LIDF documents the world
The UK’s premier independent documentary showcase – The London International Documentary Festival – runs from 23 April to 8 May this year, featuring more than 130 films from 36 countries, bringing the world’s stories to the capital.
Among the festival highlights are the UK premiere of Napoli, Napoli, Napoli by acclaimed filmmaker Abel Ferrara (Bad Lieutenant, Driller Killer), detailing the lives of prisoners in a Neapolitan jail, and the European premiere of Playground, executive produced by George Clooney and directed by Libby Spears, dealing with child sexual exploitation.
A retrospective of the work of Scottish filmmaker Don Boyd will include the previously unseen Hamlet in China, while 11 films will focus on the culture and daily life of people in Pakistan. A series of debates and discussions will accompany the programme, along with screenings of documentaries from many seldom-seen corners of the world.
Beyond its original brief as a documentary film festival, LIDF 2010 includes still images and audio, featuring a day of talk, film, audio and photography investigating city fringe spaces in North East London – The Invisible City.
For further information please contact Fiona Hazard, LIDF Press Office, tel: 07786 435595.
Mon 26 April - 6pm
Full Frontal in Flip-Flops Director: Don Boyd Country: UK // Year: 1998 // Run Time: 52min
Documentary celebrating the 50th anniversary of British naturism.
The Babe Business Director: Don Boyd Country: UK // Year: 1993 // Run Time: 52min
A report on the many models - children, young teenagers, male models, runaway girls who live and work in New York. The staff of American `Vogue' provide comment and a part of the film was shot during the New York spring fashion collections. Top models including Christie Turlington, Naomi Campbell, and Kate Moss appear in front of and behind the stage and mix with the aspiring models. A portrait of life in New York from `the glitter to the gutter'.
Part of the LIDF Don Boyd Retrospective
Mon 26 April 8:30pm
Donald and Luba: A Family Movie Director: Don Boyd Country: UK // Year: 2000 // Run Time: 91min
+ Q&A with the director
Part of the LIDF Don Boyd Retrospective
Tue 27 April 6:30pm
Anything But Black Director: Ausra Linkeviciute Country: UK // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 20min
A glimpse into a rural town of Lithuania where a group of good-humoured elderly women share a unique attitude towards life and death.
Beautiful Sentence Director: Suzanne Cohen Country: UK // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 20min
Poet Leah Thorn is writer-in-residence at HMP Bronzefield, a high security women’s prison in Middlesex. Through her workshops we meet a variety of women striving to find a voice through creative writing. Personal histories, emotions and inner conflicts are revealed through their poems and interactions. The film explores the liberating and healing effect of creativity.
In association with International Student Ethnographic Film Festival
Tue 27 April 8pm
One Day After the 10th Day / Yek rooz pas az dahomin rooz Director: Narges Abyar Country: Iran // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 25min
An old man who is given a camel to look after by the village people finds himself bonding with the animal. A beautiful, and beautifully simple award-winning narrative. Cast: Ramtin Lavafipour, Ehsan Dadras, Mahmoud Khorsand, Emad Aghli, Jamal D
The Land of Jerry Cans Director: Paola Piacenza Country: Italy // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 29min UK Premiere
The Iran-Iraq border. Alias, a former freedom fighter, is the secretary of the Communist Party in Tawela, a village in Iraqi Kurdistan. Alias is also a smuggler.What the Iraqis have to smuggle “while the entire world fights a war for our oil”, is fuel.
Weds 28 April 6:30pm
Be water, my friend Director: Antonio Martino Country: Italy, Uzbekistan // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 14min
“What is today, is not what it was yesterday nor what it will be tomorrow.” In this sentence the despair and the resignation of the ex-fishermen of Muynaq, a little city on the ‘coast’ of the Aral Sea. The city, is a ghost of its former self, and its inhabitants the victims of an unstoppable environmental disaster.
The Town Dock Director: Melissa Davenport Country: USA // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 23min
The Town Dock is an unvarnished look at rural childhood. The film documents young people in a small town as they congregate and interact with each other, and with those from the 'outside.' The narrative explores freedom and fear; while the framing and sound-scape describe the fine line that ethnography walks between intimacy and display, privacy and performance.
Real-time sequences and constructed narrative time interweave against the tranquil backdrop of the lake and the town dock.
Immersion / Immersió Director: Neus Ballús Country: Spain// Year: 2009 // Run Time: 25min
Immersion explores the fascinating life of the aquatic creatures who submerge themselves in the warm waters of a local swimming pool - us. People of all ages and physical condition do what they can to accustom themselves to a medium that is not their own. The film, shot entirely below water, is literally an ‘immersion’.
