Learn about the best stories, told by the best documentary makers.

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The Road
The Road
2012 | 1h 15m | Documentary
Director Marc Isaacs introduces a diverse number of characters who have made their way to London, from all over the world, in order to seek a better life. There's a young Irish woman who dreams of becoming a singer, who takes a job pulling pints in Cricklewood, serving the generations of Irish people who came over before her; a lonely Irish ex construction worker loosing his battle to booze; a man from Kashmir working in a hotel, trying to earn enough money so his wife can join him; an elderly Jewish woman who fled Vienna when Hitler was in power; and a glamorous retired German air stewardess living with her estranged husband. Fused with wonderful moments of humour and equally heartbreaking moments where broken dreams are revealed, this is a study of immigration that manages to be highly affecting, whilst avoiding being polemical or didactic.
Lift
Lift
2001 | 25m | Documentary
When filmmaker Marc Isaacs embarks on a mission to capture the dynamics of everyday life in a London tower block, his original approach reaps wonderfully unexpected results. Setting up in the lift, he waits for the opportune moment to converse with the residents. By turns humorous and moving, these casual encounters capture the many facets of a multicultural British society.
Horses
Horses
2010 | 1h 27m | Documentary
Famed for its thoroughbreds, Ireland is the birthplace of some of horseracing’s most celebrated steeds. Horses portrays this tradition through the eyes of its hooved protagonists, the people that surround them taking on secondary roles in the narrative. An exploration of equine character, this film paints an intimate picture of a racehorse’s daily life. Training veteran Paul Nolan guides the small but swift Ardalan, the potentially record-breaking Joncol, and the difficult Cuan na Graí on their paths to greatness. Full of grace and promise, these beasts are as charismatic as they are quirky. Blurring the lines of perception between human and animal, Mermin delves into the age-old bond between people and horses.
Liz Smith’s Summer Cruise
Liz Smith’s Summer Cruise
2009 | 1h | Merely Remarkable
A film about age, loneliness and an old lady at sea, this is a celebrity travelogue like you’ve never seen before. Actress Liz Smith, known for playing elderly women (who are always eventually killed off) she is now 87 and while her life has been an eventful one she’s never had a real holiday. This is her chance to fulfil her modest ambition on a cruise across the Adriatic to Venice. Will the holiday be worth leaving her sheltered accommodation for? How can it ever live up to her dreams?
Changemakers: Leisure
Changemakers: Leisure
2002 | 1h | Documentary
Around the globe, there are people who dedicate themselves to making a difference in their community, and to benefiting the lives of others. Their mission is not a quest for money, fame or any personal gain. They are changemakers.
The Chinese Mayor
The Chinese Mayor
2015-01-01 | 1h 25m 55s | Politics
The Chinese Mayor tells the story of the controversial Chinese Mayor of Datong, Geng Yanbo and his radical attempts at reform, demolishing 140,000 households and relocating half a million people to restore the city's ancient walls. Believing that clean economic growth from tourism and culture will do Datong's citizenship well in the long term, the displacements are his attempt to revitalise the city's economy and tackle its pollution problems. Following in the footsteps of Geng over two years, the film outlines the complex shape of China's future.
Pablo's Hippos
Pablo's Hippos
2011-01-01 | 1h 18m 35s | Animals
The absurd history of Colombia's thirty-year struggle with international drug trafficking, seen through the eyes of its most prolific drug-baron's pet hippopotamus. A tale of a ferocious, irresistible, territorial animal, Pablo Escobar, and the depths to which he and his bloat were prepared to plunge for him to become the undisputed alpha male in the most ruthless business in the world, the cocaine trade. Pablo's Hippos is told by Pablo, the alpha male of three hippopotami shipped to the country home and nerve center of Escobar's drugs empire in 1980. As the most powerful beast in Escobar's private zoo it is a story of unthinkable riches, unabated sex, political intrigue, death, destruction, corruption, treachery and the ultimate legacy of a life dedicated to crime – a hippo epidemic that nobody can stop.
McLibel
McLibel
2005-01-01 | 1h 24m 37s | historic
The 'McLibel' case was the longest in English history. The full legal weight of McDonalds, the world’s largest food chain, was brought down on two London activists for distributing leaflets denouncing the company and its practices. This film follows the defendants – who were representing themselves – throughout the court process, both againt McDonalds and later against the British government. The wider context of the case is covered, revealing exactly why the case was judged 'the worst corporate PR disaster in history'. With courtroom reenactments directed by Ken Loach, this film reveals the extreme lengths – including corporate spies – McDonald's will go to win the suit.
Team Qatar
Team Qatar
2009-01-01 | 54m 58s | Sport
As part of its ambitious commitment to education, the government of Qatar hired a team of recent Oxford grads to coach the country's first national high school debate team for the World Schools Debating Championship in Washington DC,. Led by quintessentially witty Brit Alex, the five multicultural 15- to 17-year-olds are setting their sights high. Follow the group on a whirlwind crash course in debate that takes them from Doha to London and New York. Can this effervescent group of teens handle the pressure and succeed on the world stage?
