RAI Film Festival 2017

RAI Film Festival 2017

The Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival: anthropology - ethnography – archaeology returns to Watershed with an exciting programme of documentaries, events, masterclasses and workshops.

RAI-FF is a leading forum for exploring the multiple relationships between documentary filmmaking, anthropology, visual culture, and the advocacy of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue through film. This will be the 15th edition of the festival and in these tumultuous times of increasing levels of complexity, conflict and interconnectedness, anthropology and ethnographic film can help provide a deep and meaningful insight into the rapidly changing world we inhabit, beyond the sensationalism of news headlines.

The festival includes 35 contemporary ethnographic documentaries competing in four main prize categories, and 12 special out-of-competition screenings. Amongst the many highlights there's a special screening of The Eagle Huntress, which celebrates the strength of a young Kazakh woman in her quest to excel in a male dominated world, a selection of films on migration with a focus on the Mediterranean migration route into Europe. Lampedusa in Winter, is a portrait of the small, remote Italian island and its inhabitants, fishermen and migrants, Those Who Jump (which premiered at Berlinale) is filmed by a Malian man living in a camp on the border between Morocco and Spain who, with many others, regularly attempts to jump the high wire fence that separates him from Europe. Japan features prominently with two acclaimed titles: The Day the Sun Fell, a Locarno Premiere by Swiss-Japanese Aya Domenig, about the bombing of Hiroshima and the nuclear disaster in Fukushima; and Ama-san, a delicate and visually enchanting celebration of the female abalone divers who fish in the Pacific Ocean with no aid from air tanks or any other tools to enable underwater breathing.

The Cinema Travellers, which was received with great acclaim at Cannes Film Festival, is our own ‘Cinema Paradiso’. It is an affectionate but melancholy ode to a vanishing phenomenon in rural India: the travelling cinema, and a life affirming celebration of the art form itself.

As well as the screenings there's also a wide range of workshops, masterclasses and gala events. Hugh Brody will speak about his life and career during the Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony in his honour; the centenary of the father of ethnographic cinema, Jean Rouch, will be celebrated with the screening of one of his classic films and a round-table with an impressive line-up of international speakers. Finally, producers and filmmakers from the BBC Natural History Unit will take us behind the scenes of the production of broadcast documentaries. Join us for this and much, much more.

Early Bird Festival Passes( incl. Day Passes) will be on sale until February 26.

Tickets to individual sessions are available for sale here. Please note door sales for RAI events close 10 minutes before the advertised start time.

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Image:The Cinema Travellers (Shirley Abraham & Amit Madheshiya 2016)