Open City Documentary Festival
New Voices in Non-Fiction Storytelling 5 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 10 September 2017 | Venues across London | opencitylondon.com
Sponsors & Cultural Partners UCL FACULTIES OF ARTS & HUMANITIES, SOCIAL & HISTORICAL SCIENCES
The last edition of our festival opened in the immediate aftermath of the referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union. We had woken up then to discover what it means to live in a swipe left or right world, to submit to the one-click democracy of social media and the binary choice of the plebiscite. Now we are told this is an era of ‘posttruth’ – different truths for different folks. We bring a different sort of truth to you, and our films ask for a different sort of response than the thumbs up or down of the digital Roman Arena. Over the festival our films ask that you embrace ambiguity, allow yourselves to pause over the filmmakers’ own hesitancies and enjoy the process through which as individual viewers, as members of an audience, as participants in a conversation with the filmmakers, we come to a shared understanding of truths about the world from which the films come. Finding these truths is always as much a political as an aesthetic act and we are immensely proud to have focuses on two hugely important, poetically political filmmakers: the ‘Ukrainian/Russian’ master documentarian, Vitaly Mansky, and Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd, a singular filmmaker who with his past three films (a loose trilogy) has established a unique documentary language all his own. Vitaly Mansky, brings his ‘Soviet’ eye for the ironies and absurdities of tyranny and shows what true political engagement means far from the manipulations and half-truths of politicians seeking your vote. These are two of the world’s great current documentarians whose work is too little known in this country.
Bargehouse is owned and managed by Coin Street Community Builders: www.coinstreet.org
Open City Documentary Festival
In our most global (non-western) programme to date, we have less tourism than in the past and have found more filmmakers documenting their own countries and cultures - telling their own stories. In our seventh year we have assembled our largest industry programme to date with something for everyone from workshops on live podcasting through Mania Akbari’s Body Politic talk to five days of VR events – exploring the reality behind the hype. Cinemas are part of our public realm and a festival like this remains truly grateful for all they do. We could not exist in our current form, nor show the films we do in fitting conditions without the loyal support of our venue partners: The ICA, Picturehouse Central and Hackney, Regent Street Cinema and our other venues, and it is a real pleasure to return to them this year. We are living through a time when a cloud of unknowing seems to have enveloped us. If we are honest with ourselves most of us do not know what the near future holds for our country, our continent or the world. Worse, we do not know which of the various models on offer will secure a less frightening, less chaotic, less cruelly unequal world. The role of documentary cinema is not, in our view, to provide answers to these questions but, rather, to hold an eye askance at the shape of the world and to show us things we do not normally see. Pick a film from each day of the festival and I trust you will find six diverse visions of what it means to be a human today. Michael Stewart | Founding Director
About Us | Contents
Open City Documentary Festival creates an open space in London to nurture and champion the art of creative documentary and nonfiction filmmakers. Based at UCL and working with partners across London and throughout the UK, Open City delivers film screenings, training programmes and live events throughout the year to support the next generation of filmmakers.
Opening + Closing Nights
Opening & Closing Nights
The 2017 Awards & Juries
Vitaly Mansky: In Focus
Yves-Pierre Vandeweerd: In Focus
Virtual Reality Day
Open City Docs School
Tickets & Venues
TASTE OF CEMENT Ziad Kalthoum | 2017 | Germany/Lebanon/Syria/UAE/Qatar | 85’ Tue 5 Sep | 18:30 | Picturehouse Central A portrait of workers in exile, Taste of Cement is an empathetic encounter with people who have lost their past and their future, locked in the recurring present. With his second feature, Ziad Kalthoum creates a poetic essay documentary about Syrian construction workers building new skyscrapers in Beirut. As they help rebuild ruined neighbourhoods in the aftermath of the Lebanese civil war, their own houses in Syria are being shelled. The Lebanese government has imposed curfews on refugees and so the workers are locked in the building site over-night. Every night in their pit below the skyscraper the news from their homeland and the memories of the war haunt them. Mute and imprisoned in the cement underground, they must endure until the new day arrives where the hammering and welding drowns out their nightmares. With exquisite framing, unorthodox editing, and dreamlike narrative detours, Taste of Cement is a daring, imaginative and visually challenging cinematic work.
PURGE THIS LAND
We aim to challenge and expand the idea of documentary in all its forms. We provide a platform for emerging talent as well as established masters working within the documentary form. Alongside our film programme, we bring together filmmakers and industry experts to explore and debate the current landscape of documentary. The festival creates a space for conversation, observation and examination.
Lee Anne Schmitt | 2017 | USA | 84’ Sun 10 Sep | 18:00 | Regent Street Cinema The history of racism and slavery in modern America is retold through the prism of John Brown - a white, militant abolitionist - who was sentenced to death in 1859 for a failed attempt to start an armed revolution. His story forms the framework around which artist Lee Anne Schmitt structures her poignant and thought-provoking essay film contemplating the culpability of White America in the ongoing disenfranchisement of Black America. The films’ narrative spans from the 1850s through to the present day, where the echoes of America’s dark past continue to reverberate across the country. Schmitt dedicates Purge This Land to her children, and subtly interlaces her personal own story with that of John Brown’s to produce a moving yet measured reflection on race in contemporary America.
During the festival, we programme events across London as well as at new festival hub Bargehouse on the Southbank. We bring together filmmakers, industry experts, film lovers and curious minds to celebrate the art of creative documentary.
Open City Documentary Festival
GRAND JURY AWARD PURGE THIS LAND
TASTE OF CEMENT
ATELIER DE CONVERSATION
France | 75’
Syria/United Arab Emirates/Qatar | 85’
Liechtenstein | 72'
FROM A YEAR OF NON-EVENTS
A MOON OF NICKEL AND ICE
Hong Kong | 152’
Germany | 83’
France/Germany/Qatar | 70’
Lee Anne Schmitt | 2017 | USA | 84’
Wang Bing | 2016 | France/China/
VETON NURKOLLARI [chair]
EMERGING INTERNATIONAL FILMMAKER AWARD
Veton Nurkollari is Artistic Director of DokuFest, Kosovo’s largest documentary and short film festival, which he cofounded in 2002. He is also the curator of DokuPhoto, an annual showcase of documentary photography that runs alongside the film festival. Currently, he is involved in several projects, including promotion of documentary cinema in rural areas of Kosovo through a “Cinema at Your Door” project. He is a member of the European Cultural Parliament and the European Film Academy.
STELLA BRUZZI Stella Bruzzi is Professor of Film and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at University College London. Her publications include Undressing Cinema: Clothing and Identity in the Movies, New Documentary (2000; 2nd edition 2006); the BFI Classic on Seven Up; Bringing Up Daddy: Fatherhood and Masculinity in Post-war Hollywood and Men’s Cinema: Masculinity and Mise-en-scene in Hollywood. She is co-editor of Fashion Cultures and Fashion Cultures Revisited. She is currently writing a book that came out of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship about the restaging of reality in documentary and other screen cultures.
MANIA AKBARI Mania Akbari is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker, artist. Having had retrospectives at BFI, London (2013) and DFI, Denmark (2014) or exhibitions in galleries such as Tate Modern, among others, her films have screened
Yves-Pierre Vandeweerd | 2017 | Belgium/
Ann Carolin Renninger & René Frölke | 2017
widely at festivals, and have received numerous awards. Mania was exiled from Iran and currently lives and works in London, a theme addressed in her latest Film, Life May Be (2014), co-directed with Mark Cousins, and released at Karlovy Vary Film Festival. It was nominated for Best Documentary at Edinburgh International Film Festival (2014) and Asia Pacific Film Festival (2014). Mania is currently working on the new project A Moon For My Father, in collaboration with British artist Douglas White.
MARC SCHMIDT Marc Schmidt is a Dutch film director working in and around the documentary field. He studied film theory at the University of Utrecht and media art at the Academy of Visual Arts in Tilburg. His films qualify by connecting a raw, personal approach with philosophical reflections, focussing on our basic human need for social interaction - and the lack of control we have over it.
BEC EVANS Bec Evans has experience working in documentary on productions for Channel 4, the BBC and Al-Jazeera as well as developing films in collaboration with El Colegio Del Cuerpo, Colombia and The Annenberg Foundation, LA, which explore socio-political issues through observing art forms in practice. Bec is now steering Film and Video creation at Dazed.
Ziad Kalthoum | 2017 | Germany/Lebanon/
Paz Encina | 2016 | Argentina/Paraguay/
BEADIE FINZI [chair] Beadie Finzi is one of the founding directors of BRITDOC, a non profit film foundation based in London & New York, supporting independent filmmakers globally. Having worked in documentary for the past 25 years, Beadie is in heaven in her role at BRITDOC – whose mission is to befriend and enable creative filmmakers, fund great films, broker new partnerships, share knowledge and develop audiences globally. Providing production & outreach funds as well as editorial support to some of the most creative and talented filmmakers from over 30 countries. Since 2005, BRITDOC has supported over 250 independent feature documentary films (including CITIZENFOUR, All These Sleepless Nights or Pussy Riot).
XIAOLU GUO Xiaolu Guo is a British-Chinese filmmaker whose work crosses genres and boundaries, and including prize-winning novels, features and documentaries. She received the Grand Prix at the International Women’s Film Festival for her feature How Is Your Fish Today and the Golden Leopard from Locarno Film Festival for She, A Chinese. Other films include UFO In Her Eyes (official selection TIFF) and Once Upon a Time a Proletarian, which premiered at Venice, Rotterdam and London Film Festival with critical acclaim. She had a film retrospective in Cinéma du Réel / Central Pompidou, 2010. a project established to present Polish documentary films around the world, as well as Head of the KFF Industry, a platform created for film professionals at the Krakow Film Festival. She works also as a film and culture journalist, and worked as an expert of the Polish Film Institute (committee of documentary film OpenCityDocs production). opencitylondon.com
Bernhard Braunstein | 2017 | Austria/France/
François Jacob | 2017 | Canada | 110’
NICO MARZANO Nico Marzano curates the Film Programme at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London (ICA). His recent initiatives include nationwide migration in cinema project Crossings: Stories of Migration and comprehensive retrospectives on filmmakers such as Elio Petri, Krzysztof Kieslowski and Japanese film collective Ogawa Pro. In addition to his role at ICA, Nico is the Founder and Director for FRAMES of REPRESENTATION (FoR), a creative documentary laboratory and festival founded in 2015 to promote the production, distribution and exhibition of new forms of documentary cinema. Nico has been a guest lecturer at Birkbeck University of London, Kingston University, Falmouth University and delivered papers and keynote speeches for agencies across Europe.
GUSTAVO BECK Gustavo Beck is a member of the selection committee for Cinéma du Réel – Festival International de Films Documentaires in France, RIDM – Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal in Canada and IndieLisboa – Festival Internacional de Cinema Independente in Portugal. He is also a Programme Advisor on Latin American films for the International Film Festival Rotterdam in The Netherlands.
