Today: June 18, 2024

Aldeburgh Documentary Festival

Aldeburgh Cinema, Suffolk, 2nd-4th November 2018.

Taking place once again at the Aldeburgh Cinema in Suffolk, The Aldeburgh Documentary Festival 2018 has announced a fantastic line-up of panelists and guests taking part in one of the most successful celebrations of art and craft in documentary filmmaking in Britain today.

Guests this year include; BBC Technology Correspondent RORY CELLAN-JONES, KATE MOSSE (OBE, Author and Broadcaster), PAUL CONROY (War photographer and filmmaker), JERRY ROTHWELL (Director of The School in the Cloud), ALISON MORROW (Producer of The School in the Cloud), CHRIS MARTIN (Director of Under The Wire), TOM BRISLEY (Producer of Under The Wire), JAMES NEWTON (director of Gun No.6), ZAC BEATTIE (Producer of Gun No.6) and RUPERT MURRELL (Director of Island of Grief).

This year’s opening film is the thought provoking THE SCHOOL IN THE CLOUD from director Jerry Rothwell. TED prizewinner Sugata Mitra puts a computer in a hole in a wall in a remote Indian Village. The local children, who have no schooling, are left to react to it.

Saturday’s highlights include a discussion with war photographer PAUL CONROY who narrates the harrowing documentary UNDER THE WIRE, a film that follows Paul and Marie Colvin through war in Syria on what was to be her last journalistic assignment. THE CLEANERS from directors Hans Block and Moritz Rieswieck is a fascinating and thought-provoking film on the shadowy topic of Internet policing, followed by an insightful Q&A with RORY CELLAN-JONES.

Sunday will see the return to the festival of BBC Today’s NICK ROBINSON who will chair a Q&A with the filmmakers behind the gripping GUN NO 6, a story about the most wanted gun in Britain which questions what can be done to prevent gang crime. The award-winning Suffolk photographer BILL JACKSON will bring photographical inspiration as he introduces the magical closing night film, FACES PLACES a film that follows Oscar Nominated Agnés Varda and professional photographer J.R as they travel around France in a special truck which prints giant mural photographs.

Highly influential film director NICK BROOMFIELD will fly all the way over from LA to receive the Outstanding Contribution to Documentary Award and will be interviewed by the wonderful DIANA QUICK. Fans will also get a chance to enjoy a retrospective of his 45 years of innovative and controversial work.

Films over the three-day festival also include:

PLASTIC CHINA – an eye opening and extremely moving film about poverty, survival and unequal opportunities.

THE JUDGE follows young lawyer Khalid Al-Faqih and her brave and tireless journey fighting for women’s justice. The film will be followed by a Q&A discussion with Kate Mosse.

ISLAND OF GRIEF introduced by Director Rupert Murrell follows Rupert after the death of his wife in 2013 as he and his young family try to find happiness again. The project was supported by WAY (Widowed and Young).

STOP ALL THE CLOCKS: WH AUDEN IN THE AGE OF ANXIETY from director Adam Low reveals how the poetry of Auden has helped us to better understand our politically tumultuous 21st Century.

BEST OF ENEMIES provides a rich and fascinating account that is sure to have our political minds constantly shuttling between then and now as it shows us a series of riveting TV debates between ideological opposites William F. Buckley Jr and Gore Vidal.

8 DAYS A WEEK: THE TOURING YEARS is a simply brilliant musical film chronicling the Beatles’ rise to fame as they conquered America. They changed global youth culture forever but the relentless pressure of such unprecedented fame led the band to question whether it was a safe way of life.

 HEARTS OF DARKNESS is a riveting behind-the-scenes look at Francis Ford Coppola’s struggles to complete his masterpiece Apocalypse Now. With footage captured by his wife we get an incredible view of the difficulties he faced from cruel weather, Martin Sheen’s heart attack and Marlon Brando’s ego.

ARTIFICIAL THINGS sees Sophie Fiennes collaborate with Stopgap’s Artistic Director Lucy Bennett to reimagine Bennett’s performance piece Artificial Things, taking us out of the theatre and into an uncanny world

A TALE OF TANGLEWOOD. On the 30th of June 1946, Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes was performed for the first time at the Tanglewood Music Center. 50 years later Tanglewood remounts the now-famous opera with Seiji Ozawa conducting some of the world’s most gifted student musicians.

The Festival has really gone from strength to strength in the last few years and has become one of the most important events in the film calendar with some truly fascinating panel discussions and Q&As with some genuinely groundbreaking talent.

The 24thAldeburgh Documentary Festival takes place between 2-4 November and tickets are available now.

For the full programme, festival information and to buy tickets visit:


Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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