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Cinema | © Jahel Guerra
Cinema | © Jahel Guerra

The Open City Documentary Festival 2016

Picture of Paula Koller-Alonso
Updated: 19 December 2016
Documentaries break the fantasy of fictional films, and showcase the reality that is at times concealed to us. Portraying the ‘truth’, documentaries try to uncover the facts and verity of around the world in order to teach us about the lives of people, historical events, or simply the natural world. The Open City Documentary Festival celebrates and showcases the best documentaries in the film world. This year will see the 6th annual season in London, and there is a lot in stock.

The Open Documentary Festival is the first and only documentary and non-fiction film festival in London. The festival tries to bring the best global cinematic documentaries to London in an atmosphere that truly celebrates and praises the type of film that is usually overlooked amongst dramas and comedies. As opposed to other film festivals, the Open Docs has created an environment where documentaries are as critically acclaimed as any other film genre. Indeed, witnessing the success of documentary films, such as Making a Murderer or the older The Inconvenient Truth, shows the public that they can and should be interested in documentaries from around the world, as they create a thought-provoking experience for the viewer.


© Jahel Guerra

The Open City Documentary Festival | © Jahel Guerra


The festival is in collaboration with 12 venues across London that will showcase the best documentaries. Some of these cinemas include: Picturehouse Central, ICA, Regent Street Cinema and JW3. The festival is planned to screen over 40 films, along with three programmes of short films. As well as this, there will be special events that include master classes for the next generation of documentary filmmakers. These classes will explain the industry, the technological advances in film-making, and the development of documentaries across the decades. There will also be a variety of talks by industry moguls, and networking drinks and parties where aspiring documentary creators and experts can mix and mingle to discuss the future of film.

The full line-up is yet to be decided. Any filmmaker can send in and apply their documentary for a chance to be featured in the festival. Although, two acts have already been selected: The Ross Brothers and Vincent Moon. The Ross Brothers are among the most exciting non-fiction and documentary filmmakers. Their work is widely acknowledged in the film industry and their documentaries are innovative and original. This is a unique chance to watch a screening of their work, since their films are rarely shown in the UK. Their featured documentaries are part of their ‘Americana Trilogy’, which includes the movies 45365, Tchoupitoulas and Western. Whereas, Vincent Moon is a French experimental ethnographer who will be hosting a talk presenting his body of work on ethnography. His diverse findings move across film, audio and performances; allowing for a compelling presentation that is not to be missed.


Western, 2015 | © Phil & Turner Ross

Western, 2015 | © Phil & Turner Ross


Founded by Michael Stewart, the Open City Documentary Festival is where the next generation of filmmakers is not only nurtured but trained, and only the best of documentary is celebrated and shown. So, make sure you head down to one of its venues, and enjoy a variety of non-fictional film that will inspire and provoke your thoughts.

21 – 26 June 2016