What’s On in Docs? 11 of the Best Documentary Events in the UK this March

Spring has officially sprung, and we’ve put this month’s best UK documentary events here in one place, as always. Without further ado, here’s March’s top doc events…

Thursday 2nd March

Screening: Love True, London

When a doc has Shia LaBeouf as executive producer, you just know that it is going to push some genre boundaries. Alma Har’el’s Love True is the story of three very different protagonists across the USA. From Alaskan stripper Blake, whose stripping career is causing a rift in her relationship, to a family of Manhattan street performers and their relationship with their estranged mother, the film explores love in all of its forms. A dreamlike blurring of documentary and fiction that uses performance to heighten the poignancy of its real-life stories, the Bombay Beach director continues to push and reimagine the possibilities of factual film. The screening will take place at Bernie Grants Art Centre in Tottenham Hale, with repeat screenings at the same times on Thursday 16th and Thursday 30th March.

Ticket price: £7.88, book here for all dates 

Screening of Love True, 7.30pm, Thursday 2nd March at Bernie Grant Arts Centre,  Tottenham Green Enterprise Centre, Town Hall Approach Rd, London N15 4RX 

Monday 6th March

Kicking Ass: Middle Aged Women on Screen, My Friend Marjorie and Jackie Brown, London

The organisers of Women Over 50 Film Festival have devised this ingenious programme of screenings to celebrate the lives of middle aged women both in front of and behind the camera. March events kick off on the 6th of March at Picturehouse Central with a screening of award-winning short doc My Friend Marjorie, followed by Tarantino thriller Jackie Brown.  The first is the touching animated story of a retired vaudevillian actress who spent her youth touring with her musician husband. Jackie Brown is a suspenseful adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s 1992 novel Rum Punch, about a flight attendant turned cash smuggler in Mexico. For those who can’t make it to London, the event will be repeated on the 27th of March at Picturehouse Duke of York’s in Brighton. Click here for information on Brighton events.

Ticket price:£8/£6 concession, book here 

Kicking Ass: Middle Aged Women on Screen,  My Friend Marjorie and Jackie Brown, 6.45pm, Monday 6th March at Picturehouse Central, Corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and Great Windmill Street, Piccadilly, London W1D 7DH

My Friend Marjorie, Image Courtesy of WOFFF

Tuesday 7th March

Perth Women’s Festival presents He Named Me Malala, Perth

An extraordinary young woman who fought the worst of hardships to defend the rights of women and girls, the name Malala has come to be a symbol of strength and international solidarity. The youngest ever Nobel Prize Laureate, 19-year old Malala is a Pakistani human rights activist who was shot by the Taliban for championing women’s education in 2012. The documentary of her life He Named Me Malala, follows the events leading up to her attack and the close family bonds that have helped her overcome adversity. The film is screening for free at Perth Museum & Art Gallery in March as part of Perth Women’s Festival, celebrating the lives of women from all cultures across Perth and Kinross, Scotland.

Ticket Price: £4, book here on Eventbrite

Perth Women’s Festival presents He Named me Malala, 7.15pm, Perth Museum & Art Gallery, 78 George Street, Perth, PH1 5LB

Thursday 9th March

Manchester Metropolitan University presents ‘Sites of Resistance: Speaking Truth to Power’, Manchester

Following the Black Lives Matter movement and the success of Ava Duvernay’s 13th, Manchester Metropolitan University have devised a topical series of seminars aimed at deconstructing the concepts of crime and criminalisation that impact some communities more harshly than others. Three back to back Thursday evening sessions, the first ‘Sites of Resistance: Speaking Truth to Power’ will consider the role of documentary in exposing and tackling corruption. Directors Daniel Gordon (Hillsborough) and Anton Califano (Killing the Law) will be discussing the injustices that they uncovered during filming. Information on the following events ‘Collective Thought and Action’ and ‘Giving Voice to the Next Generation’ can be found here on Eventbrite.

Ticket Price: Free, pre-register here

‘Sites of Resistance: Speaking Truth to Power’, 6pm, Thursday 9th March, Manchester Metropolitan University, 70 Oxford St, Manchester , M1 5NH 

Friday 10th March

Screening: Amy and live set from Laura Jane Butler, Birmingham

In 2015, Amy made headlines worldwide when it scooped the Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary. A fly on the wall look at the life of legendary singer Amy Winehouse, the film uses home footage and user generated content to document the rise and fall of the voice of a generation, from her unprecedented rise to fame to her long battle with Bulimia and premature death. This screening of the Oscar-winner at Birmingham’s Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen will be followed by a live performance from the UK’s number one Amy Winehouse tribute act Laura Jane Butler.

