Festival History: previous festivals


Sunday, 10th November
16:15 - 18:15

Rio Cinema Dalston

107 Kingsland High Street
E8 2PB

The curse of drugs: from field to street

Opium Wars
Director: John La Raw
In the Kachin State of Myanmar, more than half of the youth is addict on opium, sold with the help of a corrupted police. Citizens decide to fight with the dealers by themselves through a militia, but they will face not only drug dealers armed like an army, but also opium field owners or the government that doesn’t care about the Kachin state, since it’s a Catholic area in a Buddhist country.
52 minutes


METHADONE: Painted into a corner
Director Chris Norman
Two individuals detail their experiences navigating the opiate landscape which led them to Methadone and their subsequent difficulties with the drug that replaced one addiction with another.
10 minutes

Tuesday, 12th November
19:30 - 21:30

The Cinema Museum

Dugard Way
SE11 4TH

Saving nature from humankind

Treasures From The Tides
Director: Catherine Brookes
In El Salvador, a small coastal community fights to protect the sea turtles from poachers. A dedicated all-female team provides hope, but will their unique conservation initiative succeed?
15 minutes


On the Brink – The Purple Frog
Director: Akanksha Sood Singh
In 2003, scientists discovered the Purple Frog, an enigmatic species that is endemic to India. Living underground for most of the year, it emerges to breed only when the monsoon arrives. So how can a creature so small explain 130 million years of evolution?
23 minutes


By the Water
Director: Kaelyn S Maehara
The fishing village of Baguran Jalpai in north-east India is one of many similar fighting for their very existence. India’s draft legislation will open India’s entire coastline to industry and development, leaving the 170 million people who live mostly by traditional fishing means, out of options.
12 minutes


DOWNSTREAM: Mining impacts
Director: Jeremy Williams
Along British Columbia's Fraser River, its most important salmon watershed, massive dams are holding back mine waste mixed with water. Some mines are even permitted to release effluent directly into waterways. It's time to ban risky tailings ponds and clean up the mining industry.
6 minutes

The Sacred Place Where Life Begins
Director: Kristin Gates and Jeremy Là Zelle
While tracking the world’s longest land mammal migration through arctic Alaska and Canada, scientists discover an incredible ecosystem protected by the Gwich’in Nation for more than 25,000 years, but now under threat by mining companies.
25 minutes


Chasing the SNOT of the Whales of Samana
Director: Marvin del Cid
‘SnotBot’ is a project of OCEAN ALLIANCE which uses drones to capture the whales’ blows and studying the biological matter it contains.
5 minutes


Sunday, 17th November
16:00 - 18:00

Rio Cinema Dalston

107 Kingsland High Street
E8 2PB

The Nobel Laureate: defied Beijing, died in jail

Liu Xiaobo: the man who defied Beijing
Director: Pierre Haski Liu Xiaobo, the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner, never ceased to demand a democratic China. He paid the highest price, dying in captivity in July 2017.

In spring 1989, when students occupied Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese literature scholar and outstanding speaker, became one of the movement's mentors. Shortly before the massacre began, on the night of June 3-4, he begged the youth to evacuate the square and went on hunger strike to request the authorities to avoid violence. Immediately arrested, he was sent to a re-education camp. Upon his release, a year and a half later, he chose to remain in China and resist from within, while many of his compatriots opted for exile. Arrested in 2008, for co-signing Charter 08, a program for a democratic transition in China, he was sentenced to eleven years in prison for subverting state power. Still imprisoned in 2010, he could not personally receive the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to him and died in captivity seven years later, in July 2017.

Today, the Chinese regime is making every effort to ensure that Liu Xiaobo's name is forgotten but in 2008, he agreed to a long interview. This serves to frame Pierre Haski’s fascinating portrait of a man who, all his life, fought for his convictions and paid the high price.
59 minutes


Mointal Ranger
Director: Ansiqi Li
This observational documentary tells the story of a Chinese Russian ranger whose job and mission is to guard the forest on the frontier between China and Kazakhstan.
16 minutes


Tuesday, 19th November
19:00 - 21:00

The Cinema Museum

Dugard Way
SE11 4TH

Refugees and the homeless tell it as it is

Lost and found
Director: Orlando von Einsiedel
This National Geographic film follows daily life in the world’s largest refugee camp where daily people of all ages get lost. The film follows Kamal Hussein, a Rohingya refugee, who has dedicated his life to reuniting children with their parents. Missing children are his mission.
22 minutes


Amina my sister
Director: Patrick Bodenham
The personal story of a family of Rohingya refugees from persecution in Myanmar into the world's newest and largest refugee camp.
18 minutes


Director: Shahryar Ahadi
On the abandoned baseball field of the 2004 Olympic Games, 500 refugees live in UNCHR tents. While populist parties speak worldwide of the downfall of Western civilization, the Christian West, mass rape, terrorism or exploitation of their social systems, the refugees live in this abandoned stadium until they get their papers. One of these, a 78-year old English teacher from Afghanistan manages to live with dignity in his own way.
15 minutes

AND the world premiere of
Home Stream
Director: Giulia Gandini
Giulia Gandini won the 2018 #TweetaPitch competition organised by the We The Peoples film festival. She used her £500 bursary to make a film about the life of homeless people. After rebuffs by several, she met Lily Blackham, homeless for a year and a half. Giulia gave her a phone for three days to tell her story. Giulia received help also from BFI Future Film. She will speak about her films after the screening.
9 minutes

Wednesday, 20th November
19:00 - 21:00

Hackney Picturehouse

270 Mare Street
E8 1HE

The people WILL stand up!

I Insist to Keep on Filming
Directors: Anne Paq and Haidi Motola
In the small West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, local cameraman and veteran activist, Bilal Tamimi, has for over a decade, stubbornly documented the highs and lows of his village's struggle for freedom and justice, as well as its toll on its residents and his own family. Like the rest of the village's residents, he has braved beatings, intimidation, detention, injury and even the killing of three protesters, hoping to bring change in the village in its struggle against Israeli occupation.
10 minutes


Fighting for Freedom of Faith
Director: Thea Elisabeth
Haavet Human rights activist Sajid Christopher Paul of Human Friends Organisation is fighting for freedom of faith and belief for all in Pakistan. The stakes are high. Many have been killed because they stood against the extremists and challenged the country´s blasphemy laws. The work is dangerous but Sajid and colleagues are willing to risk their lives and sacrifice comfort to help the Christians and other persecuted minorities in Pakistan. He meets the family of Asia Bibi who must live in hiding, falsely accused of blasphemy and a madrassa leader who shares his views on the blasphemy laws.
35 minutes


River of My Childhood
Director: Stanislav Schubert
Environmental activist Julia Kolevatova devoted her life to saving the Izdrevaya River in Siberia. She drew attention to its ecological challenges, being littered with rubbish, and losing birch forests. When regional authorities decided to build a garbage processing plant and a solid waste landfill near the Izdrevaya River, together with local people actively opposed this, she arranged protest actions, and as a result, the construction was suspended…but what then?
26 minutes


Norwich Youth Strike 4 Climate
Director: Maud Webster
Greta Thunberg's weekly protests in Sweden led hundreds of school-aged young people to walk out of lessons, urging governments worldwide to fulfil their pledges on the environment.
3 minutes


