For lovers of non-fiction filmmaking, London’s Open City Documentary Festival is a must-attend every September. Inevitably, the pandemic has put a spanner in the works this year, but the fest will still be going ahead, albeit in an online-only format. It runs from September 9 to 15, with tickets onsale now.
The Open City line-up has just been announced and, as usual, it offers a compelling, thought-provoking mix of films tackling timely subjects and big questions.
Look out for the intriguing-sounding ‘Once Upon a Youth’ (pictured), a roadtrip across Croatia and through time that takes in Zagreb’s underground music scene of the mid-’90s, gauzily nostalgic memories of the past and the odd obscure video game. ‘A Radical Empathy’ charts the Haitian diaspora, while artist-filmmaker Jessica Sarah Rinland’s similarly outward-looking ‘Those That, at a Distance, Resemble Another’ follows an elephant tusk through some of the world’s most famous museums.
Refreshingly, of the 48 new docs on offer, fewer than half are by male filmmakers. It’s a curatorial focus that should broaden the perspectives and voices represented in really interesting ways.
And for the first time, the films will be readily available to virtual festivalgoers overseas. The organisers are promising ‘affordable online screenings accessible in the UK, special events live-streaming worldwide and an industry programme that is available free internationally.’
For the full programme and to book tickets, visit the Open City Documentary Festival website.
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