Latest Event Updates

Saturday 8th Docfilm Showcase Programme

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Open 11am-7.00pm Docfilm Showcase at the Doc Media Centre, Highcross – free  screenings.

11.00am – Voices 4 Change – young people’s film submissions about their communities.

12.00 ‘There Once Was An Island’ 80 mins feature documentary in support of the Homeless Film Festival.

2.00pm Presentation by Dr Anna Claydon, Lecturer in Media and Communication, University of Leicester – ‘Films, Disabilities and People‘.

3.00pm ‘St George’s Knights’ short film

Dir. Christopher Bevan / Prod. Belinda Busson

St. George’s Knights are a team of inspiring young men who refuse allow their disabilities to prevent them from playing and enjoying sport.

Powerchair football gives them ‘a level playing field’ and their courage, passion and competitiveness drive them to be the very best they can be.

4.00pm Quadelectronic 11 mins

Dir. Les Hayden Director:  Les Hayden / additional footage & audio editing by Jim Tetlow 

A group of musicians and a light artist gather in Leicester’s Quad Studios every month to create experimental music.

The film explores what drives them to make such inaccessible art.

5.00pm ‘The Next Room’ 12 mins

Dir. Paul Vernon – an audience led, multi-faceted, interactive project developed through the Open LAB scheme at Barbican Centre / Guildhall.

The additional screens at the Doc Media Centre will be showing submissions from the previous 4 Docfilm Festivals.



The 48 Hour DocFilm Challenge 2014: We’re going to need a bigger boat!

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“There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness” – Frank Capra

The 48 Hour DocFilm Challenge 2014: We’re going to need a bigger boat!

When: 14th – 16th November 2014

Location: Phoenix Square, Midland Street, Leicester, LE1 1TG

Do you love documentaries?
Do you enjoy being part of the filmmakers’ community?
Do you regret not entering the Docfilm Challenge in previous years?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the questions above and are looking for your next big challenge then you need to enter this years’ 48 Hour DocFilm Challenge.

As part of the annual Leicester’s DocFilm Festival we’re pleased to announce that we’re back by popular demand for the 3rd year running. It’ll be a fast and furious weekend of film making where anything could and probably will happen. So if you think you’ve got what it takes, and the stamina to take part email us now to confirm your place on the team.

For those of you who are new to the competition, this is an amazing opportunity to meet new people and get your work shown on the big screen and online. So whether you’re a seasoned professional or just have a passion for factual film making we want to hear from you.

Email us for more details and Follow us on Twitter and Facebook or check out our Vimeo channel for previous entries.



Leicester Docfilm Network

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The DocFilm Network provides support to professionals and enthusiasts in the documentary making sector through the provision of small pots of funding, access to equipment and screening venues.

New developments at this years festival include:

1. Docfilm Teachers Forum in partnership with SDSA (Schools Development Support Agency) – the first meeting for teachers / educators is 4.00-5.30pm on Wednesday 19th November at the Wot Space, 3 Shires Lane, Highcross. It will explore the use of documentary film in the curriculum.. Email for more details.

2. Docfilm School – the first screening will be ‘A Story of Children and Film’ on Thursday 27th November and is a Dogwoof Pop Up Cinema Ambassador screening – 5.00-7.00pm.

3. Filmgoals NGO (Kenya) – a showcase of films from East Africa.

Leicester Docfilm Festival 2014

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Documentary Media Month (1st-30th November) presents events, activities and workshops covering 4 areas: 

– film

– photography

– audio

– new media

The month is dedicated to showcasing people, places and events through 4 themed weeks – local, regional, national and international. The programme includes the 5th Leicester Docfilm Festival.

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Not Lost The Plot – The story of the Queens Road Allotments

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Not Lost The Plot – The story of the Queens Road Allotments

The Friends of Queens Road Allotments was one of the first groups in the UK to receive a  Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) All Our Stories grant in November 2012.

Our project is called” Not Lost the Plot”, and this film is one part of our year long research project. It includes the stories of many of the allotment users and their memories of the past.

Being privately owned the plot owners are free to use their plots for all sorts of unconventional activities from bee keeping to vintage car renovation as well as growing fruit and vegetables.

The site is a quirky oasis in the middle of the busy residential area of Clarendon Park and is cherished and loved by the locals that use it.

