Documentaries-a-go-go at Watershed in March

Posted on Thu 6 Mar 2014
20 Feet from Stardom

This month at Watershed we’re celebrating all things factual, with a firm focus on documentaries. From past and present Oscar®winners March of the Penguins and 20 Feet From Stardom to a glimpse of the future of documentary, we’ve got it covered.

We love documentaries - they invite us to connect, to belong and to share our experiences with the wider world. With this in mind, REACT's Future Documentary Sandbox challenged documentary makers to explore the creative possibilities of technology. The successful projects include the world's first playable documentary on Jack the Ripper, a look at a singer masquerading as Elvis back from the grave, and an interactive documentary that will help you to calculate your daily engagement with risk. 

REACT Producer Matt Davenport says:

“This really is an exciting time for the documentary as an artform itself; as new access, platforms and possibilities emege, the question is how can we harness the mass appropriation of stories, blogs, films and data out there and share them in new and exciting ways? The Future Documentary Sandbox projects include a great mix of ideas, and you can come and learn more at our Showcase on Wed 19 March."

Future Documentary is presented in association with the i-Docs conference, a two-day event exploring the rapidly evolving world of interactive documentaries on Thu 20 - Fri 21 March. Leading practitioners and producers will come together to present and reflect on cutting edge work, including investigating storytelling practices that are emerging where the internet and mobile technologies meet changing audience behaviours.

As a part of the i-Docs programme we are also excited to announce a special performance of the Edinburgh Fringe award winning interactive theatre event - Choose Your Own Documentary (Thu 20 March).  Inspired by the Choose Your Own Adventure phenomenon of the 1980s - Nathan Penlington's performance tells the true story of the discovery of a lost diary and his attempts to unravel its many mysteries. With over 1500 possible versions and multiple endings, every show is different - where will the story lead? You decide!

From Fri 28 March we welcome 20 Feet From Stardom, this year's spirited Best Documentary Oscar®-winner, to our screens. Director Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backing singers behind some great musical legends. Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder and Sting theorise about why most couldn't make the cosmic 20 foot leap to fame (was it racism? lack of ego? Or bad luck?) and testify on behalf of the unsung divas behind the angelic voices. Neville says, ‘It really is this incredible secret history of popular music.’

For families we’ve got much-loved family favourite and 2005 Best Documentary Oscar® winner March of the Penguins in our regular Cinékids slot on Sat 15 March. Luc Jacquet's documentary charts the remarkable journey of Emperor penguins as they endure winds of 100mph and sub-zero temperatures to make it to their ancestral breeding grounds. After the screening, kids aged 6-11 can take part in a drama activity workshop run by talented Watershed collaborator Tilly Langdon.