Thursday, 21st November
19:00 - 21:00

Conway Hall

25 Red Lion Square

The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons

The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons
Director: Álvaro Orús
On 7 July 2017, 122 countries voted in favour of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Countries that don’t have nuclear weapons but live under their threat voted for a ban. Without the knowledge of most of their citizens, the governments of the world’s nuclear powers didn’t vote, and yet the ban went ahead. Something new is happening. This film about efforts to bring a nuclear weapon ban treaty into international law and the role of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, ICAN, is told through the voices of leading activists from several different organizations and countries and the president of the negotiating conference. It takes the viewer through a brief history of the bomb and the anti-nuclear activism that has pushed to eliminate them ever since their invention. It moves into a consideration of the humanitarian initiative that successfully challenged the dominant security narrative and the historic steps taken since 2010 to turn the treaty from a dream into a reality. Also, it shows what can be done by anyone to help bring the treaty into force and to stigmatise nuclear weapons until they are finally eradicated. Feel inspired!
56 minutes


Yemen! Saudi Arabia! U.S.! And How We Got This Way!”
Director: Kevin Hourigan
This animated short relates the history of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and the US role in this calamity.
7 minutes


Tuesday, 26th November
19:00 - 21:00

The Exhibit

12 Balham Station Road
SW12 9SG

The human condition: a reflection

Director: Lubna Yusuf
Filmed over a span of eight years in the Indian village of Bihar, Maida explores the societal norms of dowry, child marriage and the prevalent practice of school dropouts after the onset of menstruation. The film traces the dreams of a young schoolgirl and through her stories and Bhojpuri folk songs, she breaks the myth of women empowerment, as we know it. Such incidents go unreported for lack of courage to face societal consequences.
19 minutes


Education on a boat
Director: KM Taj-Biul Hasan
Boat schools are school bus, schoolhouse, training hub, library and medical centre. Serving villages to village in north-east Bangladesh, they are the answer to adverse climate conditions in marshlands inundated by water 8 months a year. Traveling on boat is the only means of transportation for communication.
14 minutes


Courage - Journalism is not a crime
Director: Tom Heinemann
They are devoted to journalism but are under an immense pressure by governments, companies and criminals. They use freedom of expression to fight corruption and injustices. They reveal what those in power want’s to hide. They face torture, jail and even death, but still they keep on fighting. From three different countries - on different continents – with one thing in common: They have Courage – because Journalism is not a crime.
43 minutes


Breaking Chains: Bonded Labour in Brick Kilns
Director: Raju Hittalamani
The film captures the situation of migrant laborers who end up as bonded laborers in the brick kilns of Punjab, India.
17 minutes



The Prophecy – A Warning of Climate Change in Alaska
Director: Dmitry Trakovsky (USA), 53 minutes
Follow the challenges facing the Central Alaskan Yup’ik people.


Director: Peiman Zekavat, 9 minutes
Proposed dams in Brazil will bring floods, cause toxic plants to dissolve in the water, leading to severe poisoning or even death among the local tribes.


Syria’s disappeared: the case against Assad
Afshar Films, 50 minutes
Powerful personal stories of three Syrians with evidence gathered from regime documentation smuggled out of Syria.


The smell of petrol
Director: Branko Tomovic, 12 minutes
Single mom Jackie works as a human trafficker for illegal immigrants.


Boarding delayed
Two people are waiting for a flight which cannot take place.

Macoconi - The Roots of Our Children
Director: Fábio Ribeiro, 35 minutes
Mozambique is witnessing the unsustainable extraction of its mangroves, impacting the climate and the subsistence of families.


It is not only about fish
Director: Kodjo Adanledji, 15 minutes
Environmentalists in Norway fighting against the plan for mineral mines to dump millions of tonnes of deposits into the Repparfjord—a national salmon fjord.


Something in the water
Director: Leo Hyde, 18 minutes
Follow the struggle of Greek activists and unionists as they fight against the troika-imposed privatization of their public services.


As Human As I Am
Director: Alice McDowell, 30 minutes
LGBTI activism in Nepal, Malawi and Fiji.


Sunken Plum
Directors: Xu Xiaoxi and Roberto F. Canuto, 20 minutes
A transgender Chinese woman receives news of her mother's death. As the only "son", she feels obligated to return to her birthplace in the mountains.



Director: Mohammad Eskandari (Iran), 11 minutes
Looking for a place to stay in Tehran for the night before sex change surgery.


Another World is Possible
Director: Okay Karamahmutoğlu, 20 minutes
Social and cultural dimensions of sustainability in ecological villages in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Poland.


Blue Tomorrow
Director: Numan Ayaz, 15 minutes
Animated film about man who leaves his island, witnesses catastrophe but when ocean rises, a decision is needed to enter another unknown.


Hidden Life
Directors: Kaitlyn Satter and Hannah Mattner, 18 minutes
Controversial “Rigs to Reefs” program in California allows decommissioned oil platforms to stay in the marine environment to act as artificial reefs.


Every Drop Counts
Director: Anita Koltun, 10 minutes
Local Guatemalan business uses new clay pot technology to purify contaminated water, changing the lives of many. Where next?


The Truth: Lost at Sea
Director: Rifat Audeh
The story of the Freedom Flotilla attacked by the Israeli navy in 2010, featuring footage that was broadcast and more that was smuggled off the ships.


Dr Activist
Public Services International
After helping convict Chad’s former dictator of war crimes, Younous keeps up the struggle for Human Rights and Healthcare for all in one of Africa’s most repressive regimes.


We are human
Sophie A Kanza Foundation
‘Singabantu’, an Afrophobia Awareness video shot in the remains of a house burnt to the ground by disgruntled residents during protests that turned into Afrophobic attacks.


The Uncondemned
Directors: Michele Mitchell and Nick Louvel , 81 minutes
The screening marks the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to be followed by commentary, Q & A and reception hosted by Clifford Chance LLP.


Sarajevo March
Director: Ersan Bayraktar, 86 minutes
The longest siege in modern war history, recorded by the daily life and psychological impact on its people.


Director: Slobodan Tomić, 10 minutes
Marvel at this clever Croatian short animated film.


Facing death with a wire-cutter
Director: Sarwar Abdullah (Iraq), 37 minutes
Kurdistan Peshmerga forces working with simple equipment.


Director: Ulas Tosun (Turkey), 20 minutes
The documentary tells the journey of Sewab, a 35 year old refugee trying to move from Afghanistan to Europe and is stuck in Turkey on the way. It shows how stereotyping foreign 'incomers' is a universal phenomenon, illustrated by rich and poor alike.


Are you Volleyball?
Director: Mohammad Bakhshi (Iran), 15 minutes
A group of Arab speaking asylum seekers arrive to a country border where they speak English - but they can't move on. Interaction gets tense and then ...well, watch!



The 2017 Festival screened thirty five films in ten venues. The Youth Day at the BFI, 18 November, featured the world premiere in NFT2 of the 2016 #TweetAPitch winner You can’t do nothing, can you? directed by Mei Leng Yew. The film follows two refugees staying with British hosts as they continue to apply for permanent resident status. Cassius Rayner led a Master Class on how to make good films on a mobile phone and Lucrezia Pollice described her I-DENTITY project, working in film with refugees. The #TweetAPitch winner was Pascale Kann.

