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London Open City Film Festival

The inaugural Open City London Documentary Festival launches 16 - 19 June at University College London venues and the Prince Charles cinema, as a public-minded celebration of the best in documentary filmmaking. A diverse programme is organised into strands including Obsessions, Crime & Punishment, Science Fictions, World Visions and The City. The festival presents a variety of award winning masterpieces and UK premieres, workshops, live music, open-air cycle powered cinema, a farmer’s market, pig on a spit and much more! This year the festival focues on Czech documentaries and with a special strand titled Jihlava at Open City celebrates the 15th anniversary of the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival whose director Marek Hovorka will serve as one of the juros.

Four days of film, 10,000 tickets at £5 or less, open air cinema, live music and a barbecue are offered by this newly established documentary film festival. The festival presents Jihlava Shorts, a programme celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Jihlava International Documentary Festival whose director Marek Hovorka will serve as one of the jurors. The Czech programme will also include a screening of Helena Trestikova’s film Katka in the main competition, Ivan Vojnar’s Cinematherapy and a selection of student films from FAMU.

The festival will open with the London Premier of the internationally acclaimed Position Among The Stars (The Darwin Theatre, UCL, Thurs 16 June), the concluding part of Leonard Retel Helmrich's trilogy and winner of the World Cinema Special Jury Prize for Documentary Film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and winning the VPRO IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary at IDFA 2010. Helmrich's The Eye of the Day & Shape of the Moon will screen as a pre-festival warm up (Tues 7 June) and a special workshop on led by Helmrich on his trademark 'Steady Wings', a special documentary steadycam device, will also take place (Weds 8 June).

Open City will further present a remastered screening of Metropolis, with the world premiere of the live orchestra soundtrack by Serum Electronique, composed by Paul Hines (founding member of Test Dept). Open City will also screen clips from Elephant and Castle, a new unfinished documentary about the largest regeneration scheme underway in the borough (Thurs 12 May).

Other confirmed feature documentary highlights include: the UK Premier of Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone: black punk comes to London; Guilty Pleasures, an affectionate and uplifting account of the global Mills & Boon romance phenomenon, including Director Julie Moggan Q&A; Thieves by Law, telling the terrifying story of how the Russian Mafia, raised in the Soviet camp system, fought their way to spectacular wealth with unparalleled brutality; 66 Months – a dark and deeply disturbing but profoundly important film, filmed over seven years, about an abusive but loving relationship; The Redemption of General Butt Naked, an incredible insight into the search for redemption by a once naked, violent general responsible for the death of 20,000 individuals in Liberia now turned preacher; and Shelter in Place, a compelling take on the malpractices of the petrochemical industry in Texas, including a Q&A with Producer Hannah Patterson. Each feature will be preceded by a MyStreet short documentary in competition.  

 A highlight of the festival will be MAGNIFICENT REVOLUTION and the £1 CINEMA – a cycle powered cinema in the centre of London – opening each night at 8.30pm with the KINO OPEN MIC slot and then a feature film (including Metropolis). Bring your bike!

The event is kindly supported by the Embassy of the Czech Republic, Pilsner Urquell and Techo.

 More at: http://www.opencitylondon.com/