Document Human Rights Film Festival begins next week

The Document Human Rights Film Festival kicks off next week, running from Friday 30 November to Sunday 2 December. Relocated to the Scottish Youth Theatre for its 16th edition, this year’s festival brings discussions and workshops, as well as 40 feature length and short documentary films from around the globe to Glasgow - including 11 Scottish premieres and some of the world's most exciting prize-winning films.

Through innovative contemporary titles and historical gems, this year’s festival explores the potential of archives and archive film, asking what they can tell us about collective memory and the role of filmmaking in the preservation of culture.

Amplifying unheard voices

From the radical women who transgressed tradition to pioneer a New Arab Cinema, to the Tokyo workers who waged war on the Yakuza, hear previously unheard voices from history that help make sense of the contemporary world and imagine new futures for it. Document 2018 also takes a close look at the poetic and political potential of landscapes, and showcases films in which people must rebel against the traumas of their present moment.

Major events include a screening and lecture celebrating the recently passed Egyptian filmmaking icon and ‘mother of documentary’, Ateyyat El Abnoudy. A series of films recovered from and about the lost Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) Film Unit archive will be presented and contextualised by scholar, researcher and writer, Anandi Ramamurthy - one of several events supported by Film Hub Scotland’s Pilot Projects programme.

Scottish Premieres

The festival will be screening the Scottish premiere of Silence is a Falling Body, a revealing portrait of the filmmaker's father constructed from over 100 hours of footage recorded before his death, presented in partnership with Scottish Queer International Film Festival. Luz Obscura will also have its Scottish debut a deeply-felt film essay on Portugal's decades-long right wing dictatorship from director, Susana de Sousa Dias, who will attend the festival.

Document is also delighted to welcome filmmaker and artist, Louis Henderson to deliver this year’s Superlux Masterclass in conjunction with Lux Scotland, focusing on recent collaborative work Ouvertures, which seeks to find an anti-colonial method of filmmaking.

Other confirmed guests include Steven Eastwood, director of Island, and Sara Fattahi, director of Chaos, which won the Pardo d'Oro Cineasti del presente at Locarno Film Festival this year and will receive its Scottish premiere at Document. Fattahi, winner also of the FIPRESCI Award at the 2015 Viennale, will lead a free Director's Masterclass in conjunction with the Scottish Documentary Institute on Saturday 1 December.

International Representation

Document is delighted to host films from around the world, including Scottish Premieres of Orione and Silence is a Falling Body (Argentina), Babylonia Mon Amour (Italy), Revenir (Australia / Ivory Coast), Meteors (Netherlands/Turkey), Black Mother (USA), and experimental American filmmaker Ben Russell's Good Luck (France, Germany), which explores the differences and similarities of two groups of men working in the mining trade in vastly different conditions in Serbia and Suriname, shot on Super 16mm film.

Festival Programme Producer, Sam Kenyon said,

“A central theme of this year’s edition is the histories, afterlives and generative potential of archives - looking at what they can tell us about how we understand our individual and collective histories, particularly in relation to some of the seismic political events of the twentieth century. The festival is a place where we can tease out lots of interesting questions around these subjects. We hope that audiences will come and see some wonderful films, participate in workshops, masterclasses and panel discussions, and have lots of engaging conversations.”

Sean Greenhorn, Screen Officer at Screen Scotland said,

“Glasgow’s Document Human Rights Film Festival offers audiences in Scotland access to stories from around the world, by Scottish and International film makers, exploring human rights issues and activism on a local and global scale. The festival’s consistently diverse and accessible screening and events programme brings together high-quality filmmaking, with expert speakers, and people who are taking action and bringing about change. Screen Scotland is proud to support the Festival and we congratulate the team on another impressive programme.”

Book tickets

Tickets for all films and events are available now at and will be available to purchase on festival days (30 Nov - 2 Dec) from the box office at the Scottish Youth Theatre. Tickets for all events are either free or priced on a Pay What You Can basis from £0 to £8 (in £2 increments).

Find out more about Document Human Rights Film Festival and book your tickets on their website at:


Partners in this year's Festival include Creative Interruptions, Dardishi, Lux Scotland, Goethe-Institut Glasgow, SQIFF, Glasgow Short Film Festival, Scottish Documentary Institute, GRAMNet, The ALLIANCE, Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief, Health and Social Care Academy, Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care, Africa in Motion Film Festival, The Glasgow Human Rights Network, Femspectives and Plantation Productions. The Brunswick Hotel is Document’s Official Accommodation Partner for this year’s edition.

About Document

Document is produced by Sam Kenyon, Sanne Jehoul and Richard Warden. The festival is supported by Creative Scotland and Screen Scotland through the Film Festivals Fund, Film Hub Scotland (this support is made possible through funding from Creative Scotland and National Lottery funding from the BFI) through the Pilot Project programme, and the BFI’s Uprising: Spirit of ‘68 programme.

Press contact

Lewis Camley, Press and Marketing Manager, Document Human Rights Film Festival


T: 07526892641