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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.

Welcome to Document 2016

They expect us to call in sick, 
watch television all night,
die by our own hands. 
They don’t know 
we are becoming powerful. 
Every time we kiss 
we confirm the new world coming.

Extract from American Wedding by Essex Hemphill

Welcome to the 14th edition of Document Film Festival. Year on year we look to foreground the most innovative and challenging documentary film from around the world – from artists and activists committed to raising awareness and developing understanding of our shared human rights.

We look for films that demonstrate that at its best, cinema encourages us to look differently. It asks us to question the meaning and presentation of images and in doing so, to think differently about ourselves, our relationship to each other and to the world.

Over this extended weekend of screenings, workshops, performances and discussions we look particularly at the poetics of documentary form. We examine the creative, experimental and affective techniques filmmakers develop in order to work through complex, often overlapping systems of oppression that characterise so much of the global landscape.

The impulse to experiment finds many echoes, not only in the history of radical protest and thinking, but also in the explicitly contemporary context of social networks, grassroots organising and the emergence of genuinely intersectional political movements like Black Lives Matter.

Festival highlights include the sci-fi rendering of Zhao Liang’s polemic Behemoth and Hubert Sauper’s hallucinatory modern-classic We Come As Friends; a searing double bill charting the b-side of the Palestinian refugee experience from filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel; and a rare screening of Peter Watkins’ six-hour quasi-documentary La Commune (Paris, 1871), which reimagines the communard uprising of 1871.

We’re delighted also to showcase the work of Glasgow photographer and filmmaker Chris Leslie, whose lyrical urban portraits chart the shifting geography and changing communities of our city, and to hold a hands-on video activism workshop in collaboration with Camcorder Guerrillas and Reel News collectives.

Few filmmakers typify the art of looking differently more profoundly than the subject of our retrospective strand, Marlon Riggs; a black, queer artist who, until his untimely death, worked tirelessly as an educator and activist to confront overlapping legacies of oppression. His work stood as a defiant response to the US government’s inaction in the face of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Inaction that revealed whose lives mattered and whose didn’t in the eyes of the state.

Riggs understood the language of visual culture, how it is used to oppress and how it can be used to liberate. His was a striking, incisive and above all generative cinema of liberation. With this in mind, we hope you will join us for an exciting and invigorating weekend of looking, thinking and discussing.

The Document 2016 team