LIDF 2018
plus extra film screenings all year around
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Due to ongoing Covid concerns the 2021 festival will take place on-line. This will result in a slight delay. In partnership with Filmocracy we will provide an on-line platform of live screening from the 27th to 30th January and an additional two weeks of on demand viewing. Details of how to sign in and buy tickets will follow.

LIDF20 Winners

When Mom is Gone
Dir. Zeynep Gulru Kececiler
Winner, Best Short Film LIDF20

L’Ultimu Sognu – Last Dream in Petra Bianca (L’ultimu Sognu – Dernier rêve à Petra Bianca)
Dir. Lisa Reboulleau
Special Mention, Short Film LIDF20

Men Inside (Des Hommes)
Dir. Alice Odiot & Jean-Robert Viallet
Winner, Best Film LIDF20

One Word
Dir. Viviana Uriona
Special Mention, Best Film LIDF20

LIDF20 Final Weekend

The LIDF on-line concludes this weekend. Why not use lockdown time to enjoy the full programme at your leisure. Festival Passes are available HERE!

LIDF20 Day 2

Three great films, Get your Festival Pass HERE


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

LIDF18 Festival Passes

Now in it’s eleventh year the London International Documentary Festival presents another strong and diverse line-up, investigating areas of personal and global politics. This year’s films come from over 28 countries and are directed by established as well as first-time filmmakers. It’s a provocative and inspiring lineup presented in timely strands that are designed to spark debate.

See the Official Selection HERE


(please note prices are in Euros and tickets must be bought in advance)


DAY PASS (11.00 – 22.00): 40 euros

EVENING SESSION (18.00 – 22.00): 25 euros

MORNING AND AFTERNOON: (11.00 – 18.00): 30 euros




Piazza Vittorio
dir. Abel Ferrara (featuring Willem Dafoe): 15 euros

Buy your tickets

LIDF18 Opening Night

Abel Ferrara’s documentary ‘Piazza Vittorio’ (featuring Willem Dafoe) to open the LIDF18.

Piazza Vittorio is the biggest square in Rome. Both the square and the adjacent districts of the Esquiline stand out for the multiethnic variety of their inhabitants. Here, in fact, we find a range of ethnic groups from nearby and far away: Romans, Asians, North Africans and Indians who make the square and neighbourhood a lively place but at the same time one that is not easy to manage. Precisely because of its unique and colourful nature, many artists and other figures with ties to the world of cinema, like Matteo Garrone and Willem Dafoe, have chosen to make it their home. Among them is the great director Abel Ferrara, who has decided to portray this world from his own independent and poetic point of view, putting himself physically on the line in the production of the film. Out of this has come a surreal and neorealist picture of a day in the square’s life, with interviews with illegal and legal immigrants, tramps, artists, proprietors of businesses and politicians who give their personal accounts of the place. It is the portrait not just of a square, but of an Italy that is changing and that is trying at all costs to go down the road of integration, often underestimating the side effects.

LIDF17 Festival Passes

Now in it’s tenth year, the London International Documentary Festival presents another strong and diverse line-up, investigating areas of personal and global politics – and provoking and encouraging audiences to respond to them. This year’s films come from over 45 countries and are directed by established as well as first-time filmmakers. It’s a provocative and inspiring lineup of over 100 films presented in timely strands that are designed to spark debate.



LIDF17 Official Selection click HERE

TICKETS (please note prices are in Euros)


DAY PASS (10.00 – 22.00): 30 euros

EVENING SESSION (18.00 – 22.00): 20 euros

MORNING AND AFTERNOON: (10.00 – 18.00): 20 euros




Achetez vos pass

‘Flâneurs’ (‘Street Rambles’)


Between film projects and following the birth of his daughter, a Canadian in Paris must confront his slacker lifestyle and decide if there is something in it worth passing on to the next generation, or if he is better off getting a job. In search of the remaining traces of flâneurs (19th Century wanderers of Paris), he takes his daughter on a series of poetic strolls in which he assumes the role of a contemporary flâneur and crosses the path of people who help reveal the relevance of such a figure today. In the movement back and forth between the filmed streets of Paris and scenes from the domestic life of a young father, a dialectic emerges between a baby experiencing and making sense of the world and these wandering men trying to do the same.

