International Documentaries

The border between fact and fiction is proving to be fertile ground for today's filmmakers. The line between dramas and documentaries has blurred, and new tags such as hybrid documentaries and neo-realist features have emerged. Whatever you call them, these films are innovative, dynamic and make for fascinating viewing. We're also screening award winners and audience favourites from overseas, films on social issues, art and sport - in truth, something for every doco lover for sure.

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At Berkeley

At Berkeley

Documentary maestro Frederick Wiseman's comprehensive and absorbing portrait of an elite American university, California's rabble-rousing Berkeley, has been hailed as 'one of his best' by Variety.

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The Battered Bastards of Baseball

The Battered Bastards of Baseball

A classic true story of baseball that's not just about the game: In '70s America, Bing Russell, father of actor Kurt, takes on a down-at-heel minor-league team from Portland, Oregon and turns their fortunes around.

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Born to Fly

Born to Fly

Acclaimed choreographer and lesbian icon Elizabeth Streb (the 'Evel Knievel' of dance) and her company of extreme action dancers are the focus of this intense documentary filled with adrenaline-pumping footage.

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The Case Against 8

The Case Against 8

An award winner at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, The Case Against 8 chronicles the moral battle over California's repeal of same-sex marriage laws with the kind of heart-and-soul filmmaking that such a topic demands.

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Concerning Violence

Concerning Violence

Swedish filmmaker Göran Hugo Olsson combines sometimes shocking archival footage of the decolonisation of Africa with Franz Fanon's anticolonial tract The Wretched of the Earth, spoken by singer Lauryn Hill.

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Demonstration

Demonstration

Thirty-two local film students and one Russian documentarian, Victor Kossakovsky (¡Vivan las Antipodas!, SFF 2012), create cinematic poetry from their footage of Barcelona's 2012 anti-government protests.

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Dinosaur 13

Dinosaur 13

This documentary chronicles the long perverse legal and bureaucratic battle for the bones of a dinosaur named Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found.

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Dior and I

Dior and I

Designer Raf Simons has eight weeks to create his first Dior Haute Couture collection. This highly entertaining and surprisingly touching documentary follows his progress from concept to catwalk.

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Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater

Double Play: James Benning and Richard Linklater

Two mavericks of the movie world - avant-garde film artist James Benning and indie hero Richard Linklater (Slacker, Boyhood) - talk life and movies in this award-winning documentary.

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E-Team

E-Team

Dedicated, valiant teams of investigators from Human Rights Watch head to the world's hotspots to document and expose human-rights atrocities in this dynamic and inspiring documentary.

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Faith Connections

Faith Connections

The latest film from Pan Nalin (Samsara) focuses on India's Kumbh Mela, the biggest gathering of people on earth, and the ultimate pilgrimage for 100 million Hindus.

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The Gold Spinners

The Gold Spinners

This documentary charts the pleasurably perverse story of the only studio in the USSR that produced commercials, filled with reams of comical retro adverts - usually for products that didn't exist.

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The Great Museum

The Great Museum

This insightful, visually stunning and witty documentary looks behind the scenes at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna as it reinvents itself for the 21st century. "As all-enveloping and elegant as the establishment itself" - Variety

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Iranian

Iranian

An Iranian expat filmmaker invites four religious leaders to his family home to discuss on what terms believers and non-believers could live together in this 2014 Cinéma Du Réel Grand Prize winner.

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Jodorowsky’s Dune

Jodorowsky’s Dune

This is a fabulously entertaining story, packed with top-notch interviews, of a legendary doomed project: cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky's visionary interpretation of Frank Herbert's sci-fi novel Dune.

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The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

Studio Ghibli, the award-winning Japanese animation studio, and the latest works of its genius founders Hayao Miyazaki (The Wind Rises) and Isao Takahata (The Tale of The Princess Kaguya), are the focus of this enchanting documentary.

Images © 2013 DWANGO

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Life Itself

Life Itself

The life and times of influential film critic, TV presenter and blogger Roger Ebert is documented by the award-winning Steve James (Hoop Dreams, SFF 1994). This poignant tribute is a must-see for movie lovers.

