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LIDF20 Programme

Festival Pass

Thursday 4th February


Tea Party
Andrada Neacsu | 2020 | UK | 11
The observation of two friends spending an afternoon together for tea becomes in “Tea Party” a moment for reminiscing and contemplating a life-long friendship. Betty (91), and Dorothy (93) have been friends since childhood, when they met playing on the beach through pure chance. As Dorothy is now in the early stages of dementia and living in a residential home, the film focused on how their story is evolving under these circumstances.

London Premiere

Producer: Noé Mendelle
Cinematography & Editing: Andrada Neacsu
Sound Design: Gavin McCabe
Color Grading: Giulia Bragiotto


When Mom is Gone
Zeynep Gulru Kececiler | 2020 | Turkey | 29
‘When Mom is Gone’ is the story of a father and his six children trying to hold on to life. Mohammed is left alone with his six children, the oldest of whom is 11 and the youngest is 2, in the mountain village of Sumara, in the city of Bamyan in Afghanistan. 9-year old Masume has quit school and is trying to be a mother to her siblings. 11-year old Jumahan, the eldest son, is working far away from his family. What has happened to leave Mohammed and his children in this condition? Why is Masume taking care of her siblings? Why is Jumahan working as a shepherd at a distant village away from his siblings? Yes, a father and his six little children in Afghanistan have to struggle hard.

Filmed in 35 days, the documentary demonstrates the micro-scale reflections of the devastation caused by the war in Afghanistan that has been going on for a decade.

UK Premiere

Producer: Zeynep Gulru Kececiler


Above 592 Metres (592 Metroz Goiti)
Maddi Barber | 2019 | Spain | 24
On the slopes of the Navarrese Pyrenees, the construction of the Itoiz dam in the 1990s flooded seven villages and three nature reserves. A strip of bare land, 592 metres above sea level, today marks a dividing line within the landscape of the valley. Below that level, the water; above it, life goes on.

Producer: Maddi Barber, Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology, Doxa Producciones
Photography: Maddi Barber
Sound: Maddi Barber, Xanti Salvador
Editor: Maddi Barber, Mirari Echavarri


Heimaey (Home Island)
Sonia Ladidà Schiavone | 2019 | Italy | 30 minutes
There is a little island, close to the Southern coast of Iceland: its name is Heimaey. On this land, life has beauty and misery, charm and contradictions: that’s what this story wants to reveal. The project is divided in 2 parts. The first one depicts Heimaey from the outside: its landscapes, streets, houses. Slowly, the project gets to the second part, where the human presence is the protagonist: Heimaey is approached from the inside, depicting some of its inhabitants and their peculiarities.

UK Premiere

Producer: Sonia Ladidà Schiavone

Writer: Sonia Ladidà Schiavone
Cinematographer: Rosario Cammarota

Sound Recordist: Sonia G. Esposito
Editor: Nadia Islöda


Rust (Rdza)
Rafał Małecki | 2020 | Poland | 30
Mariola Wawrzusiak-Borcz is an artist-welder. She roams post-industrial areas in search of scrap metal, which she uses in her artwork. During the process she creates sculptures of endangered animals and children affected by war. She fulfils her obsessive need to create art in spite of her painful hand condition.

European Premiere

Production Company: Moviematic
Producer: Michal Zolnowski
Cinematographer: Wawrzyniec Skoczylas
Music: Michal Wozniak


Men Inside (Des Hommes)
Alice Odiot, Jean-Robert Viallet | 2019 | France | 83
Thirty thousand square meters and 2,000 inmates, half of them are under 30 years old. The Baumettes jail is about misery, violence and abandonments, hopes and regrets. Through screams and silence ‘Men Inside’ immerses us uncomfortably in the margins of society.

