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

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.

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.

Full Frame – documentary film festival

April 05, 2018–April 08, 2018

Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival

April 09, 2018–April 15, 2018

Visions du Réel, Nyon International Film Festival

April 13, 2018–April 21, 2018

hotDOCS – Canadian International Documentary Festival

April 26, 2018–May 06, 2018

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

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

Kassel Dokfest

November 14, 2017–November 19, 2017

In its 34th year, Kassel Dokfest, a prominent documentary media art festival in Germany, will present 258 national and international films: 54 feature-length and 204 short films from 35 countries, out of which over 90 will be premieres. Among other festival sections that accompany the extensive film program and educational workshops are: the media art exhibition Monitoring, which will show 15 experimental and artistic works; the workshop symposium interfiction with the title *TOPIA!, which will discuss different ways of dys- or utopias; A Wall is a Screen will transform the city into a screen; and the evenings of the festival can be spent in the DokfestLounge with VJs, DJs, performances and parties. Since last year, the Kassel Dokfest shows 360°-films in the program Fulldome. 

Human Rights Watch Film Festival – Nairobi

November 08, 2017–November 12, 2017

United Nations Association Film Festival

October 19, 2017–October 29, 2017

Margaret Mead Film Festival

October 19, 2017–October 22, 2017

imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival

October 18, 2017–October 22, 2017

The Toronto-based film and media arts festival imagine-NATIVE is the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content. This year’s festival also features a series of engaging events, including a sound design masterclass and a workshop titled “Insiders and Outsiders: Developing New Collaboration Models,” which might be of interest to documentary filmmakers and scholars concerned with the currently pressing question of research protocols.

ARTISTS’ CINEMA: Desktop Cinema

October 17, 2017–October 17, 2017

ARTISTS’ CINEMA is a screening program at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb established in 2012, aimed at introducing contemporary artists and their cinematic works, created at the meeting point of contemporary art and cinema, of film and visual arts. Stemming from the research conducted for the exhibition Desktop Cinema: Post-Internet Aesthetics, which was part of the support program at Pula Film Festival Cinemaniac 2017: Video Television Anticipation held at MMC LUKA in Pula (July 2017), this specific screening program titled “Desktop Cinema” gathers recent films and videos produced between 2014 and 2017 that reflect upon digital interface practices. – Selected by our Associate Editor Greg De Cuir

Call for Films: The Encounters of the Other Cinema (EDOC) Festival

October 15, 2017–December 15, 2017

The International Documentary Film Festival Los Encuentros del Otro Cine / The Encounters of the Other Cinema is a non- competitive, creative documentary festival organized by Corporación Cinememoria, a non- profit institution based in Quito, Ecuador. The submission period goes from October 15th to December 15th, 2017, and the festival itself takes place in May. – Selected by our Associate Editor Javier Campo


Call for films: “Contra el silencio, todas las voces”

October 10, 2017–October 31, 2017

The 10th Hispanic-American Encounter of Independent Documentary Film and Video, “Contra el silencio, todas las voces”/”All Voices Against Silence,” will be held in Mexico City from April 12 to 21, 2018. There is currently an open call to participate in the event, with the deadline October 31st, 2017. Documentaries produced in 2016 and 2017, with Spanish-American themes and independently produced “with the vision of the director and not of a company” can be submitted. The categories for submission are: social movements and citizen participation, human rights, indigenous [issues and rights], [rights and status of] women, borders/migrations/exiles, environment, social change, and art and society.  – Selected by our Associate Editor Javier Campo

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

October 06, 2017–October 15, 2017