Films screened in 2017 include:

Exodos Director: Fabien Guillermont (France)

This film follows the life and experience of the people on board the Aquarius, a rescue ship in the Mediterranean sea, during the period between September 14 and October 6, 2016.
70 minutes


The Gift Director, Bolsunbek Taalaibek Uulu (Kyrgyzstan)

A story about an unexpected meeting between two cultures and civilizations, told with a melancholic humour.
18 minutes


Impunity Director, Isaac Matovu (Uganda)

After the international condemnation of the notorious anti-gay bill, commonly known as the "Kill the Gay bill", by a court ruling a sense of relief was given to the LGBTI community and its advocates. Unfortunately it also ignited the wrath of the public. IMPUNITY depicts the government's endeavours to disenfranchise the LGBTI community while the masses take the law into their own hands. Thus leaving the LGBTI community out-of-pocket in terms of food, housing and healthcare. Vulnerable and often losing their lives at the hands of the angry mob.
25 minutes


The Ramadan Cannon of Jerusalem Director, Nimrod Shanit (Israel)

Every year, Rajae Sanduka finds he is being banished further and further from his hometown, despite his central role in the lives of the residents of city, firing the Ramadan cannon of the Jerusalem. He confronts the Israeli occupation's frustrations through a satirical play at the only remaining Palestinian theatre in the city.
45 minutes


From Arakan to Rafflesia Director, Aysar Abd-Alhameed (Jordan)

Rohingya children, fleeing from Arakan in Myanmar, arrive in the Malaysian Rafflesia, that big flower they thought would treat them well and educate them. The film follows the children's realisation that the education and future they thought they were being offered is a deception.
14 minutes


Sonic Sea Directors, Michelle Dougherty and Daniel Hinerfeld

Oceans are a sonic symphony. Sound is essential to the survival and prosperity of marine life. But man-made ocean noise is threatening this fragile world. Sonic Sea is about protecting life in our waters from the destructive effects of oceanic noise pollution because every day, whales, dolphins, fish and other marine life are threatened by a cacophony of industrial noise from shipping, seismic exploration for oil and gas and naval sonar used for routine training exercises. From the Atlantic to the Pacific to the wild Arctic, this endless barrage of noise impairs the ability of our planet’s vulnerable marine life to communicate, find food, navigate and breed. Ocean noise is harming and even killing whales, dolphins and other creatures in water bodies all around the world.
61 minutes


Converts Director Karlis Lesins, Latvia

A young and ambitious journalist experiments, joining a camps in Syria that prepares terrorists of the Islamic state, so she could explore from the inside how does the radical Islam movement work. She is helped by Maija and Juris. But before they leave Europe, it gets complicated.
35 minutes


Mr Rock's Rooster Director, Andrea Ruffini

The drought destroyed all the crops of the Rock's family, living in South-East Haiti. Mr Rock's only hope to gain some money is that his rooster wins the fight.....so what happens?
6 minutes


The Computers Directors/Producers: Kathy Kleiman, Jon Palfreman, Kate McMahon

Women are vastly under-represented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) fields, holding under 25% of STEM jobs. However, in the 1940s, six brilliant young women, 'The Computers', programmed the world's first all-electronic, programmable computer as part of a secret WWII project for the US Army. They learned to program without programming languages or tools (for none existed), and their program worked perfectly. Yet, when the ENIAC was unveiled to the press and public in 1946, they were never introduced; the ENIAS Programmers became invisible.
20 minutes


Where We Stand Director/Producer: Kristine Stolakis

The story of a controversial group of Mormon feminists fighting for women's rights in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Abby Hansen, a stay-at-home mom turned vocal advocate for Ordain Women, navigates the repercussions of her unpopular activism against her church in her predominantly Mormon suburb. The film is not just for Mormons. It is not just for feminists. It is for anyone who has questioned what it means to believe and to belong.
20 minutes


Brave Dolls Director, Maximiliano Gonzalez and Julieta Cherep

What happens when prostitutes get older? The film follows the 'Munecas Bravas' living in Xochiquetzal's house in the heart of Mexico City which claims to be the only home in the world for elderly prostitutes who have nowhere else to go.
26 minutes


Youth Day 2017

* #TWEETAPITCH COMPETITION for the £500 bursary to make your own film to be premiered here at the BFI Southbank in November 2017
* Watch the world premiere of the film made by the 2016 #Tweetapitch competition winner
* "Judge the Shorts" Your vote will influence who wins the We The Peoples Film Festival 'Best Short Film'
* Meet film industry people who can assist you
* and more.

Fugazi Director: Laurent Michelet (Belgium)

It is 2039. Adele has been working for more than 3 years on ORBIT DEFENCE, a space station in charge of Earth security using drone pilots. Today, is her last routine mission,before she returns home to meet her family, especially her daughter. Without taking Murphy’s Law into account...
39 minutes


Converts Director Karlis Lesins, Latvia

A young and ambitious journalist experiments, joining a camps in Syria that prepares terrorists of the Islamic state, so she could explore from the inside how does the radical Islam movement work. She is helped by Maija and Juris. But before they leave Europe, it gets complicated.
35 minutes


My Friend Boris Nemtsov Director, Zosya Rodkevich

An intimate portrait of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov—once Deputy Prime Minister and “an heir of President Yeltsin”, later an uncompromising adversary of Putin—that was assassinated near the Kremlin in February 2015. Election campaigns and hotel beds, protest rallies and office routine, train compartments and courtrooms, night walks and police vans – you have never seen any politician so close. This is a story how a journalist assignment turns into a genuine friendship.
70 minutes


The Wall Within Director, Juan Manuel Ramirez (Mexico)

In Arizona, forensic anthropologists must analyze the remains of thousands of migrants who die each year in the desert trying to cross the border into the US. In this humanitarian crisis there are also vigilantes, armed citizens who patrol the border.
18 minutes


Rupa's Boutique Director, Glória Halász (Hungary)

In Rupa's Boutique there are dreams on the hangers. Dreams that meant hope for the victims of acid attacks even in the worst times. All the girls there are back on their feet after their tragedy, becoming independent and visible. According to the activists of Stop Acid Attackshelping the victims, in India there are 3-5 attacks each week. Many victims do not report the crimes to the police because they are afraid of being socially stigmatised.
52 minutes


Calais: On the Road to Relief Director, Jake Martin Graves

Caught between the increasing demands of a growing camp and the regular police raids, this documentary reveals the chains of relief networks that entirely sustained the residents of the Calais Jungle over 8 months leading up to its demolition.
20 minutes


Mayor Director, Moritz Adlon (Germany)

Dupfing expected refugees. And Mayor Zepp is afraid - less prior to the asylum seekers themselves, but rather from the reactions of his community citizens. So he keeps it for himself. But his secret threatens to fly up as yard owner Otto someday showsup: He knows about Zepps situation and offers a solution: He wants to make him his more than questionable real estate palatable, which could equally well be out of town to accommodate the newcomers. On the tour of the farm to trailer tent the situation escalates between the two and Zepp is set back to itself. The next morning, in fact, the new church members standing on the street, but it is still short of just a brilliant idea: before the assembled congregation he explains it to his own family.
15 minutes


