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.

QMU Audience Research Project – get involved!

Have you attended an event or film screening at Document Film Festival in the past year? Tell us about it in return for free tickets for next year’s festival! A team based at Queen Margaret University would like to invite you to a focus group to share your experiences attending Document films and events online.

The focus group will give you a chance to talk to other audience members and share your experiences attending film festivals online. We are particularly interested in how people have been able to connect with their communities around and during film festivals during the pandemic. We are also interested in how people’s attendance at film festivals since the pandemic has changed.

The focus groups will be held over Zoom and they will involve between 3 and 6 people. They will last an hour and all access requirements will be met.

This research is being used to help film festivals across Scotland move forward during and after the pandemic.

Register for a focus group here!


Posted: 21 June 2021


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

Revenir – Masterclass with David Fedele & Kumut Imesh (rescheduled event)

Sat 29 Aug, 1:30pm (rescheduled event from Sat 27 June)

Join us for a masterclass with the makers of Revenir, David Fedele and Kumut Imesh.

The masterclass will look at the unique and controversial creative collaboration that forms the basis of the film, as well as broader questions about agency, ethics, and representing the migrant experience on film.

We present this masterclass in collaboration with Scottish Refugee Council and Scottish Documentary Institute, and the session will be moderated by SDI Director, Noe Mendelle.

Book a free ticket to join us on Zoom or watch the livestream on Facebook.

Film Synopsis:

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.’


Posted: 14 August 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

Premieres, Parties and Powerful Films: Announcing the Document 2019 Programme

Document Human Rights Film Festival is back! Returning to the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow for it’s 17th annual edition from Thursday 24 to Sunday 27 October, this year’s Festival brings discussions, workshops and parties on top of an eclectic programme of feature length and short documentary films from around the globe to Glasgow, including 6 Scottish, 2 UK and 2 European premieres.

Document opens with an exclusive Scottish performance of poet, filmmaker and 2017 Ted Hughes award winner Jay Bernard’s Surge, which blends poetry and archive film to trace a line from a New Cross fire in 1981 which claimed 13 black lives, through Thatcherism and the National Front to Grenfell and Theresa May. The Festival presents films exploring collective action and community, the rights and struggles of indigenous people, the state of Europe as seen from the margins, and responses to our environmental crisis, before finishing on Sunday 27 October with the European premiere of Nguyen Trinh Thi’s Fifth Cinema. This profound film essay leads viewers through narratives of colonialism and indigeneity, asking where the limitations of cinematic representation lie.

Other major events include a screening of dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s latest film The Rest; music documentary Lisbon Beat followed by a club night at Stereo celebrating the city’s thriving Afro-Portugese music scene, with sets from the film’s director, DJ Rita Maia, and Príncipe Disco artist DJ Firmeza; two screening and discussion events looking at the work of artist and filmmaker Ana Vaz, including her debut feature film The Voyage Out; the first UK screening of a digitally restored classic of Latin American political documentary cinema, Marta Rodriguez and Jorge Silva’s Our Voice of Earth, Memory and Future; and the European premiere of powerful Chilean film Haydee and the Flying Fish, followed by a discussion on the depiction of trauma in film.

While Britain remains consumed by its political relationship with Europe, Document takes a closer look at what life is like on the continent for those living on its fringes. Ai Weiwei’s The Rest tells the stories of refugees arriving on European shores only to discover that the liberal ideals they came for are receding, leaving them in a humanitarian limbo as press and political attention rolls on. The rights and lives of migrant sex workers are explored in Lovemobil by Elke Margarete Lehrenkrauss. Who is Europe? by filmmaker Ian McDonald presents the continent in split-screen, revealing cultural contrasts and posing questions around who ‘belongs’ and how the past affects the present, and will be followed by a conversation with McDonald on the topics explored. Document collaborates with The Unity Centre and political arts organisation Arika to present Lisbon Beat, a dazzling portrait of the city and its thriving Afro-Portugese music scene made by Vasco Viana and Lisbon-born, London-based DJ Rita Maia, who also performs live at a special club night in Stereo alongside DJ Firmeza.