KATARZYNA WILK Katarzyna Wilk is Deputy Director of Krakow Film Foundation Sales & Promotion - where she is in charge of festivals’ distribution of Polish documentaries. Katarzyna is also coordinator of POLISH DOCS,
<< Over Open City Documentary Festival
BEST UK SHORT AWARD SUPPORTED BY THE BRITISH COUNCIL INHERENT
United Kingdom | 9’
Yemen | 9’
Tom Jeffery | 2016 | United Kingdom | 11’
Marie-Cécile Embleton | 2016
ALICE CABANAS [chair]
Alice Cabanas is Film Programme Manager for the British Council, running the shorts support offer and Travel Grant scheme alongside the international EU Film Festival offer. Alice joined the British Council film team after three years with Encounters Festival, based in Bristol. Alice headed communications, strategy and development for the festival, beginning as marketing manager in 2014 and then leading the festival as codirector between 2015-17.
PHILIP ILSON Philip Ilson is the Artistic Director of the London Short Film Festival, which he co-founded in 2004. He is also the short film programmer for the BFI London Film Festival, and has worked as a freelance programmer, including at the East End Film Festival (London), Cork Film Festival (Ireland), and the Branchage Festival (Jersey), Latitude music festival, and at Curzon Soho Cinema.
TRISTAN ANDERSON Tristan Anderson is a London based BAFTA-winning documentary filmmaker whose films and TV shows have been broadcast in over 15 countries internationally including in the UK on the BBC & Channel 4. His passion for documentary filmmaking lead him to co-found ‘Doc Heads’, a dedicated documentary screening, networking and membership organization that promotes the work of other documentary filmmakers.
Duncan Cowles | 2017 | United Kingdom | 10’
Oliver Wilkins | 2017 | United Kingdom/
MATIMBA KABALIKA Matimba Kabalika looks after the talent development programme BFI NETWORK, and manages the accompanying website. Before joining the BFI she spent four years at Partizan, where she worked in production on commercials, music videos and short films, working with an array of emerging and established directing talent.
PETER MIDDLETON Peter Middleton has directed and produced a range of fiction, documentary and cross-platform projects, along with his directing partner James Spinney, including the Emmy Award-winning short film, Notes On Blindness. Their debut feature, also entitled Notes On Blindness, premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival (alongside their critically-acclaimed virtual-reality experience) and was nominated for three BAFTAs (including the Documentary Award and Outstanding British Film) and six British Independent Film Awards (winning Best British Documentary).
MA Ethnographic and
Documentary Film by Practice This unique MA programme is based at University College London and run by leading film practitioners, ensuring that you not only receive the highest-quality practice-based learning, but you do so in a university environment surrounded by other people exploring the nature of the world we live in. From 2017 the core course of the programme, guiding students through the practical production of film, is run in three alternative modes - either non-fiction cinema, broadcast documentary and from this year immersive factual storytelling. All immersive factual storytelling students will be given a grounding in immersive techniques for story-telling, film-making, spatial sound recording and postproduction techniques. Students will have access to 360° filming rigs throughout the year and be introduced to a wide range of the latest relevant equipment. For the non-fiction cinema and broadcast documentary strands each student will produce three documentary films within their chosen mode to build a diverse portfolio of work before producing a graduation film of 15-30 minutes in length. Every student is assigned a personal mentor to guide them through the conception, production and completion of their final graduation film. This year’s mentors include Sophie Fiennes, Dionne Walker, Christopher Hird, Sandhya Suri, Penny Woolcock and Richard Alwyn. Each student is given a full camera kit for the duration of the academic year and a suite of bespoke courses on cinema history, finding narrative form, feminist staged photography and understanding the social world now complement the core, practice-based training. Scholarships are available in 2018-19 to UK and EU nationals. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, INCLUDING HOW TO APPLY, GO TO: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/anthropology/studying/ma-ethnographic-documentary-film OR CONTACT: email@example.com
VITALY MANSKY: IN FOCUS Ukrainian-born Vitaly Mansky is one of Russia’s most acclaimed documentary filmmakers. Over the course of his career, Mansky has directed over 30 films which have been presented at more than 500 festivals across the world. Mansky has tirelessly chronicled political and social developments in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union through examining the struggles of everyday-lives. The films in this selection blend myth, reality, propaganda and fiction to reveal the many-sided legacy of the Soviet dream.
GAGARIN’S PIONEERS Vitaly Mansky | 2005 | Germany/Russia | 100’
VITALY MANSKY MASTERCLASS Wed 6 Sep | 18:30 | Bertha DocHouse Mansky graduated VGIK - All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography in 1989 and has since gone on to make dozens of films working as both a director and producer for contemporaries such as Sergei Loznitsa. He is also the founder and Artistic Director of Art Dok Fest in Riga, Latvia. We begin our focus with this Masterclass event, during which Mansky will discuss his wide-ranging and prolific career as well as his approach to his filmmaking practice.
Sat 9 Sep | 15:00 | Bertha DocHouse Mansky embarks on a journey to track down his old school friends and fellow Young Pioneers with whom, as a child growing up in Lvov, Ukraine, he pledged allegiance to the Soviet motherland and the principles of communism. Many would later flee the Soviet Union with their parents to begin new lives in Israel, others, like the Mansky’s, changed their names, wiped away the traces of their Jewish family history and stayed. Mansky travels to Israel, USA, Canada and Ukraine in search of those he once knew so well, to explore their shared past and to
BROADWAY, BLACK SEA
MOTHERLAND OR DEATH
Vitaly Mansky | 1999 | Russia | 95’
Vitaly Mansky | 2002 | Russia/Germany | 78’
Vitaly Mansky | 2011 | Russia | 99’
Wed 6 Sep | 20:30 | Bertha DocHouse The collective life of the generation born as Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, Mansky worked with over 5,000 hours of home movies to create this unique chronicle of everyday life in the Soviet Union. Over this archive Mansky applies a fictional framework, weaving together a fabricated biography of a Russian - speaking in voiceover born in 1961. The result is a moving document of the fictional, but nonetheless true life of the generation who grew up in this time of huge change and upheaval.
Fri 8 Sep | 20:15 | Regent Street Cinema Broadway, Black Sea presents a kaleidoscopic portrait of a Black Sea resort over the course of one holiday season. Refugees from the Caucasian republics, Armenians, Azerbaijanis and Russians meet on the shore of the Black Sea: they work as shopkeepers, lifeguards, karaoke singers, or are simply here to enjoy their holidays. The place where all this happens is called Broadway and does not exist on any map, not even the most detailed one. The temporary inhabitants construct a whole world in miniature which consists of small carts, tents or booths closely parked in haphazard rows. The scenery built for a few weeks during summer is bubbling with life – and does not at all correspond with ordinary daily life in Russia.
Sun 10 Sep | 14:00 | Regent Street Cinema For more than 50 years Cuba has been following the battle-cry of the revolution: Patria o Muerte, which translates as Motherland or Death. This mantra has been a daily dilemma for several Cuban generations. Motherland or Death focuses on the generation of Cubans born before the revolution as they near the end of their lives. Whilst their devotion to the motherland remains undiminished, they begin to question the circumstances in which the regime has forced them to live. Mansky portrays a stark contrast between Cuba’s carefully crafted image and the reality of daily life. The film depicts Havana as a desolate place, a dilapidated skeleton, broken up and rearranged with stray dogs and cats, lamp posts as gallows, and angry spewing sewers.
This pic sits better than No.3. Is that a problem? Also, I don't feel an additional image is required to accompany the copy [below].. Thoughts?
PIERRE-YVES ANDEWEERD: IN FOCUS We are delighted to present a focus on the work of Belgian filmmaker Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd during which we will be screening his three most recent films - a loose trilogy - including the UK Premiere of this year’s The Eternals. Filmed mostly in 16mm and Super 8, and with scores from British avant-garde musician Richard Skelton, these extraordinary works investigate the correlation between war, madness and memory through the lives of those who are victims of conflict and exile. In these uncompromising, uncanny and deeply original films, Vandeweerd combines anthropology, poetic essay and performance to explore the spaces between order and disorder, reason and unreason, the visible and invisible.
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Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd | 2017 | Belgium/
Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd | 2011 | France/
France | 75’
Belgium | 75’
Wed 6 Sep | 20:30 | ICA
Thu 7 Sep | 20:30 | Picturehouse Central
This film is centred around the lives of the people living on the borders of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan that has been in dispute since the fall of the Soviet Union. After years of brutal conflict, the Armenian survivors have been plunged into a state of profound grief, which is embodied by the word tsnorq in their language, meaning “to suffer eternal melancholy”. Convinced that death cannot triumph over their lives, they believe that they are doomed to wander in anticipation of the day when they will be finally freed from their suffering. With extraordinary images and a rich, haunting score by Richard Skelton, The Eternals is an
Straddling a 2,700-kilometer-long wall constructed by the Moroccan army, the Western Sahara is today divided into two sections - one owned by Morocco, the other under the control of the Sahrawi National Liberation Front. Drawing from stories of flight, exile, interminable waiting and the arrested, persecuted lives on both sides of that wall, this film bears witness to the Sahrawi people, their land and their entrapment in other people’s dreams. With an aesthetic that sublimates the real, Lost Land resonates like a score that juxtaposes sonorous landscapes, blackand-white portraits and nomadic poetics.
Over uncompromising, elegiac expression of the trauma of war. [Courtesy of Cobra Films]
[COURTESY OF COBRA FILMS]
FOR THE LOST Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd | 2014 | France/ Belgium | 77’ Sat 9 Sep | 18:30 | Picturehouse Central During its long harsh winters, the Lozère region of France is subject to intense and unrelenting snow storms so disorienting that in the local dialect the word blizzard refers not only to the atmospheric phenomenon but also to a bewilderment of the soul. Amidst the bleak, snow swept mountains shepherds perform mysterious ancient rituals and ring out bells to call back the lost. Meanwhile, inmates of a notorious nearby psychiatric ward wander aimlessly, haunted by the names of the institution’s previous patients who lie buried in their thousands at a nearby cemetery. Combining anthropology and poetic narrative, this film is a spectral voyage through storms; those of the mountains and winter, and those of bodies and souls. [COURTESY OF COBRA FILMS]
Tuesday, 5 September
TASTE OF CEMENT
Ziad Kalthoum | 2017 | Germany/Lebanon/ Syria/United Arab Emirates/Qatar | 85â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Tue 5 Sep | 18:30 | Picturehouse Central
15 A portrait of workers in exile, Taste of Cement is an empathetic encounter with people who have lost their past and their future, locked in the recurring present. With his second feature, Ziad Kalthoum creates a poetic essay documentary about Syrian construction workers building new skyscrapers in Beirut. As they help rebuild ruined neighbourhoods in the aftermath of the Lebanese civil war, their own houses at home are being shelled. The Lebanese government has imposed curfews on refugees and so the workers are locked in the building site
Official selection, curated programmes and special presentations
over-night. Every night in their pit below the skyscraper the news from their homeland and the memories of the war haunt them. Mute and imprisoned in the cement underground, they must endure until the new day arrives where the hammering and welding drowns out their nightmares. With exquisite framing, unorthodox editing, and dreamlike narrative detours Taste of Cement is a daring, imaginative and visually challenging cinematic work.
