LIDF 2011

Certified Universal | Avijit Mukul Kishore

LIDF is the UK’s largest independent documentary festival providing a platform for radical and groundbreaking output from around the globe. In 2011 LIDF celebrates its fifth year with its most extensive programme to date running at venues across London from 13 May – 28 May.



16 May 2011 6:30 pm

Heroes and Heroines

World Premiere | Filippo Papini, Danilo Monte | Italy, Nepal | 52 mins

A day in the life of a group of Nepalese street children. The camera follows them as they wake, suffer the cold, search for glue to sniff, as they play games, as they laugh. In appalling conditions they survive, charming and reckless. But, someone is looking out for them in the middle of the city that ignores them.


UK Premiere | Annja Krautgasser | Austria | 16 mins

The camp, home to Roma and located in Rome’s Centocello neighborhood, represents normality. The world outside is a “hobby” and they don’t know precisely what it is. Or it’s a dream that fills out their reality. Reality is for them a dreary life of poverty and even worse prospects for employment. For this reason the young people who are given an opportunity to work with cameras and ask the questions in this video project tend to depict themselves while dreaming. Or actively shaping a social role they grow out of in their play with and in front of the camera rather than (re)presenting it as their personal fate.



16 May 2011 8:30 pm

Nothing But The Magnificent | Sara Cook | United Kingdom | 6 mins

‘Nothing But The Magnificent’ explores the disappearance, re-emergence and ultimate path to redemption of Graham Simpson, the enigmatic former bassist and original co-founder of Roxy Music. Following his recording of ‘Roxy Music’ in 1972, Simpson pre-maturely left the band. Rumours of breakdowns drug taking and religious quests fuelled his departure only a year before Brian Eno left.

Agadez: The Music and the Rebellion

World Premiere | Ron Wyman | Niger | 1:06:37 mins

Almost four years in the making, the film follows the rise of Omara Moctar known as "Bombino", a twenty nine year old Tuareg musician from Niger. Bombino has become a cult hero in Niger and represents a new generation of Tuareg. He is becoming known as one of the great guitar players of West Africa, influenced by the legendary Ali Farka Toure, Tinariwen and Jimi Hendrix.



17 May 2011 6:30 pm

Gorelovka – Episodes from the Life of a Disappearing Community

World Premiere | Alexander Kviria | Georgia, United Kingdom | 48 mins

The village of Gorelovka is located in Southern Georgia. It was founded in mid 19th century by Dukhobors, a group of Russian religious dissidents banished by Czar Nicholas I. They managed to keep their identity and traditions throughout the Soviet period. However, under political and economical pressure, many Dukhobors have now left Georgia and this ancient heritage will disappear with the last inhabitants.

How to Pick Berries

UK Premiere | Elina Talvenssari | Finland | 19 mins

Visitors from a distant place appear in the misty swamps of Northern Finland. As harmless as they are, their foreign presence unwittingly disrupts the peace of local inhabitants. They have come to look for berries, an activity that all of a sudden seems to embody all the values of the local culture. Who is to blame and where do the profits end up? How to Pick Berries is an exploration of the Finnish mind and the absurdities of the global economy.



17 May 2011 8:30 pm

A Celebration of Polish Documentary Film

Where the Sun Doesn’t Rush | Poland | 18min

H20 | Poland | 8min

Out of Reach | Poland | 29min

A Piece of Summer | Poland | 24min

More information HERE



18 May 2011 6:30 pm

Difficult Places

Really Hard be a Good Masai | UK Premiere | Gabriele Neudecker | Austria, Kenya | 10 mins

This moving portrait grants an intriguing insight into the live of adolescent Masai-warriors. In its entire complexity and variety the daily routine as well as the cycle of its accompanying shows for the tourists are demonstrated with the stylistic means of Direct Cinema - for which the script of director Gabriele Neudecker has been awarded. “Really hard be good Masai” is a chronicle of young Morani-warriors and a panorama of role-aspects between being guardian of tradition, modern teenager and tourist attraction.