With 2019 designated the international Year of Indigenous Languages, Document upends the myth that indigenous people are resistant to modernity or victims of change through films showing their centrality to cinematic history while exploring environmental justice and ideas of spiritual repair. The series takes its name from Colombian filmmaker Marta Rodriguez’s 1981 documentary, Our Voice of Earth, Memory and Future, a film exposing the historic repression of indigenous Colombian farmers and their long fight against it. The newly digitally restored feature is shown for the first time in the UK at Document 2019. The strand also features Scottish premieres of Susana de Sousa Dias’ Fordlandia Malaise – a vision of Henry Ford’s failed neocolonialist endeavour to build a factory town in the Amazon which remains in ruins in the threatened rainforest today – and Camila Freitas’s Chão, which depicts landless workers in Brazil fighting for land reform, a battle made all the more important as President Jair Bolsonaro declares the landless ‘enemies of the nation’.

The importance of communities and collective action is further explored in a strand which features Lucy Parker’s collaboratively made exploration of blacklisting in the UK construction industry, Solidarity, followed by a discussion with the filmmaker about how communities can work together to fight employment injustice. Long-time collaborators Glasgow Short Film Festival return with a programme of short films showing performative expressions of communities’ stories, including American artist and filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson’s Black Bus Stop. Shengze Zhu’s Present.Perfect. explores less understood means of modern human connection through the live-streamed footage of Chinese vloggers, while Kavich Neang’s feature debut Last Night I Saw You Smiling is a quiet observation of an historic artistic community in Phnom Penh’s iconic White Building preparing to depart forever in the face of eviction – both films have their Scottish premieres at Document 2019.

The need to discuss and represent the overwhelming threat of climate disaster is felt in a series of films concerned as much with renewal and reconnection as with collapse. Mothers of the Land by Alvaro and Diego Sarmiento follows a group of female farmers battling climate breakdown in the Peruvian Andes, and is accompanied by a Mass Seed Deposit with Glasgow Seed Library. The straining connection between the human and the non-human world is delicately revealed in Honeyland from Tamara Kotevska and Ljubo Stefanov, which follows the last in a long line of Macedonian wild beekeepers. Carlos Casas’ cine-poem Cemetery blurs the boundaries of experimental cinema and nature documentary in its portrait of an elephant on the final journey of its life.

The annual Critical Forum session returns, this year focused on collaborative research, creative practice, and where the two overlap when making or curating human rights films, with an exclusive look at the Freedom to Run project. Kate Parker of City Projects leads Lux Scotland’s Superlux Seminar, which explores the ways artists and filmmakers car critically respond to their social or political environment.

Tickets for all films and events are available now online at and, as well as by phoning CCA on 0141 352 4900 or visiting the CCA Box Office at 350 Sauchiehall Street, G2 3JD. All tickets are either free or priced on a Pay What You Can basis from £0 to £8 (in £2 increments). Tickets for the Lisbon Beat After Party at Stereo are £8 (£5 concessions). CCA Glasgow is a fully accessible venue with full details available at

Partners in this year’s Festival include Lux Scotland; Glasgow Short Film Festival; Scottish Documentary Institute; GRAMNet; Oxfam; Femspectives; Arika; The Unity Centre; The Confucius Institute at the University of Glasgow; Goethe-Institut Glasgow; IberoDocs; Aperture: Asia and Pacific Film Festival; ; Glasgow Seed Library; Research Collaborative Award, College of Arts, University of Glasgow.

Document is produced by Alexandra Colta, Sanne Jehoul, Sam Kenyon and Richard Warden. The Festival is supported by Creative Scotland and Screen Scotland through the Film Festivals Fund, Film Hub Scotland, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, and CCA Glasgow.


