LIDF 2018
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The first LIDF – London International Documentary Festival: A Conversation in Film – took place at the British Museum in 2007.

The LIDF is London’s oldest and largest documentary festival and offers an unprecedented all year-round snapshot of the contemporary world. The festival adopts a questioning, critical attitude to the cultural, social and political issues of the day, engaging with filmmakers, their subjects, and our audience to create a highly distinct environment for cultural interaction.

The LIDF arose from a commitment to what it called, and continues to call, ‘Conversations in Film’. These conversations go beyond the films themselves. The intention is to throw light not only on the film process, but also on the role of documentarians as essayist, polemicist, poet, agitator, and knowledge producer. Audiences are actively encouraged to take part in these discussions and contribute directly to the debates.

Alongside established names like Martin Scorsese and Steve Soderbergh, the festival presents the best emerging talent from around the globe. A truly public sphere for debate, analysis, and entertainment.

While it is true that documentaries can be hugely entertaining, they are rarely merely entertaining. A combination of art and the well argued essay produces a powerful means for reflection. The LIDF believes that film is a powerful tool for connecting people, for creating debate, for stirring empathy, compassion and ultimately action. As such the festival exists as a part of the public sphere of dialogue and interaction, not just a film festival, but a festival of ideas.

The LIDF is a BAFTA recognised festival (category A).

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