Check out the best of the UK’s documentary events in this month’s What’s On pick of festivals, screenings and Q&As.
Friday, 4th (onwards)
Screening: Icarus, London
Following its success at film festivals this year, including glowing reviews at Sheffield Doc/Fest, and subsequently being snapped up by Netflix, Icarus will screen at Bertha DocHouse this month. Icarus follows an investigation into Russia’s state-sponsored doping programme, which soon snowballs into a huge international sports scandal. As filmmaker Bryan Fogel and Russian scientist Dr Grigory Rodchenkov break the story, and accusations of illegalities begin to reach Russia’s highest chains of command, their relationship is put to the test. This film is a thrilling ride down the rabbit hole, with twists and turns aplenty. The doc will screen on Friday, 4th August, with daily screenings at Bertha DocHouse onwards (details TBC).
Tickets: £9 (£7 concessions), available from the Bertha DocHouse website.
Screening: Icarus, 8:40pm, Friday 4th August at Bertha DocHouse, Curzon Bloomsbury, The Brunswick, London WC1N 1AW.
Friday, 4th – Sunday, 6th
Festival: Doc/Fest London, London
Over the first weekend in August, Bertha DocHouse will be screening six cinematic documentaries from Sheffield Doc/Fest’s 2017 programme. Festival passes include all six films, but individual tickets are also available. Brimstone & Glory will open the festival, transporting viewers to the Mexican town of Tultepec, known for its annual firework extravaganza, which is dazzling and dangerous in equal measure. The festival will close with Step, a film about a Baltimore high school Step dance team, as their girls take on the challenge to be the first in their families to go to college. Other films screening include A River Below, Motherland, Trophy and a special showing of Ghost Hunting including a director Q&A with Raed Andoni.
Doc/Fest London, 6:30pm, Friday 4th August to 9:30pm, Sunday 6th August at Bertha DocHouse, Curzon Bloomsbury, The Brunswick, London WC1N 1AW.
Screening: Into the Sea, Hull
This free outdoor screening of Into the Sea takes place, appropriately, at the Hull Marina this month. The documentary follows three young women – an Irish pro surfer, Iranian pro snowboarder and an Iranian diver – as they try to introduce surfing to Iran, navigating the cultural and social factors in order to teach people. Into the Sea underlines how sport can both transcend cultural differences and bring people together. The screening will also be followed by a fiction film, Sometimes I Dream I’m Flying about a young Warsaw Ballet School graduate. The site will open at 7:30pm, with music food and a bar, and screenings will start from sunset (around 8:50pm).
Tickets: Free, but reserve on Eventbrite here.
Screening: Into the Sea, 7:30pm, Monday 7th August at Hull Marina, Kingston Street, Hull HU1 2DQ.
Screening: Daughters of Bangladesh + Q&A Female Voices in Story Telling, London
Daughters of Bangladesh Garment Factory Workers follows the stories of five girls between 7 and 15, documenting the relationships with their mothers who all work in Bangladeshi garment factories. The project by Lensational is co-created by the daughters themselves, and advocates for corporations to commit to supply chain transparency and welfare for their workers’ families. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Richard York of Rainbow Collective, and Lucile Stengel of Lensational, a charity which trains women and girls in marginalised communities in photography, storytelling and video journalism. The Q&A will also feature Shelina Janmohamed, Vice President of Ogilvy Noor, a global Islamic branding practice for building brands with Muslim consumers.
Screening: Daughters of Bangladesh + Q&A, 7pm, Tuesday 8th August at The Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, London W2 1QJ.
Thursday, 10th – Sunday, 27th
Festival: Chichester Film Festival, Chichester
This month marks the 26th annual Chichester International Film Festival, with a programme boasting plenty of quality documentaries. The festival runs from the 10th to the 26th of August, screening over 150 films from over 35 countries. Some of the acclaimed documentaries in the programme include Nick Broomfield’s Whitney: Can I Be Me?, An Inconvenient Sequel, and Laura Poitras’ Risk, Morgan Neville’s The Music of Strangers, Letters from Baghdad, David Lynch: The Art Life and The Seasons in Quincy. Full festival passes can be bought at the Chichester Cinema box office, but individual film tickets are also available online.
Tickets: Festival passes available from the Chichester Cinema box office with individual tickets available as well. For more ticketing info and prices, check the festival website here.
