STREET FIGHT

Dir: Marshall Curry

An extraordinary, multi award-winning film which captures the 'no-holds barred' battle to be the next mayor of New Jersey. It's a David and Goliath story that sheds light on issues of poverty, race and democracy in America.

THE FALL OF FUJIMORI

Dir: Ellen Perry

The Fall of Fujimori is political thriller exploring the volatile events that defined Fujimori's decade-long reign as the president of Peru. Since fleeing Peru in disgrace four years ago, Alberto Fujimori has remained virtually silent about the sensational end of his controversial presidency. Until now. Fujimori agreed to the first in-depth interview since his exile last January. The result is one of the most intimate and shocking looks at a modern dictator ever captured on film. Director Ellen Perry interweaves personal, up-close interviews with the exiled leader along with never-before-seen, exclusive footage from his regime.

STREET FIGHT

Dir: Marshall Curry

An extraordinary, multi award-winning film which captures the 'no-holds barred' battle to be the next mayor of New Jersey. It's a David and Goliath story that sheds light on issues of poverty, race and democracy in America.

THE BOYS OF BARAKA

Dir: Rachel Grady & Heidi Ewing

With eighty percent of Baltimore's African American boys dropping out of high school and half of them ending up in jail, Mavis Jackson runs a programme to send twenty'at risk' twelve-year-olds to a school in Kenya for their 7th and 8th grade education. This fascinating documentary highlights the profound academic and cultural failings of the North American system and the changes and achievements of the youngsters, as we follow the group through the culture shock of swapping their inner-city streets for the Baraka School's strict disciplinary regime in the bush country of East Africa.

THE CHILDREN OF LENINGRADSKY

Dir: Andrzej Celinski & Hannah Polak

This raw and heartbreaking documentary follows a group of orphans and runaways just about existing in Moscow's Leningradsky station, whose miserable days consist of the grim horrors of prostitution, begging, glue-sniffing and dealing with the direct threats of police brutality and AIDS. Oscar-nominated and bearing unflinching witness to the terrible reality of child-homelessness, this is a must-see insight into one of our most desperate urban conditions.

GIGI, MONICA...AND BIANCA

Dir: Yasmina Abdellaoui & Benoît Dervaux

The films shows the life of Gigi and Monica. They are in love and live with a gang of other street children in the district surrounding the Northern Station in Bucarest. It would be more to the point to say they survive, from day to day, doing small, poorly paid jobs. They have learned to live with insecurity and marginalisation, yet enjoy their freedom with the carefree attitude of youth. Monica discovers she is pregnant and their precarious existence takes a sharp turn.

In Association With The London Children's Film Festival.

OCCUPATION: DREAMLAND

Dir: Garrett Scott & Ian Olds

One year on to the day from the beginning of the devastating US assault on the Iraqi city of Falluja, an assault that saw hundreds killed, tens of thousands displaced and the majority of the city destroyed, this special screening and discussion considers the political implications of such strategies.

(TESTIMONIES FROM) FALLUJA

Dir: Hamodi Jasim

One of the most violent acts of the current occupation of Iraq was the almost complete destruction of the city of Falluja in last November's siege and assault by US forces. There were no Western news crews inside the city, even Al-Jazeera had left. This film comprises video testimonies from inside the besieged city, along with footage of injuries and civilians under fire. It provides a concise introduction to the historical roots of resistance to the occupying forces in the city and it conveys a real sense of what such attacks can do to a community.

THE DEVIL'S MINER

Dir: Ross Kauffman & Zana Briski

The Bolivian silver mines of the Cerro Rico mountain have been exploited for over 450 years. It is estimated that over eight million people have died in the mines. It is known as "the mountain that eats men". The Devil's Miner is the story of 14 year-old Basilio Vargas and his 12 year-old brother Bernardino, as they work in one of these mines. Through the children's eyes, we encounter the world of devout Catholic miners who sever their ties with God upon entering the mountain. It is an ancient belief that the devil, as represented by hundreds of statues constructed in the tunnels, determines the fate of all who work within the mines. 