Posted: 6 October 2019

A smiling volunteer sits behind the ticket desk during Document Film Festival 2018

Volunteer at Document Film Festival 2019!

Document, Scotland’s only dedicated human rights film festival, is going into its 17th edition from 24-27 October at CCA Glasgow, and we’re looking for a team of enthusiastic volunteers! 

If you are keen to get hands-on experience in a small, friendly festival environment, get in touch with responses to the questions below before midday on 25 September.

Volunteers play a key role at Document, since you’re often the first point of contact for guests and audiences, so we’re looking for reliable, committed and friendly team members with an interest in event organising, hospitality and documentary film.

You need to be available to work at least 2 shifts over the festival dates. Shifts will be no longer than 6 hours, with regular breaks.
As a volunteer, you will be able to attend all festival events for free (subject to ticket availability). Document will provide snacks and a contribution towards travel expenses.

To apply, please send your responses to the following questions to Tony Harris at

1. Your name, address, and phone number
2. Why would you like to volunteer for Document?
3. Can you tell us a bit about specific skills and work experience so far?
4. Do you have any access needs or medical conditions we should be aware of? We will try and accommodate any particular needs as much as possible.
5. Have you volunteered for Document before?
6. Please indicate your availability for the dates from 23 – 28 October. The festival will take place 24 – 27 Oct, but we might need a little bit of help with prep and get-out on either side.
7. What t-shirt size would you require?

We look forward to hearing from you!


Document is Scotland’s only dedicated human rights film festival, developing inclusive programmes that are both critically engaging and aesthetically striking. Through screenings, discussions, workshops and performances we look to contribute to a wider awareness and understanding of human rights, to promote equality and to advocate for a nuanced, intersectional analysis of both local and global struggles. 
Almost all our 2019 events will take place in CCA Glasgow. We will announce our programme in early October.


Posted: 9 September 2019


Document 2018 Programme Announced

We’re delighted to announce full programme details for Document Film Festival 2018, which runs from Friday 30 November to Sunday 2 December. Relocated to the Scottish Youth Theatre for our 16th edition, this year we bring discussions and workshops as well as 40 feature length and short documentary films from around the globe to Glasgow, including 11 Scottish premieres and some of the world’s most exciting prize-winning films.

Through innovative contemporary titles and historical gems this year’s Festival explores the potential of archives and archive film, asking what they can tell us about collective memory and the role of filmmaking in the preservation of culture. From the radical women who transgressed tradition to pioneer a New Arab Cinema, to the Tokyo workers who waged war on the Yakuza, hear previously unheard voices from history that help make sense of the contemporary world, and imagine new futures for it. We also takes a close look at the poetic and political potential of landscapes, and showcase films in which people must rebel against the traumas of their present moment.

Major events include a screening and lecture celebrating the recently passed Egyptian filmmaking icon and ‘mother of documentary’ Ateyyat El Abnoudy; a series of films recovered from and about the lost Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) Film Unit archive contextualised by scholar, researcher and writer Anandi Ramamurthy, one of several events supported by Film Hub Scotland’s Pilot Projects programme; and the Scottish premieres of Silence is a Falling Body, a revealing portrait of the filmmaker’s father constructed from over 100 hours of footage recorded before his death, presented in partnership with Scottish Queer International Film Festival, and Luz Obscura, a deeply-felt film essay on Portugal’s decades-long right wing dictatorship from director Susana de Sousa Dias, who will attend the Festival.

We’re thrilled to welcome filmmaker and artist Louis Henderson to deliver this year’s Superlux Masterclass in conjunction with Lux Scotland, focusing on recent collaborative work Ouvertures, which seeks to find an anti-colonial method of filmmaking. Other confirmed guests include Steven Eastwood, director of Island, a lyrical look at death on the Isle of Wight, and Sara Fattahi, director of Chaos, a devastating meditation on the war in Syria as experienced by three women living in exile which won the Pardo d’Oro Cineasti del presente at Locarno Film Festival this year and has its Scottish premiere at Document. Fattahi, winner also of the FIPRESCI Award at the 2015 Viennale, will lead a free Director’s Masterclass in conjunction with the Scottish Documentary Institute on Saturday 1 December.