Chichester Film Festival, Thursday 10th August to Sunday 27th August at various locations in Chichester.
Thursday, 10th – Thursday, 31st
Festival: Breaking the Legacy Film Festival, London
To observe African Holocaust Remembrance Day later this month, Black History Studies will present a programme of screenings highlighting the history of Africa before and after enslavement, the impact and legacy of enslavement and examining the movement for reparations for historical injustices. Breaking the Legacy Film Festival includes a number of documentaries, which will explore these topics and include post-screening discussions. Films include Out of Darkness (August 10th), Elementary Genocide (August 17th), Toyin Agbetu’s Beauty Is… (August 24th), and Karen Marks Mafundikwa’s The Price of Memory (August 31st). Films will be screened at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, starting at 7:30pm and include presentations and engaging post-film discussions with audience members.
Tickets: £8.93 for individual film tickets, available on Eventbrite (follow the links for individual films above).
Breaking the Legacy Film Festival, 7:30pm, Thursday 10th August to 10:30pm, Thursday 31st August at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Town Hall Approach Road, Tottenham Green, London N15 4RX.
Screening: An Inconvenient Sequel + live Q&A via satellite with Al Gore, London
An Inconvenient Truth’s inconvenient sequel will screen at Bertha DocHouse this month and feature a live Q&A via satellite with former vice president-turned environmentalist Al Gore. An Inconvenient Sequel looks at the progress made in tackling climate change, including investment in renewable energy and the signing of 2016’s Paris Agreement. The film also follows Al Gore as he campaigns against the challenges that still exist (it has recently had to be re-edited after Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Paris Agreement). However, the documentary focusses more on the power of human passion and ingenuity in overcoming the perils of climate change. The event will begin at 7:15pm, with Al Gore live in conversation at 7:30pm. The film will run from 8pm.
Tickets: £12.50 (£10 concessions), available from the DocHouse website.
Screening: An Inconvenient Sequel, 7:15pm, Friday 11th August at Bertha DocHouse, Curzon Bloomsbury, The Brunswick, London WC1N 1AW.
Screening: Every Cook Can Govern, London
A portrait of a 20th century revolutionary, Every Cook Can Govern documents the life, writings and politics of the great Trinidad-born C.LR James who died in Brixton in 1989. Through interviews with scholars, testimonies of those he knew, and never before seen footage, the film offers a challenging overview of James’ life and examines what it meant to be a fearless and uncompromising revolutionary in the 20th century. The film’s crowd-funded, crowd-featured and crowd-filmed nature does credit to James’ own conviction – that every cook can govern. The screening itself is free, with tea, coffee and biscuits offered at a small charge.
Tickets: Free, but register on Eventbrite here.
Screening: Every Cook Can Govern, 7pm, Friday 18th August at WORLDwrite Centre, 201 Millfields Road, Hackney, London E5 0AL.
Screening: Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle, London
Dispossession investigates the failures which have led to Britain’s housing crisis, with a particular focus on those who have been affected worst by the shortage of social housing. The doc examines how government policy prevents local councils from building homes for the 1.4 million people on council housing waiting lists, and how councils’ deliberate neglect of council estates are used to justify ‘regeneration’ projects with private developers. Through interviews with residents, politicians and experts, the film tells the story of people fighting for their communities and right to housing. The screening will be hosted by the Bernie Grants Arts Centre.
Tickets: £13.15, available on Eventbrite here.
Screening: Dispossession, 7:30pm, Friday 18th August at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, Town Hall Approach Road, Tottenham Green, London N15 4RX.
Screening: Lampedusa im Winter + workshop with Director Jakob Brossman, London
Award-winning documentary Lampedusa im Winter focuses on Italy’s southern island of Lampedusa. Since the early 2000’s the island has been a primary entry point for migrants travelling from Africa into Europe. But with a population of around 6,000, the community struggles for basic infrastructure as it seeks to support migrants who arrive following perilous crossings from North Africa. Director Jakob Brossman will be discussing his film and providing a workshop after the screening.
Tickets: Free, but register on Eventbrite here.
Screening: Lampedusa im Winter + workshop, 3:40pm, Thursday 31st August at Nash Lecture Theatre, King’s College London (Strand Campus), London WC2R 2LS.