Opera / Ballet

    Friday 4 – Sunday 6 November 2016

    A warm welcome to the 22nd Aldeburgh Documentary Festival and a splendid weekend filled with film, fabulous guests, entertainment, enlightenment, and a range of treats for all senses.


    We came of age last year and hope our varied programme reflects our growing expertise and reach, with household names and marvellous stories. Some of the films may be familiar from recent TV airings, like INSIDE OBAMA’S WHITE HOUSE and JOANNA LUMLEY'S JAPAN THREE-PARTER, but everything we bring you deserves to be seen on the big screen, and there is the added bonus of the filmmakers being present to tell you more. We will be looking at some of the rarest food in the world in ANTS ON A SHRIMP, at a remarkable return from a locked in state for an autistic boy in LIFE, ANIMATED, and we return to a theme we have followed at earlier festivals with the charming SUNAKALI – TEENAGE GIRLS JOURNEY TO GLORY which celebrates the joy and therapeutic power of girls’ football. We are delighted to present ROBERT BLY - A THOUSAND YEARS OF JOY in conjunction with the ‘Poetry in Aldeburgh’ Festival.

    LOUIS THEROUX makes a welcome return to Aldeburgh to receive our Outstanding Contribution to Documentary Award, and we are delighted to present a full programme of films to complement the main house in our Studio Pop-Up Screen, including the British Premiere of GEORDIE JAZZ MAN about the maverick proprietor of Newcastle's Jazz Café. Three Studio screenings look back at five decades of US American Politics and Classic Documentary, and there also is a dedicated ‘Our Environment’ programme strand, ending with the debut performance of local resident LORD CRANBROOK in a film about his personal hero Alfred Wallace, co-discoverer of the Theory of Evolution. You will find all details in this programme.

    Documentary is an art form that gives us back time in an age where everything moves so fast. Great documentary allows us to pause and look more deeply at the world and to learn and grow through its insights.  Like all true art it helps us to form our own opinion.


    Come and join us, enjoy the films, the people, discussion, and great hospitality.

    Diana Quick, Artistic Director 

    Thomas Gerstenmeyer, Executive Director

    Marc Vlessing, Festival Chair

    Chris Harris, Programme Advisor


    Opening Night Friday 4 November 2016 at 7.00pm 


     (rec PG)
    Netherlands 2015. 93 mins. English language 
    Director: Maurice Dekkers
    Reception at 7.00pm for all ticket holders before the screening 
    With the film’s director Maurice Dekkers and Chef Rowley Leigh, hosted by food writer and broadcaster Henrietta Green

    After the screening: the film’s director, Maurice Dekkers, in conversation with British chef, restaurateur and journalist Rowley Leigh

    An eye-opening, mouth-watering film that follows the astonishing team of the World’s Best Restaurant, Copenhagen’s NOMA, to Tokyo and the heart of Japanese culture.

    Event Duration 120mins




    Saturday 5 November 2016 at 10.30am

    JOANNA LUMLEY Live on stage


    Please note that this session is now fully booked. Please contact us for entry onto Waiting List where ‘Friends of the Aldeburgh Cinema’ get priority.

    Hot on the heels of her astonishing success with Absolutely Fabulous – The Movie JOANNA LUMLEY discusses her travel film work with particular emphasis on her latest foray to Japan. Expect the unexpectedly illuminating and inspiring!  and meet a British National Treasure!
    Event Duration 100mins



    Saturday 5 November 2016 at 3.00pm


     (rec 12A)

    USA 2015. 81mins 

    Director: Haydn Reiss

    ROBERT BLY: A THOUSAND YEARS OF JOY is a wonderful film about the life and work of the bestselling author of ‘Iron John: A Book About Men’, revealing Bly’s journey from Minnesota farm boy to global troubadour and one of the world’s most influential poets, social activists and cultural troublemakers. The event is presented in conjunction with the ‘Poetry in Aldeburgh’ Festival 2016.

    After the screening: Harry Burton, the film’s producer and participant in Iron John camps, in conversation with Ruth Padel, Poet, and Dariane Pictet, Poetry Editor and Psychotherapist




    Saturday 5 November 2016 at 7.00pm






    Saturday 5 November 2016 at 7.00pm 

    LIFE, ANIMATED Introduction by NICK DEAR USA 2016. 91mins.

    Director: Roger Ross Williams 

    The screening will be introduced - no Q&A after the screening

    NICK DEAR is an English writer for stage and screen. His adaptation of Mary Shelley's ‘Frankenstein’, directed by Danny Boyle, premiered at the National Theatre in 2011 and became one of the most acclaimed and successful National Theatre productions ever, and he received a BAFTA for a TV adaptation of Jane Austen's ‘Persuasion’. Nick’s plays include ‘Power’ and ‘The Villains’ Opera’ at the National Theatre; ‘The Art of Success’, ‘Zenobia’ and ‘Pure Science’ for the Royal Shakespeare Company; ‘In the Ruins’ at Bristol Old Vic and Royal Court, London; and ‘Food of Love’ at the Almeida. Adaptations include Gorky’s ‘Summerfolk’ and Molière’s ‘Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme’ at the National; Henry James’ ‘The Turn of the Screw’ at Bristol Old Vic; and Ostrovsky’s ‘A Family Affair’ for Cheek by Jowl. His screenplays include ‘Persuasion’, ‘The Gambler’, ‘The Turn of the Screw’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Byron’, ‘Eroica’ and Agatha Christie’s ‘Poirot’.

