THE FESTIVAL | 2014
There will be two screenings this year for the British Documentary Film Festival at the incredible Empire Cinema in Leicester Square, London! Feel free to scroll around and explore, or simply click on the screening time you're interested in to jump straight to it!
DATES & TIMES
JUNGLE BOOK BEAR
Director: Oliver Goetzl
Narrator: David Attenborough
We all know him, we all love him: Baloo - Mowgli's constant companion from the Jungle Book. Rudyard Kipling and even more the Walt Disney movie made this clumsy fellow world famous. The role models for Baloo are the Sloth Bears of India - surprisingly little is known about this secretive species. These in our days mostly nocturnal animals have never been portrayed in a natural history program before. Over a period of three years Oliver Goetzl and Ivo Noerenberg not only were lucky enough to film these elusive creatures at daytime but got also behavior that was even not known to scientists so far - e.g. the mouth feeding of cubs by their mothers.
WALTER AND THE TIGERS
Director & Narrator: Jason Perryman
Freediving with Tiger Sharks in South Africa with Walter Bernardis, showing how Tigers are not as dangerous as we think, investigating their behavior further, then showing the Tigers' death in the Natal Sharks Board beach nets and the Tigers' dissections. We see the damage to the Tiger Shark population and other Sharks and marine species too.
THE 25,000 MILE LOVE STORY
Director: John Davies
Featured: Serge Roethell, Nicole Roethell
The 25,000 Mile Love Story chronicles the amazing journey of endurance athlete, Serge Roetheli, as he endeavors to run a distance equal to the earth's circumference to bring awareness and raise money for the world's impoverished children.
Accompanied by his wife Nicole, who drove a motorcycle with their supplies and pup tent in tow, their unforgettable journey spans five years covering six continents and unforgiving landscapes. Confronted with challenges that pushed them beyond their limits, the Roethelis battled against extreme weather, civil unrest, and near-death illnesses.
Remarkably, they survived it all. At the heart of their journey is a love story; a relationship of two people who believe in achieving the impossible, and whose story ends with a shocking twist.
DRAGON'S BACK RACE
Director: Richard Heap
Only run once before in 1992, the Dragons Back Race is legendary. This film takes you into the heart of an inspiring adventure as the 2012 race weaves a brutal path down the mountainous spine of Wales. Follow the 84 runners as they battle fatigue, blisters and their own mental and physical limits. The Dragons Back Race film is a compelling, intimate and beautiful portrayal of mountain running.
THE STRANGEST RACE
Director: Hannah Madsen & Tom Wilkinson
Each year, approximately 250,000 spectators watch the world famous Oxford and Cambridge boat race from the banks of the river Thames in London, while the global audience is estimated to be 120 million. In 2012 they saw it all go wrong.
NO ORDINARY PASSENGER
Director: Cabell Hopkins
This is the story of an 87-year-old man, Stan Dibben, who won World Sidecar Championships in 1953. He was the 'passenger' riding on the sidecar, and he explains how the word 'passenger' is such a misnomer for the bravery and athleticism required to do such a skillful occupation. We watch footage of his racing days, including the biggest race of the year at The Belgian Grand Prix in Spa in 1953, which he won by a wheel's length to be crowned world champion. Also a story about joie-de-vivre, Stan gets back on a modern sidecar outfit at the ripe age of 87 and does a few laps to show he's still got it.
AS SOON AS WEATHER WILL PERMIT
Director: Su Rynard
As Soon As Weather Will Permit reflects upon one person’s story within the inimitable confluence events that led to the drop of the first atomic bomb in 1945.
After not seeing my uncle for many years, I wrote him a letter and his reply inspired this piece. In As Soon As Weather Will Permit he shares the story of his participation in the atomic mission on August 5, 1945. It is the story of a soldier training without the knowledge of what he was training for -- a story caught between an individual’s recollection and collective memory, personal testimonial and larger historical narratives.
“When you are in the thing, and its the first one, you don’t reflect on what it’s going to be, you don’t think about it until history has played on it…”
Constructed as a diptych, the visuals weave the stark landscapes of northwestern Utah with personal archive and historical footage, animation and aerial photography. The title refers to the edict from the US war department, stating that the first atomic bomb would be dropped as soon as weather will permit on one of four cities: Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata, or Nagasaki. The two-screen presentation is inspired by the duality of nuclear fission and the dialogue between my uncle and me.
Disquieting and haunting, this work is a meditation on memory, meaning and scientific discovery. As Einstein once stated, that since the bombs were used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki “everything has changed except human thinking.”
Director: Evan Pretzer
Featured: Jean "Sonko Msoto" Knight
Based in the Nairobi slum of Kariobangi, Box Girls is an organization that works to instill self-confidence in young girls through boxing, shaping them into the next generation of community leaders. 'Box Girl' follows Sonko Msoto, one of the earliest Box Girls participants, who fought her way onto the Kenyan national women's boxing team.
SQUARING UP: CHESSBOXING
Director: Dominic Hamilton
This documentary provides a revealing insight into this little-known hybrid entertainment sport.
Through intimate encounters with key members of the underground community of London Chessboxing the passions, philosophies and challenges behind the sport and its survival are brought to light.
Director: Matthew Koshmrl
Pig Tale follows the life of a pig on a small farm, through each step of its life. We see beyond the grocery store, to a world that is becoming less visible in our everyday lives. In an observational and visually striking account, we see each step from the farm to our homes.
Director: Steven Kochones
Featured: Steve McCurry & Wade Davis
No Strangers' celebrates the wonder of world culture and reveals the plight of indigenous people through the images and commentary of acclaimed photographers, anthropologists and ethnographers. The film examines antiquated notions of the so-called 'other,' encouraging viewers to consider all traditions, languages and people in a new, enlightened context. The role of photography is highlighted as a valuable tool in bringing attention to cultures in remote, and often forgotten, areas of our planet.
Director: Oliver Parker
Narrator: Ewan McGregor
Sculptor Mark Coreth captures the essence of the Arctic in the form of a life-sized ice-sculpture of a polar bear for Trafalgar Square. As it melts, it leaves a skeleton, a pool of water and a powerful environmental message.
RINGBALIN: BREAKING THE DROUGHT
Director: Ben Pederick
In 2010 Australia was facing the worst drought in recorded history. At the end of the river in the Coorong, Ngarrindjeri Elder Uncle Moogy grew tired of watching his ancestral home die, and so united a group of different Aboriginal River Nations in a 2300-kilometre pilgrimage to dance the spirit back into the river and into themselves. By the time they had finished the drought had broken and what followed was the wettest wet season in living memory with floods throughout the basin.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD
THE LIFE CHANGING AWARD
THE WILD ANIMAL AWARD
Jungle Book Bear
THE HERITAGE AWARD
BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY
No Ordinary Passenger