Author: Alexandra Colta

Document stands in solidarity with Palestine

Statement originally published on 19/10/23.

Document Film Festival stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their struggle for liberation. We join the mobilisation of human rights and film organisations across the globe calling for an end to the violence perpetrated by the Israeli state through military occupation, ethnic cleansing, deliberate systemic violence through a brutal apartheid system, and now the genocide unfolding in Gaza.

As an organisation and festival dedicated to platforming film as an advocacy tool to raise the profile and promote debate of human rights across the globe, we understand the importance the role art and artists play in bearing witness to truth. Particularly now when we are seeing the UK media complicit in spreading disinformation, and the dehumanising rhetoric being used against Palestinians.

We are grateful to our colleagues at Mosaic Rooms, for compiling a list of resources and collective actions, and we add our voice to their urgent call for cultural organisations, artists, and writers in the UK and abroad to break the silence and speak up for the justice and dignity of Palestine.

[Image: ‘letter to a friend’, Emily Jacir, 2019. Screened at Document Film Festival 2021]


Posted: 19 October 2023

NOW CLOSED – Call for new board members

Document Human Rights Film Festival is looking to recruit up to four new board members, including a Treasurer.

About Document

Document Festival was established in 2003 to show and support human rights documentary films in Scotland. It provides a unique platform that attracts Scottish, British and international documentary filmmakers and promotes local and international discussion, cultural exchange and education. By screening the best of recent and historical human rights documentaries, Document is a crucial space for the visibility and consideration of documentary film as an art form and social practice. Recognised at home and abroad, we work with many local, national and international organisations and are members of the Human Rights Film Network and the Radical Film Network.

Over the last 18 years, Document has screened over 700 films, promoting an expansive understanding of human rights issues including topics such as migration, refugee and asylum, women’s rights, self-determination, workers/unemployed rights, mental health, environmental concerns, global policies and their local consequences among many others. Find out more at:

Our Mission

To act as a forum for innovative, experimental and new documentary filmmaking dealing with human rights issues; to connect local and global struggles for justice by bringing together filmmakers, organisers and audiences; and to use film as an advocacy tool for inspiring debate and discussion.

Role of the Board

Document currently operates as a private limited company by guarantee without share capital. The board of directors is responsible for the overall management and strategic direction of the organisation, ensuring that it is delivering its mission. This includes ensuring the organisation’s financial constancy and the recruitment of paid staff. 

Document is at an exciting moment of evolution and the board is looking for new members to help support and drive the future development of the organisation. Specifically, as the festival begins to evaluate both its governance and funding models, to ensure that they are reflective of the organisation’s ethos and values, whilst identifying areas for transition in-keeping with the changing cultural landscape in Scotland and maintaining financial stability.

Please note that one of the recruitments will be allocated to the role of Treasurer. The Treasurer will have specific responsibility for the management of Document’s financial affairs, including the organisations accounts and the general management of banking and cash flow.

The role of board member is voluntary and unpaid. The board currently meets once every two months for approximately an hour, with project-specific meetings in between. Meetings take place online and/or hybrid in Glasgow.

Member Specification

At this time, Document Festival is specifically looking to recruit members with skills and connections in one or more of the following areas:

  • Finance and accounting (Treasurer)
  • Governance, with experience of alternative structures (non-corporate)
  • Fundraising
  • Community organising and engagement

Although board meetings are online/hybrid, candidates should be based in Scotland. We encourage applications from people from backgrounds that are underrepresented in Scotland’s arts and cultural sector. 

This call is now closed. We are no longer seeking applications.

New Dates Announced for Document Film Festival’s 18th Edition

What would a festival of images that don’t exist look like?

Join us 25 – 31 Jan 2021 for a packed week of online screenings and discussions at the intersections of cinema, politics and human rights.

The 18th edition of Document Film Festival will explore the politics of viewing and the role of cinema in a world of perpetual emergency. We ask what is redacted, erased, and invisibilised in the wake of crisis? And how can we disrupt the dominant flows of images and media that shape our understanding of the world?

All films will be available within the whole of the UK!

Watch this space for the full programme announcement and tickets soon!


Posted: 18 December 2020

Locked Out | Refuge & Asylum during COVID-19

Document presents an online screening, masterclass and conversation series exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland. 

