Documentary Events

Aided by a global network of documentary-philes, this page calls attention to a range of global “documentary events,” aiming to cover and curate documentary film culture-related news from around the world on a monthly basis. We are interested in events that speak to the breadth of the documentary landscape. These can include but are not limited to timely retrospectives, emergent film festivals or archival projects, gallery installations, different kinds of museum or art shows, participatory and/or virtual reality projects, and experiments with new forms of storytelling/capturing reality. We do not aim to be exhaustive, but rather to be selective and to call attention to interesting events around the world (no matter how small or fringe), both building and expanding the Visible Evidence community in the process.

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please write to Selmin Kara (Curator, Visible Evidence “documentary events” page) and Joshua Malitsky.


Current Events

Docalogue May Discussion: “Kedi”

May 01, 2018–May 01, 2018

Docalogue – an online space for scholars, filmmakers, and documentary enthusiasts to engage in conversation about contemporary documentaries (urated by documentary scholars Jaimie Baron and Kristen Fuhs) – is featuring a discussion on the film Kedi (Ceyda Torun, 2016). To join in the discussion, you can read the short write-ups by Leshu Torchin and Yiman Wang on the event’s website, and take part in the monthly live-tweet.

Conference: Strategies of the Documentary

May 16, 2018–May 18, 2018

Blickle Cinema at the Belvedere 21 in Vienna is hosting a conference dedicated to “Strategies of the Documentary,” organized by the Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies at the University of Vienna. This event provides a great opportunity to explore the intersections and entanglements between Greek film cultures and documentary practices/theory.

Sheffield Doc | Fest

June 07, 2018–June 12, 2018

The Flaherty Seminar: The Necessary Image

June 16, 2018–June 22, 2018

The theme for The 64th Robert Flaherty Film Seminar is “Necessary Image” which speaks to films and videos that operate against the flow of popular taste and works towards building a better, more humane, more open world. Programmed by Kevin Jerome Everson & Greg de Cuir Jr. the seminar will question what makes necessary images and consequently a necessary cinema.

Recent Events

hotDOCS – Canadian International Documentary Festival

April 26, 2018–May 06, 2018

Visions du Réel, Nyon International Film Festival

April 13, 2018–April 21, 2018

Podcast Launch: Documentary Futurism

April 11, 2018–April 11, 2019

Cinema Politica launches Documentary Futurism – The Podcast, a new audio series that highlights the creative visions of filmmakers producing work to usher a new cinematic genre called “documentary futurism”. The films are produced as part of The Next 150: Documentary Futurism, a Cinema Politica project funded through a Canada Council for the Arts Next Chapter grant. This might be of interest to documentary enthusiasts who are interested in the potential of speculative fiction and contemporary futurist movements for nonfiction forms of filmmaking. 

Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival

April 09, 2018–April 15, 2018

Full Frame – documentary film festival

April 05, 2018–April 08, 2018

CPH:DOX – Copenhagen Documentary Film Festival

March 15, 2018–March 25, 2018

CPH:DOX is the biggest documentary festival in the Nordic countries. This year CPH also hosts a 5-day conference, exploring the interconnections between film, technology, science, and art between March 20-24, 2018. Some of the interesting panels promised by the program include those on science films, serialized documentary and podcasts, augmented reality activism, and theatrical VR. – Selected by our Associate Editor Niina Oisalo

Glasgow Short Film Festival: experiments with documentary sound

March 15, 2018–March 18, 2018

Accompanying this year’s focus on Southeast Asian cinemas, GSFF presents two installations, which might be of interest to documentary sound enthusiasts. Nguyễn Trinh Thi’s Everyday’s the Seventies experiments with layering 3 different versions of the same history – one personal, another depicted by cinema, and the third described by the media – with a soundtrack mixed by Ernst Karel, whereas Hanoi DocLab’s Weekday (Hanoi), another work edited by Karel, juxtaposes recordings made over the course of a Tuesday by multiple observers, exploring the city to capture its sonic intensities and impressions. The works can be explored at the Intermedia gallery at CCA between 11am and 7pm every day of the festival.

One World – International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival

March 05, 2018–March 14, 2018

Tempo Documentary Festival

March 05, 2018–March 11, 2018

Tempo is Sweden’s biggest documentary festival and curated event, which also features seminars and masterclasses, audio documentaries, transmedia, and photo exhibitions.

Berlinale Forum Expanded: “A Mechanism Capable of Changing Itself”

February 15, 2018–February 25, 2018

Berlinale’s Forum Expanded is entering its 13th year and once again includes a variety of works that expand the concept of documentary. 2018’s theme “A Mechanism Capable of Changing Itself” refers to the specific agency possessed by cinema, which is well expressed in the rich spectrum of forms to be found in documentary works. The forum’s program is now complete and features 34 film and video works of all lengths and genres together with 15 installations have been invited from a total of 27 countries. The artists invited include Ayreen Anastas and Rene Gabri, James Benning, Kudzanai Chiurai, Anouk De Clercq and Tom Callemin, Morgan Fisher, Alex Gerbaulet, Margaret Honda, Laura Horelli, Ken Jacobs, The Otolith Group, Michael Robinson, Ghassan Salhab and Mohamed Soueid, John Smith, Kerstin Schroedinger, Deborah Stratman, Clarissa Thieme and Wendelien van Oldenborgh.

DocPoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival

January 29, 2018–February 04, 2018

The program includes seminars, master classes, and Q&A’s with filmmakers.

Skábmagovat – Indigenous Peoples’ Film Festival

January 25, 2018–January 28, 2018

Skábmagovat, which presents Sámi and indigenous films and TV programs, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, with films to be screened in the atmospheric Northern Lights Theater, made of snow.

The Non-Actor, a Historical Survey Spanning Over 40 Films

November 24, 2017–December 10, 2017

This survey hosted by the Film Society of Lincoln Center includes films that challenge the conventions of screen performance and cinematic realism, understood as features pertaining to both documentary and fiction traditions. The 40-plus film line-up fittingly includes works by filmmakers, who are known for their cross-over and docufiction narratives, such as Pedro Costa, Abbas Kiorastami, Teemour Mambety, Agnès Varda, and Miguel Gomes.

The Message: New Media Works

November 18, 2017–April 22, 2018

The Message: New Media Works is a journey through five contemporary film and video installations that use music, film and pop culture to reveal profound truths about life in the 21st century.  It features the works of leading international video artists Camille Henrot, C.T. Jasper, Joanna Malinowska, France Stark, Hito Steyerl, and Arthur Jafa. Each work appropriates a common method of communication in the 21st century —the sermon, the web lecture, the concert, the music video and the online sex chat room— and uses its familiar format to question and provoke ideas around information overload in the global digital age. Camille Henrot’s “Grosse Fatigue” (2013) mines the Smithsonian archives for stories of the creation of the universe from a variety of religions and indigenous traditions.  C.T. Jasper and Joanna Malinowska’s “Halka/Haiti” (2015), addresses issues around globalization and colonization, staging a full-length Polish dramatic opera in a rural Haitian village populated by citizens of Polish descent. The expansive 30-foot curved screen and plastic deck chairs that are part of the installation immerse viewers in the village square alongside its original Haitian audience.

IDFA – International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam

November 15, 2017–November 26, 2017