The film was completed in October 2013 and was filmed by Bill Newsinger.


Review – Unearthing The Pen

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Review by Joanna Gravett:

“I think the pen has power and life within it.” These are the beautiful words of Locheng, a Ugandan boy desperate to go to school, but who faces a heart wrenching struggle between an age old tradition and his dreams.

Years ago, village elders in Locheng’s village buried a pen, putting a curse on the written word. This deep hatred of reading and writing stems from a dark past, and as we follow Locheng’s story this remarkable twelve minute film is a stark reminder of the consequence of British Colonial Rule.

51 years after Ugandan independence, the red, white, and blue flag may be long gone, but the remnants of the unsettling past under Britain’s hard thumb still trickle down into Locheng’s world, as the historical scars prevent him from seeking an education.

The documentary is exquisite in capturing Locheng’s life, as we follow his quest to enrol at school. From the sound of the young goatherd’s livestock in the fields, to the hustle and bustle of the town centre, to Locheng’s big eyes as he looks longingly into a classroom, into a world he cannot understand because the teachers speak a language he does not know, the carefully compiled shots open a window into every detail.

We see that there is a big fence between the young goatherd and the classroom, and it doesn’t just represent his conflicting ideology with the elders; even if Locheng does manage to convince the villagers that the pen is a welcome friend after all, the question still remains as to whether he will be able to afford an education. As a teacher lists the costs of school fees, exams, a uniform, as well as colouring pencils, you can see the hope fade in Locheng’s eyes.

For those of us who took picking up a pen and paper and walking into school for granted this documentary will certainly make you think twice about the value of education. As Locheng pushes his fingers around in the sand, pretending to write, we realise that even a pen and paper is such a precious and undervalued commodity, much forgotten in modern Britain. But as Locheng points out: “What I see around me, the buildings, the vehicles the people drive, is all because of the pen.” And he is right.

This brilliant documentary gives a privileged view into one boy’s life, into a life that is sadly forgotten by the news, blighted by wars of the past, and those of recent times. We see a life under the shadow of Empire; a farmer’s life; a school life; a town life, and we witness a long tradition of a village.

It is clear that in some parts of the world education is undervalued, while in others there is no end of children who would love to go to school but can’t. It’s obvious that we’ve got a long way to go before every child receives an education, and there are many factors stopping children from receiving one: here it is not just an issue of money. For Locheng, the pen is certainly mightier than the sword, but will it be mightier than tradition?


Review – Adrenaline Junkie

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Review by Joanna Gravett:

The blaring sound of a motorbike engine is the first thing we hear as the opening shots of Adrenaline Junkie hit the big screen. You can feel the excitement and power of the two wheeled metal monsters, as the narrator introduces us to his story.  Engine fired, we, with the narrator, are ready to get out onto the road to ride hard and fast.  It’s like a drug, he says – and we’re already hooked. We expect speed, action, adventure!  But with all the hype, we forget one thing: being an adrenaline junkie can have grave consequences.

One minute we are looking at the bright, expensive bikes, raring to go.  And the next? A hospital ward.  Drips. Needles. Tubes. These are the close ups that fill our eyes as we survey the uninviting, blue surroundings. It’s very clever editing.  No more bright lights and fiery engines. In contrast to roaring down a sunny motorway at lightning speed, the narrator lies on his bed, unable to move, in a serious amount of pain.

But there’s another twist.  Just as we have given up hope for the narrator the music picks up, the light gets brighter again, and his voice lifts.  This isn’t so much a severe warning, as a story of hope. A story that will, no matter how bad things get, encourage you to carry on. Because however badly we may be hurt, physically or mentally, we all have the power to go forward and achieve.

The narrator is out of his hospital bed, pushing himself to the limit, doing things he’s never dreamed of doing.  This powerful story is a delight to watch, taking you through the highs and lows of life with the power of lighting, close ups, and sounds to trigger your emotions.

Listen to a news story and all you hear about is someone who has had a bad accident. Watch a drama and you’ll see the doctors racing around them in the hospital, patching them up, while their relatives look on in despair. What you are never allowed to discover is what happens afterwards. Are they fine one month later?  How do they cope? Adrenaline Junkie will answer these questions, while providing a heart-warming insight into how those who have suffered from accidents come together via some amazing support groups. And who said the NHS was a failure?