This year’s Open City Documentary Festival programme and nominations for its four awards categories have been announced.
The Festival will include the world premiere of 10 films. Icarus (after Amelia) by Margaret Salmon (pictured) and Inner Outer Space by Laida Lertxundi will open the Festival, on Wednesday 8th September at Curzon Soho.
Open City Documentary Festival 2021 will show 47 new non-fiction films. The new film programme includes 26 UK premieres, films from 26 different countries. The Festival will close on Tuesday 14th September at the ICA with a rare 16mm projection of James Benning’s Ten Skies (2004).
In 2021, the Festival returns to its traditional venues, with online content available towards the end of the physical programme. London venues include Bertha DocHouse, Curzon Soho and the ICA. This year will also see new venues, the Genesis Cinema in the East and Ciné Lumière-Institut français and the Goethe-Institut in West London.
The Festival Hub in Chinatown will host the free Expanded Realities exhibition and a programme of talks and workshops, including those led by filmmakers Luke Fowler, Onyeka Igwe, Hope Strickland and Alia Syed. Mimosa House, an independent non-profit gallery space in Holborn, will present Alia Syed’s exhibition Meta Incognita (1-11 September, free entry).
There are four awards categories again this year. All awards will be announced on 12th September. Nominated for the Open City Award are: After the Crossing (Joël Richmond Mathieu Akafou, 2020), From Where They Stood (Christophe Cognet, 2021), Icarus (after Amelia) (Margaret Salmon, 2021), Taming the Garden (Salome Jashi, 2021) and The Invisible Mountain (Ben Russell, 2021). Nominated for the Emerging Filmmaker Award are: Bicentenario (Pablo Álvarez Mesa, 2020), Lost Course (Jill Li, 2021), Shady River (Tatiana Mazú González, 2020) and The Blue House (Hamedine Kane, 2020).
The jury for both awards consists of Matthew Barrington (researcher & curator, Essay Film Festival, Barbican Cinema), Hyun Jin Cho (film curator, London Film Festival), Elena Gorfinkel (film scholar, critic), Sonali Joshi (curator, access specialist) and Lucy Parker (educator, filmmaker, Solidarity).
The nominees for UK Short Film Award, supported by the British Council, are: a so-called archive (Onyeka Igwe, 2020), Boots on Ground (Kiran Kaur Brar, 2021), For Dan (Luke Fowler, 2021), Future Foods (Gerard Ortín Castellví, 2021), Happy Valley (Simon Liu, 2020), If I could name you myself (I would hold you forever) (Hope Strickland, 2021), Pervading Animal(Graeme Arnfield, 2021), Piano Practice (Maria Anastassiou, 2021), Surviving You, Always(Morgan Quaintance, 2020) and Triforium (Jayne Parker, 2021).
Titles in the International Short Film Award competition include All Other Things Equal(Anya Tsyrlina, 2020), Back to Back (Jooyeon Lee, 2021), Figure Minus Fact (Mary Helena Clark, 2020), Gorria (Red) (Maddi Barber, 2020), Letter From Your Far-Off Country (Suneil Sanzgiri, 2020), Liberty: an ephemeral statute (Rebecca Jane Arthur, 2020), Notes, Imprints (on Love): Parts I & II (Alexandra Cuesta, 2020), To Pick a Flower (Shireen Seno, 2021), Sol de Campinas (Jessica Sarah Rinland, 2021), Zero Length Spring (Ross Meckfessel, 2020), 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (Ana Vaz, 2021). The jurors for these awards are: Maeve Brennan (artist, filmmaker, The Drift), Qila Gill (film programmer, producer, LSSF, Sheffield DocFest), Clive James Nwonka (lecturer, writer), Adam Pugh (curator, writer, designer), Róisín Tapponi (film curator, writer, Habibi Collective).
The festival will celebrate the work of three important women filmmakers, with first UK retrospectives of Renate Sami and Alia Syed and a tribute to Haneda Sumiko.