Ticket Price: £15, book here

Amy Film Screening with live set from Tribute Laura Jane, 7pm, The Mockingbird Cinema and Kitchen, Gibb Street, Birmingham, B9 4AA

Amy Winehouse | Image © Flickr/ Fyunkie

Saturday 11th March

Screening: Black Code + Extended Panel Discussion, London

Part of Human Rights Watch Film Festival, the Barbican will this month be hosting a screening of documentary Black Code. Based on a book of the same name by Professor of Political Science Ron Deibert, the film examines the global impact of the internet on free speech, human rights and government surveillance policy. Filmmaker Nicholas de Pencier follows the work of digital detectives from the Citizen Lab in Toronto, an organisation dedicated to monitoring the application of political power in cyberspace. Black Code takes its viewers around the world from Syria, where citizens are being tortured for their Facebook posts, to a group of Tibetan monks attempting to subvert Chinese government surveillance. 

Ticket Price: £12, book here

Screening: Black Code + Extended Panel Discussion, 6.15pm, Cinema 2, Barbican Centre, Silk St, London EC2Y 8DS

Image Courtesy of Black Code

Thursday 16th March

Screening: Queens of Syria, Oxford

Oxford Brookes University Documentary Club will be screening Queens of Syria in collaboration with the Oxford Human Rights Festival. The film follows fifty Syrian women, forced into exile in Jordan, who come together to perform a version of an Ancient Greek tragedy about the plight of women in war, Trojan Women. Through the performance, the group paint a picture of their own experiences in Syria, which mirrors the stories of a queen, princesses and ordinary women affected by the Trojan War.

Ticket price: Free, but register on Eventbrite here

OBU Documentary Club: Queens of Syria screening, 7pm, Thursday 16th March at John Henry Brookes Lecture Theatre, Headington Road, Oxford OX3 0BP

Queens of Syria trailer from Yasmin Fedda on Vimeo.

Tuesday 28th

Screening: Portraits of a Search + director Q&A, London

One of three doc events taking place on March 28 is a screening of Portraits of a Search at The Frontline Club. During former Mexican President Calderon’s violent war on a drugs, more than 20,000 people disappeared, leaving families desperate for answers from their government. Portraits of a Search follows three mothers as they attempt to find their missing children, each taking a different approach to try and uncover the truth. While one combs the empty fields for her son’s body, another pleads for US intervention, and the last chooses to focus on raising her now-motherless grandson. Director Alicia Calderon will be in attendance and taking questions after the screening.

Ticket price: £10 (£8 concessions), buy here.

Portrait’s of a Search + Q&A with director Alicia Calderon, 7pm, Tuesday 28th March at The Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, London W2 1QJ

Retratos de una Búsqueda / Portraits of a Search from 3boxmedia on Vimeo.

Tuesday 28th March

Film, Distribution and Marketing Workshop, London

Have you got a feature film you’d like to develop? Or do you need any advice on the distribution and marketing  of your finished film? Pip Piper, film producer and CEO of the Producers Forum, is holding a workshop covering the entire film production process – from development, to financing, to distribution. The workshop, hosted by The Pitch, applies to those working in documentary or fiction, and will also explore the possibilities and issues around crowdfunding and emerging digital models.

Ticket price: £22.29, book on Eventbrite here.

Film, Distribution and Marketing workshop, 7pm, Tuesday 28th March at 77 Great Peter Street, London SW1P 2EZ

Tuesday 28th March

Screening: London For Sale, London

Focussing on London’s housing crisis, London for Sale explores the impact of rising residential developers and the lack of social housing in some of the city’s poorest boroughs. Featuring interviews with activists, political occupiers and the city’s residents, this film provides an overview of how gentrification has affected the lives of ordinary Londoners and shows no indication of slowing. An acoustic performance by Venezuelan Alien, an artist who draws inspiration from the elements and urban alienation, will follow the screening.

Ticket price: Free, but register on Eventbrite here to reserve a spot.

London for Sale screening, 6:30pm, Tuesday 28th March at Buster Mantis, 3-4 Resolution Way, London SE8 4NT


Friday 31st

ORAMA – An Immersive Journalism Festival, London

The annual Orama Festival is taking place this month at The Frontline Club from March 31st to April 1st. The festival aims to bring together decision makers in the journalism industry to discuss how immersive technology such as VR and AR may shape future newsrooms, and offer new forms of storytelling. The first day of the festival will feature talks on documentaries, screenings and panel discussions. Following that, the second day will include discussions and demonstrations of successful immersive content.

Ticket price: £135, buy on Eventbrite here.

ORAMA – An Immersive Journalism Festival, 4:30pm, Friday 31st March to Saturday 1st April at The Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, London W2 1QJ

Words by Megan O’Hara and Robbie Pyburn