The LIDF 2012 is delighted to open with Shadows of Liberty at the wonderful 300 seat Sheikh Zayed Theatre in the New Building, LSE. Part of a new partnership between the LIDF and LSE about which we look forward to exciting developments in 2013.
The opening night selection could not be more relevant. While we follow the Leveson inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press Jean-Philippe Tremblay’s documentary provides even more reasons to doubt the objectivity and independence of the media. The inglorious confluence of commercial interests, news agenda, and political connivance is delightfully, if disturbingly, laid bare.
Artfully mixing interviews, actuality, reconstructions, and archive material, we’ll hear insider accounts from a broken media system, where journalists are prevented from pursuing controversial news stories, citizens are censored for speaking out against abuses of government power, and individual lives have been shattered as the arena for public expression has been turned into a private profit zone.
Focusing on the media crisis in the United States. The film takes us on a harrowing journey through the dark corridors of the American media landscape where massive corporations exercise extraordinary political and economic power.
Helping us debate how we must take action and take our public media back will be the film’s director, Charlie Beckett (founder of POLIS and a journalist with 20 years experience at the BBC and Channel 4 News, as well as the author of SuperMedia: Saving Journalism So It Can Save The World) and Pratap Chatterjee (executive director of CorpWatch, regular contributor to the The Guardian, board member Amnesty International and of the Corporate Europe Observatory).
Ten days later the festival closes with the UK Premiere of War Matador directed by Avner Faingulernt and Macabit Abramson.
In between there is the chance to see more than 150 films from 49 countries. The unique and diverse programme includes many highlights and many campaigning films – In My Mother’s Arms; Hamedullah: The Road Home; Somos Wichi (We Are Wichi); Talibe – The Least Favoured Children of Senegal – the world premiere of Krisis a film by the Greek collective Prism GR2011 that explores how Greece and the Greeks are handling the crisis, THE European Premiere of Incident in New Baghdad (Best Documentary Short, Tribeca Film Festival), A Celebration of Polish Documentary Film (in partnership with the Krakow Film Foundation), Internationally acclaimed ventriloquist Nina Conti’s thoughtful and funny Her Master’s Voice, Alex Gabbay’s Love, Hate and Everything in Between which looks into the extraordinary relevance of empathy in today’s increasingly interconnected world, the UK Premiere of the multi-award-winning Not Without You (Grand Prix and Students Prize, Beograd; Nomination Magnolia Award, STVF Shanghai; Best Portrait, PARNÜ Estonia; Best Feature Documentary, National Film Festival, Utrecht; Golden Plaque, FIRST SHOT Sarajevo), Arab Documentary Cinema, Radici, a delightful ‘musicarello’ with the Neapolitan musicain Enzo Gragnaniello (Venice Film Festival, ‘Venice Days’), Touch the Sky which follows the extraordinary progress of Guy Laliberté, the owner and founder of world famous Cirque du Soleil, as he makes his way from the training program in Russia to the International Space Station (ISS) 150 miles above the earth, and Zelal a quiet masterpiece from Egypt (Winner of FIPRESCI, Best Documentary Film).
An inspiring line-up of award-winning documentaries from emerging and established talent around the globe, the festival offers up a feast of film and debate – a truly international programme, and a London-wide celebration of the constantly invigorating world of documentary film.