London Premiere

Production Company: Unité de Production
Producer: Bruno Nahon
Cinematographer: Jean-Robert Viallet
Music: Marek Hunhap

Friday 5th February


Living there isn´t hell, it´s the fire of the desert. The plenitude of life that stayed there like a tree (Vivir allí no es el infierno, es el fuego del desierto. La plenitud de la vida que quedó ahì como un árbol)
Javiera Veliz Fajardo | 2019 | Chile | 58
‘Living there ….’ is about the wind, birds, sweat, hands, a wheelbarrow, drought and burial. Could it be possible to disappear in the desert? Totoral is a town that disappears between its hills. a town that was born and raised by the land, by their animals and by survival. The desert is constantly mutating, the trees get drier and the men get older. These men, together with their animals, erase their footprints and their passage through time.

Le Prix Tenk, Cinema du Réel, Paris, 2019

Producer: Bárbara Pestan


Eating an Elephant (Съесть СЛОНА)
Julia Saponova | 2020 | Russian Federation | 64
“Do you know how to eat an elephant?” One bite at a time! ” Masha is 19 years old, and she dreams of becoming an actress, but it is difficult for her to overcome her shyness. However, a dream can push a person into amazing deeds. Masha comes to the inclusive theater “InterAction”, where each actor with Down syndrome has a suitable role in the new show. Now, all together, they dream of creating a vivid and beautiful performance and going on tour abroad. This is a fun story of the life of a theater troupe, youth, love and friendship, where everyone learns not only to play on stage, but passes a real test of courage, generosity and perseverance.    

World Premiere

Producer: Olesya Ovchinnikova, Igor Mishin, Dmitry Sergeev, Julia Saponova
Writer: Julia Saponova, Valeria Zadereeva


The Bamboo Bridge
Juan Francisco Salazar | 2019 | Australia | 65
Every dry season, a 1.5km bamboo bridge has been built across the Mekong River to the island of Ko Pen in Cambodia. Every year, the bridge is dismantled in the wake of the monsoonal tides and recycled for the following year. In 2017, this bridge was built for the last time when a massive new government funded concrete bridge was inaugurated as the country embraces China’s One Belt One Road initiative. Through a slow and gentle rhythm, the film engages with three generations of bridge builders who share stories of this unique sustainable infrastructure and the diverse community economies and ecologies it sustained. Focusing on the last master builder, Mr Oun, the film explores the subtle intricacies of traditional forms of sustainable living with the rhythms of local ecosystems and the cycles of bamboo. The river, the monsoon, the people, and the bridge all tell an urgent and primal story. Are we listening?

European Premiere

Production Company: Matadora Films
Producer: Alejandra Canales, Claire Fletcher

Saturday 6th February


Shining a Light
Environmental Justice Foundation | 2019 | UK | 9
In Summer 2019, EJF investigators were able to document, illegal ‘saiko’ fishing. It costs Ghana tens of millions of dollars in revenue and threatens food security and coastal livelihoods.

Producer: Environmental Justice Foundation
Cinematographer: Environmental Justice Foundation


Not for money, not for love, not for nothing
John Robert Lee | 2020 | UK | 15
In the world of money and sex, this emotionally engaging documentary gives rare insight into the reflective personal struggle of sex workers. Using animation for anonymity, real questions are deliberated by real women, sharing their real stories.

World Premiere

Production Company: Zebra Stripe Films
Producer: Christine Patterson
Cinematographer: John Robert Lee
Music: Jonathan Mason, Vytautas Franukevicius


Under the North Sea
Federico Barni, Alberto Allica | 2020 | UK | 18
One kilometre underneath the cliffs of North Yorkshire, two very different tribes come face to face everyday. Since the late 80s, when the deepest dark matter research laboratory in the UK was built in the salt mine at Boulby, miners and research scientists have been working side by side in the underground network. In the darkness of this extreme environment, a young woman finds a new future. Scored with a soundtrack made entirely from underground recordings, this sensorial mosaic reveals a fragile equilibrium, a dimension in which utopian and dystopian futures coexist.

UK Premiere

Writer: Federico Barni
Producer: Alberto Allica

Editor: Federico Barni
Development Producer: Sara Archer, Elly Steinberg

Sound Design: Federico Barni, Lars Koens

Location Sound Recordist: Rory Smith


Portrait of an Artist
Simon Krietem | 2019 | UK | 23
Unravelling the stories behind some of the most evocative portrait paintings ‘Portrait of an Artist’ brings together artist and sitter, who talk about their deeply personal experiences behind the paintings. Exploring the fabric of their insecurities around self-doubt, body image, depression, we learn how the process of portraiture allows both the artist and sitter to go on a journey of discovery.