Presented in association with the Austrian Cultural Forum (ACF) London

One Day in Smara | UK Premiere | Fany de la Chica | Spain | 24 mins

This film tells the story of one day in Smara, a refugee camp in the south of Algeria. Six characters and the Sahara: The past, present and future of a population without land who are still waiting, still asking, that their plight be heard.

Guañape Sur | UK Premiere | János Richter | Italy, Peru | 23 mins

A barren rock island off the coast of Peru. No soil, no water, but hundreds of thousands of birds. For ten years only two guards have been allowed to live on Guañape Sur. In the eleventh year though, hundreds of workers arrive for the harvest of the birds' excrement. An extraordinary sight. Reminiscent of the photography of Salgado.

The Camp | World Premiere | Mark Monti | Myanmar, Thailand, United Kingdom | 10 mins

The Mae La refugee camp, established in the mid 1980’s, is situated in the Tak Province of Thailand, near the picturesque Burmese border. The camp is home to predominantly more than 50,000 Karen people who have fled persecution from the military regime of Burma

Although free from the clutches of a military dictatorship, the area surrounding the camp is heavily guarded by Thai authorities. The refugees are trapped within the confines of barbed wire fences and access to the outside world is strictly forbidden. As a result, the refugee camp has developed into an enclosed, self-sustaining community. Resources and food are scarce and wholly dependent on aid but the refugees somehow manage to live some semblance of a life: Women weave cloth whilst children go to a make shift school and play in the water.



18 May 2011 8:30 pm


World Premiere | Heather McIntosh, Laura Wayne, Gerardo Carballo Valiño, Giovanbattista Tusa and Kenny Ozier Lafontaine | Cuba | 8 mins

A portrait of a nation in its twilight hour. Buildings crumble, revolutionaries age and an old man observes the stagnation and weariness that pervade his beloved city, Havana. The film captures Cuba poised between a past that has lost its meaning and a future that remains uncertain.

Timeless River

UK Premiere | Anja Medved, Nadja Veluscek | Italy, Slovenia | 63 mins

The Isonzo has always been a borderline river. Its relatively short course links two different worlds: the Alps and the Mediterranean. It seems to have two personalities, mirrored in its two names: So?a, a feminine name, and Isonzo, a masculine one. Rich in contradictions and very beautiful, the river is also dangerous; famous for its emerald colour and the bloody battles that have taken place along its banks. Who does the Isonzo belong to? Slovenia steals it from Italy with its dams, Italy wastes its waters through a reckless irrigation regime. Construction companies plunder its gravel, and industry pollutes its waters. Amongst all these competing interests the river is forgotten. This beautifully shot film travels the length of the ever-changing river and speaks of our troubled relationship with Nature.



20 May 2011 6:30 pm

Silent Veil

World Premiere | Milt Alvarez | Pakistan | 90:00 mins

Silent Veil is a powerful documentary focusing on the oft-overlooked issue of domestic abuse in Pakistan, specifically the practice of men burning women. The victims are usually girls aged sixteen to twenty, and the motivations behind their attacks range from rejected proposals to sexual refusal to mere perceived disobedience. However, in nearly all of the cases, the crime goes unreported and unpunished.

The film follows Massarat Misbah, founder and president of Smileagain Pakistan, an organization dedicated to finding these victims and providing them with medical care, psychological counseling and vocational training.



