Open City Documentary Festival has announced the program for its 7th edition. Taking place over 6 days, this year’s festival will host 36 UK premieres (21 features and 15 shorts) spanning 13 London venues.
The festival will open with the premiere of Ziad Kalthoum's TASTE OF CEMENT at Picturehouse Central, and close with the premiere of Lee Ann Schmitt’s PURGE THIS LAND on Sunday 10 September, at Regent Street Cinema. A cinematic portrait of exiled Syrian workers, TASTE OF CEMENT follows a group of construction workers who are unable to shake off memories of the shelling of their own homes. Lee Ann Schmitt’s PURGE THIS LAND retells the history of racism and slavery in modern America 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.
Open City will celebrate the career of Ukrainian-born Vitaly Mansky - one of Russia’s most acclaimed documentary filmmakers who now lives in exile in Riga. Mansky has chronicled political and social developments in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union through examining the struggles of everyday-lives. The festival will show his four of his films
Open City will also showcase the work of Belgian filmmaker Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd by screening his three most recent films, which investigate the correlation between war, madness and memory.
Below are other special events and films that will be showcased by the Open City Documentary Festival this year:
MARC ISAACS: OUT OF TIME
In his first ever video exhibition, filmmaker Marc Isaacs will present four new works offering an encounter with intimacy, human fragility and the passage of time.
THE PLAYROOM BOOTHS / DON’T ASK, DON’T APOLOGISE
Three story enclaves will bring together an immersive set, video projection and interviews taking people into the story of rave, soundsystem and queer culture – exploring how these alternative scenes not only changed the musical landscape but also, how we relate to invisible power structures in cities.
THE ISLAND OF ST MATTHEWS
Open City will present a prelude to Tate Modern Art Museum’s So I Can Get Them Told season, a retrospective of the films of American artist Kevin Jerome Everson. This screening features Everson's 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 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.
WHICKER’S WORLD FOUNDATION PRESENTS: WE WERE KINGS
Open City will host the World Premiere WE WERE KINGS in partnership with the British Library, 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 documentary won the Whicker’s World Foundation Inaugural Funding Award for historian and first-time director, Alex Bescoby.
ANAGRAM PRESENTS THE DAY IS MY ENEMY
This special live event will bring together a film archive charting the story of how music subculture has shaped the metropolis, and a live soundtrack scored in collaboration with musicians.
September 5th – September 10th
Cinemas across London
Available at the Open City Documentary box office or at venues.
Full details of the Open City Documentary Festival programme and ticket information can be found at The Open City Documentary Website.