Wednesday, 6 September
Wednesday, 6 September
SHORTS: LOST IN TIME
The fragmented quality of film and the imprecision of memory are acknowledged in these shorts as they recount family histories, each one focusing on loss and its subsequent impact. The sincere and candid voices of those left in the wake of absence form a negative space in which we, the viewer, may unravel the mysteries of the past.
Wed 6 Sep | 20:30 | ICA
Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd | 2017 | Belgium/France | 75’
Wed 6 Sep | 18:30 | Picturehouse Central
Norway | 20’
THE HAPPIEST BARRACK
Edvard Karijord, Bendik Mondal | 2016
Noémi Varga | 2016 | UK | 16′’
Tom Jeffery | 2016 | UK | 11′’
THE IMAGINE FILMS: LADIES CHAT POTTING PLANTS Benjamin Wigley | 2016 | UK | 3′’
THIS IS YATES
Zelda June | 2016 | USA | 12′’
YOU ARE STILL SOMEBODY’S SOMEONE Esther Wellejus | 2017 | Denmark | 25′’
Total Running Time: 99'
Lucy Kaye | 2016 | UK | 12′’
This film is centred around the lives of the people living on the borders of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian enclave in Azerbaijan that has been in dispute since the fall of the Soviet Union. After years of brutal conflict, the Armenian survivors have been plunged into a state of profound grief, which is embodied by the word tsnorq in their language, meaning “to suffer eternal melancholy”. Convinced
JOHN SMITH: LOST IN LEYTONSTONE
Jerome Le Maire | 2016 | Belgium | 85’
Wed 6 Sep | 20:30 | The Castle Cinema
Wed 6 Sep | 18:30 | Regent Street Cinema In this expertly crafted work of observational filmmaking, Belgian director Jérôme le Maire (Tea or Electricity, Open City Documentary Festival 2013) spent over two years in the surgical unit in one of the biggest and busiest hospitals in Paris. Chronically understaffed and with strict budget cuts, employees fight among themselves for resources while the management imposes increasingly stringent criteria of efficiency and profitability. The operations, however, are non-stop. All over Europe ‘burnout’ has reached epidemic proportions among employees in the public sector. With unfettered access, le Maire details the extreme pressures at work throughout the hospital, from the operating theatre to the boardroom, to produce a fascinating study of work and healthcare in the contemporary world.
John Smith’s films and videos, known for their formal ingenuity, anarchic wit and oblique narratives, create mysterious and sometimes fantastical scenarios from documentary records of everyday life. His work is usually triggered by personal experiences, often occurring in or around his east London domestic environment. Chance encounters with buildings, objects and events frequently become the basis upon which his ideas are developed. The trio of films in this programme all focus on the built environment and were made between 1985 and 1996, while Smith was living in short-life housing in Leytonstone.
THE BLACK TOWER
1985-87 | UK | 24’ | 16mm transferred to HDV
1988-91 | UK | 40’ | 16mm transferred to HDV
1994-96 | UK | 14’ | 16mm transferred to HDV
that death cannot triumph over their lives, they believe that they are doomed to wander in anticipation of the day when they will be finally freed from their suffering. With extraordinary images and a rich, haunting score by Richard Skelton, The Eternals is an uncompromising, elegiac expression of the trauma of war. [COURTESY OF COBRA FILMS]
Open City Documentary Festival
Wednesday, 6 September
Wednesday, 6 September
PRIVATE CHRONICLES monologue Vitaly Mansky | 1999 | Russia | 95’ Wed 6 Sep | 20:30 | Bertha DocHouse The collective life of the generation born as Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, Mansky worked with over 5,000 hours of home movies to create this unique chronicle of everyday life in the Soviet Union. Over this archive Mansky applies a fictional framework, weaving together a fabricated biography of a Russian - speaking in voiceover - born in 1961. The result is a moving document of the fictional, but nonetheless true life of the generation who grew up in this time of huge change and upheaval
Wed 6 September | 20:30 | Regent Street Cinema
Paz Encina | 2016 | Argentina/Paraguay/France/Germany/Qatar | 70’ Wed 6 Sep | 20:30 | Picturehouse Central
Agustín Goiburú was one of the strongest and most radical dissidents under the long-lasting, right-wing dictatorship of Alfredo Stroessner in Paraguay. He went into exile in neighbouring Argentina and was ‘disappeared’ from his home near the Parana River, the border between the two countries, in 1976. The river plays a major role in Paz Encina’s haunting film, an imaginative tribute to Goiburú’s life, in which she deftly combines footage of furnished but empty rooms resembling still lifes, archival materials and the memories of Goiburú’s children retold through the words and imagery of an even younger generation. This juxtaposition of generational voices and of fact and fiction evokes the lost lives opencitylondon.com
Norman Leto’s avant-garde science(-fiction) documentary is a wildly ambitious, mind-bending voyage through the history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the quantum revolution and beyond. Inspired by the best-selling author David Deutsch’s work (The Beginning of Infinity, The Fabric of Reality), Leto leads the viewer in a dense but fascinating essay on the mysteries of inner and outer space. His far reaching theories
of political opponents creating a wider examination of the impact the regime’s terror had on the population at the time, repercussions of which still echo in the present day. OpenCityDocs
Norman Leto | 2017 | Poland | 107’
Yuri Ancarani | 2017 | Italy | 20'
Open City Documentary Festival
are delivered in a wryly amusing voiceover and are accompanied by a series of dazzling CGI animations of waves and particles, illustrating abstract scientific concepts like the Higgs field through impeccable 3D models. Leto is credited as writer, director, editor and lead animator on Photon and has pulled together a dizzying array of elements to create a true cinematic curio.
Thursday, 7 September
Thursday, 7 September
ATELIER DE CONVERSATION
REBEL OF THE KEYS
Thu 7 Sep | 18:00 | Regent Street Cinema
Thu 7 Sep | 18:30 | Crouch End Picturehouse
Bernhard Braunstein | 2017 | Austria/France/Liechtenstein | 72’
Once a week in Paris a group of individuals from all corners of the world meet in a small room at Centre Pompidou to participate in free French lessons. Asylum seekers, businessmen, doctors, lawyers, and
students sit side-by-side and immerse themselves in polite, if stilted, conversation. However, tensions and misunderstandings occur as the nuances which each participant attempts to express become lost as they struggle to access the language. But despite their differences - and linguistic limitations - the disparate group of strangers in a foreign land find, in the small gestures and subtle looks between the words, a way towards understanding. Minimalist in form, rigorous in its aesthetic yet surprisingly tender and humane. With great warmth and humour, Braunstein’s film reveals those elusive moments where communication moves beyond the spoken word.
Mark Charles | 2016 | UK/Poland | 90’
A fascinating study of the life and times of pianist, composer and ‘enfant-terrible’ Andre Tchaikowsky told alongside the story of the first performance of his opera adaptation of The Merchant of Venice, the realisation of which was his dying wish. The complexity of Andre’s music and some hitherto surprising events in his life, all lead to an ending that would please this contrary but fascinating individual. In partnership with the office of the Provost of UCL
SHORTS: SMALL HOURS Thu 7 September | 18:30 | Hackney Picturehouse
By examining the cyclical nature of night and day we encounter an array of characters whose temporal movements defy convention. The tranquility of the night-time in these films reframes the day, making the latter seem otherworldly; the fluidity by which these people move between the two produces a hinterland where conventional concepts of day and night begin to lose meaning.
95 AND 6 TO GO Kimi Takesue | 2016 | USA | 85’
Thu 7 Sep | 18:20 | Picturehouse Central Filmmaker Kimi Takesue turns the camera on her resilient Japanese-American grandfather, a retired postal worker who has lived in Honolulu, Hawai'i for nearly a century. A recent widower in his 90s, Grandpa Tom seems content to go about his daily routines until one day Kimi reveals she is struggling
with a fictional screenplay she has been writing. Tom shows unexpected interest in his granddaughter’s project and offers advice that is as shrewd as it is surprising. In alternately funny and poignant discussions, Kimi’s fictional love story and Tom’s creative revisions serve as a vehicle for his past memories of love, loss and endurance to surface. Shot over six years, this intimate meditation on family and absence expands the vernacular of the "home movie" to consider how history is accumulated in the everyday and how sparks of humour and creativity can animate an ordinary life.
Rosie Needham | 2016 | UK | 7′’
Isabel Pagliai | 2017 | France | 14’′
LET THERE BE NIGHT
Benjamin Hameury | 2017 | Hungary | 15′’
Pablo Alvarez Mesa, Fernando Lopez Escrivá 2017 | Colombia, Canada | 22′’
Kees-Jan Husselman | 2016 | Netherlands | 35’′
Total Running Time: 93′’
Open City Documentary Festival
Thursday, 7 September
Thursday, 7 September
Jeff Silva & Vic Rawlings | 2016 | USA | 96’
Kiro Russo | 2016 | Bolivia/Qatar | 77’
Thu 7 Sep | 20:00 | Regent Street Cinema
Thu 7 Sep| 20:30 | ICA
Set amidst the harsh world of the Bolivian mining community, Kiro Russo’s docu-fiction hybrid tells the story of Elder who, following his father's death, is sent back to live with his Grandmother in Huanuni, a small town in the country’s tin mining heartlands.
22 A collaboration between musician, Vic Rawlings, and filmmaker and long-time affiliate of the Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab, Jeff Silva, Linefork is an immersive meditation on the passage of time and the persistent resonance of place. The film follows the daily rituals of an elderly couple living in Kentucky's Appalachian Mountains. Now well into his eighties, Lee Sexton is the last living link to the distant past of a regional
American music. A retired coal miner with black lung, Lee and his wife, Opal, continue to farm the land where he was born. Together they face encroaching health concerns and stark economic realities. Recorded over three years, Linefork is an observational film documenting their marriage, their community, their resilience, and the raw yet delicate music of an unheralded banjo legend.
DOCHEADS PRESENTS Thu 7 Sep | 20:30 | The Castle Cinema
Join DocHeads for a special programme of some of the best short documentaries made in the UK. DocHeads aim is to be innovative, boundarypushing and cinematic: delivering an immersive experience designed for the big screen.
His godfather, Francisco, finds him work at the local mining company. However, it isn’t long before Elder starts acting up, making trouble for Francisco by skipping work to go out drinking in the town’s dingy bars instead. But his nocturnal wanderings eventually lead him
to a troubling secret relating to his father’s death. Made in close collaboration with the miner’s union and shot largely within the mines, Dark Skull is a murky, mysterious drama that deftly blurs the line between reality and fiction.
Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd | 2011 | France/Belgium | 75’ Thu 7 Sep | 20:30 | Picturehouse Central
Straddling a 2,700-kilometer-long wall constructed by the Moroccan army, the Western Sahara is today divided into two sections - one owned by
Morocco, the other under the control of the Sahrawi National Liberation Front. Drawing from stories of flight, exile, interminable waiting and the arrested, persecuted lives on both sides of that wall, this film bears witness to the Sahrawi people, their land and their entrapment in other people’s dreams. With an aesthetic that sublimates the real, Lost Land resonates like a score that juxtaposes sonorous landscapes, black-and-white portraits and nomadic poetics.