Lost in Lebanon Directed and producted by Georgia and Sophie Scott

Lost in Lebanon gains access to unknown stories in a region that is on the fringes of hell. Spending over a year in Lebanon - in Beirut and on the borders of Syria, this film tells the story behind the news reports and reflects the strange chaotic lives of the people living in the shadow of the Syrian war.
81 minutes

Georgia and Sophia Scott will talk about their film following the screening


Penaber Director: Ramazan Kilic, Turkey

A multi award-winning short film following a Syrian woman and her daughter who, having fled to Istanbul, use a hand-held picture viewer to maintain memories of happier times. How will the daughter understand who are the people in the photos and will she ever meet them? Kilic uses a traditional Turkish song to reflect on their plight.
2 minutes


The Cultural Journey to Timbuktu Director, Marco Romano

This musical documentary reflects the importance of culture and music in a country like Mali. Its populations and economy have been torn apart by a war that's not theirs to fight. How can a peaceful country with an incredible cultural heritage like Mali get destabilised in such a short time? What are the effect on the people and the long standing culture?
52 minutes


Clinica de Migrantes - Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness Director, Maxim Pozdorovkin

An unprecedented look into the workings of one of the only health clinics that serves America's untouchable class - undocumented immigrants. By law, illegal immigrants cannot obtain health insurance, and reeive no regular medical treatment. At Puentes, a team of volunteers attend to an evergrowing population of housekeepetrs , prep cooks and construction workers.
38 minutes


Noon Director, Munaf Ibrahim

A short film from Iraq (fictional) about a young officer who losers his feet through a detonated IED. Back home, he sees his life as hopeless and sets out to commit suicide. At the last minute, he changes his mind, saving the lives of his Christian neighbour from ISIS. The film is one of new genre which seeks to encourage diversity and acceptance of other faiths.
10 minutes

Undocument Written and directed by Kyla Simone Bruce and Amin Bakhshian

The film follows four journeys from the Middle East to the UK, linking each to a single narrative. Leila stakes all to flee Afghanistan and join her husband in London, give birth and raise their child to read and write, live and think freely. To the family harbouring her in Tehran, these secrets pose a dangerous threat. In Greece, an Iranian mother struggles to maintain her dignity and protect her eight-year-old son. How does he make sense of the uncomfortable mix of fear and awe as he watches their trafficker berate and humiliate the adults? Laura entered the UK illegally before Poland was part of the EU. Now everything's as it should be, until her London-born daughter opens the door to immigration officers with a warrant for her North African partner’s deportation. Ramzi maintains the required distance from his Arab brothers and sisters in his role as courtroom interpreter. Then he witnesses a young boy reaching out to touch his mother – a face on the courtroom monitor – and is confronted by his own complicity in the institutional processes and procedures that determine the outcome of so many complex human stories.
93 minutes

Kyla Simone Bruce, co-director, will join the Q and A session following the screening.


The Orange Tree Directed by Sion Evans Berry

This short film spends time with independent volunteers on the island of Lesbos, Greece and refugees that have made their way to Piraeus harbour, Athens, Greece from their home countries. Looking at a range of perspectives from local and foreign volunteers to the people who have been displaced from their home countries fleeing various different circumstances, you see and hear an observational portrait of place and people, it gives a snapshot of time in human history.
12 minutes



The Festival screened thirty eight films in thirteen venues.

The Youth Day at the BFI, 13 November, featured the world premiere in NFT2 of the 2015 #TweetAPitch winner The Swimming Club directed by Nick Finegan and Cecilia Golding before a large, enthusiastic young audience. The film follows members of a transgender swimming club who have managed to find a ‘safe space’, a municipal swimming pool where, free from the stares of the public, they can relax, talk and swim. The premiere was attended by members of Tag Support CIC and other members of the transgender community. “We are delighted to have kick-started this important film,” said David Wardrop, Chairman, UNA Westminster. “We will now inform our international contacts, within the United Nations family and beyond, that we all have a valuable asset that can greatly help to improve understanding of the special challenges of others.” Nick Finegan and Cecilia Golding will now embark on a crowdfunding project to raise the profile of the film and the issues it tackles.

Films screened in 2016 include:

When Elephants Fight (Director: Michael Ramsdell)

The fight for minerals in the Congo has brought poverty, war and corruption while corporations, nations and armed groups have made billions.

(90 minutes)


Besieged Bread (Director: Soudade Kaadan)

Syria 2015, it's a long day of smuggling bread to the besieged area. There is no escape.
(11 minutes)


The Girls Of The Taliban (Director: Najibullah Quraishi)

With a new wave of privately run religious schools across Afghanistan, many feel basic rights and education for girls are again under threat.

(58 minutes)


Gezoindelach (Director: Efrat Berger)

Yehuda, raised in a devout Hasidic family, decides to do away with the last remaining symbol still connecting him to his religious past.

(28 minutes)


Nobody Dies Here (Director: Simon Panay)

In the Perma gold mine in Benin, some dream of finding gold, digging relentlessly. Others say that in this place, nobody dies. How?

(23 minutes)


A Brilliant Genocide (Director: Ebony Butler)

Counterpoint to Kony 2012, the Ugandan government has used that crime to divert attention from its own.

(82 minutes)


I Am Able (Director: Isaac Seigel-Boettner)

Left for dead, young Rwandan Frederick miraculously survives and now seeks to change people's preconceptions of what it means to be 'able'.

(13 minutes)


The Harvest (Director: Ross Bolidai)

The Shona people live in the most densely mined area in the world and now nomadic mine clearers live and work along its path.

(19 minutes)


K2 and the Invisible Footmen (Director: Iara Lee)

Shot in stunning northern Pakistan, it concentrates on the plight of the unsung heroes, the indigenous porters of majestic K2, the earth's second-highest peak.

(54 minutes)


Generation Hope (Director: Charles Francis Kinane)

Filmed in Malawi, Haiti and India, this shows the extraordinary difference a daily meal in school can make to children in these poor communities.


Hotel 22 (Director: Elizabeth Lo)

In Silicon Valley, the Line 22 is the only bus that runs twenty-four hours. By night, it transforms into "Hotel 22", a mobile testament to the challenges of an increasingly unaffordable landscape.

(9 minutes)


Dirty Wars (Director: Rick Rowley)

What begins as a report into a US night raid gone terribly wrong in remote Afghanistan quickly turns into a global investigation of the secretive and powerful Joint Special Operations Command.

(86 minutes)


The Sky Queen (Director: Simon Maignan)

The cynical romance of two drone pilots in New York.

(9 minutes)


Tides (Director: Alessandro Negrini)

The river Foyle runs through Derry/Londonderry. What has it seen, heard, witnessed in its long life, running towards the ocean? What is the Foyle whispering to us today?

(40 minutes)


Regarding the Lambs in the City (Director: Zhao Xu)

Daily life in a Chinese city? A shepherd couple, a disco-playing bicycle repair man, a man keeps a lamb as his pet while another, dressed like a sheep, wanders around the city. Is it real?