Production Company: Lonely Leap
Producer: Sara Archer
Cinematographer: Simon Krietem and Benson Neilan
Music: Erased Tapes and Artlist


Unlocking Doors of Cinema (Fath Abwab As-sinima)
Nezar Andary | 2019 | Lebanon | 61
‘Unlocking Doors of Cinema’ explores fifty years of artistic output by the daring Syrian auteur Muhammad Malas. An exile from his home town of Quneitra Malas dwells on the themes of loss, memory, and home. From the 1967 War and Palestinian Camps in Beirut, to the songs of Aleppo, and the political tragedies of Syria, Malas exemplifies what it means to be an auteur and public intellectual. ‘Unlocking Doors of Cinema’ takes you on a unique cinematic journey that is a visual conversation with the auteur’s own five decades of work.

Producer: Hana Makki


The Stone Guest (Каменный гость)
Marina Fomenko | 2018 | Russia | 8
In Russia the key figure of the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917 is Lenin. After his death in 1924 Lenin’s image was immortalised in countless monuments. There is neither a living nor a dead Lenin in this film; only ‘the stone guest’, monuments of birth and passing.

UK Premiere

Producer: Marina Fomenko
Cinematographer: Marina Fomenko


Dragon Blood Tree (Sang-dragon)
Erika Meda | 2019 | Belgium | 36
Josée grew up in the islands, among mangoes and dragon-blood trees. She now lives in the Belgian countryside, and takes care of her kindergarten. Season after season, trees and children are growing.

European Premiere

Production Company: Roue Libre
Producer: David Borgeaud
Cinematographer: Erika Meda
Music: Organ Mug


Sea Angels (Angeli del Mare)
Simone Gandolfo | 2018 | Italy | 52
The daily tasks of all the men and women who are working in the frontline, rescuing thousands of migrants who are fleeing from war, slavery, rape, torture, hunger. Boatloads of people pushed out to sea on a desperate journey that often turns into the deadliest route. With the crucial support of the Italian Coast Guard, together with the Italian Red Cross and other NGO, the film reports on their efforts to provide search and rescue activities, first aid, emergency shelters and all the humanitarian and psychological support that the migrants need. The largest refugee crisis of our time is taking place right here and right now.

UK Premiere

Production Company: Samarcanda Film


The Mortician of Manila
Leah Borromeo | 2019 | Qatar/UK/Philippines | 25
Since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took office in June 2016, nearly 30,000 people have been killed by vigilantes and police in a campaign to “neutralise” the country’s alleged widespread crystal meth addiction. Duterte has promised to fill the country’s morgues. Orly Fernandez manages and lives at ‘Eusebio’s’ – a 24-hr funeral parlour in Manila.

London Premiere

Jury Award – Best Documentary Short Film: Austin Film Festival
Best Cinematography of a Documentary Short Film: Asian Cinematography Awards
Best Documentary Short: Indie Short Fest
Best Short Documentary: Sydney Short Film Awards
Best Documentary Short: Ibizacinefest

Production Company: Disobedient Films
Producer: Leah Borromeo
Cinematographer: Joshua Reyles
Music: Jamie Perera / Audio Network


Bread or Life
Jamshid Mojadaddi, Anson Hartford, Ladan Anoushfar | 2020 | UK, Iran | 29
When the Covid-19 Pandemic hit Iran, amongst ongoing international sanctions, a filmmaker cut adrift from his crew began documenting his life from lockdown. An intimate portrait of life in Iran during the coronavirus outbreak.

World Premiere

Production Company: Banyak films
Producer: Anson Hartford, Ladan Anoushfar
Cinematographer: Jamshid Mojadaddi


One Word
Viviana Uriona | 2019 | Germany | 83
‘One Word’ is a participatory documentary about the impact of Climate Change. The movie was developed and filmed with the Marshallese People over a period of nine months. Most of the Marshall Islands are less than 5.9 feet above sea level. Negative forecasts predict the uninhabitability of the islands by 2050. The filmmakers trusted the Marshallese people to be the only reliable experts when it comes to the story of their land.

