The decolonisation of documentary as both an art form and an industry is long overdue. No filmmaker can anticipate and respond to the entire gamut of human experience, and nor should they be reduced to only portray stories from their own communities. However, the ease with which established white filmmakers gain access to funding and the lack of critical awareness shown by institutions about who’s involved in decision making and authorship must be interrogated. As an industry, we must be continually questioning ourselves and each other on whether the leadership of a film reflects the community and on how to ensure that narratives are restorative and not exploitative. filmmakers and funders will come together to discuss these systemic and creative inequalities and the urgent need to decolonise the documentary landscape.
Produced by Nikola Vasakova (Girls in Film)
Chaired by Carmen Thompson (Africa in Motion), with:
Che Applewhaite (dir. A New England Document, part of our 2020 film programme)
Amar Ediriwira (Creative Director, Boiler Room's 4:3 platform)
Toni Bell (Filmmakers Services Manager, International Documentary Association)
Saeed Taji Farouky (filmmaker and trustee at The Arab British Centre)
Supported by Girls in Film