and original documentaries from around the world. We’ll take you from the streets of Hong Kong, filled with thousands of people protesting against China tightening its grip on the former British colony, to the heroic Mexican women teaching themselves the art of forensic excavation to challenge the unlawful killings and burials endorsed by local authorities. We will share with you stories about some brilliant artists, including Indian song-writer, singer and activist Sona Mohapatra and four visually-impaired American creators in different media. The last day of the festival will feature two first-person documentaries emerging from two volatile political contexts, Iran and Palestine.
All films will be available for free on our Vimeo channel from 22 to 25 October. To keep the spirit of debate going – our raison d’être – we invite you to join our livestreamed Q&A sessions for each film, listed below. We recommend watching the films just before the Q&As so as to conjure the collective experience of film as closely as is possible at this time.
Click on the REGISTER HERE button (it looks like the test button above) placed under each film to register for both online viewing of that film (restricted to the UK) and a panel discussion with filmmakers and special guests. We will send you two links for each film before the festival. If you have any questions about the booking process please get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are honoured to present Evans Chan’s We Have Boots as our Opening Night film. Courtesy of the director, the film will be streaming for an extended time: you will be able to watch it until 5 November.
FESTIVAL LAUNCH: WE HAVE BOOTS (THURSDAY 6:00 PM BST) + discussion
From the Umbrella Movement of 2014 to the current Hong Kong upheavals, Evans Chan documents the mass protests on the streets and gives voice to frontline activists who share their philosophies, viewpoints and emotions.
Dir: Evans Chan
128 min / 2020 / HK (China) and USA / Cantonese, English (with English subtitles)
Panel with the director and other special guests on Thursday 22 October, 8:30 PM BST.
FRIDAY 6 PM: SHUT UP SONA + DISCUSSION
Filmmaker Deepti Gupta follows Sona Mohapatra, Indian singer and #MeToo activist, as she fights against India’s patriarchal traditions in the music industry and beyond. Between blasphemy lawsuits and death threats, Sona is enthusiastically received by the audiences around the country.
Dir: Deepti Gupta
85 min / 2019 / India / English, Hindi (with English subtitles)
Panel with the director and other special guests on Friday 23 October, 8:00 PM BST.
SATURDAY 3PM: VISION PORTRAITS + DISCUSSION
This vivid and hypnotic exploration by filmmaker Rodney Evans presents the stories of four visually impaired artists – photographer John Dugdale, dancer Kayla Hamilton, writer Ryan Knighton and Evans himself – illuminating how each artist adapted creatively and thrived, evolving with their unique perspectives.
Dir: Rodney Evans
78 min / 2019 / Canada, Germany, USA / English (with English subtitles)
Panel with Kayla Hamilton and other special guests on Saturday 24 October, 4:30 PM BST.
SATURDAY 6 PM: TO SEE YOU AGAIN/ VOLVERTE A VER + DISCUSSION
In 2016 the Mexican District Attorney secretly buried more than 100 bodies murdered during the war against drug trafficking. The film narrates the participation of Mexican women as they exhume what remains of the corpses, helping to discover the crimes committed by the state.
Dir: Carolina Corral
90 min / 2020 / Mexico / Spanish (with English subtitles)
Panel with the filmmaking collective and other special guests: Saturday 24 October, 8 PM BST.
SUNDAY 3 PM: BORN IN EVIN + DISCUSSION
At the age of twelve, Maryam Zaree found out that she was one of a number of babies born inside Evin, Iran’s most notorious political prison. In her film she explores the circumstances of her birth, considering the impact of trauma on the bodies and souls of survivors and their children.
Dir: Maryam Zaree
98 min / 2019 / Germany, Austria / German, English, French, Farsi (with English subtitles)
Panel with special guests: Sunday 25 October, 5 PM GMT.
SUNDAY 6 PM: IBRAHIM: A FATE TO DEFINE + DISCUSSION
In this provocative and personal documentary, director Lina Al Abed searches for traces of her disappeared father: a seemingly ordinary Palestinian family man who was also a secret member of a militant splinter faction and vanished when she was just a child.
Dir: Lina Al Abed
75 min / 2019 / Lebanon, Palestine, Qatar, Denmark, Slovenia / Arabic (with English subtitles)
Panel with the director and other special guests: Sunday 25 October, 7:30 PM GMT.