World Premiere

Production Company: Studio Kalliope
Producer: Maria Kling
Cinematographer: Mark Uriona
Music: Boris Löbsack


Land Underwater (Urpean Lurra)
Maddi Barber | 2019 | Spain | 50
Nearly two decades ago the Itoiz reservoir flooded seven villages and three nature reserves on the slopes of Navarre Pyrenees. The environmental group Solidari@s with Itoiz documented on video the fight against its construction. Today, those who were there dream of the land that remains underwater. Their voices and gestures intertwine to account for an individual and collective mourning that extends to the present.

Producer: Maddi Barber
Screenplay: Maddi Barber
Photography: Maddi Barber
Editor: Gerard Ortin, Mirari Echavarri López, Maddi Barber
Music: Peru Galbete


48 Hours with Dad
Gal Dor | 2019 | Israel | 43
Director Gal Dor’s father is in prison. He sometimes receives a 48-hour furlough, quarantined in a small apartment and under her court-ordered supervision. Gal fears she might end up as her dad and decides to use “imprisonments” to learn how to avoid it. With the usage of archived videos, their past and current lives are revealed as the camera documents their relationship’s development.
UK Premiere

Writer: Gal Dor
Producer: Gal Dor
Cinematographer: Or Azulay

Editor: Nir Dvortchin

Sound: Gal Dor, Elad Dvortchin, Yarin Plotnik


Dear Child
Luca Ammendola | 2020 | UK, Brazil | 79
Off the coast of Brazil a journalist writes a letter to his unborn child. He has returned from a drug rehabilitation centre in Rio De Janeiro, where he met a missionary priest who shelters teenagers on the run from the drug cartels. He witnessed a group of teenagers trying to turn their lives around from a past of drugs and violence. The boys spend time together playing football, flying kites and catching lizards …. and slowly, they began to open up and tell their stories.

World Premiere

Production Company: Advantage Pictures Ltd
Producer: Nikolai Galitzine
Cinematographer: Nicolas Villegas
Music: Zbigniew Preisner

Sunday 7th February 


Good Tidings (La buona novella)
Sebastiano Luca Insinga | 2018 | Italy | 15
When the climate in the Mediterranean turns mild, boats full of migrants leave from the coasts of Africa and Asia trying to reach Europe, the ‘promised land’. On a summer night, ‘Bochra’ arrived on a beach in Sicily with over 100 people on board. All soon escaped but ‘Bochra remained, alone in the limbo between sea and earth…. until the tourists arrived.

Production Company: Jump Cut
Producer: Paolo Borraccetti, Simone Cargnoni, Sebastiano Luca Insinga
Editor: Sabino Parise
Sound Design & Mix: Philippe Gozlan
Assistant Director: Simone Cargnoni
Assistant Editor: Giorgia Pasolli
VFX: Valerio Oss
Color Grading: Pierpaolo Ferlaino
Set Photographer: Simone Cargnoni
Associated Production: Wasabi


Florian’s Last Climb (Florians letzter Aufstieg)
Harold Chapman | 2018 | UK | 25
An Austrian aristocrat employs two filmmakers to help him uncover the mystery of his grandfather’s disappearance who went missing whilst climbing in Corsica more than 90 years before.

UK Premiere

Golden Maple for Best Documentary, Jahorina Film Festival, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Special Festival Mention, 8th Bangalore Short Film Festival, India
Best Experimental Film, Trujillo Independent Film Festival Peru
Jury Award for Best Documentary, Indian World Film Festival, India

Production Company: Primal Screen
Producer: Harold Chapman
Cinematographer: Mike Robinson
Music: Stu Reid


The Last Song of the Nightingale
Katie Stacey | 2020 | UK | 57
The Last Song of the Nightingale tells the tale of one of Europe’s most well known birds; its natural history, its role in literature, art and music, as well as its cultural importance and its future. Using a unique storytelling blend of animation, natural history, documentary style filmmaking and archive footage.