French/English with English/French sub-titles


FILM: ‘Flâneurs’ (‘Street Rambles’) directed by Matthew Lancit (80 mins)

DATE & TIME: Friday 3rd March – drinks from 8pm, screening starts at 8.30pm
CINEMA: Mac-Mahon – 5, avenue Mac-Mahon 75017 PARIS
TICKETS: €9 full price; €7.50 for students and other concessions. (+€5 for a drink and snack)
DRINKS & SNACKS: Available for purchase ONLINE ONLY when buying tickets. Alcoholic (‘La Parisienne’ beer or French cider) and non-alcoholic (Paris Cola or Organic French juice) drinks available, accompanied by a choice of 2 different flavours of Tyrrells popcorn


Flâneurs – Interview


Interview with director Matthew Lancit

Where are you from and how did you end up in Paris?

I grew up in Toronto, Canada. I lived in New York for a few years, before quitting my job in advertising to bum around Europe until I had squandered away most of my savings. There, I met a French girl and followed her to Cameroon, where I made my first feature-length documentary Funeral Season. Soon after that, Blandine and I decided to settle down in Paris.  

How did you first experience this new city of Paris?

When I arrived in Paris I had no working papers and my French was limited to the names of the fruits and vegetables – maybe a few animals. The time between creative projects was dragging and the line between idleness and depression became more and more vague. I had few friends and nothing to do with my days. When the few French friends I had learned how I passed my days – reading in the park, going to the movies, walking around different neighbourhoods – their response was: “You are a real flâneur!” When I looked up the word online, I could not find a suitable English translation, so my curiousity grew and the question what is a flâneur? became interchangeable with the question: who am I?

Was it already underscored by ideas of flâneurism? Did you know Baudelaire etc?

Well, most of Paris is a museum, and the flâneur is kind of a relic of the past. So, yes, I was aware of Baudelaire as a kind of archetype, but I’m not sure how much of his poetry I had actually read. After doing a lot of research on flâneurs in Paris at the end of the 19th Century, I was fortunate enough to receive a grant from the Canada Council of the Arts to make this documentary. But I was also in the process of becoming a new father at the time, and I questioned whether I could sustain this flâneur lifestyle while assuming a responsible father-figure role. It seemed that society would not allow it. And it occurred to me that the figure of the flâneur has become increasingly pushed to the margins of our speed and work driven society. So, I became curious to see if there were other people like me on the streets of Paris and if the flâneur is something still relevant today.

If, so what do you believe the flâneur is?

I hope that the film can better answer that question than I can.

What insights can the flâneur bring?

I’m not so sure that a flâneur should concern himself with bringing any big insights to the world. I think it was Apollinaire who defined the flâneur as someone who walks with no particular destination in mind. I don’t want to make people think anything; I just want to stop and give people pause. Then they can decide if something is good or bad, ugly or beautiful, but the important thing for me is to open up a moment of reflection. As for the destination, I trust that people will recognize it once they arrive.

Is the flâneur an insider or outsider?

Both. The flâneur is simultaneously a part of the crowd and apart from the crowd. Baudelaire explains that the flâneur follows the movements of the crowd like a bird follows the currents of the air, or a fish moving in water. We all need to sometimes immerse ourselves in a humanity bath, so that element of the flâneur is very much ‘inside’. But it’s increasingly difficult to find a crowd. And when you do, people are rushing to and from work, with their eyes and fingers entrapped by devices luring them toward the virtual world. Being aware of this, the flâneur pauses to look around and consider this phenomenon, which ultimately places him ‘outside’ of it. But then he wants to get back ‘inside’, but by his terms. He seeks interactions with passers-by; he marvels at obstacles along the path; he makes the street into his own home. And so, he slows down the pace of the crowd, and we have no patience for that in our work driven, modern society. So we push him back to the side. The more he wants to get ‘inside’ the further he finds himself ‘outside’. Even today, when he can’t really get away with refusing to work, the flâneur is always borrowing the world’s uniforms and uncomfortable in all of them.