20 May 2011 8:30 pm

Hitchhike the Wind

UK Premiere | Nikolai Friedrich, Michael Friedrich, Nina Rath | Austria, Kazakstan | 87 mins

In the summer of 2009 five young Austrians head off on a unique adventure. With a bunch of parachutes in their backpacks and a very vague plan in their minds they arrive in a small run-down town in central Kazakhstan: Arkalyk. They begin to scavenge and haggle for an old car and bits of junk and slowly assemble an extraordinary vehicle – a car with a sail. Equipped with a compass, and a map they set sails across the Kazakh central steppe carried only by wind power. Their aim is to travel 600km to the ship cemetery near the Aral Lake, once one of the biggest inland waters, now greatly dried up denuded. During their trip through the vast empty steppes the travellers overcome unexpected hurdles, encounter strangers with whom they cannot speak, and a genuine sense of travel in all its unnerving strangeness. Picaresque, funny, poignant.

Presented in association with the Austrian Cultural Forum (ACF) London



21 May 2011 6:30 pm

The Team

Patrick Reed | 80 mins

Kenya has long been considered Africa’s success story—relatively stable and ethnically harmonious. But, following the December 2007 Presidential election everything changed. A voting controversy split the country along ethnic lines, pushing Kenya to civil war. The international community intervened, a fragile peace was brokered, and a Truth and Reconciliation framework put in place. But as ethnic suspicion and violence continue to paralyze the country, many dismiss these actions as hollow political theatre.

An alternative local response is the creation of a taboo-breaking TV soap opera, “The Team,” following the struggles of a co-ed multi-ethnic soccer squad to overcome their differences, both on and off the pitch.



21 May 2011 8:30 pm

Sea Wall

Brian Zahm | Guyana | 5 mins

Georgetown, Guyana, a city built below sea level, is protected from the mighty Atlantic Ocean by a concrete barrier the locals call, the 'Sea Wall.' It is not only a wall, but also a landmark where the city's people gather to celebrate life. For five days, right before sunset, the award-winning filmmaker Brian Zahm filmed life along this wall to create a tribute to the people of Guyana. The play of sight and sound in this dynamic cinematic environment is one you will not forget.

Cabaret Berlin, The Wild Scene

UK Premiere | Fabienne Rousso-Lenoir | 70 mins

Entirely composed of rare visual and audio archives, "CABARET-BERLIN, THE WILD SCENE" offers an inside view into the Weimar Republic's history (1919-1933) through the eye of the Berlin artistic kabarett scene. The film itself is structured as a cabaret show led off-screen by its Master of Ceremony, German actor and singer Ulrich Tukur. At the end of the day, CABARET-BERLIN, THE WILD SCENE is a film about the birth of modernity.



23 May 2011 6:30 pm

Highlights from the Student International Ethnographic Film Festival

Altzaney | Nino Orjonikidze, Vano Arsenishvili | United Kingdom | 30 mins

The people of Pankisi Gorge in Georgia believe that all the important issues of their lives and deaths should be solved through the meditation of a favoured authority. Altzaney is a woman who interferes in other people’s lives and mediates between conflicting sides.

In Pursuit of Happiness | Ray Ono | United Kingdom | 31 mins

This film portrays a group of men occupying the periphery of Tokyo and of Japanese society. Sustaining daily existances they negotiate spaces within and outside the city.

Together Alone | Lucy Kaye | United Kingdom | 31 mins

These portraits of elderly Jews living in London’s East End are humorous, optimistic and share beautiful memories. Lily, Cyril, Rose, Hannah and Bleemar may live alone, but once in a while they overcome their isolation and join the rest of their community to let their hair down.



23 May 2011 8:30 pm

Into the Middle of Nowhere

World Premiere | Anna Frances Ewert | 15 mins

This documentary celebrates the uniqueness of childhood and the nonexistence of limits to a child’s imagination. In an outdoor nursery in the woods, children create their own individually constructed worlds and can test out the boundaries of reality. The environment allows them to explore everything through their own experience and imagination while also bringing to the foreground their personal and collective development. The woods become the place where the normal rules and regulations of society come to a halt and where the children transform the surroundings with their play. The beauty and the challenges of growing up are already hinted at.