Outside the Court
Outside the Court
2011 | 1h | Documentary
Based on a simple idea: standing outside a magistrates court in the UK and asking people going in and out why they're there and what got them there, Outside the Court becomes a film full of raw, unfiltered personalities who challenge pre-existing assumptions about criminality and criminals. This is a totally transparent piece of filmmaking, there is even a cameraman filming the cameraman.
Kings Of Pastry
Kings Of Pastry
2009-01-01 | 1h 23m 30s | food
Sixteen pastry chefs demonstrate extraordinary skill and artistry as they create sugar sculptures, cakes and pastries to win an honour in Les Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, France’s Nobel Prize for pastry. The chefs whip up the most gorgeous, gravity-defying concoctions, with much edge-of-the-seat drama as they deliver their fantastical, spun-sugar sweets to the display table. The inevitable disasters prove both hilarious and poignant.
The Red Chapel
The Red Chapel
2009-01-01 | 1h 27m 34s | Political
A trio of Danish comedians, who call themselves "The Red Chapel," pretend to be regime sympathizers and mount an absurd variety show in Pyongyang. The result is an unconventional, hilarious peek into a totalitarian regime. A journalist with no scruples, a disabled man and a comedian travel to North Korea with a mission to challenge the sense of humour of the world's most notorious regime. Truth is, the 'troupe' had no such intentions. The Red Chapel is the story of the meeting between open-mindedness and a hyper-controlled society, chronicling the bizarre encounters between Danes and their North Korean hosts in a bizarre form of cultural exchange.
The Genius and The Boys
The Genius and The Boys
2009-01-01 | 1h 29m 10s | Crime
The documentary investigates the late American Nobel laureate Daniel Carleton Gajdusek's enigmatic discoveries and fall from grace. Gajdusek uncovered prions, the source of mad cow disease, on Papua New Guinea in the fifties, as well as twenty previously unknown tribes and languages. From the late 1940s and onwards he travelled the world, focusing on the most isolated peoples remaining on the globe. He adopted fifty-seven children at his commune at the National Institutes of Health, MA, USA - most of them boys. The film reveals how Gajdusek was in fact a self-proclaimed pedophile, who admitted to having had sex with numerous children.
The Wonderful World of Dogs
The Wonderful World of Dogs
1990 | 52m | Documentary
Unveiling the magic behind the unrivalled bond between man and his best friend, this film is a heart-warming and multi-faceted portrait of one of the world’s most popular pets. Made up of dogs that bark, dominate, foul, and roam around their vast territory, this documentary stays true to Mark Lewis’ singular comedic genre of nature film.
Animalicious
Animalicious
1999 | 52m | Documentary
From a Californian woman whose dear chihuahua gets devoured by the neighbour’s boa constrictor, to a wild, shotgun-wielding turkey, these stories are as tragic as they are terrifying. An unexpected combination of reflections on justice, fate, co-existence and forgiveness, this documentary bewilders and amuses as we are shown a side of animal life we rarely see.
The Natural History of the Chicken
The Natural History of the Chicken
2000 | 1h | Documentary
Through the use of re-enactments and interviews, eclectic characters tell stories about the role of chickens in their lives. Exploring the history behind one of America’s most popular foods, the film portrays these birds as being far more than just a source of nutrition. From supernatural stories of resuscitation and headless running fowl, to a woman who prefers their company to their taste, The Natural History of the Chicken paints a far more nuanced picture of poultry than one would imagine.
Changemakers: Communication
Changemakers: Communication
2002 | 1h | Documentary
Around the globe, there are people who dedicate themselves to making a difference in their community, and to benefiting the lives of others. Their mission is not a quest for money, fame or any personal gain. They are changemakers.
The Great Hip Hop Hoax
The Great Hip Hop Hoax
Music
With a major recording deal on the cards with Sony, Californian hip-hop duo Silibil n' Brains were going to be massive. What no one knew, however, was that the pair were really Scottish, with fake American accents and made-up identities. When their promising Scottish rap act was branded "the rapping Proclaimers" by scornful A&Rs, friends Billy and Gavin reinvented themselves as LA homeboys. The lie was their golden ticket to a dream life. With confessions from the scammers, insight from the music execs they duped and doodle reconstructions, the film charts the roller coaster story of the highs of the scam and the lows of the personal toll the deception took.
Killing Gävle
Killing Gävle
2017 | 20m | Documentary
In the city of Gävle, Sweden, there is an annual fight between local custodians and mischievous pagans for the spirit of Christmas. Each year since 1966, local business owners have paid for a 40ft straw goat to be made and displayed in the main square for the Holiday season. In 37 of those years, the goat has been burned down or damaged by shadowy outsiders. These goat-burners are pagans who see the giant statue as an accidental effigy to the ancient Norse gods, which must be sacrificed before the end of the year to ensure the return of the sun. In this film, residents from both sides of the goat conflict explain their hopes and motivations as Advent ticks down to Christmas…
Cane Toads: The Conquest
Cane Toads: The Conquest
2010 | 1h 20m 13s
The first 3D-ready film shot in Australia, Cane Toads: The Conquest follows the uncontrollable expansion of these enormous, reviled amphibians through the country. Leaving environmental devastation in their wake, and now occupying nearly a third of the country, the cane toad continues to grow in size and resilience. Part documentary and part horror, this film details the destructive invasion of a species initially introduced as a counter pest.
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