For Walter Benjamin the flâneur heralded an incisive analysis of modernity, an investigator of the city, but also a sign of the alienation of the city and of capitalism. As such the flâneur is also a symbol of resistance, an antibiotic in the bloodstream of the alienated city. Do you feel that flâneurism can only ever be a private act, an isolated subjectivity, or can it be part of a wider social movement?

I think that the two are intertwined. Historically, the flâneur has been a pivotal influence on many social movements that came after: the surrealists used to wander around forgotten parts of the city in the daytime and through the Buttes Chaumont Park on the outskirts of Paris at night; the psychogeography of the situationists and the practice of the derive sometimes extended a flânerie for days on end and into a space beyond a walker’s accepted limits; even today, there are countless groups of urban explorers, urban artists, and urban developers attempting to convince us to rethink the city. But I believe that which differentiates the flâneur from the badaud is always personal. What you put into an experience and what you get out of an experience is always going to be your own, but hopefully it will have a positive contribution to the world around you. 

Before I began shooting this film, I went to an exhibit on Walter Benjamin at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme to further research his writings on the flâneur and Paris at the end of the 19th Century. But it was a little notebook that grabbed my attention instead. On this notebook he had marked the phonetic development of his son. This was about a week before my daughter was born, and I promised to keep a similar notebook tracing her own development. About four pages in, I quit. But I picked up my camera and began to make this film instead. And it was only when I found myself slowly pushing her stroller down the street with a camera braced to my shoulder that my search for the flâneur entered the present.   

Your film is interesting not only because of the encounters within it but also because of its sense of duration. It appears that you found an internal coherence and matched subject and form. Do you feel that this sense of duration is in itself a message?

I don’t know if it’s a message, but the slow pace of the film is certainly intentional, and very much against the grain of most of the films we’re exposed to today. It was important for me and my editor that the film be its proper flânerie. Ideally, I suppose that I’d like for people to come out of the film feeling like they’ve just experienced a flânerie for themselves. It’s okay with me if your mind wanders at times while watching this film. I don’t need you to be gripped every couple of minutes by some piece of action or dramatic revelation. On the contrary, I’d prefer audiences to step off their tenterhooks; to lean back and take a moment to breath; to feel free to drift around in their own thoughts for a bit. That’s what I do when I’m with a good book or in front of a painting I like. The challenge was making the film light enough that people would want to come back into it, and that the feeling of coming in and out of the film would be seamless enough that an audience wouldn’t be bored by the slowness of the film. Many people come out of the film telling me that they appreciated it because it reminded them of when they used to have the time to flâner. Others tell me that they are not at all flâneurs, but that they appreciated the opportunity to have entered my world and that they now feel they understand me better. I don’t know if audiences return to their flâneries or decide to begin flâning after watching the film, but this film opens up the possibilities.  

How difficult was it for you to adapt to a new city, a new life? Were you a natural flâneur or was flâning forced upon you?

Firstly, I’ve noticed that Parisians tend to be bored by their city, and when you’re a foreigner you look at things with a sort of enchanted gaze. But it’s not the same as being a tourist because, without a return ticket home, you’re set adrift into a world of uncertainty. If you want to, you might just get lost. I think this goes back to what I was saying before about coming to Paris without mastering the French language and not really having the necessary papers in order to find a job. But most unemployed people don’t feel the will to spend their time flâning. That’s not to say it’s impossible. We must acknowledge the social conditions that make things like leisure and beauty possible without designated them to the privileged few. It takes more than circumstances to make someone a flâneur, and I have always maintained that essence precedes existence.

