THE FESTIVAL | 2018

There were five 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 you're interested in to jump straight to it!

The Winners

DATES & TIMES

 

NOVEMBER 3RD

12.00pm

THE NUMBER

Director: Manuela Gray

 

The Number is a short documentary film that looks at the myths and markings of South Africa's prison 'Number' gangs. The film, shot in graphic black and white, investigates the secret code spelt out and spoken across the bodies of the inmates. The film immerses its audience in the world of the Number gangs, their history, personal journeys, codes and body markings.

DAVID'S VOICE

Director: Graham Hill

 

An intimate portrait of a 26 year old classically trained vocalist pursuing his passion for musical theatre on a miniature stage using action figures as his performers.

THROWLINE

Director: Mia Mullarkey

 

A group of taxi drivers in Kilkenny, Ireland, join together to form a suicide prevention group. Uniquely positioned to patrol the night, the drivers keep vigil over the city's streets and bridges and offer help to those who feel forlorn.

THE LOCAL OYSTER STOUT

Directors: Mark Burchick & Jena Richardson

 

An oyster farmer, a shucker, and a brewery collaborate on Maryland's first farm to table Oyster Stout beer, reviving a time-honoured tradition of the industrial past and charting a future for sustainability in the Chesapeake Bay.

MICROSCULPTRE

Director: Tanya Cochrane

 

Microsculpture is a unique visual experience.

A 10mm insect is shown as a 3 meter print, revealing minute detail and allowing the viewer to take in the structure of the insect in its entirety. The beautifully lit, high magnification portraiture of Levon Biss captures the microscopic form of these animals in striking high-resolution detail.

KING OF THE ARENA

Director: Tom Sweetland

 

King Of The Arena is a portrait of Domou Walo, one of many young men fighting for a better life. From a family of wrestlers, Domou believes that wrestling is his destiny, and knows it represents a better future for his young wrestling team, his huge family, his disabled father, and himself. Through Domou we unearth the athleticism, mysticism, ritual, violence and brotherhood of a sport so close to the heart of ancient and modern Senegal.

DESOLATION FOLLOWS

Director: Burnham Arlidge

 

Designated as areas of outstanding natural beauty, the English moorlands elicit in us a sense of the wild and untamed. A pristine wilderness, untouched by the advances of civilisation. Yet all is not as it seems.

THE GOOD CUP

Director: Sabine Schwab

 

2.5 billion paper cups are being used in the UK every year. Our love for good coffee is causing mountains of landfill but can we as individuals really reduce this burden on the environment or are larger forces at work that prevent change for the better? The Good Cup explains how we got into this cup mess and what we can do to get out of it again.

 

NOVEMBER 3RD

2.00pm

GRENFELL TOWER AND SOCIAL MURDER

Director: Sian Hamlett

 

A short documentary about the Grenfell Tower fire, the piece approaches the state responsibility and how years of deregulation in government policies were decisive in causing the disaster that killed over 70 people. The film also highlights similar examples in history, showing how lessons haven’t been learnt.

INTO THE OKAVANGO

Director: Neil Gelinas

 

The Okavango River Basin provides a vital source of water to about 1 million people, the world’s largest population of African elephants and significant populations of lions, cheetahs and hundreds of species of birds. However, this once unspoiled oasis is now under siege due to increasing pressure from human activity. From National Geographic Documentary Films, Into the Okavango chronicles a team of modern-day explorers on their first epic four-month, 1,500-mile expedition across three countries to save the river system that feeds the Okavango Delta, one of our planet’s last wetland wildernesses.

NOVEMBER 3RD

4.10pm

 

THE MESSAGE IS IN THE SONG

Directors: Danielle Ryan & James Sherwood

 

Mother Moira grew up believing she was destined to behave and do as every other woman. On her island, women belong in the house and the kitchen. However, when her position in society is elevated to the status of a 'chief', she surprises herself in terms of the good things she is capable of doing. She travels up the mountains and down the rivers talking to her community, on a quest to save lives and to ultimately save Mother Earth, something her grandfather once did long ago. 

SECOND ASSAULT

Director: Amy Rosner

 

When Jillian was 18 years old, she was raped in her college dorm room. Twelve years later Second Assault follows her on the journey to confront this incident and in particular, her anger toward the police officer who deemed the assault consensual. This film explores the trauma of reporting sexual violence, and the “second assault” that survivors often experience when they are not believed. 