Check website for full programme. [COURTESY OF COBRA FILMS]
Open City Documentary Festival
Friday, 8 September
Friday, 8 September
ALMOST HEAVEN Carol Salter | 2017 | UK | 72’
Fri 8 Sep | 18:15 | Regent Street Cinema
Carol Salter’s tender comingof-age documentary chronicles the life of 17 year old Ying Ling who, like many teenagers of her generation, has moved from a
small village to one of China’s booming industrial cities to find work. Despite being afraid of ghosts, Ying Ling has taken up an apprenticeship as an undertaker at a large funeral home in Hunan Province’s capital Changsha. She shares accommodation with the other trainees in her work place’s basement and strikes up an affectionate friendship with a fellow mortician - the gawky and goofy Jin Hau. The film follows them in their daily work routines - washing dead bodies, arranging funerals, tending to
mourning relatives - while trying to find their place in the world. Almost Heaven treats death and the grieving families attending the funeral home with the utmost respect yet equally manages to depict the joy for life of its young protagonist with spurts of humour lightening up the establishment’s long dark corridors. It is an examination of the meaning of death as much as a celebration of life and what it means to be young in presentday China.
Tomas Leach | 2016 | USA | 80’ Fri 8 Sep | 18:30 | Bertha DocHouse
With the astonishing New Mexican Rocky Mountains as backdrop, we meet Forrest Fenn -- an eccentric Air Force veteran and art dealer who decided to hide a treasure worth $3 million -- and a series of fanatic treasure hunters lured in to the American West with the goal of decoding Fenn’s cryptic instructions. In The Lure, filmmaker Tomas Leach (In No Great Hurry: 13 Lessons in Life with Saul Leiter, winner of Best UK Film at Open City Documentary Festival 2013) examines what compels these characters, their relationship to Fenn and their plans for the final prize. Set to an atmospheric soundtrack by American indie band Calexico this exploration ultimately reflects on mortality, the true desires of human nature, and the purpose of life.
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH BERTHA DOCHOUSE
Federica Di Giacomo | 2016 | Italy/France | 89’
Fri 8 Sep | 18:30 | Genesis Cinema
David Redmon & Ashley Sabin | 2017 | England/Ireland/Canada/USA | 72’ Fri 8 Sep | 18:30 | Picturehouse Central
A film on the return of exorcism in the contemporary world. Each year a growing number of people call their sense of unease “possession”. The Church answers to this spiritual emergency by nominating an increasing number of exorcist priests. Father Cataldo
is one of the most sought-after exorcists in Sicily and has grown famous for his tireless fighting spirit. Every Tuesday Gloria, Enrico, Anna, and Giulia, along with many others, attend Father Cataldo’s mass for deliverance, trying to find a cure for a sense
“Welcome to heaven on earth” is one of the few spoken lines in filmmaking duo David Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s latest documentary which puts donkey “actors” centerstage. The camerawork is simple and quietly observant, and the sound design is continuously immersive. No interviews or dialogue interrupt this unobtrusive approach. No explanations by title are given. The result is a meditative, hypnotic cinematic flow of donkey behavior much of which remains indecipherable. Sanctuary deliberately recalls Robert Bresson’s 1966 testimonial to a stoic donkey, Au hasard Balthazar. It is also inspired by David Abram’s 2011 book Becoming Animal, which argues that we have lost our ability to apprehend the sensuous natural world amidst our on-screen news obsessed virtual frenzy.
of discomfort that has no answer nor a name. This is the story of a meeting between the act of exorcism and everyday life, where the contrasts between the ancient and modern, the religious and profane, are as disturbing as they are disquieting. opencitylondon.com
Open City Documentary Festival
Friday, 8 September
Friday, 8 September
SHORTS: FRAGMENTS OF THE INFINITE Fri 8 Sep | 18:30 | Hackney Picturehouse
It is an inherent desire to want to establish order in what is ultimately a disorderly universe; the characters in these films are forced to come to terms with their inability to maintain control. Mortality and art coalesce as artists and musicians confront the passing of time and their powerlessness in the face of a constantly changing world.
THE WATCHMAKER Marie-Cécile Embleton | 2016 | UK | 9’
EVERYTHING LIVES: LOOKING AT THE ARTIST AS FATHER Huw Wahl | 2016 | UK | 24'
Chico Pereira | 2017 | Germany/UK/Spain | 85’ Fri 8 Sep | 20:30 | Picturehouse Central
Manolo, 73 years old and living a simple life in Spain, dreams of travelling to the American west to walk the gruelling 2,200 mile Trail of Tears with his longtime companion, the donkey Gorrión. But before embarking on this epic quest, Manolo must first overcome a litany of obstacles: his chronic arthritis, a history of heart attacks and, worst of all, the huge costs involved in shipping Gorrión across the Atlantic. Manolo will not be deterred, however, and sets off with his Donkey on a rambling odyssey across Andalusia in search of solutions. As with his debut feature Pablo’s
Winter (2012), Donkeyote again finds Pereira exploring the space between documentary and fiction, building a neo-Western tinged narrative around which Manolo’s adventures unfold.
Zuqiang Peng | 2016 | China | 23’
THE ADVENTURES OF AN ASPIRING ROCKSTAR Sam Oldmeadow | 2016 | UK | 34’ Total Running Time 90’
BROADWAY, BLACK SEA Vitaly Mansky | 2002 | Russia/Germany | 78’ Fri 8 Sep | 20:15 | Regent Street Cinema Straddling a 2,700-kilometer-long wall constructed by the Moroccan army, the Western Sahara is today divided into two sections - one owned by Morocco, the other under the control of the Sahrawi National Liberation Front. Drawing from stories of flight, exile, interminable waiting and the arrested, persecuted lives on both sides of that wall, this film bears witness to the Sahrawi people, their land and their entrapment in other people’s dreams. With an aesthetic that sublimates the real, Lost Land resonates like a score that juxtaposes sonorous landscapes, black-and-white portraits and nomadic poetics. [COURTESY OF COBRA FILMS]
CONTEMPORARY COLOR Ross Bros | 2016 | USA | 97’ Fri 8 Sep | 20:35 | ICA In the summer of 2015, legendary musician David Byrne staged an event at Brooklyn's Barclays Center to celebrate the art of color guard: synchronised dance routines involving flags, rifles, and sabers. Recruiting performers including Saint Vincent, AdRock and Ira Glass to collaborate on original pieces with ten color guard teams from across the US and Canada, Contemporary Color is a beautifully filmed snapshot of a one-of-a-kind live event. Having opencitylondon.com
completed an Americana trilogy of observational documentaries (Western, Tchoupitoulas, 45365), Bill and Turner Ross direct their attention to this large scale concert performance. The Ross Brothers do not simply document this night of collective performances, but conduct an immersive and visually captivating experience that captures the energy, rhythm, and artistry of the night itself.
Nathan Truesdell I 2017 I US I 6'
Open City Documentary Festival
Saturday, 9 September
Saturday, 9 September
Vitaly Mansky | 2005 | Germany/Russia | 100’
Sat 9 Sep | 18:15 | Regent Street Cinema
Mansky embarks on a journey to track down his old school friends and fellow Young Pioneers with whom, as a child growing up in Lvov, Ukraine, he pledged allegiance to the Soviet motherland and the principles of communism. Many would later flee the Soviet Union with their parents to begin new lives in Israel, others, like the Mansky’s, changed their names, wiped away the traces of their Jewish family history and stayed. Mansky travels to Israel, USA, Canada and Ukraine in search of those he once knew so well, to explore their shared past and to discuss dreams and disappointments, discrimination and dominance, homeland and happiness.
From a Year of Non-Events gently and tenderly chronicles a year in the life of 90-year-old Willi Detert, living alone on a dilapidated farm in rural northern Germany. Renninger and Frölk follow Willi as he goes about his daily rituals and routines, recording the small details and textures that make up the minutiae of his quotidian existence: shuffling across his overgrown yard, feeding the chickens, playing with his
rich study of an ordinary man in his twilight years and a deeply affecting meditation on the passage of time.
BITTER MONEY Sat 9 Sep | 18:20 | ICA
Sat 9 Sep | 15:00 | Regent Street Cinema
Over the past decade and a half, Wang Bing has established himself as China’s preeminent documentary artist. His work, often epic in both length and scale, bears witness to the rawness of life on the far edges of Chinese society. In Bitter Money, a prize winner at the 2016 Venice Film Festival, Wang brings his raw
cats, shattering the layer of ice that has formed on the outside water trough, reminiscing over tea with visiting family members about days gone by. These fragments, exquisitely captured on 16mm and Super 8, are intricately woven together to create a delicate, impressionistic portrait of a man and his surroundings. Following Willi chronologically through the changing seasons, the resulting work is a
Wang Bing | 2016 | France/China/Hong Kong | 152’
Pierre-François Sauter | 2016 | Switzerland | 117’
Ann Carolin Renninger & René Frölke | 2017 | Germany | 83’
Sat 9 Sep | 15:00 | Bertha DocHouse
Calabria is a road movie in a hearse. After the death of a Calabrian emigrant who travelled to Switzerland to find work, two undertakers, Jovan and José, emigrants themselves, travel from the north to the south of Italy to repatriate the deceased to his home village. Jovan, a gypsy who was previously a singer in Belgrade, believes
FROM A YEAR OF NON-EVENTS
in life after death, while José, a Portuguese intellectual with a passion for culture, believes only what he sees. Together, all of them face the trip’s surprises and contingencies in a voyage that at once pays tribute to the dead person and celebrates life. Open City Documentary Festival
and uncompromising aesthetic to bear on the lives of garment workers on China’s Eastern coast. His unflinching camera follows a group of workers both at work through 12 hour shifts and in their off-hours, as they hang around shabby dorms drinking, fighting, laughing, dreaming of home and worrying about money.
Trapped though they are in oppressive jobs, abusive relationships and dispiriting surroundings, through his patient observation, Wang captures the contours of his characters’ lives, slowly revealing the humanity even in these most desperate of situations.
Saturday, 9 September
Saturday, 9 September
BY HYPER MEDIA, FOR HYPER MEDIA Sat 9 Sep | 20:30 | The Castle Cinema
PUMP Joseph David | 2017 | France | 59’
PRESENTED BY LOST FUTURE
Sat 9 Sep | 18:30 | Hackney Picturehouse
Filmmaker Joseph David is joined by Andrew Kötting on a seven day voyage across an 11 mile stretch of disused monorail in Northern France. Standing eight meters above the ground this concrete viaduct is a relic of the Aérotrain test track: an ambitious project developed in the late 1960s for a nationwide high-speed hovertrain service, which was eventually abandoned due to lack of funds. They travel in a homemade pump trolley, affectionately nicknamed Albertine, and move at an average
“As you look at the screen, it is possible to believe you are gazing into eternity. You see the things that were inside you. This is the womb, the original site of the imagination. You do not move your eyes from the screen, you have become invisible.” A series of recent artists’ moving image works exploring the internet, digital technologies, virtual realities and other forms of networked existence. Together these short films open a window into outer realms of the digital present, ruminate on our connected past, or speculate towards unknown futures.
speed of 2 mph. Folly or quest? Either way, there is no discernable reason for this undertaking, but the challenge of this Dadaist road movie speaks for itself. Although it may lack the spectacular nature of an ascent of Everest, it in no less way expresses the overall absurdity of the human condition.