Director of Photography: Luke Massey
Design, Animation & Illustration: Will Rose

Sound Design & Field Recording: Nicholas Allan

Narrator: Samuel West

Additional Photography: Austin Ferguson, Ben Andrew, Daniel Trim, Mick Jenner, Russell Savory, Craig Reed, RSPB, British Pathé


Mother’s of the Land (Sembradoras de Vida)
Diego Sarmiento, Alvaro Sarmiento | 2020 | Peru | 74
‘Mother’s of the Land’ accompanies five women from the Andean highlands in their daily struggle to maintain a traditional and organic way of working the land. In the Andean Cosmovision, women and earth are strongly interrelated. Both, a women’s body and the earth’s soil are capable of giving and nurturing life. In the context of an ever-growing industrialisation of agriculture, the use of chemical pesticides and genetically modified seeds it is women, who, connected to earth through bounds of sisterhood, take on the role of protectors.

UK Premiere

Best Documentary – 25 Dreamspeakers Indigenous Film Festival. Canada, 2019
Alanis Obomsawin Award for Best Documentary – 20 imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. Canada, 2019
Best Film Audience Award – 17 Latinamerika i Fokus Latin American Film Festival. Sweden, 2019
Best Documentary Audience Award on Food Cultures – 11 Tutti Nello Stesso Piatto – Cinema Food & Diversity Film Festival. Italy, 2019
Best Documentary Audience Award – 6 Cine de las Alturas Film Festival. Argentina, 2020
Best Indigenous Documentary Award – 6 Documenta Caracas Film Festival. Venezuela, 2019
Best Latin American Documentary – 5 FINCA Ecological Film Festival. Argentina, 2020
SIGNIS Prize – 5 FINCA Ecological Film Festival. Argentina, 2020
Best Documentary Audience Award – 3 AricaDoc Documentary Film Festival. Chile, 2019
Best Documentary – 2 Jumara Indigenous Film Festival. Panama, 2019

Producer: Diego Sarmiento, Alvaro Sarmiento
Associate Producer: Jorge Constantino
Cinematography: Diego Sarmiento
Screenwriter: Alvaro Sarmiento, Annemarie Gunkel
Direct Sound: Marco Panatonic
Music: Horacio Camargo
Editor: Alex Cruz, Fabrico Deza, Diego Sarmiento
Colorist: Johan Carrasco
Mix Sound: Fonica Studio
Photography: Miguel Palomino
Animation: Kati Egely


Earth’s Children (Hijos de la tierra)
Diego Sarmiento | 2014 | Peru | 14min
Early in the morning, young Jorge sets off with his machete to harvest bananas, making every blow count. After the bananas have been boiled it is time for breakfast. After that, Jorge and his friends are free to wander the lush vegetation that surrounds their home – climbing, having fun, singing harvest songs and splashing about in the headwaters of the Amazon. Seen through the eyes of children, these everyday scenes describe the peaceful lives of an indigenous village community.

Best Documentary Short Film – Adult Jury Prize. Chicago International Children’s Film Festival. USA
Best Documentary Film. Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival. Sharjah, UAE.
Best Short Film. FICWallmapu – Indigenous People Film Festival. Chile.
Special Prize – Moscow International Film Festival for the Young Audience CAT. Russia.
Special Prize – Cochabamba International Film Festival. Bolivia.

Executive Producer: Álvaro Sarmiento
Script: Jorge Tapullima & Alvaro Sarmiento
Photography: Álvaro Sarmiento, Diego Sarmiento & Lucía Czernichowsky
Sound: Renerio Tapullima, Watson Sangama & Harry Sangama
Editor: Alex Cruz
Color Correction: Jorge Sabana


L’Ultimu Sognu – Last Dream in Petra Bianca (L’ultimu Sognu – Dernier rêve à Petra Bianca)
Lisa Reboulleau | 2019 | France | 33
At night in the heart of a Corsican forest a woman dreams of hunting. After killing, as she looks into the eyes of dead wild animals, she can see faces. Those of people who in real life are about to die. This is an ancient gift that has been passed on to her and comes from the depth of the island. She is a Mazzera. Today no one seems to care about her visions except one shepherd who is still paying attention.