Documentary Photography Workshops and Folio Review

The LIDF Documentary Photography Workshops and Folio Review are organised by the London International Documentary Festival with the participation of the Twenty Twenty Agency.

There are 24 workshops places available for both days and 40 participant-observer places for the Folio Review on Sunday 5th February.

The practices of photography and film-making share a rich history. In the past decade new technologies have caused boundaries to blur and opened up possibilities for professionals and citizen journalists alike. Twenty four photographers will be given the opportunity to take part in a 2-day intensive Documentary Photography workshop lead by internationally acclaimed photographers and photo editors with a limited number of places available to observe and participate in the folio reviews.

The Workshop and Folio Review
Aimed at advanced amateurs or young professionals with a good understanding of photographic practices, the event will lead two intimate groups of 12 individuals through an intensive 2-day program of shooting, mentoring, reviews, group critiques, and, culminating in the exciting opportunity to ‘pitch’ their work for folio review to leading industry professionals. Participants will work together with their peers and a professional photographer to develop their own individual visual language, photographic identity and practical, technical and conceptual skills required to compete in the ever-changing marketplace. The classroom sessions at the beginning and end of the day will focus on the practice of editing and group critiques. Together these activities form the backbone of the learning process and are integral to the workshop experience. The workshops will be based in central London, with good transport links enabling participants to travel easily around the city. 

Tutors and Reviewers

Peter Dench (
Peter is based in London working primarily in the Ad, Editorial and Portraiture fields of Photography. A distinctive and often quirky style has guaranteed regular commissions from a range of respected international clients. In 2010 Peter was placed 2nd in Advertising at the Sony World Photography Awards.
Clients Include: TIME, New York Times Magazine, STERN, GEO, Sunday Times Magazine, NEWSWEEK, Weekend Guardian, Telegraph Magazine, GQ, Tatler, Marie Claire, CN Traveller, NEON, Liberation, Esquire, Observer Magazine, Observer Sport Monthly, Highlife, Financial Times Magazine.

Frede Spencer (Founder of the Twenty Twenty Agency)
Born in Denmark 1973, Frede Spencer studied photography in Denmark before moving to England in 1996 to do a BA in Photography at Nottingham Trent. He moved to London in 2000 and started working at Katz Pictures, before moving to Corbis in summer 2004 as an assignment photo editor/agent. Frede now runs his own photographic agency, Twenty Twenty Agency, which represents editorial and commercial photographers. He’s interested in seeing editorial, advertising and portrait images.

Nick Cunard (
Nick specialises in location portraiture, human interest feature stories, successfully pitching picture led feature stories direct to national/international editorial, longer term documentary flavored projects for print, web and exhibition, stills and moving images plus words. He is owner at Nick Cunard : Stills Moving, partner at CHI-photo, and contributor at Eyevine.
Clients include: Stern Magazine, The Guardian, London Evening Standard, The Independent on Sunday, Metro International, DFID, CIMA , LDA,

Preparation for the Workshop
Photographers should include a portfolio of 5 images when booking for the workshop. Portfolios should reflect your photographic interests and style. You should be comfortable with your equipment as you will be expected to arrive at the workshop ready to photograph. Participants will be asked to arrive with at least one project idea to develop during the workshop. So that everyone can make the most of the intensive sessions, we strongly recommend that each participant conduct preliminary research before the workshop begins, and be aware that they will be responsible for their own project coordination. The preparatory research should include contact liaison, access information and, if appropriate, some preliminary shooting (still or moving image). All projects must be conducted within central London and be feasible to complete within the workshop day. Due to the fast pace of the workshop, we recommend that participants produce and edit their work digitally, using their own laptops

£285 (including coffee and lunch)

Observer Ticket for Folio Review
£40 (including coffee and lunch)

Travel & Accommodation
Participants are expected to make their own arrangements regarding travel and accommodation. 

4th – 5th February 2017


To book for the 2 day workshop CLICK HERE

To book as a participant-observer for Sunday 5th February CLICK HERE

For queries please contact: [email protected]