STILL LIFE (BETA MALE)
(U) [U ≤ F AND U ≤ M]
WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE WE ARE
ALL THAT IS SOLID
(Jon Rafman | 2013 | Canada | 5’) (Graeme Arnfield | 2016 | UK | 11’) (Jesse McLean | 2017 | USA | 12’)
(Louis Henderson | 2014 | France/UK | 16’)
(Joey Holder | 2017 | UK | 5’) (Isiah Medina | 2014 | Canada | 1’) (Ciaran McWilliams | 2016 | UK | 3’)
(Karissa Hahn & Andrew Kim | 2016 | USA | 11’)
(Dorine van Meel | 2016 | Netherlands | 17’) (Tina Frank | 2016 | Austria | 3')
(Eduardo Makoszay | 2016 | Mexico | 6’)
TROUGH NO. 42
Joe Spray | 2017 | UK | 11’
FOR THE LOST
Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd | 2014 | France/Belgium | 77’ Sat 9 September | 18:30 | Picturehouse Central
During its long harsh winters, the Lozère region of France is subject to intense and unrelenting snow storms so disorienting that in the local dialect the word blizzard refers not only to the atmospheric phenomenon but also to a bewilderment of the soul. Amidst the bleak, snow swept mountains shepherds perform mysterious ancient rituals and ring out bells to call back the lost. Meanwhile, inmates of a notorious nearby psychiatric ward wander aimlessly, haunted by the names of the institution’s previous patients who lie buried in their thousands at a nearby cemetery. Combining anthropology and poetic narrative, this film is a spectral voyage through storms; those of the mountains and winter, and those of bodies and souls. [COURTESY OF COBRA FILMS]
Samira Elagoz | 2016 | the Netherlands/Finland | 65’ Sat 9 Sep | 20:30 | Picturehouse Central
By posting an open casting-call on Craigslist, an internationally active internet network, Finnish performance artist Samira Elagoz arranges a series of one-on-one meetings with a wide variety of men in three cities across the world in an attempt to explore how the camera influences intimacy between two strangers: The documentarian and the subject. A magician, a lonely plumber and a soft-core porn opencitylondon.com
director are some of the characters that Elagoz meets on her journey from Amsterdam to Tokyo. Every encounter is real and unscripted, and takes place entirely on her own terms. Through a heady mix of performance, fiction and documentary, Elagoz takes the viewer on a bizarre journey into a strange hinterland where the real and the virtual world collide. Open City Documentary Festival
Saturday, 9 September
Sunday, 10 September
SHORTS: A PLACE TO BE
Sun 10 Sep | 13:00 | Picturehouse Central
Hui-chen Huang | 2016 | Taiwan | 88’
These films shine a light on humanity’s struggle with our sense of presence and being in the world. Through a myriad of characters, this programme explores the existential pressures surrounding identity and belonging that affect those who may feel marginalised by society.
Sat 9 Sep | 20:30 | Genesis Cinema Anu is not a woman of many words, at least not around her family. Growing up as a tomboy she unhappily entered into an arranged marriage with a violent man and gave birth to two daughters. She eventually left her husband to raise the children on her own and began working as a professional funeral mourner whilst living a lesbian life, smoking, drinking and gambling with her friends. For 20 years her daughter, Hui-chen filmed their lives in order to know her mother better. It is considered taboo in Taiwanese culture to question a mother’s love yet that is exactly
what Huang sets out to do in this portrait of a complex mother-daughter relationship. Through a series of intense and sometimes frustrating personal encounters she embarks on a journey of reconciliation. PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest
A FILM ON FILM
WHERE WE ARE NOW
Yemen | 9′’
New Zealand | 16′’
Lucien Monot | 2016 | Switzerland | 17′’ Duncan Cowles | 2017 | United Kingdom | 10′’ Jade Jackman | 2017 | United Kingdom | 4’ Oliver Wilkins | 2017 | United Kingdom,
David McNulty | 2016 | United Kingdom | 6′’ Esteban Arrangoiz | 2015 | Mexico | 16′’ Lucie Rachel | 2016 | United Kingdom | 9′’ Prisca Bouchet, Nick Mayow | 2016
THE THINGS THEY SAY
Dorothy Allen-Pickard, Jak Payne | 2016
Total Running Time: 93′’
United Kingdom | 8′’
MOTHERLAND OR DEATH Vitaly Mansky | 2011 | Russia | 99’
Sun 10 Sep | 14:00 | Regent Street Cinema
SPECTRES ARE HAUNTING EUROPE Maria Kourkouta, Niki Giannari | 2016 | France/Greece | 99’ Sat 9 Sep | 20:30 | Regent Street Cinema The Idomeni refugee camp on the border of Greece and Macedonia housed over 8,000 people from the Middle East who were trying to cross the border into Europe. When Greek police closed the camp in 2016, the refugees resisted and blocked a railway line used to deliver goods into the country. Comprised of three parts and shot on a combination of HD Video and 16mm, Maria Kourkouta and Niki Giannari’s minimalist opencitylondon.com
documentary observes these events in a series of carefully modelled static images that open up the space within and without of the frame, and in the closing black-and-white sequence offers a poetic commentary. The result is a bleak portrait of a place where endless lines of refugees try to preserve the final remnants of their individual freedoms. Open City Documentary Festival
For more than 50 years Cuba has been following the battle-cry of the revolution: Patria o Muerte, which translates as Motherland or Death. This mantra has been a daily dilemma for several Cuban generations. Motherland or Death focuses on the generation of Cubans born before the revolution as they near the end of their lives. Whilst their devotion to the motherland remains undiminished, they begin to question the circumstances in which the regime has forced them to live. Mansky portrays a stark contrast between Cuba’s carefully crafted image and the reality of daily life. The film depicts Havana as a desolate place, a dilapidated skeleton, broken up and rearranged with stray dogs and cats, lamp posts as gallows, and angry spewing sewers.
Sunday, 10 September
A MOON OF NICKEL AND ICE François Jacob | 2017 | Canada | 110’
Sun 10 Sep | 14:00 | Bertha DocHouse The mining town of Norilsk sits in the heart of the Siberian Arctic, huddled behind its wind walls and bathed in the billowing smoke and sulfur of its mills and factories. Originally built by Gulag prisoners under Stalin, Norilsk remains a bleak and mysterious place, forever haunted by the suffering of its history. Whereas nickel miners ponder the lost Soviet comradeship and teenagers dream only of escape, theatre artists and descendants of the Gulag prisoners seek to finally shed light on Norilsk’s dark past, long since buried under censorship and the town’s frozen ground. With poetic imagery contrasting the unworldly Siberian landscapes and dark industrial mining sites, the film weaves a fascinating tale of a secretive outpost that until now has been closed to foreign visitors.
CLOSING FILM: PURGE THIS LAND
Lee Anne Schmitt | 2017 | USA | 84’
Sun 10 Sep | 18:00 | Regent Street Cinema
The history of racism and slavery in modern America is retold through the prism of John Brown - a white, militant abolitionist - who was sentenced to death in 1859 for a failed attempt to start an armed revolution. His story forms the framework around which artist Lee Anne Schmitt structures her poignant and thought-provoking essay film contemplating the culpability of White America in the ongoing opencitylondon.com
disenfranchisement of Black America. The films’ narrative spans from the 1850s through to the present day, where the echoes of America’s dark past continue to reverberate across the country. Schmitt dedicates Purge This Land to her children, and subtly interlaces her personal own story with that of John Brown’s to produce a moving yet measured reflection on race in contemporary America. Open City Documentary Festival
SPECIAL EVENTS Exhibitions, partner screenings & parties
MARC ISAACS: OUT OF TIME Wed 6 - Sun 10 Sep | 11am-6pm | Bargehouse
THE ISLAND OF ST. MATTHEWS FREE ENTRY
In his first ever video exhibition, filmmaker Marc Isaacs presents four new works offering up an encounter with intimacy, human fragility and the passage of time. Isaacs goes back to original material gathered over a 15 year period which has mostly never screened publicly before. Two octogenarians sit side by side in a pub in silence: a series of characters appear on
screen lost in their own private thoughts; men, women and children in rural Bangladesh wait with trepidation for the inevitable deluge of rain. And then all three works are brought together in a triptych highlighting the universality of the human experience.
THE PLAYROOM BOOTHS // DON’T ASK, DON’T APOLOGISE Wed 6 - Sun 10 Sep | 11am-6pm | Bargehouse
Fri 8 Sep | 19:00 | Starr Cinema, Tate Modern Join us for this special prelude to Tate Modern’s So I Can Get Them Told season, a retrospective of the films of American artist Kevin Jerome Everson. This screening features Everson’s 16mm feature film The Island of St. Matthews, a poem and paean to the citizens of Westport, Mississippi, recalling all that was lost during the 1973 flooding of a nearby river. The screening is preceded by the premiere of a new short work.
FILM SERIES IN COLLABORATION WITH UCL URBAN LABS, FILM + PLACE + ARCHITECTURE AND THE BARTLETT SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE Fri 8 Sep | 19:00 | Horse Hospital
Three interactive story enclaves combine video projection and audio interviews with key figures in rave, Black soundsystem and queer club culture. This installation explores how these seemingly disparate scenes not only changed the musical landscape but also, by physically reclaiming the city space, changed how we relate to its invisible power structures.
EDGE: where an area that is known or privileged meets another that is unknown or ignored. Together with UCL Urban Labs and Film + Place + Architecture, we present the launch of a three part screening series that will complement the EDGE symposium conducted by the Bartlett School of Architecture.
CARDBOARD CITY Thu 7 Sep | 11:00-18:00 | Bargehouse
FREE ENTRY Do you accept the city as you find it? Or do you form it into a world that suits your needs? If it stops working how do we break it down and start over? Cardboard City is a growing metropolis, built by all who visit it, made from the reclaimed and recycled materials. Everything to build your city is provided. Construct cardboard skyscrapers, hosepipe factories, carpet tile lakes, anything your imagination can create. But be careful: the direction of the city is in your hands; will it be the pinnacle of human cooperation or descend into a mafia-run city-state?
our be city e tion
Kevin Jerome Everson | 2013 | USA | 70’
The Edge project is a narrative driven exploration of contemporary situated practice in 'edge' urban settings, focusing on in-between spaces and the creative ways to which these can be used. Guest speakers will bring their own perspectives from the worlds of art, architecture, and anthropology to complement the curated film programmes. The screenings will be held at three locations, each of which is situated on the High Speed 1 rail link (HS1) route between London and Folkestone. Each event will explore one of the symposium’s three key themes - Gateway, Periphery and Border. Join us at the launch of this exciting new film series at The Horse Hospital, Friday 8th September.