In association with WaterAid and Ecover
Weds 28 April 8pm
On the Run With Abdul Director: James Newton, Kristian Hove, David Lalé Country: UK // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 24min
‘We went to Calais to make a film about teenage refugees trying to get into Britain. Then we met Abdul and suddenly everything changed.’ A film about the responsibilities of the first world, as well as documentary filmmakers.
Lonely Pack / Kleine Wölfe Director: Justin Peach Country: Germany // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 48min Film website www.lonelypack.com World Premiere
Together with eight other children, the eleven year old Sonu lives on the streets of Katmandu. Their daily routine is a fight to survive in the chaotic capital of Nepal: always on the prowl for food, drugs, charitable tourists and what they seek most - as small boys do anywhere– is fun and adventure. The life of Sonu and his pack is shaped by hunger and violence but is also filled with childlike moments of freedom on the streets!
This film follows ideas of Direct Cinema: no narrator, no music, no staging. We wanted to understand the everyday life of a street child in Kathmandu. The story is told by the kids themselves.
Thurs 29 April 8pm
Cropsey Director: Joshua Zeman, Barbara Brancaccio Country: USA // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 84min
Growing up on Staten Island, filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio had often heard the legend of ‘Cropsey.’ For the kids in their neighborhood, Cropsey was the escaped mental patient who lived in the old abandoned Willowbrook Mental Institution, who would come out late at night and snatch children off the streets. Sometimes Cropsey had a hook for a hand, other times he wielded a bloody axe, but it didn’t matter, Cropsey was always out there, lurking in the shadows, waiting to get them.
Later as teenagers, the filmmakers assumed Cropsey was just an urban legend: a cautionary tale used to keep them out of those abandoned buildings and stop them from doing all those things that teenagers like to do. That all changed in the summer of 1987 when a 13-year-old girl with Down syndrome, named Jennifer Schweiger, disappeared from their community. That was the summer all the kids from Staten Island discovered that their urban legend was real.
Now as adults Joshua and Barbara have returned to Staten Island to create Cropsey, a feature documentary that delves into the mystery behind Jennifer and four additional missing children. The film also investigates Andre Rand, the real-life boogeyman linked to their disappearances. Embarking on a mysterious journey into the underbelly of their forgotten borough, these filmmakers uncover a reality that is more terrifying than any urban legend.
Fri 30 April 8pm
Hacker Director: Alexander Biedermann Country: Germany // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 79min
In his debut film, Alexander Biedermann encounters five hackers and questions both their unusual daily existence and the reasons for their actions. Each of the characters feel a certain power in what they do. With only a few command lines they can wreak havoc, or, as they claim, instruct society. Though regarding themselves as keepers and guardians, they exist in a legal grey zone, and reveal complex personal biographies.
Weds 5 May 6pm
An Evening of UK Shorts: Part 1
The Gostvillage Project
The Space You Leave
Director: James Newton // Country: UK // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 10min An intimate portrait of three parents trying to come to terms with their missing children and struggling to move on with their own lives.
The Moscow Correspondence Director: Lottie Gammon // Country: UK // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 20min A group of journalists in a central Moscow newsroom struggle to find answers as life at the paper starts to unravel around them. Their owner, Alexander Lebedev, has made his message clear.
The Ghostvillage Project Director: Tim Daly // Country: UK // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 12min This short documentary was shot in October 2009 on the remote Cowal Peninsula in the West of Scotland. It details arts collective Agents Of Change's transformation of an abandoned village of Pollphail into an open air art gallery.
Hi High Rise Director: Jan Dixon, Emily Dixon // Country: UK // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 15min A film about people, preconceptions and 1960’s concrete. Hi High Rise is the first short film shot by photographic partnership TAPE and is shot entirely on a digital SLR. The documentary aims to challenge the preconceptions associated with tower block living in the UK and celebrate the successful community of Hornchurch Court, a high rise on the edge of Manchester city centre.
London Vampires Director: Trevor Hargreaves // Country: UK // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 15min Enter the underworld of London’s Vampire societies. With monthly meetings and rival groups what exactly do these individuals indulge in? Part romantic, goth, exhibitionists, cyber punk, their definitions elude the common passer by. Lady Isis is a black witch, from a family of witches; she explains the ‘thirst’ for these groups and the prejudice they have faced since the eighties. David is an occultist and, with Gareth his academic friend, they explore the dark realms and motivation behind the groups. Why do they dress like they are in a Hammer Horror film? Do they really drink blood? Are they aligned with satanic groups or are they just fantasists. This short documentary opens the lid on this secretive world and explores the real life vampires and their customs.