BORN INTO BROTHELS

Dir: Ross Kauffman & Zana Briski

In Calcutta's red light district appear a group of unforgettable children. Feisty, resilient and wickedly funny - they are the children of prostitutes. Trying to evade a doomed future, they embark on a transformational journey with New York based photographer Zana Briski, who teaches them photography. This humorous and heartfelt story portrays the power of art and the courage of those willing to change their own lives.

VOICES FROM ROBBEN ISLAND

Dir: Jurgen Schadeberg

Robben Island began as a place of banishment for social outcasts and in the 1960s it was turned into a notorious high security prison for political prisoners who opposed the apartheid regime. The film reveals the great courage of some of its prisoners, who survived despite unimaginable physical and emotional suffering. We hear remarkable personal accounts from those sentenced to a lifetime on Robben Island, including Mandela, Sisulu, and Mbeki, who managed to transform a seemingly hopeless situation into a positive experience. A story of the triumph of freedom and dignity over repression and humiliation.

LEO AND ZE

Dir: Angus MacQueen

Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Angus Macqueen, gained extraordinary access to the drug gangs in Rio, Brazil to make Leo and Ze, an unsettling story of violence, poverty and wasted lives. Ze, a former gang leader who has managed to get out and survive, tries to help his nephew, Leo, to do the same. Through the lives of this family, a picture emerges of the way in which the gangs, financed by cocaine sales, have taken over the favela. These are adolescent boys who rule by terror. The normal inhabitants can do nothing in the face of the guns bought on the proceeds of 'the white stuff.'

CHECKPOINT

Dir: Yoav Shamir

Multi award-winning documentary conveying the grueling reality of Israeli occupation through a series of encounters between heavily armed Israeli soldiers and humiliated Palestinians, at military checkpoints. The impression is one if an endless situation, in which people on both sides are forced into positions that leave little room for human dignity.

A STONE'S THROW AWAY

Dir: Line Halvorsen

This powerful documentary follows the lives of three Palestinian boys from the Dheisheh refugee camp after their thirteen-year-old friend is shot and killed by Israeli soldiers. The children amuse themselves by throwing stones at Israeli tanks. 

DON'T LOOK BACK

Dir: D.A.Pennebaker

Both a classic documentary and a vital pop-cultural artifact, D.A. Pennebaker's portrait of Bob Dylan captures the seminal singer-songwriter on the cusp of his transformation from folk prophet to rock trendsetter. Shot during Dylan's 1965 British concert tour, Pennebaker employs an edgy vérité style. His incredible access to the legendarily private star enables us to witness Dylan's shifting moods as he performs, relaxes with his entourage and jousts with fans, press and fellow musicians. It's a measurement of the filmmaker's acuity that the conversations are often as gripping as Dylan's solo performances. A rare and timeless classic.

Directly inspired by the Pennebaker classic Don't Look Back, I am trying to break your heart is a compelling study of seminal rock band, Wilco as they record the best music of their career. Shot in luminous black-and-white by photographer Sam Jones, the film pays respect to Pennebaker's intimate vérité style. Jones tempers the backstage dramas and unfathomable corporate shenanigans with inspired live performances, as the band perform songs from their beleagueredbeleaguered "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" album, now considered a modern classic.

STALIN'S SKYSCRAPER (UK PREMIERE)

Dir: Pavel Lounguine

The Moscow skyscraper was Stalin's pet project, envisioned in the spirit of a Communist utopia but in reality built by prisoners of war and Gulag detainees to house KGB agents and the Moscow Intelligentsia. Shot in the ghostly corridors, and told through the stories of the residents, this is an ironic, off-beat portrait of modern-day Russia.

 

DETROIT: RUN OF A CITY

Dir: Michael Chanan & George Steinmetz

Motor City was built upon the social concept of 'Fordism'. Through interviews and photographs as well as a remarkable variety of archive footage - Ford plants, mass protests of the Depression years, Diego Rivera painting his famous mural 'Detroit Industry', the struggle for trade union rights, the riots of 1943 and 1967 - this film traces the company's ideological roots and the effect of its ruthless progress on the city.

