September has rolled in and we're busy preparing for a host of exciting events, screenings and Q&As to keep you informed and entertained this autumn. Read on to find out what we've got lined up.
Opening Friday 1st, Bobi Wine: The People’s President follows five tumultuous years with Ugandan politician (and music star) Bobi Wine, as he risks brutal state recriminations to challenge Uganda’s autocratic regime in the 2021 presidential elections. The film plays daily and on Saturday 2nd, we’ll be joined by co-director Christopher Sharp and activist, film participant and Bobi Wine’s wife, Barbie Kyagulanyi.
From Saturday 2nd, we’ll be playing one of the year’s warmest (and funniest) docs. Co-directors Peter Beard and Bruce Fletcher follow their friend Otto Baxter, who has Down Syndrome, as he creates and directs a comedy-horror-musical based on his own life. It’s a gem of a film which navigates issues of disability, care and autonomy with an extremely funny and foul-mouthed Otto at its centre. Otto Baxter: Not a F***ing Horror Story plays alongside Otto’s completed short film, The Puppet Asylum.
We are happy to be a partner venue for Open City Documentary Festival again this year. From Thursday 7th we’ll be hosting five events from the festival’s varied and thought-provoking celebration of ‘The Art of Non-Fiction‘. Our events include the Argentinian archive tour de force The Trial, followed by a Q&A with director Ulises de la Orden, a Q&A screening of Alain Kassanda‘s excellent Coconut Head Generation, which follows students at Nigeria’s Ibadan University, and a performance lecture by curator and archivist Léa Morin, based on the lost films of Moroccan filmmaker Karim Idriss.
From Friday 8th, we return to Uganda with an entirely different, but equally compelling film about a DIY movie studio, known affectionately as Wakaliwood, where the actors are volunteers, the props are homemade and the action flicks roll out thick and fast! Like the former brickmaker-turned-moviemaker at the centre of Wakaliwood, Once Upon a Time in Uganda is hard-grafting, hilarious and full of heart.
Cutting through all of the loud rhetoric around immigration, the brilliantly-conceived The Hearing places us in the room as asylum seekers re-enact their asylum interviews with real government officials. This is usually a closed process that the public never witnesses, but Lisa Gerig‘s striking debut film opens it up for inspection and understanding, asking: what happens when your future rests on how convincingly you can tell your own story? Watch The Hearing from Saturday 9th.
One for the T-Rex fans, on Thursday 14th we’ll have a preview screening of AngelHeaded Hipster, celebrating the life and music of glam rock legend Marc Bolan. Amongst the treats for music fans in this film, you’ll find Nick Cave recording a cover of ‘Cosmic Dancer’ and Kesha covering ‘Children of the Revolution’.
Just how far did the US go to protect their claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction? The riveting story of diplomat José Bustani, who was ousted from an international role in chemical weapons disarmament by the Bush administration’s manoeuvring, quietly blows open the grim truth. A Symphony for a Common Man plays daily from Friday 15th.
And as a companion to A Symphony for a Common Man, on Sunday 17th you can catch a one-off screening of the inspiring 2014 hit We Are Many, which reveals the story behind the massive global protests against the impending war on Iraq, which took place 20 years ago in 2003.
Documenting a labour of love in the truest sense, The Nettle Dress follows textile artist Allan Brown as he creates a garment from foraged nettles: seven years of spinning, weaving, cutting and finally sewing, honouring the memory of his late wife. Screens with a recorded Q&A on Saturday 16th.
If The Streets Were on Fire follows BikeStormz across the streets of central London – a group giving young people a safe space and community in a city rife with knife crime and gangs. The group, and the city, are beautifully captured in this complex portrait by director Alice Russell. The screening on Tuesday 19th will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers.
On Thursday 21st, we’ll be hosting the London Premiere of Phantom Parrot, Kate Stonehill’s essential investigation into the British government’s secret surveillance programme of the same name, designed to copy the personal data of individuals at airports and border crossings. After the screening, there will be a Q&A with Stonehill, and human rights activist Muhammad Rabbani (Director of CAGE) whose detainment and arrest under the Terrorism Act is portrayed in the film.
Real life and fiction blur in A Cat Called Dom, the heartfelt, off-beat feature by Will Anderson, an animator struggling to make a film about his mother following her cancer diagnosis – and keeping council with an animated cat that lives on his laptop screen. A touching, whimsical film grounded in honest emotion, A Cat Called Dom screens from Saturday 23rd.