THE FESTIVAL | 2017
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
Director: Nicholas Jones
John collects wild produce that has recently become in demand through the gentrification of East London and the influx of trendy restaurants. These popular restaurants are after the freshness of locally handpicked food and John 'The Poacher' knows where it’s to be found.
Witnessing John walking through London with a string of rabbits is as if we we are looking at an image of the past. John has the skills to identify wild food, trap animals and fish, skills most of of us have long forgotten. They say the streets of London are paved with gold, In John's case he simply bends down and picks it up.
Following John through each season gives an insight into the rich produce that is there for us all, if only we could remember.
GANZORIG AND THE RIVER WOLF
Director: Rob Taylor
Ganzorig grew up on the banks of the River Eg in remote Northern Mongolia. As a child his family would poach enormous Taimen trout from the clear free-flowing river.
As an adult Ganzorig and an international team of scientists are trying to learn more about the the largest Trout on Earth, before it's too late!
ANDY WOOFF'S BIRTHDAY
Director: William Bentley
Andy Wooff has been stuck in a cycle for nearly 4 decades: rest, pan-handle, shoot up heroin and repeat. Today is his 51st birthday. He reflects on the culmination of his life thus far, memories of family and what could have been, a cacophony in his own mind.
FAY PRESTO - QUEEN OF CLOSE-UP
Director: Hanna Aqvilin
A portrait documentary about the legendary Fay Presto; the UK’s most in-demand close-up and cabaret magician who would rather die on stage than quit performing. Influencing hundreds of magicians and making way for women in the magic world, Fay’s humour and brilliance have led her to perform for the Queen on six separate occasions as well as doing private magic shows in countless of celebrities’ homes. Now as she passes her 70th birthday, Fay reflects on gender roles and aging, and tries to make dark thoughts of retirement and death vanish, meanwhile doing a workshop for would-be magicians and astonishing the diners at the iconic London restaurant, The Langan's brasserie.
Perhaps Fay’s best magic trick was turning herself from Letitia Winter, a transgender woman, into Fay Presto, fabulous on-stage magician - and then making that transformation disappear from her life as an entertainer. It’s invisible in this documentary as well, though keen-eyed viewers might spot a few clues are hidden here and there.
Director: Ian Tierney
The story of a soldier who suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome as the result of his experiences in Northern Ireland, and his journey to recovery.
GIRAFFES - AFRICA'S GENTLE GIANTS
Director: Tom Mustill
Narrator: David Attenborough
Everyone loves giraffes, but what do we really know about them? Dr Julian Fennessy has started to reveal their secrets; the most important being, they’re disappearing. In an urgent and daring mission, with a determined Ugandan team, he plans to round up twenty of the world's rarest giraffe, to take across and beyond the mighty Nile River. The stakes are high, but if they succeed the reward will be a brighter future for an animal we've somehow overlooked.
SABA: THE UNSPOILED QUEEN
Director: Nick Zachar
Can you imagine how far we could go if everyone came together to protect our natural world? Saba: The Unspoiled Queen shows that when a community comes together to protect their home, anything can be done.
Come along as we meet local Sabans whose keen understanding of the natural world combined with their passion for their home has and will continue to preserve their natural treasures in a time where climate change threatens everything they stand for.
MEET MAURICE CROSBY
Director: Lisa Rose Snow
This short documentary celebrates the life of 90 year old photographer Maurice Crosby, known for capturing the physical and cultural landscape of Canada's East Coast between the 1940s and 1990s.
Director: Lauren Knapp
A doctor walks the line of his own morality as he participates in executions, while personally opposing capital punishment.
DANIEL HAFNER, LONDON RAIN ARCHIVE
Director: Matthias Hafner
"Having always been fascinated by the natural spectacle of Rain, Daniel Hafner has made a habit of observing it. What he wanted was to 'experience and feel the weather changing, what kind of rain it is, what the atmosphere is, what forces are at work'."
- Monika Pessler
EVERY GHOST HAS AN ORCHESTRA
Director: Shayna Connelly
Truth hides in the margins and the artist’s role is to point to it. The question of what happens after we die is a universal question explored by paranormal researcher and experimental composer Michael Esposito. He straddles the line between spiritual and material and asks the audience to reflect on our purpose, legacy and what our actions say about who we are.
Director: Chidi Nobi
A six year old faces an unimaginable tragedy altering his young life and taking it on a dark trajectory. From the depths of despair emerges a determined man who takes control of his demons and turns his life around.
Director: Shia Labeouf, Luke Turner & Nastja Rönkkö
In May 2016, LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner hitchhiked the internet, in a project commissioned by Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and the Finnish Institute in London. For an entire month, the artists would post their coordinates online and wait for a ride. Whoever then appeared could take them anywhere they chose. For the duration of the project, their journey could be tracked in real time at takemeanywhere.vice.com, with their path entirely in the hands of the public.
Giraffes: Africa's Gentle Giants
Meet Maurice Crosby