NIGHTTIME AS RESISTANCE Thu 7 Sep | 11:00-18:00 | Bargehouse This talk explores parties as a form of resistance. We are taken on an immersive journey through an archive of found sound and video footage that brings to life the energy and people of reggae sound systems, queer nightlife and early 90s illegal raves. This is followed by a panel discussion that considers these using an intersectional lens, drawing parallels and reflecting on tensions between the different struggles these scenes sit within. The event asks how these forms of resistance can be used to build broader social and political movements and struggles for justice. Presented in partnership with Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest
Open City Documentary Festival
Open City Documentary Festival
WHICKER’S WORLD FOUNDATION PRESENTS:
WE WERE KINGS Alex Bescoby | 2017 | UK | 56’ Sat 9 Sep | 19:00 | British Library
As part of Open City Documentary Festival, the British Library will host the world premiere of We Were Kings, a rediscovery of Burma’s lost royal family. Deposed and exiled by Britain, they are now emerging from the shadows in a country experiencing seismic change. This intriguing documentary won the Whicker’s World Foundation inaugural Funding Award for historian and first time director, Alex Bescoby.
Industry Make the most of your time at Open City Documentary Festival and immerse yourself in all things docs.
THE DAY IS MY ENEMY Sat 9 September | 19:30 | Bargehouse
A live event bringing together rarely seen film archive charting the story of how music subculture has shaped the metropolis with a live soundtrack scored in collaboration with musicians. Against the dramatic setting of the Southbank’s Bargehouse you are invited to explore how the explosion of soundsystem, queer and rave culture paved the way for street resistance as we know it today. Presented in partnership with ANAGRAM
OPEN CITY DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL 2017 PARTIES VARIOUS VENUES | CHECK WEBSITE FOR DETAILS Beyond the screenings and workshops, there will also be a variety of parties, networking events and socials during the festival. Events include opening and closing night drinks, live music events, gigs, and daily networking at our new festival hub - the bargehouse. Keep an eye on social media and the website for further details on these.
All industry events are £5 for members of the public or free entry with an industry accreditation. All information is correct at the time of going to press. Speaker updates and any changes to the programme will be announced online, please go to www.opencitylondon.com for full details.
Workshops, events & talks opencitylondon.com
Open City Documentary Festival
INDUSTRY | Wednesday, 6 September
IMAGE © REUTERS/MARKO DJURICA
NEW METHODS // OLD STORIES - HOW ARE FILMMAKERS COVERING THE CRISIS THAT WON’T GO AWAY Wed 6 Sep | 11:15 | Bargehouse
The war in Syria is responsible for a surge that has shaken Europe, but economic inequality, persistent conflicts, and climate change will continue to drive people to migrate in search of better lives. This story poses many problems for filmmakers, from audience fatigue, to media outlets to commission, to ethical issues around telling stories of people at their most vulnerable. How do filmmakers get beyond the clichés so that the stories will get noticed?
INNER LANDSCAPES ESSAYISTIC APPROACH TO DOCUMENTARY FORM WITH OLIVIER SMOLDERS Wed 6 Sep | 14:00 | Bargehouse In his documentary essays Olivier Smolders takes us on singular journeys in which we dive into his or his character’s inner landscapes. The images he films explore personal perceptions and imaginary realms. Through an introduction to his work we will explore how non-fiction filmmaking can approach intangible worlds and inner images while still holding on to reality. Supported by the Embassy of Belgium
INDUSTRY | Wednesday & Thursday, 6/7 September
GOOD FILM MAKING WITH GOOD INTENTIONS: WORKING WITH NGOS Wed 6 Sep | 13:00 | Bargehouse
In his documentary essays Olivier Smolders takes us on singular journeys in which we dive into his or his characters inner landscapes. The images he films explore personal perceptions and imaginary realms. Through an introduction to his work we will explore how non-fiction filmmaking can approach intangible worlds and inner images while still holding on to reality. Presented in partnership with Thomson Reuters
SHORT FILM FESTIVAL STRATEGY WITH THE BRITISH COUNCIL Wed 6 Sep | 15:00 | Bargehouse So you’ve made a short film, but what should you do next? The festival circuit is an essential part of any filmmaker’s career – but navigating it can be daunting and submissions can be timely and expensive. This session will discuss the importance of film festivals and talk about how you should be approaching them with your work. The session will involve looking at an inspiring case study from a current documentary filmmaker who’s had festival success, and other industry professionals as they discuss their advice and experience.
GRAPPLING WITH THE DOCUMENTARY STORY
VITALY MANSKY MASTERCLASS
Wed 6 Sep | 16:00 | Bargehouse
Wed 6 Sep | 18:30 | Bertha DocHouse
They say that a director always makes three films: the one they planned, the one they filmed, and the one they discover in the edit. Never is this more true than in documentary, where the filmmakers who excel are those who can not only write, dream, plan and structure but also learn to let go. Finding the film in the edit is often described as a director’s favourite moment, and their biggest challenge. This panel hears from directors, an executive producer and an editor as they discuss how to get the best out of their documentary stories.
Mansky graduated VGIK - All-Russian State Institute of Cinematography in 1989 and has since gone on to make dozens of films working as both a director and producer for contemporaries such as Sergey Loznitsa. He is also the founder and Artistic Director of Art Dok Fest in Riga, Latvia. We begin our focus with this Masterclass event, during which Mansky will discuss his wide-ranging and prolific career as well as his approach to his filmmaking practice.
MAKING A LIVING AS A FILMMAKER
Thu 7 Sep | 11:15 | Bargehouse
Thu 7 Sep | 13:30 | Bargehouse
This workshop discusses a turn in anthropological filmmaking: a creative blending of fact and fiction, ethnographic observation, archival history, literary theory and memoir. Barbara Knorpp will be in conversation with filmmakers from this year's film programme to consider the politics and aesthetics of ethnofiction in relation to current debates in ethnographic film around collaboration and selfrepresentation. Participating filmmakers will share their experiences of these approaches.
Hosted by BAFTA winning documentary filmmaker and DocHeads co-founder Tristan Anderson, a panel of experts will discuss the big question of how to get paid to make films. The session will focus on the changing landscape of production, distribution and commissioning. Asking filmmakers how they do it and getting the lowdown from gatekeepers on how to get paid. In partnership with DocHeads
Open City Documentary Festival
INDUSTRY | Thursday, 7 September
DOCUMENTARY DISTRIBUTION IN THE DIGITAL AGE Thu 7 Sep | 14:00 | Bargehouse
Documentary distribution channels and specialised distributors try to create new ways for audiences to view docs. This panel will look at how independent filmmakers can exploit their works in this new world and will focus on digital platforms, specialised theatrical and traditional distribution windows. It will examine at which stage filmmakers should start these discussions and how much they should be marketing their works themselves. We will also explore if distribution requires new approaches that are specialised to distribution in the digital age.
INDUSTRY | Friday, 8 September
MEET THE FILMMAKERS Thu 7 Sep | 15:30 | Bargehouse A chance to hear from the filmmakers of Open City Documentary Festival 2017 about their inspirations, working practice and upcoming projects. Join us for a quick fire round of presentations from the filmmakers we are showcasing at this year’s festival. THIS IS A FREE ENTRY EVENT
TOGETHER FILMS PRESENT THE ART OF IMPACT Fri 8 Sep | 11:15 | Bargehouse In an increasingly fragmented world in conflict, the role of the artist has become more crucial than ever. What is the role of the artist and documentary community to create lasting impact and social change? Through the analysis of an art-documentary case study, TF will demonstrate their working process and the steps to consider when developing an effective impact distribution strategy. Starting with the basics of issue context and campaign aims, working through audience analysis, relationship management and distribution platform choices.
SELECTIVE MEMORY REPURPOSING THE ARCHIVE WITH MIRANDA PENNELL Fri 8 Sep | 13:00 | Bargehouse Miranda Pennell’s films rework archival materials in order to generate new, critical histories. In this session, she will talk about the challenge of searching for traces of experiences that have been excluded or marginalised from the official record. What are the ethics and politics of archival appropriation, and which strategies will generate engaged, ‘active’ histories? Using examples from her recent and current work, she will talk about the creative ‘misuse’ of archival materials, the mixing of personal documents with official records, and the relationship between archival fact and fiction.
IN THE DARK PRESENTS: IN THE CITY ROUGH CUTS FESTIVAL SPECIAL: MARC SCHMIDT Thu 7 Sep | 16:00 | Bargehouse We present a regular evening of documentary and non-fiction works-in-progress where independent filmmakers and audio doc-makers are invited to present their current projects and test out new work at various stages of completion. At this special edition of Rough Cuts for the festival, we will be welcoming Marc Schmidt to present his latest work in progress, In the Arms of Morpheus. A violent nightmare, Marc, for weeks in a row, incited this cinematic exploration of the elusive world of sleep. It is an ambitious and adventurous documentary, an attempt to catch the mental states at night. opencitylondon.com
Thu 7 Sep | 17:30 | Bargehouse Close your eyes and open your ears to the hidden stories of the city. In The Dark is a collective of audio producers who curate listening events for gathered audiences - a bit like a cinema (but without the pictures). For this year’s Open City Documentary Festival they have looted the archives to bring audio from radio, podcasts and sound art that explore urban secrets, past and present.
Open City Documentary Festival
THE SCHOOL OF SOUND PRESENTS: WHAT IS REAL? Fri 8 Sep | 14:00 | Bargehouse As the differences blur between documentary and fiction films, knowing what is real and what is constructed becomes ever more difficult for the audience. This is especially true of the soundtrack where various forms of processing and manipulation can be easily done - and not easily detected. But how are audiences meant to understand whether what they hear is real or fabricated by the filmmaker? And does it matter? Larry Sider will lead a panel who will look into this dilemma which concerns technical, as well as ethical, issues.
JOHN SMITH: GIVE CHANCE A CHANCE Fri 8 Sep | 15:00 | Bargehouse Ever since he made his first films in the early 1970s, John Smith has allowed chance to play an important part in his work. His films are often based on formal ideas that let chance determine their shape, allowing accidental encounters and unforeseen events to send them off in new and surprising directions. Starting with The Girl Chewing Gum (1976), John will talk about how he first became fascinated by the potential of chance and how he incorporates it as an integral part of his working process.
FLAMIN PRESENTS: HYBRID DOCS Fri 8 Sep | 16:00 | Bargehouse Hybrid forms of documentary cinema, that operate at the intersection of art and film, can be seen both as problematic and as presenting exciting new possibilities. The panel will discuss the rewards and challenges inherent in producing and presenting hybrid works. This panel event will be chaired by Maggie Ellis, Head of Artists’ Moving Image, FLAMIN in discussion with Gareth Evans (Whitechapel Gallery) Laura Purseglove (Artangel) and Andrea Lissoni (Tate).