Seven months after the end of the war, Sean Langan (Behind the Lines, Travels of a Gringo), armed with just a camera, takes a brave and eventful trip through Iraq, seeking to shed light on what life is like in this newly occupied territory. As well as interviews with civilians, Langan joins the US-led coalition on patrol (even at times of attack) as well as instigating secret meetings with the resistance fighters.

Soon after the 2003 Iraq war, filmmaker Maysoon Pachachi returns to Baghdad after 35 years. She accompanies her father, 80-year Adnan who has returned to head a committee drafting a temporary constitution and Bill of Rights. We follow this torturous process, with its arguments over wording changes demanded by Washington or compromises to satisfy sectarian interests.

A Company of Soldiers follows the US Army's 8th Cavalry Regiment stationed in Baghdad for an up-close, intimate look at the dangers facing an American unit in Iraq. Shot during the month of Ramadan and the campaign for Fallujah, the film tracks the day-to-day challenges facing the 8th Cavalry's Dog Company as it suddenly has to cope with a dramatic increase in insurgent attacks.

GEORGI AND THE BUTTERFLIES

Dir: Andrey Paounov

Bulgarian entrepreneur, eccentric and eternal optimist Dr. Georgi Lulchev attempts to turn around a mismanaged hospital for psychiatric patients. His dream is to create a farm where patients can raise snails, ostriches and pheasants, produce silk fibres and soy bread. Director Andrey Paounov films the ill-fated ideas which flow from Georgi's mind with affection and a keen eye for cinematic beauty; a charming and life-affirming tale.

IN THE DARK

Dir: Sergei Dvortsevoy

In a small flat in Moscow, an 80-year old man is making woollen bags. His work is difficult: not only is he blind, but his knitting is constantly unravelled by his only companion, a small white cat. When he takes his bags down to the street to sell, nobody wants them - everyone is carrying plastic bags. The latest masterpiece by Sergei Dvortsevoy (Paradise, Bread Day, Highway) is a moving metaphor for a Russia in transition.

THE PRESIDENT VS DAVID HICKS

Dir: Curtis Levy

"And obviously we gave him the wrong advice, didn't we?" retorts Bev, stepmother of Guantanamo Bay prisoner David Hicks, "because the next we heard he was on his way to Afghanistan to join the Taliban." Australian David Hicks, incarcerated in a cell in Guantamano Bay for over two years, has been refused access to a normal trial hearing, and has had no contact with any family members. 

Australian filmmaker Cathy Henkel returns to Johannesburg where fourteen years ago, her mother was sexually assaulted and beaten in her suburban home by a local teenager. Henkel's despair at an ineffective police investigation as well as her mothers' inability to recover from this violent attack drives her to seek out and confront her mother's attacker. A disquieting film about justice, healing and bond between mother and daughter.

DIG!

Dir: Ondi Timoner

A hit of the festivals, DIG! was shot over seven years and follows the lead singers of the Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jones Massacre; star crossed friends and bitter rivals. From the moment they met, the two bands quickly bonded over their refusal to conform to the tastes of the recording industry. Yet the bands' choices over how to express their creativity and originality in a profit-driven industry eventually put them at irreconcilable odds. 

THE RAMONES: END OF THE CENTURY

Dir: Jim Fields & Michael Gramaglia

In 1974, the New York City music scene was shocked into consciousness by the violently new and raw sound of a band of misfits called The Ramones. This film traces the band from its unlikely origins, through its star-crossed career, its bitter demise and the sad fates of Joey and Dee Dee. End Of The Century is a vibrant, candid document of one of the most influential groups in the history of rock.

THE MINDERS

Dir: Sean McAllister

Baghdad,1998 and the pressure is intense. Hundreds of journalists are in town and Sean McAllister is one of them.But instead of focusing on the talking heads and the staged demonstrations, McAllister turns his camera on two "minders", those assigned by the Iraqi Ministry of Information to patrol what foreigners see and do not see. 

WAR FEELS LIKE WAR

Dir: Esteban Manzanares Uyarra

A compelling account of the brutalities of 21st Century war, told through the eyes of independent journalists. Esteban Uyarra's film documents the lives of reporters and photographers who subverted military media controls to get access to the real Iraq War.