(40 minutes)


Ariel (Director: Macéo Bhardwaj)

Ariel, a homeless transwoman, meets her guardian angel who teaches her how to 'feel alive' again. How will their love manage Society's oppressive views?

14 minutes)


Unforgiven: Rwanda (Director: Lukas Augustin)

20 years on, victim and perpetrators live in the same villages. What is a socially acceptable conversation when your family's killer sits down to dinner?

(76 minutes)


When you hear the Bells (Director: Valentin LeBlanc)

In Afghanistan, young male prostitutes obliged to dance, dressed as girls, for a male audience. Saman feels threatened by the arrival of Bijane, a boy younger than him destined to take his place.

(25 minutes)


Walls (Directors: Pablo Iraburu and Migueltxo Molina)

The intimate stories of lives affected by division on the borders of Spain and Morocco, Mexico and the United States, and South Africa and Zimbabwe.

(82 minutes)


My Enemy, My Brother (Director: Ann Shin)

Former enemies from the Iran-Iraq War become blood brothers for life, 25 years after one saves the other’s life on the battlefield. How did they meet?

(17 minutes)


Our Lives In Transit

A controversial law leaves 200,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent doubting their identity. Rosa Iris, a young and determined lawyer, fights for their rights.

(30 minutes)


But They Can't Break Stones (Director: Elena Dirstaru)

Nepal’s civil war ended 10 years ago but women still fight for their rights. As well as activists, we see women training to be mountain guides at an all-female training centre. The film's director will provide an update after the screening.

(50 minutes)


Fish and Crops (Director: Sara Bernardo)

In farming and fishing, everything is changing so fast, these professions are being strongly affected by climate changes, technology and also modern farming practices.

(10 minutes)


Burden of Peace (Director: Joey Boink)

Guatemala’s first female Attorney General starts a frontal attack against corruption and organized crime, arresting a former dictator. Will she survive?

(75 minutes)


Uninvited (Director: Julian Biba)

Albanian emigrants caught by Greek border patrol units receive a punishing treatment, for crossing illegally the border, looking for a better life.

(20 minutes)


Before The Flood (Director: Fisher Stevens)

Leonardo DiCaprio, UN Messenger of Peace, meets those engaged in preventing the global catastrophes of climate change. Barack Obama and Pope Francis join farmers and islanders as they survey melting ice sheets and industrial pollution.

(95 minutes)


Battle Scars (Director: Robbie Buckley)

Fighting a battle no one seems to win, Harry suffers from PTSD and struggles to contain his demons.

(11 minutes)


Not a Pizza Order (Director: Cecile Ragot)

In New York City, more than 11 million 911 calls are received each year. This is one of them.

(1 minute)


Drone (Director: Tonje Hessen)

Inside the covert CIA drone war, follow those living under drones in Pakistan and the drone pilots who struggle with the new warfare. Drones may just change wars and possibly our future.

(78 minutes)


Remembering Srebrenica, 20 years on (Director: Tamanna Rahman)

Genocide survivors revisit Srebrenica where in 1995 they were left to die. They had sought protection in the UN base at Potočari, only to find that Ratko Mladić’s troops had arrived first.

(22 minutes)


Pirates and Slaves (Director: Environmental Justice Foundation)

How overfishing and pirate fishing in Thailand fuels human trafficking and the plundering of our oceans.

(9 minutes)



The Festival screened thirty films in ten venues. The highlight was the We the Peoples Film Festival Youth Day at the BFI, 21 November 2015.

The BFI Youth Day featured the 2014 #TweetAPitch winner Exploiting It? which received its World Premiere. Jade Jackman, the film’s director and who #TweetaPitched it in 2014 describes the film as an immersive, creative documentary. “As you descend into a house in England, you’ll find media devices coming alive with the real experiences of women whose identities have become constant source of intrigue and horror. The film explores the effects of Islamophobia on women and the fetishisation of the Muslim woman. Some of the liberal justification for the contemporary persecution of Muslims is the common perception that their faith oppresses women. However, through the perspective of our participants, one is able to see where their self-censorship comes from and where their freedom of expression is really curtailed.

With many of the participants expressing that they feel that there is one narrative afforded them by the mainstream media, the short film raises the question of who is really free to create and whether people have any choice but to accept the identities offered to them by hungry consumers. Furthermore, this short film offers an insight into how governmental legislation, such as Prevent and the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill, is seeping into intended areas of life and institutionalising racist stereotypes.”

The following Question & Answer session moderated by Iyare Igiehon featured Jade Jackman, producer Aleksandra Bilic and Director of Photography Nadira Amrani. They were joined by the artist Sarah Maple and the writer Ruqaiya Haris.  

Masterclasses were led by Ludovica Fales and Isis Thompson who explained how they made the documentary The Real Social Network as a collaborative project and award-winning director, editor and cinematographer Esteban Uyuarra explained how he made a no-budget film in Iraq.

The #TweetAPitch final featured eight contestants whittled down from thirty eight original entrants. Each contestant made a two minute pitch to the judging panel which comprised John Glen, director of five James Bond films, Jade Jackman, #TweetAPitch winner in 2014 and noted film-maker Esteban Uyarra. 

The winner was The Swimming Club, a 10 minute film , co-produced and co-directed by Nick Finegan and Cecilia Golding, which will follow London’s only ‘trans’ swimming club, TAGS (Trans And Gender-non-conforming Swimmers), an inspiring group of individuals who struggled against the tides of the status-quo to affect positive change for their community.

Nick and Cecilia will receive a £500 Bursary from the We The Peoples Film Festival and benefit through guidance from the British Film Institute. The Swimming Club will be premiered at the 2016 festival in November at the BFI South Bank. 



Films screened in 2015

Leave to Stay (Director: Awat Osman Ali)

London has a juxtaposition of cultures. People who live a million miles apart, in reality live next door to each other. Three Kurdish immigrants arrive in the UK, as illegal aliens to seek asylum and find that now they belong to London's underground. (64 minutes)


Emigrant (Director: Grant Taylor)

Emigration is the act of leaving one’s native country with the intent to settle elsewhere. Mikel, an emigrant to the United Kingdom, has a passion for games. His observations of the world around him and his relationship with his father lead him to create a game that will change the world. He gains inspiration from finding a bottle cap and develops an inclusive game that will inspire all, eventually helping him and his father bond. (4 minutes)


Dance Up From The Street (Director: Peter Goldsmid)

In this inspirational documentary we meet-up with a successful Canadian choreographer who spends months of every year working with the street kids of Rwanda, orphans of one of the bloodiest episodes of ethnic cleansing since World War II. “Dance up from the Street” is the intimate, moving story of an alternative to life on the streets in a country still struggling to heal the wounds of genocide. Eric Mgwaneza is a 15 year old who has hopes for a brighter future and is inspired by Rebecca during one of her visits to Rwanda. In this compelling story we learn that dance moves truly transcend barriers of language, race and age and that dance might just be a way for him to realise his dreams. The young Rwandans learn not only contemporary dance, but also to connect with their own country’s dance tradition. Dance becomes a language of community discourse and a tool for personal liberation. (28 minutes)