CINEMATIC FEATURE DOCS WORKFLOW: A CASE STUDY WITH MOLINARE Sat 9 Sep | 11:00 | Bargehouse Renowned editor and director of ‘Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo’, David Fairhead will share his insights into the journey of making a feature documentary. He will be joined by the producer of ‘The Last Man on the Moon’ and ‘Mission Control’, Gareth Dodds and BAFTA winning Head of Documentary Feature Sound George Foulgham, as they discuss what happens when projects finish editing, and the differences between TV and cinema documentary post production. George’s credits include Oscar winners ‘Man on Wire’ and ‘The White Helmets’, and Oscar nominated 'Virunga'.
INDUSTRY | Saturday & Sunday, 9/10 September
WADING THROUGH THE FEATURE DOC FUNDING LANDSCAPE Fri 8 Sep | 17:00 | Bargehouse Making a film is a huge undertaking, and definitely not for the faint of heart. A major part of the process is generating funds so you need to understand the landscape and recognise the difference between the budget you would like and the budget you can live with. Industry experts will lead you through key steps, from creating a pitch that sounds exciting and reflects knowledge of both the subject and the audiences you’re targeting, through to knowing your funders. This workshop will give you a basic toolkit to help you on your journey to getting your film funded.
THE SIXTH WALL PODCAST: A LIVE RECORDED SESSION Sat 9 Sep | 13:00 | Bargehouse Ever wanted to hear what the ‘character’ from a documentary really thought of the process of having their every moment filmed, scrutinised and edited into a version of reality for an audience? In each monthly episode from new podcast The Sixth Wall a different documentary character will take the reigns in leading a conversation with their filmmaker about the doc they made together, about the dynamics of their relationship and about the very nature of telling ‘true stories’. Open City Documentary Festival celebrates the launch of The Sixth Wall with a live recorded session with filmmaker Chloe Ruthven who made Mario and Nini.
KÖTTING’S KÖLLABORATORS & KÖNFABULATORS Sat 9 Sep | 14:00 | Bargehouse Andrew Kötting will be trawling through his back catalogue of work - ever mindful of the enormous impact that collaboration has had on his practice – from his earliest forays into filmmaking with the fiddlesmith Leila McMillan through his feature film output with cinematographer Nick Gordon Smith and out the other side with the likes of Iain Sinclair, Jem Finer, Toby Jones, Claudia Barton and in particular his daughter Eden.
THE BODY POLITIC Sat 9 Sep | 15:30 | Bargehouse Throughout history, the female body has been the subject of political, social, and philosophical discussions. Mania Akbari grew up in a society characterised by patriarchy and autocracy, under a government that, based on values driven by religion and tradition, wants to control the body of a woman. Here we will explore the possibilities for navigating these restrictions through complex and inventive visual forms that allow women artists to use their bodies expressively. Examining images and film clips, we will look at the reflection of the female body in cinema and visual
arts, before and after the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Mania Akbari will be in conversation with Sophie Mayer (author of Political Animals: The New Feminist Cinema) and Vali Mahlouji (Iranian art curator and writer.
INDUSTRY | Friday & Saturday, 8/9 September
RADIO ATLAS PRESENTS: REQUIEM FROM A CEMETERY Sat 9 Sep | 16:00 | Bargehouse Everyone in this story is dead. Everyone except its storyteller, Bengt Bok. As he walks around a cemetery, the voices of people he’s interviewed in the past emerge from the earth. Radio Atlas is an online platform for subtitled audio, designed to help you explore great documentaries and sound art created in languages you don’t necessarily speak. Requiem from a Cemetery was first broadcast on Sveriges Radio in 2016.
THE ESSAY FILM: BRINGING AN EXPERIMENTAL SENSIBILITY TO DOCUMENTARY FILM CULTURE? Sun 10 Sep | 11:00 | Bargehouse The essay film marks the intersection of documentary and experimental modes of filmmaking. From documentary it takes a desire to explore diverse experiences of reality, the everyday, and processes of social and political change, both past and present. From experimental film it takes a critical engagement with form, asking tough questions artistically and ethically. In this discussion, Michael Temple (Essay Film Festival) asks a panel of filmmakers if the essay film has today become a focal point for practitioners seeking to break out of the conventional formats of documentary, and to find more “heretical” forms of engaging with the real. Presented in partnership with Essay Film Festival
Open City Documentary Festival
INDUSTRY | Sunday, 10 September
OPEN CITY DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL SURGERIES
IN THE DARK PRESENTS RADIO THAT INSPIRED THE PODCASTING WORLD Sun 10 September | 13:00 | Bargehouse
The rise in popularity of podcasting has prompted many to call this the second golden age of radio. Yet creative audio remains an art form without an accessible history. In this session, Nina Garthwaite, Director of the radio collective In The Dark, plays clips from some influential audio works you’re unlikely to have heard. She will also introduce a new project, run in collaboration with UCL, Open City Documentary Festival and Radio Atlas, that is unearthing the works that have shaped the contemporary audio landscapes.
PATCHWORK ARCHIVISTS PRESENT EXISTENCE AS RESISTANCE Sun 10 September | 13:15 | Bargehouse Patchwork Archivists are a grassroots creative archiving collective – bringing together intercultural communities of the South Asian diasporas to explore the significance of sharing stories and memories passed down through generations. Patchwork are curating a session of film and conversation, looking at the ordinary lives of the South Asian diasporas in Britain, and reframing these experiences as politicised acts of resistance. By creating a dialogue around the films in focus and facilitating cross-cultural sharing, they will explore how the personal is inherently political.
Grab your 15 minutes of dedicated one-to-one time to talk directly with the industry experts, including curators, funders, commissioners, producers, and more. Sign up after you have accredited for the festival. On a first come first served basis. Available to accredited guests only. (SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY)
IMPACT AND DISTRIBUTION
SHORT FORM PLATFORMS
Wed 6 Sep | 16:00 | Bargehouse
Fri 8 Sep | 16:00 | Bargehouse
Book your place with impact and distribution experts from MUBI, Together Films and Dogwoof.
Book your place with short form platform experts from NOWNESS, Vice and The Guardian.
DEVELOPMENT AND FUNDING
Thu 7 Sep | 16:00 | Bargehouse Book your place with development and funding experts from BFI NETWORK and BRITDOC.
Sat 9 Sep | 16:00 | Bargehouse Book your place with production experts from companies across the UK film landscape
NETWORKING HAPPY HOUR Wed 6 – Sat 9 Sep | 17:00-18:30 | Bargehouse
SOUND // MUSIC // IMAGE Sun 10 September | 15:00 | Bargehouse The relationships between sound, music and image define the meaning and message of any film, be it documentary or fiction. But while the picture is carefully considered in the shoot and edit, sound - and later, music - are often left to fend for themselves. Using The Sky Trembles and the Earth is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers as a case study, director Ben Rivers, sound designer Philippe Ciompi, explain their working relationship and the methods they used to effectively integrate image, sound and music. Presented in partnership with The School of Sound
STORIES OF THE HEART – A TALK WITH KAITLIN PREST Sun 10 Sep | 15:15 | Bargehouse Kaitlin Prest, creator of Radiotopia's The Heart Podcast took years to find her voice. She speaks of learning how to make personal documentaries about things that are nearly impossible to document; pleasure, love, heartbreak, a consent breach. She reveals the ways that sound and story can be used to render the truth of the most unspeakable parts of life. She shares the struggles of producing feminist work in a public radio environment. In this session, Kaitlin takes us through her journey as an audio artist, her award winning audio and performance work, and her trials and errors along the way.
There will be plenty of opportunities to meet other festival attendees and filmmakers in our new hub - the Bargehouse. From Wednesday to Saturday, come and enjoy a drink with us. Provided by Five Points Brewery, Square Roots Juices London, Jensens Gin and Lofbergs Coffee. Keep up with social media for further details of the festival's parties this year.
EXPERIENCING THE REAL : VR AND THE DOCUMENTARY
EXPERIENCING THE REAL:
VR AND THE DOCUMENTARY Our festival is part of an ecosystem operating out of UCL that connects documentary film training, exhibition and research. From the beginning of the academic year 2017-2018, our MA launches a new pathway for up to 30 students exploring Immersive Storytelling, so it seemed an appropriate moment to significantly expand our offering of VR activities at the festival. Starting with a series of talks and discussions hosted by our partner, Digital Catapult, and then moving over to the Bargehouse for the rest of the festival, we are aiming to go beyond the hype and
MASTERCLASS WITH ARNAUD COLINART Wed 6 Sep | 11:00 | Digital Catapult A step-by-step masterclass on VR as companion-piece to documentary film -from ideation, to production, to distribution. Lindsey Dryden talks with Arnaud Colinart about the innovative and award-winning project, Notes on Blindness and presents her own project, Unrest.
STORYTELLERS & SCIENTISTS IN CONVERSATION: THE ART & SCIENCE OF VR Wed 6 Sep | 12:30 | Digital Catapult We’re often told virtual reality is the future of entertainment. But what if, alongside entertaining you, VR can also make you a more self-fulfilled person? In this panel, storytellers and scientists, explore the intersection between story and science in VR. How does our brain react to VR? Can neurobiology help us tell more effective stories? What can scientists learn from VR storytelling? How can filmmakers fully exploit these ideas and how are scientists and storytellers working together to further push the limits of immersive experiences? IMAGE © VIRTUAL UMBRELLA
explore what immersive platforms are really ‘for’. We want to bring the worlds of film and game makers into closer conversation while also offering a broader public access to the exhibition and debate. We are very grateful to all the innovative companies and individuals who have offered their advice, time and support, among these few are more likely to sense where this medium is going than William Uricchio.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE: THE FUTURE OF THE COLLECTIVE VR EXPERIENCE Wed 6 Sep | 14:15 | Digital Catapult Virtual Reality content is growing exponentially even though VR is only currently available to a tiny minority of interested consumers. How do we address the issues of accessibility and democratisation of immersive production, creation and consumption? From web VR to social VR caves to Mega Pods to AR, this session will explore ways of shifting VR from a branded, private experience into something more accessible, public and even collaborative.
HOW VR COULD CHANGE OUR CULTURE, OUR RELATIONSHIPS AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN Wed 6 Sep | 15:30 | Digital Catapult Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Realities have the potential to deeply affect our culture and change our relationships with both the digitised world and ourselves. In this panel, VR Creators explore the role of empathy in immersive storytelling, the editorial and ethical challenges of the medium, gaming, and the next generation of technology.
CLOSING KEYNOTE : WILLIAM URRICHIO OF MIT OPEN DOCUMENTARY LAB Wed 6 Sep | 18:00 | Digital Catapult No one yet knows what VR is 'for', what stories and experiences can best be conveyed in a headset or other immersive environment. William Urrichio, the principal investigator in the MIT Game Lab and expert in comparative media studies, will explore how filmmakers can fully exploit the huge potential of VR, where to look for creative inspiration, and what VR can contribute to the documentary tradition. Uricchio's unique perspective comes from his research of "old" media when they were new. His published work explores how media technologies and cultural behaviours interact and how they are used for purposes of representation, indication, the formation of publics, and power. He uses historical precedent to anticipate the behaviours of the new, and draws upon the new to reveal long-overlooked patterns in the historical past.