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Manakamana

Manakamana

Radical cinema from Harvard's Sensory Ethnography Lab (Leviathan): a dozen cable-car trips to a Nepalese monastary, unedited and with little dialogue, offer a revealing and meditative experience.

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Miners Shot Down

Miners Shot Down

This tragic story of a low-paid South African mining community striking for a better life is made all the more poignant in the light of that country's celebration of 20 years of freedom and democracy.

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National Gallery

National Gallery

Direct from Cannes, prolific documentarian Frederick Wiseman's latest is an epic cinematic essay about London's National Gallery, acutely observing the roles of curators and conservators and more.

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Nelson Mandela: The Myth & Me

Nelson Mandela: The Myth & Me

In his personal letter to Mandela - featuring interviews with the Dalai Lama, Ariel Dorfman, Tariq Ali and others - director Khalo Matabane tackles the question of whether his hero went too far in his policy of reconciliation.

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Ne Me Quitte Pas

Ne Me Quitte Pas

This striking and beautifully crafted documentary about two Belgian mates who do little else but drink is a funny yet disturbing look at male friendship.

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Next Goal Wins

Next Goal Wins

Australia 31 - American Samoa 0. Remember that score line? Get ready for Brazil 2014 with this charming close-to-home story of an underdog team's determination to turn their luck around.

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The Overnighters

The Overnighters

The Special Jury Prize winner at this year's Sundance Film Festival is an unsettling, intimate portrait of a man of faith under pressure and a deeply troubling picture of today's America.

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Particle Fever

Particle Fever

This exhilarating and thoroughly enjoyable documentary looks behind the scenes of one of the most momentous scientific feats of our age: the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the 'God Particle'.

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The Possibilities Are Endless

The Possibilities Are Endless

This intimate film is an innovative interpretation of singer-songwriter Edwyn Collins' life-changing experience - a stroke that wiped clean his brain, except for two phrases: "the possibilities are endless" and his wife's name.

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The Salt of the Earth

The Salt of the Earth

Winner of a special jury prize at Cannes, this exquisite documentary about the life and work of renowned Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado was co-directed by Wim Wenders (Pina, Buena Vista Social Club).

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School of Babel

School of Babel

From director Julie Bertucelli (The Tree, SFF 2010) comes a 21st century schoolbook full of insights into a multicultural society, based around a class for new immigrants in the north of Paris.

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Sepideh: Reaching for the Stars

Sepideh: Reaching for the Stars

This heart-stirring documentary tells the story of Sepideh, a determined teenaged girl from regional Iran, who yearns to be an astronaut despite social mores and financial woes.

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Stop the Pounding Heart

Stop the Pounding Heart

An intimate portrait of a Texan girl from a devout Christian family on the cusp of adulthood, crafted with great sensitivity and lyrical imagery by Italian filmmaker Roberto Minervini.

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A Story of Children and Film

A Story of Children and Film

Filmmaker-critic Mark Cousins (The Story of Film: An Odyssey) explores the portrayal of children in the movies in his free-ranging, inimitable style, with countless clips to inspire further viewing.

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Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon

Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon

The directorial debut of Mike Myers (Austin Powers) is a star-packed documentary about a legendary showbiz figure: Shep Gordon, talent agent to the stars (Alice Cooper, Michael Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, Blondie).

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Tim’s Vermeer

Tim’s Vermeer

An inventor in Texas sets out to solve the riddle of Johannes Vermeer's almost unbelievable ability to capture life on canvas. This doco was directed by Teller, one half of magic duo Penn & Teller.

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The Unknown Known

The Unknown Known

Oscar winner Errol Morris (The Fog of War, The Thin Blue Line) quizzes former US Secretary of Defense - and slippery wordsmith - Donald Rumsfeld on hot-potato topics from his years in office, including the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Watchers of the Sky

Watchers of the Sky

This innovative documentary explores the unsung life of Raphael Lemkin, the linguist turned lawyer who created the word 'genocide' and attempted to establish international law to fight mass atrocities.

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Watermark

Watermark

Filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal and visionary environmental photographer Edward Burtynsky (Manufactured Landscapes) reunite to document humanity's relationship with (and misuse of) water in all its forms.

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