Microphone (Director: Kareem Ghafur)

A child enters a mosque to urinate, but he is lost from his mother. The mother wants to go into the mosque to find her child, but she is not allowed. (9 minutes)


Elmando (Director: Anton Octavian)

The story of a young Congolese child, born near the forest of Kivu. (3 minutes)


Nigeria, Edge of Joy

This UN-produced film tracks the situation in Nigeria which has the second highest number of maternal deaths in the world. More than thirty-six thousand women die here each year trying to have babies. But the country is beginning to fight back and slowly starting to see results. (3 minutes)


Kobani Under Siege (Director: Shirwan Ahmad)

A gripping documentary covering the filmmaker's return to the city of Kobani located on the border between Turkey and Syria at the time controlled 70% by ISIS. Even entering the city was considered impossible. (24 minutes)


Growing Home (Director: Faisal Attrache)

Amid Syria's refugee crisis that has displaced nine million people; a Syrian barber struggles to maintain normality in the Zaatari refugee camp. (22 minutes)


A Bird in A Cage (Project Manager: Amy Morris)

An animated film about Margaret Mackworth, otherwise known as Lady Rhondda, the important women’s rights campaigner throughout the first half of the 20th century. She set up the Newport Women’s Social and Political Union and founded one of the most influential political magazines of her day. She was imprisoned for attempting to blow up a postbox in Newport for the cause of women’s suffrage. Her work had a lasting impact on the democratic landscape of South Wales. (19 minutes)


Repercussions (Director: Aren Devlin)

In the aftermath of 2011’s London riots the story focuses on Jade a single mum, whose life unravels due to poor judgement and untimely events. She seeks redemption, but at what cost. (19 minutes)


The Piano (Director: Levon Minasian)

Thirteen years after the Armenian city of Leninakan was destroyed in an earthquake, Loussiné, a 13 year old orphan lives with her grandfather in a "domik" – a prefabricated small house. She is dumb, but a talented pianist. To prepare for an international competition, the Ministry of Culture lends her a beautiful piano. But when the instrument is delivered, it’s clear that the trailer where they live is too small to hold a piano…(27 minutes)


Liberia: Women on the frontline

This UN-produced film about Liberia, a country which has been engulfed in war with its women bearing the brunt of the conflict. When peace finally did come, the legacy of violence against women continues to haunt the country. But Liberia's women are now taking positions of power and filling roles usually dominated by men. And it's making a difference.


7 Days in Syria (Director: Robert Rippberger)

The film gives a window into the lives of families struggling to survive on the frontlines of the Syria conflict. Their courage and resilience shines through in impossible circumstances. Newsweek Middle East editor, Janine di Giovanni, submitted a proposal to cover the war in Syria. The magazine denied the request, deeming the situation too dangerous. She decided to go anyway. Angelina Jolie said of the film, "7 Days in Syria gives a window into the lives of families struggling to survive on the frontlines of the Syria conflict. Their courage and resilience shines through in impossible circumstances." (75 minutes)


UN Film
Palestine: Bread-winner, Bread-maker

This UN film depicts a land torn apart by years of bitter conflict, the daily struggle to survive is an on-going battle. Feeding the family is a constant effort. But some inspirational women in the Occupied Palestinian territories are bring hope to thousands. (Running time: 4:16)


When You Can’t see the film (Director Details -Yijun He)

Largely due to censorship, many films, especially documentaries and independent films can't be released in China. But underground cinema clubs are making independent films accessible to Chinese audience despite the all the risks.


GastroNomads (Director: Annebel Huijboom)

This film explores issues of migration, belonging and food preferences in the specific context of five migrant women from different parts of the world, now living in London. They all work for Mazí Mas, a roaming restaurant that creates employment opportunities for migrant and refugee women, inviting them to cook food from their own countries, as they were taught by their mothers and grandmothers. Is there a difference between cooking food at home and in this role as representatives from their home country? (20 minutes)


Libya, the Migrant Trap (Director: Veronique Mauduy)

For African migrants Libya used to be a Mecca: a place to find work or get access to Europe. But now the workers who come here are trapped in the political, economic and social chaos engulfing the country. (26 mins)

Play Date (Director: Sepideh Borjinia) In the Middle East, some children mistake bombs with toys and take them out to play.


Bang! Bang! (Director: Alejandro Castro) A small boy learns how dangerous his imagination can really be in this quirky short.


The Red House (Director: Jiaqi Lin) The moving story of Fangfang, a prostitute, struggles to buy her freedom…her plans change when her child is sold to the house by her parent.


Bayberries have ripened (Director: Niranjan Rajbhetwal) Set during the Nepal Civil war, two brothers take their cow for fertilization. As the boys bring back the cow, worshiped as a mother and giver, they are faced with a new realization.


Horseface (Director: Marc Martínez Jordan) A self-described “Comedy-Horror-Science Fiction-Thriller Animal Drama” short from Spain starring the director and his grandma!


Sometimes I’m afraid, Sometimes I hit (Director: Yuval Auron)

The people of Nabi Saleh, in the West Bank, have been holding weekly protests against the Israeli occupation for four years. Through a series of interviews with the village's children, we learn of their unique and personal perspective of the struggle: how they cope with the constant state of violence around them, as they see their parents being arrested and family members being killed, and if and when they see some hope in their situation. (14 minutes)


Hebron is Beautiful (Director: Yuvall Orr)

On a hilltop in the city of Hebron, where the banality of everyday life clashes with the absurdity of occupation, fifteen-year old Awni Abu Shamsiya attempts to maintain a sense of normalcy as he goes about his daily routine. (9 minutes)


Across The Tracks (Director: Catherine Feltham)

As the Clean India campaign gets underway, with its ambitious target of a toilet for every household by 2019, WaterAid explores how something as simple as a toilet can help transform lives by following the story of one ambitious mother in Uttar Pradesh. Radha Verma, determined to protect her daughter after she narrowly escapes a physical attack, builds one of the first toilets in Rakhi Mandi slum, home to 3,500 people in one of India’s largest cities – Kanpur. The film shows how Radha Verma has made this happen with the support of others in and around the community. We meet charismatic “super-gran” Kalavati and passionate community leader, Laddan. With support from WaterAid’s local partner, Shramik Bharti, they educate, inspire and motivate others to build. (18 minutes)


The Journey of Women's Rights

A short film taking you through the evolution of the Women’s Rights movement from 1945 until now, shown as part of the United Nation’s 70th anniversary. (2 minutes)


I'm not here (Director: Ashvin Kumar)

Commissioned by the UN, this film documents the lives of female undocumented immigrants working in domestic slavery across the world. (28 mins)


The Roma: Road to inclusion (UN Media)

The Roma - known around the world as Gypsies. Theirs’ is a long and painful history of being excluded...often denied their rights. And that discrimination continues today, forcing many to live in poverty.  Here is one extraordinary group of Roma fighting to ensure that painful legacy ends with them. Here's their story. (10 minutes)


Mount Gourougou (Director Bruno Rocchi)