Weds 5 May 8pm
An Evening of UK Shorts: Part 2
The Devil’s Footprints Director: Nick Flintoff // Country: UK // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 13min Following a strange snowfall on February 6th 1855, the people of East Devon awoke to discover bipedal cloven footprints had passed through their villages. This short documentary explores the 100 mile trail and the recent return of the prints.
Everyday But Sunday Director: Rosa Russo // Country: UK // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 17min Hiwot is 12 years old and dreams of becoming a doctor. . She lives in a small Ethiopian village with her family in a two‐ room hut . After school, Hiwot spends hours on household chores until the evening, when she steals an hour to do her homework .
The Ferryman Director: Alexandra Mattholie // Country: UK // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 23min The Ferryman is a dreamlike portrayal of a ferry crossing on a river in Devon. Drifting slowly through chance encounters along the river and its shores, the film reveals the unexpected history of the ferryman, evoking a distinct feeling of character and place.
Manju Director: Eleanor Church// Country: UK / Dubai // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 25min World Premiere This is a personal story about Manju, a Sri Lankan domestic worker in Dubai. The film looks at why she left her young son behind to move to Dubai, and also at the growing Sri Lankan community around her where stories of family separation and its effects are everywhere.
Thurs 6 May 6:30pm
Man, God and Africa Director: Don Boyd Country: UK // Year: 1992 // Run Time: 52
While the media has focused on the violent history of South Africa, it has paid little attention to a social phenomenon of great importance. Some nine-million South African blacks live with a strong commitment to their religion, Pentecostal Christianity. Their faith has enabled them to survive appalling hardship and deprivation. Their religion is a blend of deep-rooted African traditions and the imported values of Christianity. This commitment could be a stabilizing force in the new South Africa. This film captures the joyous singing and rhythmic movement that is common to the various black churches. It shows the African influence on funerals, baptisms, and weddings. Through these ceremonies the churches foster a sense of community and pride at being black South African. Adherents cut across all social classes. One sees an educated civil rights lawyer practice centuries-old healing practices. We hear from representatives of the traditional Church hierarchy, such as Archbishop Tutu and Alan Boesack, who have a profound respect for the adaptation of Christianity to the African culture.
Part of the LIDF Don Boyd Retrosepctive
Thurs 6 May 8pm
Andrew and Jeremy Get Married Director: Don Boyd Country: UK // Year: 2004 // Run Time: 75min
Theirs is, at heart, a love story: Andrew and Jeremy met each other at Bromptons Club, a legendary gay bar in Earls Court, London. Despite a considerable age gap (Andy is 49, Jeremy 69) and stark social differences, they fell in love and began sharing their lives together. Five years later, in May 2004, they got married at an emotional and intimate Town Hall ceremony.
Andy is a retired bus driver from South London, handsome in that rough and roguish way. Jeremy is an English professor - cute, fussy, vivacious and clearly from a patrician world. Both men experienced painful early struggles with their sexuality. Jeremy had a failed marriage to a woman, followed by a misguided attempt to 'cure' himself. Andy cruised public washrooms and indulged with much promiscuity - gay bars, drug addiction, crime, prison and rehabilitation. Jeremy has literary connections and moves in a sphere of chic dinner parties, poetry readings and gay picnics. Between their homes in London and their exploits in Palm Springs and Hollywood, we get to know these likeable, complex and sensitive men in a way that is rare in movies - which is to say we begin to care deeply about them and their relationship.
Part of the LIDF Don Boyd Retrospective
Fri 7 May 7:30pm
Heart in the Wrong Place / Tener el corazon en el lugar equvocado Director: Josu Venero Country: Spain // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 17min
A short film which takes us into the world and creative process of Jose Antonio Sistiaga, an artist who paints his films by hand, frame by frame, as if each frame were a canvas. In the artist's home in Ciboure, in his small studio, we discover a world of colour on a table underneath plastic sheets. This is the beginning of some remarkable work. Unique. A magic universe that impregnates roll on roll of celluloid. The film follows carefully his path from the most intimate and private facets of his work to the screenings at La Geode Omnimax Theatre in Paris.
The World According to Ion B / Lumea Vazuta de Ion B Director: Alexander Nanau Country: Romania // Year: 2009 // Run Time: 61min
The film starts in 2008. Ion B is a 62 years old homeless man living in Bucharest. When he was young, Ion dreamed of becoming a film director. In the 70’s he started creating collages that he refers to as “my films”. In 2008, a young gallery owner hears by chance about Ion and his works. The homeless man shows him a few old suitcases filled with almost 1000 collages he had made between the 70’s and the 90’s. Only one year later, in 2009, Ion lives in a decent place and has become one of the most important contemporary Romanian artists.
This is a real life story of a genuine artist living at the border of the society and creating art in the real and true sense of it. For himself.
In association with the Romanian Cultural Institute
+ Q&A with the director