Nutshimit – on the land

European Premiere | Sarah Sandring | Germany | 52 mins

NUTSHIMIT – on the land tells the present-day story of one of the last semi-nomadic hunting people of Canada, the Mushuau Innu of Labrador. The Mushuau Innu themselves commissioned the film for their children and coming generations of Innu to create a visual legacy of their continuing life on the land, which they call Nutshimit.

The Innu teenagers Becca, Sage, Todd and Pinip are staying at different hunting camps with their families. Their adventures and conversations with their grandparents weave an intimate and profound portrait of a people whose survival, history and worldview is intertwined with the land, the animals, the plants and the spirit world. Only between the lines, the presence of another, a threatening society becomes tangible.

Nutshimit – on the land is part of a greater documentary collaboration and filmmaker exchange with the community of Natuashish, which also created a film training initiative for young Innu.



24 May 2011 6:30 pm




24 May 2011 8:30 pm

Undertow Eyes

UK Premiere | Petra Costa | Brazil | 20 mins

Vera and Gabriel have been married for sixty years. In Undertow Eyes they reflect on their own story: the first flirtations, the birth of their children, life and aging. In the act of remembering, images from their family history and from the present intermingle, creating an affectionate and oneiric tone. Through the couple’s recollections and stories, the film presents a personal and existential tale about love and death.

Beyond the Sea

UK Premiere | Veronika Kaserer | Argentina, Italy | 52 mins

The world is full of longing for places that are not located on any map. 19-year-old Heidi from the Dolomites sets out to follow such a longing and ends up in Necochea, Argentina. There she imagines she will find what doesn't exist in her previous life, a warm, loving environment. Her escape 'from what one is depressed of" turns into a confrontation with foreign customs and needs, and ultimately herself. Heidi meets the challenge in her own way. A measured, engaging portrait of a young girl alienated from her mother and seeking liberation "beyond the sea".



25 May 2011 6:30 pm

Vertical City

World Premiere | Avijit Mukul Kishore | India | 35 mins

A visual essay on the architecture of contemporary Bombay. The State imagined these constructions as the realisation of an urban utopia, but in the far suburb of the city residents from slums are given free houses in decrepit and dysfunctional high-rise building complexes. A occurrence only too frequent in too many suburbs of too many cities.


World Premiere | Izzy Brown | 47 mins

A phone call from the front line of post-election riots in Kenya opens the story of Timothy Mwaura, a ghetto poet and rapper who gives an eye-witness account of the chaos and tribal tension that surrounds him. Ghettomotto follows Tim from the dirty streets of Kangemi, a ghetto in Nairobi, to the land of his parents and ancestors, as he rediscovers the roots, culture, and politics of his people, and searches for peace and understanding amidst war-torn Africa. This journey is framed by spoken word and musical pieces performed by Tim and other local hip-hop artists from the ghettos of Nairobi.



25 May 2011 8:30 pm

California is a Place

World Premiere | Drea Cooper | United States | 26 mins

CALIFORNIA IS A PLACE is an ongoing short film series about curious subjects and interesting people from the golden state. The stories cover a range of themes - from the economy, to immigration, to urban youth and the arts - and are meant to be intimate portraits of a diverse range of Californians. For example, Cannonball follows a group of skaters who have turned Fresno’s foreclosure crisis into an opportunity; Big Vinny features a small town local celebrity used-car salesman as he ponders the lessons learned in his now lost lot; Borderland presents the complicated reality of drug smuggling along the San Diego County side of the U.S.-Mexico border; Scraptertown provides a voice for Oakland's Baybe Champ, whose scraper bike movement has become a bicycle art gang for good; El Rey is an intimate portrait of a Mexican immigrant trumpeter who, for the past twenty years, has been seeking work every afternoon in Los Angeles' Mariachi Plaza; Honey Pie is a portrait of the artist behind the Real Doll, the most realistic sex doll on the market; and Uppercut profiles a few Silicon Valley programmers who code by day and then gather at night for full contact garage fight club.

