ALDEBURGH DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL 2012
… took place from 16th to 18th November, and a brilliantly successful weekend it was, full of screenings, talks, debates and opportunities to meet filmmakers, producers and experts.
Bill Nighy presented the festival’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award to Leslie Woodhead for an astonishing five-decade career of recording reality around the world. Leslie talked us through his LIFETIME’S WORK with passion, wit and a keen sense for political and historical context, and together with interviewer Martin Rosenbaum made the session a true highlight.
Then there was the absolutely packed-out screening of Julian Temple’s REQUIEM FOR DETROIT and an intense discussion on issues of post-industrial urban regeneration, wonderfully chaired by Marc Vlessing. Guests for the session came to Aldeburgh from as far afield as Detroit itself, with Tom Walsh of the Detroit Free Press not only providing valuable first-hand information but also commenting on our event in his publication afterward. To read what Detroit heard about Aldeburgh please visit link and link
A nice note: filmmaker Julian Temple was intent to make it for his festival appearance despite a demanding schedule reading like this: Amsterdam – Aldeburgh – London – New York – Rio de Janeiro. Five days, five major places. All as it should be then.
The festival closed with what must have been one of the best and most scintillating debates ever witnessed by anyone in the audience, on CHINA NOW AND NEXT, and in particular the sharp, precise insights into the global superpower that is China provided by the wonderful Isabel Hilton. An enlightening introduction had been provided by Nick Francis’ extraordinary film WHEN CHINA MET AFRICA. Nick also played a major role in the CHINA debate which was impeccably chaired by Trevor Phillips.
Director Marc Isaacs’ festival opener THE ROAD: A STORY OF LIFE AND DEATH took us to London’s oldest Roman road, granting us insight into the lives of some of the people living there, and with it building an understanding for the multicultural society that is 21st century Britain. Diana Quick chaired the post-screening Q&A with Marc and the film’s producer, Rachel Wexler.
The astounding MARWENCOL, or how art remade one man’s life came with an exhibition of protagonist Mark Hogankamp’s photographic work in the Cinema Gallery. Cultural historian Marina Warner, Professor of Neurology, John Morton and Diana Quick discussed the film’s themes in a highly informative after screening session.
Admissions for the ALDEBURGH DOCUMENTARY FESTIVAL were up by 20% on the previous year so a Big Thank You goes to you, our public for coming in such extraordinary numbers! We also extend our gratitude to all our guests and participants, and in particular to our sponsors, supporters and volunteers without whom the weekend would not have been possible.
Thank you very much!
“The Aldeburgh Cinema and Festival Team”