In collaboration with Scottish Refugee Council, the series offers a platform for discussion and awareness-raising around issues relating to asylum, detention, healthcare, housing and welfare – as well as aspects of the complex relationship between the refugee experience and the moving image. Check out the full programme here.

The series features:  

  • The free-to-access screening of Revenir (2018) and a livestream masterclass with filmmakers David Fedele and Kumut Imesh
  • Live discussions with local activists, academics and artists including Pinar Aksu, Ako Zada, and author and journalist, Daniel Trilling (Lights in the Distance, Exile and Refuge at the Borders of Europe, 2018).
  • A film and resource playlist built around Scottish activist filmmaking, including work made by:
            • Asylum Seekers Housing Project (ASHP)
            • Camcorder Guerillas
            • Maryhill Integration Network
            • Chris McGill
            • Basharat Khan
            • Chris Leslie 
            • Myriam Rey
            • Plantation Productions

The programme is completely free to access via, from 22-28 June. 

Photo credit: Chris Leslie (2014)

Revenir (2018) was the winner of the international Jury Prize at Document 2018 and has screened widely at festivals and events around the world, including at the European Parliament.

The masterclass will be moderated by Noe Mendelle, Director of Scottish Documentary Institute, and will look at the unique and controversial collaboration that forms the basis of the film, as well as broader questions about agency, ethics, and representing the migrant experience on film.


Part road-trip, part memoir, part journalistic investigation, Revenir follows Kumut Imesh, a refugee from the Ivory Coast now living in France, as he returns to the African continent and attempts to retrace the same journey that he himself took when forced to flee civil war in his country … But this time with a camera in his hand.

Traveling alone, Kumut will be documenting his own journey; both as the main protagonist in front of the camera, as well as the person behind it, revealing the human struggle for freedom and dignity on one of the most dangerous migratory routes in the world.

A controversial film experiment, a courageous journey and a unique collaboration between filmmaker and refugee; which is not without consequences.’

We hope this event inspires you to take action: consider donating to the Covid19 Refugee Support Fund.

Supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, and funded by Screen Scotland and Lottery funding from the BFI. 


Collaborations and screenings: Document year-round activities

Following an ambitious 17th edition that showed the Oscar-nominated Honeyland alongside short and feature documentaries from Latin America and local activism, Document returns to the screening room this winter-spring season as a partner to other amazing Scottish film festivals.

Join us for the co-screening with Femspectives of Moments of Resistance on Saturday, 22 February, from 6pm at Civic House. This film is part of the strand ‘Collective Memory: Trauma and Nation’, a collection of stories that explore the power of memory and the role it plays in resistance. We are excited to co-present this documentary directed by Jo Schmeiser that reflects on the connections between historical resistance and the current political landscape. Amplifying the voices of politically engaged womxn the film fosters hope for solidarity and inclusion. We are delighted to facilitate the Q&A with the filmmaker who will attend the festival.

Delve into the Femspectives programme and get your tickets here.

IberoDocs returns to Edinburgh in February and to Glasgow in March with an excellent selection of documentaries from the Iberian Peninsula and Latin American countries as well as with two brand new strands: ‘Beyond Docs’ and ‘Diving into the Archives’. We are delighted to co-present Lisbon Beat by Rita Maia, following Document 2019’s screening and club night. Join us for the film screening and Q&A on Wednesday, 26 February from 8.30pm at Filmhouse in Edinburgh and on Sunday, 15 March, from 1pm at CCA in Glasgow.

IberoDocs have also programmed Sousana de Sousa Dias excellent film Fordlandia Malaise, a documentary about the memory of and the current situation in Fordlandia, the company town founded by Henry Ford in the Amazon rain forest in 1928. Paired with Voices on the Road that gives voice to the unheard Manu communities in the Peruvian Amazon, we are delighted to collaborate on this event, which will raise many important issues on indigenous struggles and the environment. Join us for the screening and discussion with the Voices on the Road filmmakers – Bethan John and Eilidh Munro – on Saturday, 29 February, from 8.15pm at Filmhouse in Edinburgh.

Check out the full programme and book your tickets here.

Keep an eye on our website for any updates and news. Document Human Rights Film Festival is back in 2020 between 29 October and 1 November at CCA.


Posted: 14 February 2020