Docs we're looking forward to in 2017

Tuesday 3 January, 2017

Happy New Year!  We've picked out some of the films and events we're most excited about in 2017. The good news? It looks set to be another great year for documentaries.

Chloe Trayner 

Cameraperson UK Release

Kirsten Johnson won hearts and minds in 2016 with Cameraperson appearing on every critical end of year list worth mentioning. I’m really excited to bring Cameraperson to our cinema in January and give the film a platform to reach a wider audience and continue the discussion around the role of documentary filmmaking. With thanks to Dogwoof.

READ: Charlie Lyne on The Six Fonts of Cameraperson

I Am Not Your Negro

I was lucky enough to catch a screening in New York of Raoul Peck’s tour de force interpretation of James Baldwin’s unfinished novel “Remember This House”. It’s an incredibly powerful and affecting piece of work and a devastating reflection on race relations today. I can’t wait for this to come to UK cinemas in 2017!

READ: Hollywood Reporter’s Documentary Round Table

Sundance Film Festival 2017

2017 will also mark my very first voyage to the mecca of independent film that is Sundance. With so many incredible documentaries on offer in the programme, I couldn’t think of a better way to start the year!

EXPLORE: The full Sundance Film Festival Programme

Emily Copley

All This Panic

Very sadly missed at this year’s London Film Festival, ALL THIS PANIC is my number one most anticipated doc of early 2017. Luckily I get a second chance to catch it at Bertha DocHouse in March when it is out on release!

Synopsis: The almost hyper-real quest for adulthood, authenticity and autonomy that forms the adolescent experience are the topics of Jenny Gage’s astonishingly intimate film. Filmed over three years, Gage follows seven very different girls from her local Clinton Hill neighbourhood in Brooklyn during the turbulent ‘panic’ years and their arrival into almost-adulthood. 

READ: i-D magazine's interview with filmmakers Jenny Gage and Tom Betterton here 

500 Years

From DocHouse friends and filmmakers Pamela Yates and Paco de Onis, 500 YEARS is the third of their Guatemalan trilogy (THE RESISTANCE SAGA), continuing the story of WHEN THE MOUNTAINS TREMBLE (1983) and GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR (2011). After 15 years of overcoming legal delays and obstructions, the genocide trial of former dictator General Efrain Rios Montt began in March 2013, and this is where the final chapter of the story begins.

Back yonder in 2014, we were lucky enough to welcome Pamela and Paco to DocHouse for a very special masterclass on their work and out-reach together. You can watch the whole masterclass online now in anticipation of the release of 500 YEARS in March – when we will be presenting THE RESISTANCE SAGA back-to-back in one hell of a triple bill.

WATCH: the masterclass here

Jess Franses

Half Way

As the newest member of the DocHouse team I’m excited for a brand new year of DocHouse events. I’m looking forward to our upcoming screening of Half Way on Wednesday 11th January, a raw, intimate film which sheds a new and very personal light on the housing crisis. It’s a film that demands further contemplation and conversation and our screening will be followed by an In Conversation between first time director Daisy-May Hudson and legendary filmmaker Roger Graef . Definitely not one to miss.

READ: Dawn Foster’s interview with Half Way director Daisy-May Hudson

Close Relations 

I was sad to miss the latest film by the great Vitaly Mansky at the London Film Festival so I’m delighted that it will get a run at the DocHouse from 20th January. The film sees Mansky investigating the Ukrainian-Russian crisis and the impact of political unrest in Ukraine, Crimea and Donetsk through the stories of his own family across the region.

WATCH: The trailer here 

Our 100 Days

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the importance of documentaries in reacting to and making sense of the uncertain times we're living in. It’s been encouraging to see the reaction of the documentary community to recent world events and in 2017 I’m looking forward to projects like Field of Vision and Firelight Media’s recently announced Our 100 Days, which will create 10 short docs exploring threats to U.S. democracy and telling the stories of its most vulnerable communities in response to November’s election result.

READ: Laura Poitras Plans Doc Short Series Reacting to Trump's Presidency in The Hollywood Reporter  

Josh Hughes

The Promise

A new film from directors Marcus Vetter and Karin Steinberger looks like the next true crime sensation. Following in the footsteps of the brilliant Making A Murderer, the film focuses on the double murder of Derek and Nancy Haysom on 30 March 1985 in Lynchburg, Virginia. I missed the film at IDFA but have heard very good things, catch it at Bertha DocHouse in January.

READ: Documentary casts doubt on guilty verdict in 1990 Virginia murder trial in The Guardian 

I also can’t wait to see Havana, Julien Temple’s portrait of the Cuban city which should be released at some point this year.