The Aldeburgh Documentary Festival

Art & Culture

The 19th Aldeburgh Documentary Festival returns this November for a long weekend of screenings, discussions and debate sessions, lead by artistic director Diana Quick (Brideshead Revisited). From Friday 15th to Sunday 17th, the festival will take over picturesque Aldeburgh, making the most of the Suffolk coastal towns gloriously atmospheric cinema which has been screening films continuously since 1919 when the auditorium was built onto the back of a 19th century High Street store.

Guest veteran filmmaker Simon Schama will open the festival on Friday 15th November with a special version of his acclaimed BBC series, ‘The Story of the Jews’ in conversation with BBC Storyvilles Nick Fraser.

On Saturday, Danish documentary The Human Scale which looks at how we live in modern cities screens with a panel discussion, including local resident and preeminent architect Sir Michael Hopkins, world renowned specialist on urbanism and global cities Ricky Burdett, acclaimed filmmaker and author Roger Graef, and panel chair Marc Vlessing whose company Pocket has recently been commissioned by the Mayor of London to develop affordable housing in the capital.

Bafta fellowship award-winner Roger Graef will introduce the distinguished career of fellow documentary filmmaker Norma Percy in session three on Saturday 3pm, The Gold Standard in Documentary making.  

On Saturday night journalist Mary Ann Sieghart will be grilling Nick Fraser on his own glittering Storyville career alongside the screening of Rafea: Solar Mama. Described as Powerful and extremely watchable (Mark Adams Screen Daily), Solar Mama follows women from around the world learning how to empower their communities.   

Sunday morning is given over to a film dealing with a subject matter of wide international concern, interventions in other nations conflicts. Jeremy Scahills Sundance award-winning Dirty Wars looks at a US Covert Operations unit, formed as a clandestine part of the so called War on Terror. The debate panel following the screening includes Andrew Feinstein, author of the bestselling book The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade, and filmmaker Olly Lambert whose Syria: Across The Lines was shown earlier this year on Channel 4.

For more information and a full schedule for the festival, you can hop on over to the festivals site.