We host films from around the world, including Scottish Premieres of Orione and Silence is a Falling Body (Argentina), Babylonia Mon Amour (Italy), Revenir (Australia / Ivory Coast), Meteors (Netherlands/Turkey), Black Mother (USA), and experimental American filmmaker Ben Russell’s Good Luck (France, Germany), which explores the differences and similarities of two groups of men working in the mining trade in vastly different conditions in Serbia and Suriname, shot on Super 16mm film.

Other highlights include a rare chance to see Yama – Attack to Attack, filmed on the frontlines of a war between unionised workers and the corruption of the Yakuza in 1980s Tokyo – a struggle which cost both filmmakers their lives; a back-to-back screening of A.K.A Serial Killer, Adachi Masao’s anti-sensationalist true crime masterpiece and The Anabasis of May…, Eric Baudelaire’s repurposing of Masao’s fukeiron film philosophy; a closing night screening of The Sun Quartet, a psychedelic protest poem made by an anonymous Mexican collective addressing the disappearance of 43 students in Igualo, Guerrero in 2014; the launch of a new publication of Palestinian feminist perspectives in collaboration with Dardishi Festival; and a Critical Forum panel discussion on Bernadett Tuza-Ritter’s shocking modern-day slavery documentary A Woman Captured immediately following a screening of the film.

Festival Programme Producer Sam Kenyon said: “A central theme of this year’s edition is the histories, afterlives and generative potential of archives – looking at what they can tell us about how we understand our individual and collective histories, particularly in relation to some of the seismic political events of the twentieth century. The festival is a place where we can tease out lots of interesting questions around these subjects. We hope that audiences will come and see some wonderful films, participate in workshops, masterclasses and panel discussions, and have lots of engaging conversations.”

Sean Greenhorn, Screen Officer at Screen Scotland said: “Glasgow’s Document Human Rights Film Festival offers audiences in Scotland access to stories from around the world, by Scottish and International film makers, exploring human rights issues and activism on a local and global scale. The festival’s consistently diverse and accessible screening and events programme brings together high-quality filmmaking, with expert speakers, and people who are taking action and bringing about change. Screen Scotland is proud to support the Festival and we congratulate the team on another impressive programme.”

Tickets for all films and events are available now at on our website and will be available to purchase on Festival days (30 Nov – 2 Dec) from the box office at the Scottish Youth Theatre (The Old Sheriff Court, 105 Brunswick Street, G1 1TF). Tickets for all events are either free or priced on a Pay What You Can basis from £0 to £8 (in £2 increments).

Document will call the Scottish Youth Theatre it’s home for the 2018 Festival, a move brought on by the lengthy closure of regular venue, CCA Glasgow. The Scottish Youth Theatre is a fully accessible venue in the heart of Glasgow’s Merchant City area. Partners in this year’s Festival include Creative Interruptions; Dardishi; Lux Scotland; Goethe-Institut Glasgow; SQIFF; Glasgow Short Film Festival; Scottish Documentary Institute; GRAMNet; The ALLIANCE; Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief; Health and Social Care Academy; Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care; Africa in Motion Film Festival; The Glasgow Human Rights Network; Femspectives; and Plantation Productions. The Brunswick Hotel is Document’s Official Accommodation Partner for this year’s edition.

Document is produced by Sam Kenyon, Sanne Jehoul and Richard Warden. The Festival is supported by Creative Scotland and Screen Scotland through the Film Festivals Fund, Film Hub Scotland (this support is made possible through funding from Creative Scotland and Lottery funding from the BFI) through the Pilot Project programme, and the BFI’s Uprising: Spirit of ‘68 programme.


Posted: 8 November 2018