Fragments of a Different Everyday Life

UK Premiere | Lab. A Mundzuku Ka Hina | Mozambique | 64 mins

A remarkable film made by the young people, children, that live amongst the massive refuse tip of Maputo. With brutal realism, and without commentary, their everyday struggle for survival is revealed..

The images are those of the post-apocalypse so often depicted in Hollywood sci-fi films and dystopias. But this is today, and this is here. Children perched on rubbish trucks, the delivery of fresh refuse, a lethal cocktail of food that putrefies and ferments in tin cans. Nothing is left to the imagination and everything seems shockingly normal. At the end, in front of the cameras, the kids launch themselves into an excited dance expressing a mocking, indomitable vitality.



26 May 2011 8:30 pm

The Philosopher

European Premiere | Abdulla alkaabi | 17 mins

It is 2010. Baggio was a successful footballer, martial artist and a pianist living the high life of fame and fortune. Unfortunately, all of this does not help Baggio satisfy the nagging need to do ‘something’ with his life. So he decides to drop everything, give away everything, and become - a philosopher!

In order to attain a clear, pure mind for thought and philosophy he rents a van, empties his apartment, and puts all his belongings in the street for passerby's to pickup at no cost.

Baggio strips naked, folds his clothes and walks into the park for refuge and sanctuary, and inner peace. After a couple of hours, cold and hungry, he finds himself back where he left his belongings, and is surprised that none of his belongings have been touched. Frustrated Baggio makes the ultimate sacrifice, and decides to give away his freewill. Taken in by Leo, a lonely recovering alcoholic, Baggio is at first excited about the proposition, but it has unexpected consequences.


Jean-Louis Schuller, Sam Blair | Luxembourg, 2010 | 53mins | Panel



27 May 2011 6:30 pm

Brigitte Berman Workshop


27 May 2011 8:30 pm

The Future Will Not Be Capitalist

UK Premiere | Sasha Pirker | Austria 2010 | 20mins

The setting is Paris, seat of the Communist party headquarters in France. The Building designed by Oscar Neimeyer in the 1980's has long since been recognized as an architectural icon and symbol of what was at one time among the most powerful political movements in France.

Maids And Bosses

UK Premiere | Abner Benaim | Spanish 2010 | 65mins

Through the very peculiar relations between several live-in housemaids and their employers, Maids and Bosses evaluates human relations between social classes, rich and poor, living under the same roof in Latin America.



28 May 2011 6:00 pm

Certified Universal | UK Premiere | Avijit Mukul Kishore | India | 14 mins

The city of Bombay is a living film set that provides the backdrop for screen lives and real lives to unfold. ‘Certified Universal’ is a short film about the city’s engagement with image making, both of which have lived off and mirrored each other for over a hundred years.

A Screening at the Tatry Cinema| Igor Chojna | Poland | 27 mins

Dariusz Ambroszczyk runs one of the oldest cinemas in Lódz – Tatry. He is boss of the cinema and its only employee at the same time so among his duties are selling tickets, admitting to the cinema, and screening films. Although Dariusz is waiting for viewers every day, they seem to have totally forgotten about his cinema, visiting it only occasionally. The man is beginning to understand that the cinema, the sense of his life, is slowly declining.

Filming: An Everyday Struggle | Nicolas Ploumpidis | Greece | 30 mins

The city of Bombay is a living film set that provides the backdrop for screen lives and real lives to unfold. ‘Certified Universal’ is a short film about the city’s engagement with image making, both of which have lived off and mirrored each other for over a hundred years.



28 May 2011 7:30 pm

Feeling the Air

UK Premiere | Manuele Cecconello | Italy | 94 mins

When Andrea was 16, he left school and chose to become a nomadic shepherd in the Biella area of Piedmont. Far from the collective rites of adolescence and the hustle and bustle of society, but with the support of a modern family (his father is a surgeon and his mother a teacher), Andrea is convinced that life in the open air and in contact with animals is key to understanding existence and the path to adulthood.