GAMING AND STORYTELLING IN IMMERSIVE ENVIRONMENTS
© DIGITAL CATAPULT
WEDNESDAY, 6 SEPTEMBER
Wed 6 Sep | 16:45 | Digital Catapult
Game developers were working with VR long before the rest of us had even seen a headset. VR’s first life was in video games. While filmmakers are still trying to get to grips with VR and its grammar, gamers have years of experience in creating immersive narratives. What are the secrets of making a great game story? And how can VR creators use these approaches in documentary immersive storytelling? Panellists, including expert games designers and high-profile content creators, share their top tips.
VIRTUAL REALITY AT BARGEHOUSE
Thu 7 - Sun 10 Sep | Bargehouse
This year we will be showcasing the tech-enabled immersive factual storytelling of tomorrow. Alongside the series of creator-led talks and discussions at digital catapult, we will exhibit a selection of some the most technically innovative and artistically compelling VR and immersive experiences in the UK today. Check website for full details.
School Events Open City Docs and MA Ethnographic & Documentary Film by Practice at UCL present: BOOTCAMP Wed 6 – Sat 9 Sep | 11:00 | Bargehouse
14th November - 12th December This very popular course is targeted towards documentary practitioners who are preparing, shooting or editing their documentary, scholars who want to analyse or write about documentaries, and people who are simply passionate about non-fiction films. Keeping the balance between the theory OF practice and the theory IN practice, each session will include discussions of how theoretical concepts relate to formal considerations in documentary filmmaking.
FILM THEORY EXPERIMENTAL ETHNOGRAPHIC AND DOCUMENTARY FILMS
Open to accredited students only. Subject to availability.
26th November 2017 - 28th January 2018
Open City Docs & UCL present: YOUTH DAY Thu 8 Sep | Bertha DocHouse and University College London Open City Docs School and UCL present a day of film-related events with pupils from a local girls’ secondary school. Following a screening of student films at Bertha DocHouse, there will be hands-on filmmaking workshops and a tour of the UCL campus. (THIS IS A CLOSED EVENT)
Since 2014 Open City Docs School has been running courses in the Department of Anthropology at University College London covering documentary filmmaking from all angles: from film theory with Dr Catalin Brylla and Barbara Knorpp, practical documentary filmmaking with Isis Thompson and a range of workshops with award-winning filmmakers. We provide professional filmmaking equipment for all our practical courses and our students have access to our Mac based editing facilities.
These Masterclasses will be focused on getting ready to enter the industry. As MA students complete their final project, these sessions will be about preparing for the next steps in your career. There will be one event daily at 11am in the festival hub. These sessions include distribution strategies for your short films, the best way to find work in TV, other forms of work for the newly graduated and mastering your networking skills.
Open City Documentary Festival
The Ethnographic and Documentary Film eight week evening course provides opportunities to watch classic and experimental ethnographic and documentary films and to critically engage with the politics of image making. Starting from silent cinema of Robert Flaherty and use of montage of Russian filmmakers in the 1920s, to video diaries in New York by Jonas Mekas, French cinéma vérité and indigenous filmmaking in Brazil, the course will give a historic overview on how the genre of ethnographic film has changed from seemingly scientific accounts to staged authenticity, and from experimental modes to collage, made of found footage.
INTRODUCTION TO SHOOTING DOCUMENTARY 19th January - 2nd February 2018 Over three Saturdays you will learn the camera skills essential to shooting in the documentary style. Through a series of camera exercises of increasing complexity you will learn a number of skills including hand held shooting technique using a professional camera and filming for the edit. You will also go through the editing process with an editor who is cutting their current project. You will go through raw material and learn why certain choices were made in the bringing together of a scene
SUMMER FILM SCHOOL 2018 with Dieter Deswarte and Marc Isaacs 2nd July - 20th July 2018 The Summer Film School is back covering all the skills needed to direct, shoot and edit documentary. Perfect for anyone who wants to produce non-fiction video content. Over a three-week period (with a further three weeks independent production supported by the course tutors), students will build the technical and analytical skills needed to complete a documentary film project, with the aim to produce a short 5-10 min doc. Tutors include Dieter Deswarte and BAFTA award-winning Marc Isaacs.
MA Creative and
Collaborative Enterprise Who would think of earning a living by building high quality photo booths equipped with fancy dress hats and masks targeted at teens and their families? This programme is for those who intend to start and run innovative businesses where the way you do things is as important a what you do. You will develop a critical methodology towards creative processes, storytelling, visual language, ethics, collaboration, leadership, competitiveness, and organisational structures; and a rigorous application of theory to your own business ideas. The MA will produce creative and collaborative entrepreneurs that are socially aware and intellectually literate with the tenacity to push on. This MA will prepare you to enter, engage with and thrive in this new environment. All students will take An Introduction to Understanding the Social World – a foundation course at the start of the year oriented to students who are new to social science. In this way the programme draws on the world-class expertise and resources in the Department of Anthropology to give a grounding in social theory and analysis, social research methods, including ethnographic approaches to the study of contemporary society and their interface with professional practices in the world at large. This new MA programme uses the model of the successful MSc Entrepreneurship course run by UCL School of Management with eight core modules and a 10,000 word dissertation outlining the student’s own business feasibility plan.
Tickets + Booking Tickets available online through the website or by visiting the relevant venue. Please visit www.opencitylondon.com for full details and booking information. INDUSTRY ACCREDITATION is also available, granting you free access to all workshops and industry events throughout the festival, as well as to ticket requests to screenings (subject to availability) and to the rush queue at venues. It will also allow you to access our festival video library at the Festival Hub at Bargehouse, daily networking events with other delegates, and exclusive Press & Industry screenings. Additionally, we offer STUDENT ACCREDITATION, granting students free access to all workshops and industry events throughout the festival, including the Open City Docs Bootcamp, and access to our festival video library at the Bargehouse. For more information and to apply visit: www.opencitylondon.com/industry
Venues FESTIVAL HUB: Bargehouse Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London SE1 9PH Picturehouse Central Corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and Great Windmill Street, London W1D 7DH Regent Street Cinema 309 Regent St, London W1B 2UW ICA The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH Hackney Picturehouse
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, INCLUDING HOW TO APPLY, GO TO: www.ucl.ac.uk/anthropology/studying/ma-creative-collaborative-enterprise OR CONTACT firstname.lastname@example.org
270 Mare Street, London E8 1HE Bertha DocHouse Screen Curzon Bloomsbury, The Brunswick, London WC1N 1AW
53 The Castle Cinema First Floor, 64 - 66 Brooksby’s Walk, London E9 6DA Genesis Cinema 93-95 Mile End Rd, London E1 4UJ Crouch End Picturehouse 165 Tottenham Lane, London N8 9BY The British Library 96 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2DB Tate Modern Bankside, London SE1 9TG Horse Hospital Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD Digital Catapult 101 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2RA
Thanks OPEN CITY DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL TEAM
As a not-for-profit organisation, Open City Docs relies on our generous supporters and sponsors to continue to support London’s next generation of non-fiction filmmakers and champion the art of creative documentary.
Michael Stewart - Founding Director Leona Chaliha - Head of Creative Development Oliver Wright - Programmer Laurence Avis - Shorts Programmer Alberto Pickers - Festival Manager Alex Karotsch - Marketing Manager Rachel Devenport - Press Manager Emma Green - Social Media Manager Jade Turner - Social Media Assistant Nick Mastrini - Marketing & PR Assistant Maureen Gueunet - Audience Development Rianna Enahoro - Audience Development Jacqueline Wang - Audience Development Alay Paun - Production Manager Carolina Böninger - Delegate Services Coordinator James Collie - School Coordinator Isis Thompson - School Assistant Rob Brown - Web Development Lewis Heriz - Illustration Meurig Rees - Design Grizzle Productions - Festival Trailer
If you would like to support the festival or any of our activities, please consider donating. We are part of UCL which has charitable status and all gifts can be gift aided. Head to our website to find out more about the benefits of supporting Open City Docs.
FOUNDING SUPPORTERS Mick Csaky & Christopher Hir
YOUR CONNECTION TO FRENCH-SPEAKING BELGIAN DOCS Your cultural news from Wallonia-Brussels in the UK on
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For general enquiries: email@example.com Facebook: OpenCityLondon Twitter: @OpenCityDocs All information is correct at the time of going to press. Please check the website and register for email newsletters for the most up to date information. www.opencitylondon.com
THANKS TO Elizabeth Wood, Jenny Horwell, Chloe Trayner, Josh Hughes, Emily Copley, Chris Harris, Shira Macleod, Nico Marzano, Sophie Cain, Sophie Jenkins, Danielle Swift, Asher Charman, Carly Whitefield, Tristan Anderson, Matt Turner, Stella Bruzzi, Katie Canada-Chwieroth, Julie Parmenter, Tom Rogers, Leigh Myers, Doreen Joy Barber, Ben Winders, Amanda Knowles, Alice Cabanas, Christine Bardsley, Jim Dummett, Clarissa Carlyon, Suzy Gillett, Melissa Milioto, Josephine Rousseau, David Beck, Alex Fox, Amy Basil, Jodie Taylor, Jane Ray, Megan O’Hara, Sarah Mosses, Rebecca Ashdown, Will Theakston, Ed Owles, Isabel Shapiro, Matimba Kabalika, Jon Fawcett, Jordan Rowe, Nina Garthwaite, Gavin Humphries, Maggie Ellis, Rose Cupit, Philip Ilson, Mike Lerner, Konstantinos Papageorgiou, Martha Williams, Larry Sider, Christian Errboe Jensen, Stephanie Lawrence, Kristina Pringle, Bobbie Hughes, Muffin Hix, Josefeen Foxter, Anna Wates, Martha Margetson, James Burbidge, Luke Wilson, Roger Burton, Sophie Outhwaite.
SPECIAL THANKS TO UCL President & Provost Michael Arthur, Stella Bruzzi, Susanne Kuechler, Catherine Stokes, Paul Carter-Bowman, Martin O’Connor, Catherine Thomson, Mary Fulbrook, Alan Penn, Jan Kubik, Tamar Garb, Ian Davis, Anthony Steed, Darren Emerson, Xuenyi Pan, Sol Rogers, Helen Prentice, Chris Hagisavva, Keiko Homewood, and to all of the Open City Docs School tutors: Richard Alwyn, Tristan Anderson, Tim Bamber, Bonnie Rae Brickman, Juliet Brown, Catalin Brylla, Katie Burningham, Simon Chambers, Dieter Deswarte, Ludovica Fales, Ariadna Fatjo-Vilas, Sophie Fiennes, Grant Gee, Xiaolu Guo, Chloe Hadjimatheou, Marc Isaacs, Lasse Johansson, Dan Kinder, Barbara Knorpp, Andrew Kotting, Mark Le Fanu, EJ Major, Havana Marking, James Price, Lucy Sandys-Winsch, Marc Schmidt, Sandhya Suri, Isis Thompson, Dionne Walker, and Penny Woolcock.
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