A triple wire mesh, motion sensors and security cameras protect the city of Melilla, a Spanish enclave in Moroccan territory, against illegal entry. The documentary highlights the desperate conditions that hundreds of Sub-Saharan migrants experience in Gourougou mountain, near the city of Melilla. These people wait the chance to get a permit for Europe and cross the border, at the mercy of Moroccan police and its violence and oppression. (10 minutes)


Black Ulysses (Director: Federica D’lppolito)

Hope fades when the migrants arrived in Italy, and specifically in Nardò, Lecce province, are having to submit to the harsh laws of illegal hiring, live in the reality of the territory. (4mins)

The Bound Free Spirit (Director: Ritika Jajodia)

This film highlights the refugee community of Tibet in the national capital of India, Delhi, describing and presenting both sides of the coin in the bound and free Tibet. (3 mins)

The Silence of our friends (Director: Lina Lempianinen)

Elise is on her way to school parent-teacher night. Her daughter’s been involved in a bullying incident. Elise arrives late to find that the others have already started. To everyone’s surprise, the teacher has found an unusual way to convey the children’s situation. (10 minutes)

Akhtar: The Story of an Afghan Migrant

Migrating to another country in pursuit of safety and a better life has long been a way of coping with crisis; but for some, the quest can be tortuous and seemingly without end. For more than four years, the UN followed the story of one young Afghan migrant whose long journey has spanned continents...and shattered most of his dreams.

Three independent films focusing on issues of global conflict, displacement, forced migration, and complex issue of accessing basic human rights in ‘Fortress Europe’. After the final film there will be the chance for a short Q and A with a representative of the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants, a charity working with asylum seekers in London and whose patron is Juliet Stephenson.


Masterclasses at the We the Peoples Film Festival Youth Day at the BFI, 8 November 2014

What happened in 2014?

Film-making – Rob Brown

Using award nominated short film, 'Paper Hearts'', a 10 minute short film on relationships, Rob showed how the initial idea came about, from creation through to being premiered at the Rushes Soho shorts festival. There was even a photo of Rob with Kevin Spacey! How did it come about?

Movie Production – Jake Hume
London filmmaker Jake Hume pointed to the various routes for young people starting out in the film industry. Jake produced his first feature film ‘Sixteen’ in 2013 which had its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival. Since graduating from Bournemouth Screen Academy in 2009 at the age of 21, Jake has managed production on indie feature films such as ‘Lotus Eaters’ and produced an array of award-winning short films and music videos.

Animation - Helen Piercy (Helen Animate)
Helen Piercy showed how to make stop-motion videos like a real pro, using 2D and 3D techniques with character design, cut-out puppets, and speech bubbles. From storyboarding to the editing suite, she shared everything one needs to know, a real one-off opportunity to learn the fundamentals of animation. For more information, see www.helenanimate.com


“Take me to the Front”, Stefano Pietrocola’s film about a British photojournalist covering the Bosnian war in the ‘90s takes all three audience awards.

Youth Day at the BFI attracts young film makers keen to make documentaries on development and human rights who benefit through masterclasses and expert guidance during the day.

£500 #tweetapitch bursary won against tough competition by Jade Jackman whose film will show the work of a Kabul-based Afghan woman graffiti artist. The film will be screened at the 2015 Youth Day at the BFI.

Films were screened in several locations including universities, a pub and a restaurant. Most were followed by Question & Answer sessions featuring film makers or experts on the topics covered.

Audience and guest feedback was excellent with one guest commenting on a film with harrowing scenes “Working in this field you become very accustomed to images like these. Coming to events like these help you connect again.”

“Our event was excellently organised” was a common observation, reflecting on the hands-on involvement of students of Event Management at Ashdown Academy, a long-term supporter of the We the Peoples Film Festival.

Films screened in 2014 include:



80 minutes, Director, Rob Brown, UK; Producer, Jake Hume, UK

Jumah is about to turn 16 and is already in need of a fresh start. Burdened with the shameful legacy of a past as a child soldier in the Congo, he lives with his adoptive mother in west London, where he struggles to keep a lid on his history of violence.
see the trailer

Take Me To The Front


14 minutes, Director – Stefano Pietrocola, UK

Hector is a British photojournalist covering the Bosnian War. Where will he draw the line between documentation and intervention?

Starry Eyes


30 minutes, Director, Chieh Yang, Taiwan

On a not too distant planet called Lucky, each person is fated at birth with one particular person. The moment they lock eyes, they will tumble head over heels in love with each other and will henceforth live happily ever after.

Shame and Glasses


7 minutes, Director, Alessandro Riconda, Italy

Miko has to face his worst fears; wearing glasses. That is the only way to take his school test, but what would happen if the young girl he is secretly in love with sees him?

A Russian Fairytale


55 Minutes, Director: Jake Mobbs, UK, in association with Love’s Bridge

This powerful documentary follows the lives of ‘street kids’ from Perm, a once weapon-building Russian city. It provides a fascinating insight into the day to day lives of a group of children born during or just after the break-up of the Soviet Union; they are the generation of Russian kids who ended up on the streets as a result of the turmoil. Now on the brink of adulthood, time is running out to make a break from the group once and for all...
see the trailer

Voices Across the Wall


37mins, Director: Sam Liebmann, UK

Voices Across The Wall is a set of short stories and interviews exploring the Israel-Palestine conflict through the eyes of people on the ground – from an intifada veteran turned social worker to the leader of the Jewish National Front, from the father of a Palestinian suicide bomber to an Israeli survivor of an attack that killed her husband and children.

As we travel through the West Bank we see the ongoing colonisation of Palestinian land and hear from the occupied and the occupiers. Through a series of personal accounts of the day-to-day impact of conflict and occupation, the film reveals some of the complexities often unseen by the outside world that underlie this most intractable of political problems.

Happiness Wrapped in a Blanket


52mins, Director: Yosi Artzi, Israel

After a long night, Bashir returns home from work to find his Jewish girlfriend Karin with an unexpected baby in her arms. “We’re a family now,” she tells him, "and we'll never be apart". Bashir is torn between his will to devotionally support his girlfriend and doing the right thing by returning the baby to his mother, a foreign worker who left her child under the threat of being deported from Israel. A decision is made and the couple sets-out on a runaway journey with the baby wrapped in a blanket. In the background of social and political topics such as Arabs, Jews and foreign workers, a tender love story is revealed and a delicate family is formed...
see the trailer

Volkswagen Joe


30 mins: Director Eamonn Cleary

In a small border‐town during the height of the "The Troubles" in Northern Ireland, Joe, a hardworking mechanic services cars for both sides. Both view his even handedness with suspicion and while restoring a car for his friend, the local RUC inspector, a young Republican sees this as the perfect opportunity to make a name for himself, forcing Joe into an impossible decision.
see the trailer

Tharattu Pattu (Lullaby)


4 mins: Director, Sandeep Ravindranath

A film about Smarthavicharam, the one-time ritualistic trial of Namboothiri women in Kerala, India, accused of adultery. If found guilty, the woman is ostracized, similar to when there is a death in the family. Then on, from the family’s perspective, guilt exists no more.

A Journey of Discovery


33 mins: Director, Daniela Gross de Almedia, Brazil

Ubatuba, Brazil, best known for its beaches, conceived the Ubatuba Sat Project, the design and construction of a satellite by students who started aged 10. It took them to NASA, transcending all limitations of the classroom.