    Find the lovely trailer here



    Sunday 6 November 2016 at 10.30am



    (rec 12A)


    Please note that this session is now fully booked. Please contact us for entry onto Waiting List where ‘Friends of the Aldeburgh Cinema’ get priority. 

     Presented by the BBC’s NICK ROBINSON and filmmakers NORMA PERCY and PAUL MITCHELL, with STEVEN ERLANGER, London Bureau Chief of the New York Times 

    This highly topical main session features extracts from Percy and Mitchell’s acclaimed BBC series INSIDE OBAMA’S WHITE HOUSE and includes an in-depth panel look into the American presidential election which takes place on 8 November, just two days after the Documentary Festival closes.




    Outstanding Contribution to Documentary 
    Sunday 6 November 2016 at 3.00pm 


    In Conversation with JOHN SERGEANT 

    (rec 12A)


    Please note that this session is now fully booked. Please contact us for entry onto Waiting List where ‘Friends of the Aldeburgh Cinema’ get priority. 

    Illustrated with highlights, clips and sequences from Louis’ extraordinary career 

    Louis Theroux is a BBC television presenter best known for making documentaries that investigate fascinating worlds and lifestyles. Over more than fifteen years, using a gentle questioning style and an informal approach, he has shone light on some of the world’s most intriguing beliefs, behaviours, and institutions by getting to know the people at the heart of them. In the course of his career, Louis has scored a number of journalistic scoops, and has won two BAFTAs, an RTS award, and a Bulldog award, not to mention numerous nominations.

    We are thrilled to welcome Louis Theroux back to Aldeburgh after many years!




    Closing Night Film Sunday 6 November 2016 at 7.00pm


    Sunakali –
    Teenage Girls Journey to Glory

    (rec PG)


    Nepal 2014. 51mins. English subtitles Director: Bhojraj Bhat

    An utterly charming, authentic, illuminating film about teenage girls playing football … in the remotest parts of the planet’s highest mountains, the Himalayas!

    Out of the remote Mugu region in Western Nepal where there isn’t a single field large enough to host a game, a truly inspiring team of young female football players emerges, throwing some long-overdue contrasting light upon their multi-millionaire professional counterparts.






    Saturday 5 November 2016

    ‘US American Politics & Classic Documentary’

    To complement our Sunday Session INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE we look back at US American politics since the 1960s by way of three classic documentaries that in their very own way shaped both the art and craft of documentary film and their subject matter of politics. Brief intro to every screening.

    11.30am PRIMARY (PG) 60mins

    2.00pm THE WAR ROOM (PG) 96mins

    5.00pm THE FOG OF WAR (PG) 107mins


    Saturday 5 November 2016

    ‘Great British Independent Filmmaking’


    8.45pm GEORDIE JAZZ MAN (rec 15) 52mins British Premiere!

    In the presence of Abi Lewis, the film’s director and goddaughter of ‘Geordie Jazz Man’ Keith Crombie. Crew members James Cook and Lucie Warrington. Interviewees in the film Mike Figgis TBC


    Sunday 6 November 2016

    ‘Our Environment’

    11.00am THULE TUVALU (PG) 98mins British Premiere!

    2.00pm TEN BILLION (PG) 83mins

    4.15pm LORD CRANBROOK presents SEARCHING FOR ALI WALLACE (PG) 40mins British Premiere!

    Ticket Prices

    Sessions 1 to 7
    £15 Regular
    £14 Friends of the Aldeburgh Cinema
    £10 Students & Under 18’s

    Supported by the White Lion
    £10 Regular
    £9 Friends of the Aldeburgh Cinema
    £7 Students & Under 18’s
    The STUDIO Pop-Up SCREEN is located on the 1st floor of the building and accessible through the staircase from the cinema foyer. Please note there is no disabled access to the 1st floor. We apologise for any inconvenience.

    Only available for MAIN THEATRE Sessions 1 – 7.
    Strictly limited number.

    Telephone and personal purchase only. We apologise for any inconvenience
    £100 Regular
    £95 Friends of the Aldeburgh Cinema
    £65 Students & Under 18’s
    The FESTIVAL PASS gives you access to all MAIN THEATRE sessions without having to produce individual session tickets.
    The FESTIVAL PASS also gives you free access to all STUDIO screenings provided the events are not sold out. You might be required to wait for a brief period for confirmation of spare seating.

    Please note that FESTIVAL PASSES are now sold out. We apologise for any inconvenience.


    For all information of the 21st
    Anniversary Aldeburgh Documentary Festival 2015

    Click here

    For all information of the 20th
    Anniversary Aldeburgh Documentary Festival 2014

    Click here


    For further information of the 19th
    Anniversary Aldeburgh Documentary Festival 2013

    Click Here

    For further information of the 18th
    Anniversary Aldeburgh Documentary Festival 2012

    Click Here

    For further information of the 17th
    Anniversary Aldeburgh Documentary Festival 2011

    Click here


    Nominated for the CINEMA OF THE YEAR Award 2016!