UK network BBC4 and distributor TVF International are teaming up to launch a documentary strand at Welsh festival HowTheLightGetsIn, which will feature a special screening of the BBC’s upcoming Amnesty International doc Amnesty! When They Are All Free (pictured).
The philosophy and music festival takes place in the small market town of Hay-on-Wye in Powys, Wales, from May 26 to June 5, at the same time as the Hay Literary Festival. For the first time, it will this year feature a ‘HotDocs’ strand, showing documentaries from around the world.
A large number of the docs are being provided by London-based indie TVF International, with screenings set to include Peep Culture, which examines the growth of reality TV and society’s obsession with fame; Afghanistan: Behind Enemy Lines, which features access to a group of Taliban fighters; and Drilling for Art, which asks if a country that has no cultural history can simply buy one.
“The festival gives us a chance to showcase some of our films to a switched-on and interested audience”, said TVF International’s director Leila Monks. “Intelligent debate and new ways of thinking and seeing the world are at the heart of what we do, so this gives us great synergy with HowTheLightGetsIn.”
Forthcoming BBC4 doc Amnesty! When They Are All Free has been commissioned by the UK public broadcaster to mark the 50th anniversary of Amnesty International. The film casts a critical eye on how the organization has changed the world, and has also been changed by it.
It features a wide range of interviewees, including musician Sting; comedian Rowan Atkinson; Sir Louis Blom-Cooper, one of the organization’s founders; and Jack Straw, the UK home secretary who released General Pinochet.
Elsewhere at the fest, BBC4 will present two screenings of In Their Own Words: Great Thinkers, in association with Open University. The series mines the BBC archives for footage of the great minds of the 20th century, including Sigmund Freud, Noam Chomsky, Carl Jung, Margaret Mean and Richard Dawkins.
HowTheLightGetsIn will also feature a HotDocs talks programme, featuring BBC4 controller Richard Klein on ‘Justice: Fairness and the Big Society,’ in which renowned Harvard professor of government Michael Sandel explores the big philosophical themes behind the UK’s present-day dilemmas in a special televised debate; and ‘Brains on the Box: Turning Philosophy onto Television,’ in which Jonty Claypole, exec producer of the aforementioned In Their Own Words, looks at how some of the great minds of the 20th century have used TV to communicate their ideas.
Other attendees and panelists will include filmmakers Roger Graef, Jerry Rothwell, Hilary Lawson, and Mike Figgis.