From the 3rd to the 9th of March 2014 the Bristol Radical Film Festival returns with another packed programme of overtly political documentary and fiction film from around the world. From historical classics to contemporary video-activism, short films and feature productions, we show the films that the multiplexes won’t, in the time-honoured tradition of using cinema as a tool to educate, agitate and organise for change.
Highlights of BRFF 2014 include an evening with Mania Akbari (Ten, 20 Fingers), the Iranian painter, actress and filmmaker who will be introducing the English premiere of her latest film, From Tehran to London; the British premiere and directors’ Q+A of On the Art of War, Luca Bellino and Silvia Luzi’s award-winning investigation of anarcho-syndicalist theory and practice in Italy; and a screening and director Q+A of The Happy Lands, Theatre Workshop Scotland’s epic account of the 1926 General Strike, when millions of workers across the country downed tools to fight back against the savage austerity cuts of an earlier Liberal-Conservative government.
We’ve also got rare films from the Spanish civil war; the Cambodian documentary Enemies of the People – which set the precedent for Joshua Oppenheimer’s remarkable work, The Act of Killing – live-scores to classic works of Soviet cinema, bicycle-powered screenings, video-activist workshops and more…
This year the festival opens at The Cube Microplex, Bristol’s entirely volunteer-run and not-for-profit cinema, and once again tours a selection of the city’s progressive, community-based venues before culminating in a weekend of screenings, talks, workshops and debates at The Arc, a four-storey social centre in the heart of the city dedicated to activism and social change.
Tickets will be available from our website soon. For the opening night at The Cube tickets cost £5/4 (though no one will be turned away for lack of funds). Events from Tuesday to Thursday are free with donation.
The Bristol Radical Film Festival was founded in 2011 to showcase contemporary and historical works of overtly political left-wing documentary and fiction filmmaking. Emerging from the work of students and staff in the Film team at the University of the West of England (UWE), the festival aimed to provide a platform for what might be called ‘the political avant-garde’: an explicitly partisan and committed kind of filmmaking in which aesthetic innovation is subordinate to the communication of political ideas. As well as reclaiming this interpretation of ‘radical film’ and celebrating its continued existence in Britain and elsewhere, the festival also aims to draw attention to a range of other progressive, community-based initiatives in the city: exhibiting films in spaces ranging from anarchist social centres, political squats and radical bookshops to drop-in centres for sex workers, digital outreach projects, community bicycle hubs and so on.
Since its first event the festival has grown significantly, and the team now organises events throughout the year as well as the annual festival. We are unfunded, and all the money made from our work goes back into running our events.