Elder's Corner

Siji Awoyinka, Nigeria, United States / English / 2020 / 97' / Online Premiere

From the celebratory sounds of King Sunny Ade's jùjú music to the politicized, sonic urgency of Fela Kuti's afrobeat, Nigerian musicians have spearheaded some of Africa's most prominent musical movements. Elder's Corner provides a unique and fascinating home-grown perspective on Nigeria's colourful history. Its narrative unfolds around the collective journeys and work of the nation’s long forgotten music heroes, highlighting their pioneering efforts, their determination to succeed and carry on in spite of overwhelming odds. This film is about the redemptive power of music to heal and transform lives.

Click here to watch a pre-recorded introduction from the director of the film, Siji Awoyinka.

Watch on Doc/Fest Selects

Breaking Barriers - The Casteless Collective

Maja Meiners, India, Germany / English, Tamil / 2019 / 70' / International Premiere

The Casteless Collective is a protest music band from Chennai, South India, playing an exciting mix of folk music and Gaana art coming from North Chennai’s slum area, combined with modern musical styles of rap and rock. Dealing with social issues that Indian society prefers not to look at: the still existing caste discrimination, the ‘untouchables’, and the oppression of women, LGBTQI+ people and those from underprivileged and marginalised backgrounds, as represented by the band members themselves. Director Maja Meiners joins them in their fight to change systematic persecution through music.

Click here to watch a pre-recorded introduction from the director of the film, Maja Meiners.

Watch on Doc/Fest Selects

The Go-Go's

Alison Ellwood, United States, Ireland, Canada / English / 2020 / 98' / International Premiere

Formed by Belinda Carlisle and Jane Wiedlin, The Go-Go’s started out in the 1980s LA punk scene. Talent, ambition, and the coinciding birth of MTV and the music video catapulted The Go-Go’s ascent. They made history as the first all-female band to write their own songs, play their own instruments, and release a No. 1 album. As the pressure of fame grew, hard drugs, alcohol, and infighting start to take its toll. Through a combination of candid interviews and great footage, Alison Ellwood’s spirited tribute shines a light on the band’s success – as musicians, ground-breakers and survivors.

Click here to watch a pre-recorded Q&A with the director of The Go-Go’s Alison Ellwood and members of The Go-Go’s: Jane Wiedlin, Gina Schock and Charlotte Caffey.

Available to watch on Doc/Fest Selects

Shut Up Sona

Deepti Gupta, India / English, Hindi / 2019 / 85' / UK Premiere

Being on the receiving end of blasphemy lawsuits, internet trolling, and death threats are all in a day’s work for Indian singer and leading #MeToo activist, Sona Mohapatra. Over three years, filmmaker Deepti Gupta follows Sona as she battles with music execs and India’s patriarchal traditions at large in her fight for equal space in the music industry and beyond. The film also charts Sona’s rise as a singer, songwriter, and composer – fusing pop, folk, Bollywood and rock – inspiring a generation of women as she performs around her home country.

Click here to watch a pre-recorded Q&A with Shut Up Sona director Deepti Gupta, moderated by Mita Suri, our Film Programme Producer.

Watch on Doc/Fest Selects

Southern Journey (Revisited)

Rob Curry, Tim Plester, United States, United Kingdom / English / 2020 / 75' / World Premiere

Traversing the back-roads of the Southern United States, Southern Journey (Revisited) is both a music documentary and a road movie. Set against the incendiary backdrop of the 2018 midterm elections, the film retraces the route of an iconic song-collecting trip from the late 1950s – Alan Lomax’s so-called “Southern Journey”. Accompanied by a glorious soundtrack of blues and bluegrass, hollers and spirituals, the film explores the continuity between the civil rights-era setting of the original trip and the present day, and challenges long-held stereotypes about both black and white America along the way.

Watch on Doc/Fest Selects


Moe Najati, Cuba / Spanish / 2020 / 20' / World Premiere

Deep in the poorest neighbourhood of Havana, you will find Rumba Morena; a band of nine drummers and singers performing with astounding passion and fervour. Whilst it is not unusual to hear Rumba drifting from back alleys in Havana, Rumba Morena is different - they are all women. Cuban Rumba is traditionally played by men only, and Rumba Morena breaks the mould. Uproar explores the complex intersection of religion, music and gender dynamics of Rumba Morena – and the roots influencing the male resistance to it.

Watch on Doc/Fest Selects