Doc/Fest is a platform for artists to present and develop their work, whether it be through documentary film, in conversation, or as part of our Alternate Realities programme. Here are some of our top picks from this year's Official Selection which are sure to satisfy all our art-seekers.

A Cat Is Always Female / Macka je uvijek zenska

Martina Mestrovic, Tanja Vujasinovic, Croatia / Croatian / 2019 / 15' / UK Premiere

"I don’t think it’s really all that polite to call yourself an artist"… Marija Ujevic Galetovic is one of Croatia’s most important sculptors. In A Cat is Always Female, the filmmakers pay a playful homage to their professor by telling her story - through the charm and wit of Marija’s own narration, and through wonderful video footage and animation of her feminine sculptures.

Watch on Doc/Fest Selects

Material Bodies

Dorothy Allen-Pickard, United Kingdom / English / 2020 / 4' / World Premiere

Through interweaving dance and dialogue, Material Bodies is a sensual and cinematic look at the relationship between amputees and their limbs. This visceral and colourful short film explores how a prosthetic leg can be more like a piece of jewellery, a dance companion, or a part of you.

Watch on Doc/Fest Selects

Ascending Ballard Down

Charlie Usher, United Kingdom / English / 2020 / 14' / World Premiere

The film explores the unlikely relationship that exists between the small seaside town of Swanage in Dorset, and Surrealism. This relationship was formed by visionary English painter Paul Nash who lived in Swanage during the mid to late 1930s. As well as paintings and photographs, Nash recorded his fascination with this particular landscape in a number of essays, which form a major part of this film.

Watch on Doc/Fest Selects

All the Possibilities…Reflections on a Painting by Vernon Pratt

Marsha Gordon, Louis Cherry, United States / English / 2019 / 16' / European Premiere

Exploring the intersection between art and math, All the Possibilities… offers an inventive approach to representing artist Vernon Pratt’s most ambitious work - on screen. The 1,450 square foot systematic abstract painting, All the Possibilities of Filling in Sixteenths (65,536), was completed in 1982, though only recently exhibited for the first time, posthumously, when all 256 panels were hung floor to ceiling on three walls in a single gallery space.

Watch on Doc/Fest Selects

The Business of Thought: A Recorded History of Artists Space

Sierra Pettengill, United States / English / 2020 / 11' / World Premiere

An oral history of Artists Space, the legendary New York artists organization. Told through the voices of the artists, critics and curators who formed it, the film is narrated by voiceover culled from 30 hours of archival cassette tape interviews over a 45 year period. Artists such as Laurie Anderson, Mike Kelley, Hito Steyerl and David Wojnarowicz walk us through the decades. A formally-experimental and raucously-told chronology composed of rare archival documentation, The Business of Thought: A Recorded History of Artists Space is a reminder of the radical potential of the arts and the importance of collective, cultural spaces.

Watch on Doc/Fest Selects

The Undertaker

Yael Bartana, Netherlands, USA No Dialogue / 2018 / 13' / UK Premiere

An obscure figure leads her swarm of armed followers in a ceremonial march on the way to perform a mass burial ritual. Carrying weapons from different historical contexts, the choreographed group strides through numerous locations, being guided by their leader to the burial site in which they dispose of the weapons they possess. Rather than a memorial to the dead, the group creates a human monument for the living, linked up with ghosts of the past. Militarism, nationhood, belonging, and memory: the function of weapons in the perpetuation of systems of violence, repression, and displacement.

Watch on Doc/Fest Selects

Bring Down The Walls

Phil Collins, United States, Germany / English / 2020 / 88' / UK Premiere

With a prison population of more than 2 million, the USA is the world's biggest jailer. Coinciding with the escalation of mass incarceration in the 1980s, house music emerged from Black, Latinx and queer communities embattled by oppressive law enforcement policies. Bring Down The Walls explores the prison industrial complex through the lens of house music and nightlife, proposing the dance floor as a space of personal and collective liberation, and new ways in which we could come together as a society.

Watch on Doc/Fest Selects