Bertha DocHouse is the UK's first cinema dedicated solely to documentary. Based at Curzon Bloomsbury in Central London, we screen the best new releases, festival favourites, retrospective titles and curated seasons providing an exciting platform for documentary filmmakers and nurturing a new generation of doc lovers. With a programme packed with filmmaker Q&As, masterclasses, discussions, special events and an online hub accessible from anywhere in the world, Bertha DocHouse is the home of documentary.
DocHouse: OUR MISSION
Before the Bertha DocHouse screen DocHouse spent thirteen years championing documentaries in the form of a year-round documentary film festival. This saw us screening films once a week at various cinemas across London, primarily through our DocHouse Thursdays strand and accompanied by discussions and Q&As. Alongside this we also ran one-off masterclasses, courses and mini-festivals. Our mission was, and still is:
- To promote the very best independent, international documentary at all levels - in the cinema, online, via social networks and in collaboration with international broadcasters.
- To develop new audiences; and to encourage further impact for the films we showcase.
- To support and nurture new generations of independent documentary film makers.
THE BERTHA DOCHOUSE SCREEN
2015 was a very special year for DocHouse as it saw us realise our decade-long dream of opening the UK’s very first dedicated documentary centre! This has been made possible by the Bertha Foundation who have believed in and supported us since 2011.
Housed at the newly renovated Curzon Bloomsbury (formally the Renoir) the 56-seat Bertha DocHouse screen offers a vibrant programme of international cross-genre documentaries, as well as frequent post-screening filmmaker Q&As, panel discussions and events, 7 days a week. We aim to celebrate the depth and breadth of the documentary form with films from the UK release calendar as well as titles without distribution, festival favourites and a strong range of themed seasons and retrospective screenings. Our flagship DocHouse Thursdays strand continues its special previews and premieres in the main 150-seat screen at Curzon Bloomsbury.
Nurturing and educating new filmmaking talent is also at the heart of what we do, and so we offer aspiring doc makers the chance to meet and learn from some of the most respected names in the documentary world through masterclasses, courses and educational strands.
Our unique documentary screen, with an adjacent lounge for discussion and networking, and a videotheque archive of three viewing stations, is working to fill the gap of a much-needed hub for documentary in the UK.
The Online Hub
In our work championing documentaries we are keen to make sure that everyone all over the world can access the incredible and vast ranging resources that we’ve built up over the last decade, so this is why we have created the Online Hub.
We like to think of it as a digital space where you can come to expand and indulge your love of documentaries, or if you want to develop as a documentary filmmaker there are plenty of learning resources to watch, listen to and consume. We are particularly proud of our archive of filmed Q&As and masterclasses, with some of the most well-respected filmmakers in the industry; as well as our back catalogue of screenings as far back as 2002 with tips on where to see the films now! Equally, if you want to find out about the further impact of a film or need the latest information on documentary festivals, funding and opportunities it’s all here, updated daily.
The Online Hub is a rare and vital space for doc makers and doc lovers, so CLICK HERE to get started…
ELIZABETH WOOD - DIRECTOR
Elizabeth Wood is the Founder and Director of DocHouse. She is a producer/director who was CEO of her own production company - Woodfilm Productions Ltd – from 1980. Formerly she spent six years in the United States as a freelance director at WNET and WGBH. She has lectured in film at the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, Harvard University, The Royal College of Art and The National Film School. She has served on many doc juries including the Grierson Awards; Open City Festival; One World Broadcasting; The Arts Council Production board and the IDFA Bertha Fund. She is currently a member of the Sheffield DocFest Advisory Board and has written many articles including for Dox Magazine; Filmwaves and Vertigo Magazine . Elizabeth developed, designed and now curates the Bertha DocHouse cinema.
JENNY HORWELL - PRODUCER & PROGRAMMING MANAGER
Jenny joined DocHouse as producer in 2012, having spent the previous four years working at film festivals and events, most notably the Branchage Film Festival (2008 - 2011). During that time she also produced promos, trailers and videos at Matter Productions. Way back in the day, she completed an MA in Documentary Research at University of the Arts London. As well as her work at DocHouse, Jenny has programmed the documentary shorts at the London Short Film Festival since 2013.
CHLOE TRAYNER - ASSOCIATE PROGRAMMER
Chloe has worked as a freelance festival producer and events programmer for the past four years. She has produced Overnight Film Festival, Open City Documentary Festival and Underwire Festival as well as programming BFI Future Film Festival and working on projects for organisations such as Wellcome Trust, BFI National Archive, Together Films and London Short Film Festival.
EMILY COPLEY - PRODUCTION MANAGER
After graduating from Royal Holloway University with a BA in English & American Literature, Emily led various charity initiatives and conservation projects. She has worked on numerous film festivals and ventures such as DocTent, UnderWire, London Short Film Festival and Open City Documentary Festival. Emily joined the DocHouse team in 2013.
JOSHUA HUGHES - PUBLICITY AND MARKETING
Josh is a graduate of the University of the Arts London, with a BA Photojournalism. Through photography he developed an interest in documentaries, and has made films in Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Before joining the DocHouse team Josh worked in marketing and publicity as a freelancer on the picture desk of the Sunday Times Magazine and has worked for a number of other clients including Save the Children.
JESS FRANSES - MARKETING AND PARTNERSHIPS
Jess joined the DocHouse team in November 2016. She started out working in factual television, developing documentaries at indies including Century Films. Last year she moved into film exhibition working at a number of festivals including the BFI London Film Festival. Jess also co-founded and runs Women on Docs, a series of events celebrating women in documentary making. Her goal is to get as many people as possible to hear about the Bertha DocHouse and its programme.
THE BERTHA FOUNDATION STATEMENT
The Bertha Foundation believes that bright ideas, combined with resources and strong leadership, can create profound social impact. We believe in the power of social activism to generate social, political, economic and environmental change. We believe in passionate individuals and projects that can effect change on a local or global scale. We hope those touched by The Bertha Foundation will in turn be inspired and motivated to create meaningful opportunities for others..
Patrons & Friends
Alex Cooke - Former Sheffield Documentary Festival Programmer, Renegade Pictures
Andre Singer - Spring films
Brian Winston - Author & Prof. of Communications, Lincoln University
Dick Fontaine - Head of Documentary NFTS
Jane Balfour - Jane Balfour Services
Kim Longinotto - Filmmaker
Molly Dineen - Filmmaker
Nick Fraser - Series editor, Storyville, BBC4
Nick Broomfield - Filmmaker
Rebecca Lichtenfeld - Bertha Foundation
Roger Crittenden - Former Ex - Head of the full-time programme NFTS
Roger Graef - Executive Producer, Films of Record
Tony Dowmunt - Head of Documentary, Goldsmiths College
FILMMAKERS & PROFESSIONALS
Orlando von Einseidel