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.
Director & Head of Programming: Elizabeth Wood
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.
Associate Programmer: Jenny Horwell
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.
Operations Manager: Kirsten Geekie
A background in film festival management Kirsten has worked at Edinburgh International Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, East End Film Festival and coordinated the Marketplace at Sheffield Doc Fest. Most recently she spent five years as Film Programming Manager at the film education charity Into Film leading on the curation and management of their year-round schools programme and annual Into Film Festival. During this time she was the lead writer for the Children’s Book of Cinema (Dorling Kindersley, 2014). A passion for short film, she has been a submission viewer for Encounters Short Film Festival since 2013.
Marketing Manager: Tom Humphrey
Tom is a passionate fan of alternative films and event cinema. He has worked with numerous film festivals in London, and has also been dabbling in film criticism since 2014. He has previously been involved in the European Union scheme 28 Times Cinema, which saw him act as a juror at the Venice Biennale. He also worked with American VOD platform Kaleidescape, and used his earnings to fund a community cinema in Nottingham, which received a special mention in Cinema For All's 2016 'Best Film Society' category. This project lead him to specialise in marketing, which he has since done in busy marketing roles with the BFI and Rich Mix.
Technichal Coordinator: Sean Parnell
Sean has worked within cinema management for the past five years. During this time he completed a BA in film production at the University of Westminster with a focus on directing documentaries. His films have featured at a number of festivals including: Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Wales International Documentary Festival, CheapCuts Documentary Film Festival and Docfeed. Alongside his work at DocHouse, Sean continues to make documentary films and experimental video art.
Marketing Assistant: Nora Seelmann
Nora found her way into documentaries and film via a cultural tourism degree and working for the arts centre Gulbenkian, while studying Marketing at the University of Kent. During that time she has also been involved in the development of the student’s group Gulbenkian Uncovered, organising a film event series with the Film Hub South East and the BFI Film Audience Network. In her free time she volunteers at film festivals in London like the Fringe! Queer Film And Arts festival, and supports the Marketing team of the volunteer lead association YPIA – Young People in the Arts.
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
Rajesh Thind - 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