Thursday, 27 June 2013

Festival Roundup: The Best of the Fest

Open City Docs Fest 2013 was our biggest and best festival yet! Over four days (20 - 23 June) we welcomed thousands of documentary fans and filmmakers into our venues around Bloomsbury and across London (including the ICA and Hackney Picturehouse) for the many events on our jam-packed programme.

A full house at The Bloomsbury Theatre

Festival highlights included:

  • A sell-out premiere of the tyre-screeching Baltimore bike gang documentary 12 O’Clock Boys at The Bloomsbury Theatre
  • The director’s cut of the film all doc-heads are talking about, The Act Of Killing, and a supremely popular masterclass on cinema and memory from its director Joshua Oppenheimer
  • The hotly-anticipated Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer documentary detailing the activists on trial
  • A closing gala screening of Cannes-award winning film Sofia’s Last Ambulance in partnership with Edinburgh International Film Festival.
  • A record of more than 7,000 tickets sold for events across the four-day festival

Our awards ceremony hosted on Sunday 23 June by Jeremy Irons celebrated the high quality of documentary cinema at Open City Docs, by selecting the crème de la crème of documentary talent for recognition. The winners of the Open City Docs Fest awards are as follows:

  • Grand Jury Award
  • Winner: Matthew’s Laws, directed by Marc Schmidt
    Special Mention: The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear, directed by Tinatin Gurchiani
  • Emerging International Filmmaker Award, sponsored by Aspall Cyder
  • Special mention: Wonder House, directed by Oonagh Kearney
    Winner: Karaoke Girl, directed by Visra Vichit Vadakan
  • Emerging UK Filmmaker Award, sponsored by The British Council
  • Winner: Black Out, directed by Eva Weber
  • Best City Film Award, sponsored by Publica
  • Winner: The Venice Syndrome, directed Andreas Pichler
  • Best Short Documentary Award, awarded by the London Short Film Festival
  • Winner: The Whistle, directed by Grezgorz Zariczny
    Special mention: FilmStripe, directed by John Blouin
  • MyStreet Awards, awarded by the Grand Jury
  • Winner: Richard, directed by Matt Hopkins 2nd prize: Niche in the Market, directed by Rod Main 3rd Prize: Blaenau, directed by Eira Wyn Jones

Michael Stewart, Open City Docs Fest Founding Director, agreed that the standard of this year’s films was incredibly high. And he was delighted that the audience’s appetites matched the films selected:

“We are thrilled that so many people turned up to watch films that they would never have the chance to see otherwise and then stayed behind to talk about them. It is hugely gratifying to hear from our jurors, our audience and the filmmakers that we are providing a place where they can come together to explore and celebrate the great art of documentary.”

What sets Open City Docs Fest apart from other documentary festivals is its emphasis on the live aspect of documentary. Documentaries take real life as their focus, and Open City Docs screens them to a live audience, as well as organising interactive panel discussions allowing the exchange of ideas from filmmaker to expert to audience. Live events are therefore a key feature of the festival, with Hamburg’s A Wall Is A Screen cinematic walking tours receiving rave reviews. These night time tours around secret locations weaving in and out of festival venues around London involve projecting a quirky selection of global short films onto the capital’s buildings under the light of a full moon.

You won't have to wait a whole year for the next Open City Docs Fest event, however. Not only do we run workshops and training programmes for budding filmmakers but we are hosting a screening of The Well at the Italian Cultural Institute on Wednesday 16 July in association with I Doc Italy. For more information and to book tickets click HERE.

1 comment:

  1. Thank You for the information.

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