THE HAPPINESS MACHINE

Director: Rebecca B. Blumhagen

 

Carl grew up a sharecropper on 22 acres in rural Iowa, which he now calls The Promised Land. A philosopher, inventor, and farmer, he shares with us the deeply intricate workings of his projects, (including a full span bridge he built with his hands), how they are connected to the land which was given to him as a promise, and what he hopes to pass on to his children as the gift of place.

PENGUIN PROTECTORS

Director: Jessie Ayles

 

We follow a group of dedicated conservationists around the Western Cape, South Africa, as they fight to keep the African penguin from extinction.

THE CALL OF PASHMINA

Director: Taira Malaney

 

After news of a tragic snow storm in Changtang (Ladakh) reaches him, a Kashmiri man quits his job and embarks on a journey to become a shepherd. Six years later, he starts the Pashmina Goat Project – an NGO to protect the Changpa community and their goats from the harsh implications of climate change in the region.

ICE ALIVE

Director: Eddie Frost

 

For many, the arctic is a lifeless, sterile place, but Joseph Cook is investigating how a rich ecosystem of microbial life is thriving in one of Earth's harshest environments. Not only that, but these microbes could actually be accelerating themelting of our precious glaciers and ice sheets. Joe's pioneering work with remote sensing from drones (and one day satellites) could help us to understand the effects of climate change on our poles. His work may also help us to one day detect life forms on other planets and moons.

NOVEMBER 3RD

6.00pm

 

ERIK & THE IBAN

Director: Dan Childs

 

In 1959 Dr Erik Jensen set sail from the port of London bound for the tropical island of Borneo in South East Asia. He was going to do research on the culture of the indigenous Iban Dayaks, but when an uprising caused by failing rice harvests in the remote interior threatened to destabilise the region, Erik volunteered to help to transition the Iban to a settled way of life. 


Now Dr Jensen returns to Borneo to revisit the people and places he fell in love with as a young man, but also to find out how the Iban are faring in the 21st century and to discover whether the development work he established all those years ago was to their benefit.

#DJ

Directors: Linda Hakeboom & Rolf Hartogensis

 

Young Amsterdam based DJ Bram Fidder (25) grows up in a world in which you can make yourself famous on social media. Therefore he invents a resourceful marketing strategy. DJ Bram Fidder is born. But when his online world and his real life start drifting apart, the loneliness increases.

NOVEMBER 3RD

8.00pm

 

EDEK

Director: Malcolm Green

 

An 85 year old Holocaust survivor named Janine and a young American rapper named Kapoo collaborate to deliver a Hip Hop message to the youth of the world. A poignant and uniquely challenging fusion of prose, music and rap. For the first time, one of the world's darkest stories is told in an entirely new way.

MY GRANDFATHER'S MEMORY BOOK

Director: Colin Levy

 

A personal reflection about an unusual sketchbook that captures a lifetime of memories, connecting three generations through drawings, writings and dialogue.

FRACK FREE LANCASHIRE

Director: Zoe Jane Steley

 

A story about the determined group of Lancashire locals on the front-lines against fracking in the UK. Hydraulic fracturing has been banned in Scotland, there is a moratorium on it in Wales, but democratic safeguards in England have failed. The government remains unwilling to put public interests ahead of corporate ones. Undeterred, these local residents have taken matters into their own hands.

IN OUR HANDS - SEEDING CHANGE

Director: Jo Barker

The inspiring story behind the blood, sweat and tears of the British farmers seizing the Brexit moment to outgrow the industrial food system.

THE WINNERS

2018

 

THE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD

Into the Okavango

*Frack Free Lancashire*

The Call of Pashmina

In Our Hands - Seeding Change

THE LIFE CHANGING AWARD

The Number

*Grenfell Tower and Social Murder*

Edek

Throwline

THE WILD ANIMAL AWARD

The Local Oyster Stout

*Microsculpture*

Penguin Protectors

THE HERITAGE AWARD

King of the Arena

The Happiness Machine

*Erik and the Iban*

My Grandfather's Memory Book

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY

Frack Free Lancashire

Desolation Follows

The Good Cup

The Call of Pashmina

Ice Alive

King of the Arena

The Happiness Machine

Erik and the Iban

My Grandfather's Memory Book

*The Number*

David's Voice

Throwline

Grenfell Tower and Social Murder

The Message is in The Song

Second Assault

#DJ

Edek

The Local Oyster Stout

Microsculpture

Penguin Protectors

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