UK Premiere

Production Company: Les Films du Bilboquet
Producer: Eugénie Michel-Villette
Cinematographer: Lisa Reboulleau
Music: Pierre Reboulleau


Andrea Yu-Chieh Chung | 2020 | USA | 9
What does it take to stay awake when the reality is tough and home is far away? Using archival footage of the Sunflower Movement that took place in Taipei, Taiwan in 2014 as a starting point, the filmmaker reflects on her ideas of home, politics, and the importance of being present.

World Premiere

Producer: Andrea Yu-Chieh Chung
Cinematographer: Andrea Yu-Chieh Chung


Niblock’s Sound Spectrums – Within Invisible Rivers
Thomas Maury | 2019 | France | 110
‘Niblock’s Sound Spectrums – Within Invisible Rivers’ follows Phill Niblock, one of the popes of minimalist music, over the course of eight years. We follow him during his endless tours, and steal a glimpse of the secret parts of one of the smartest composers alive. From his New-York loft, a laboratory that is, since the sixties, both his home and a concert hall, we end up in the suburbs of Paris to witness a peculiar meeting.

UK Premiere

Production Company: Digital District Production
Producer: Claire Marquet
Cinematographer: Thomas Maury
Music: Phill Niblock


The Institute
Alexander Glandien | 2020 | Austria, Germany | 13
‘The Institute’ is about the importance of biodiversity for the cultural identity and the economic independence of Latin America. It shows the connections between the historical research expeditions of Humboldt, Mutis and Caldas in South America with genetic research and contemporary biology in today’s Colombia. The long-awaited peace in the country has not only opened up unreachable territories for research, but also sparked a debate about how to deal with the country’s biological heritage. This animated documentary is based on a conversation with the leading biodiversity expert and transgender activist Brigitte Baptiste, which was recorded in Bogota in 2019. She is the head of the “Instituto Humboldt”, the world’s only institute for biodiversity research.

World Premiere

Production Company: Glandienale
Producer: Alexander Glandien
Cinematographer: Alexander Glandien


Fram – Forward (Fram – Vorwärts)
Thomas Freundlich, Valtteri Raekallio | 2019 | Finland, Norway, Svalbard | 28
Two friends journey to the end of the earth, in order to dance in the polar wilderness of Svalbard. En route, they explore our ideas of the Arctic, along with the grand questions of life and art. ‘Fram’ is a unique and engaging journey to a place where few have been and even fewer have danced.

UK Premiere

Producer: Thomas Freundlich, Valtteri Raekallio
Cinematographer: Thomas Freundlich, Valtteri Raekallio


The Qilin
David Lale | 2019 | UK/Germany | 19
An animated short about the precarious lives of African migrants in China – seeking their fortunes in the booming global market in counterfeit goods.

UK Premiere

Production Company: Fruitmarket Films
Producer: Sam Hopkins
Cinematographer: David Lale
Music: Chu-Li Shewring


The Small World (Le Petit Monde)
Benjamin Poumey | 2020 | Switzerland | 112
“Leave the child the time and space to live his childhood” is the motto of La Madeleine des Enfants, a daycare nursery in downtown Geneva. Everyday, from 7am to 7pm, more than a hundred children are accompanied towards individual autonomy and collective life by a team of fifty professionals. A year of immersion behind these stone walls to explore how the first steps in society are made, how this small world reflects and reacts to the fast evolving one outside, how a whole institution struggles to leave children the space and time to live their childhood.

World Premiere

Producer: Benjamin Poumey
Assistant Director: Alexa Andrey
Cinematography: Séverine Barde, Raphaël Frauenfelder, Erika Irmler, Nicolas Wagnières, Julien Roby
Sound: Masaki Hatsui, Nicolas Binggeli, Martin Stricker, Charles Menger
Editing: Damián Plandolit
Sound Mixing: Martin Stricker


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