No Love Lost


15 mins: Director, Shekhar Bassi

A Jewish boy nurturing a secret romance with a Muslim girl, despite the realities of their backgrounds, is unaware he is being stalked. While the young lovers struggle to be open their relationship, the stalker’s obsession reveals a thought provoking turn culminating in the trio coming to face to face.

Kel Yaum Kel Yaum / Every Day, Every Day


15mins; Director, Reem Karssli

Rare and honest journey with a Syrian family as they go about their daily lives. Dealing with a sense of cabin fever after being pent up at home for months, the filmmaker captures heart breaking daily realities

Globe Trot


4:35 mins: Director, Mitchell Rose, USA

An uplifting short film of dance produced by 50 filmmakers from 23 countries.

A Syrian Story


13:07 mins: Director, Samer Beyhum, Canada

A freelance photographer decides to leave Montreal to go to Syria and cover the conflict that has lasted for the last three years under the current regime.

Not Anymore, A Story of Revolution


14:29 mins: Director, Matthew Van Dyke, USA

A film about the Syrian struggle for freedom as experienced by a 32 year old rebel commander.
see the trailer



9:15 mins: Director, Yahya Ghobadi, Iran

An animation about peace and war.

Our School


94 mins: Director: Mona Nicoara, USA

Three Roma (“Gypsy”) children from a small Transylvanian town participate in a project to desegregate the local school, struggling against indifference, tradition and bigotry with humour, optimism and sass. OUR SCHOOL is a captivating, surprisingly funny, and ultimately infuriating story about hope and race.
see the trailer

The Joy of Reading


12 mins: Director, Dominique Telemaque, Dominican Republic

Lolo, a 7 year old boy who is passionate about learning to read, is on a mission to obtain a book needed for school. He reaches a crossroad where he reflects on his struggles and learns a valuable life lesson.



10 mins: Director, Daniela Wayllace, Belgium

This film is inspired by human rights and the violence and rape against children. Every part of the film is articulated by a coherent musical composition structure in which the characters evolving in crescendo in space. Image and music work together to create an intensity of sensations and emotions.

Ghana: They Wanted Her to Marry at 10


3 mins: UNICEF

This film is part of a campaign against child marriage.

I Don't Think We Are Equal


1 min: Director, Dominique Telemaque, Dominican Republic

Two shoeshine boys, one Haitian and the other Dominican. They talk about equality.

One Thousand and One Teardrops


17.07 mins: Director, Fateme Ahmadi

On her first day of school, little Louly is faced with a question: what should she wear?

A Short Film About Fear


9.30 mins: Director, Keith O’Grady, Ireland

A meditation on the nature of fear, cause and effect as seen through the eyes of a child.

La Última Escena (The Final Scene)


19 mins: Director, Iván Nakouzi

Heine Mix Toro (78), an eminent former playwright and theater director, after his return from the exile of Pinochet's dictatorship, has been marginalized and now lives as a hermit in a humble shack.

Causa Vitae Curriculum Mortis


5.30 mins: Director, Lucas Scandura

The Diagnosis of an entire life or of a life that is yet to come? Gods failure or evil's success? Sick or blessed? High-impact contrasts between good/evil, right/wrong and virtue/turpitude.


The We the Peoples film festival reached out to new venues. These included the Platform Restaurant and Bar in East London, the Water Poet pub near Liverpool Street station and some of London’s newer universities including Ravensbourne University and the BPP University. We were delighted to screen the European premiere of Through the Fire which was followed by a Q&A session with live link to New York.

The Young Film Makers Day at the BFI enabled those Interested to find out how films are made. Experts led master-classes in film-making, animation and movie production. The popular #tweetapitch competition for a £500 bursary was won by Mari Shibata.

Films shown include:

The Well: Water voices from Ethiopia


Directors: Paolo Barberi, Riccardo Russo. 56 mins

Come the dry season, Borana herders gather with their livestock around their ancient wells. Huge hand-excavated craters, known as “singing wells,” allow them to survive during the long annual droughts, when thousands of people and animals move closer in search for survival. Young shepherds form human chains, reaching the depths of the well. Nobody can be denied to access water, neither the herders of an enemy tribe in need. Drinkable water is surely a fundamental human right.



Director: David Fedele 20 mins

Have you ever wondered what happens to your electronics at the end of their life? Almost 50 million tonnes of e-waste (electronic waste) are generated worldwide every year. A large volume of second-hand and condemned electronic goods arrive in developing countries from the “developed” world, with a significant quantity arriving as e-waste, exported illegally as second hand goods. Without dialogue or narration, E-WASTELAND presents a visual portrait of unregulated e-waste recycling in Ghana, West Africa, where electronics are not seen for what they once were, but rather for what they have become. Winner of several Film Awards.

The Noise of Cairo


Director: Heiko Lange, 56 mins

The Noise of Cairo' is a cinematic adventure, following the interplay between art and the revolution in Egypt. Protest of any kind was punished violently in pre-revolutionary Egypt and artistic expression was considered nothing but a threat to the status quo. But since the fall of the Mubarak dictatorship, the art scene in Cairo is flourishing once again. How did the revolution of 2011 change Egyptian artists and their work? Twelve influencers from Cairo'™s cultural scene lead us on a journey to understand the unique role artists played during the revolution in Cairo. This documentary bears witness to Cairo'™s vibrant artistic underbelly, as it raises its voice once again. The artists of Cairo, who refused to quiet down, come together to be heard. These individuals create 'The Noise of Cairo'.

Sorry to Interrupt

Director: David Marius Lorenz, 13 mins

An experimental documentary about Nicole Y, a story of hope set on the Berlin Underground system "Ladies and Gentlemen, excuse me for interrupting......"

Through the Fire


Director: Eunice Lau

'Through the Fire'™ shows a side of Somalia beyond the all-too-familiar news reports of piracy, war, and famine. It tells the stories of remarkable Somali women who risk their lives to run essential humanitarian projects that have sustained their communities through decades of conflict. By giving insights into the strength and resilience of these women, we see how they use their personal tragedies to compel themselves to work for the greater good rather than remaining helpless victims of circumstances.

The documentary gives an intimate portrait of the life and work of three exceptional women, who, in the midst of two decades of bitter civil war, have risen up to rebuild their shattered nation. They have each fought against seemingly insurmountable obstacles to spearhead efforts towards peace, laying foundations for social, health and educational infrastructure. The stories of these women and all that they have achieved are truly inspiring. When the world abandoned them and their communities, they refused to give up or walk away.

Avant que Tout Perdre


Director: Xavier Legrand, 29 mins, subtitles

Award-winning film which tells about Miriam who, with her two children, escapes her husband who she fears.

The Swing of the Coffin Maker


Director: Elmar Ivanov, 30 mins

Azerbaijan. Yagub lives with his mentally disabled son Musa, whom he easily loses patience with, until a shattering piece of news from the doctor brings about a sudden change.


Director: Leyla Bouzid, 27 mins

Zak is living in a village in southern France. He has a quiet life, with his wife and his two kids. When he learns about his father’s death in Algeria, he decides to go there with his family. Sarah, his daughter, refuses to come with him.

Zanta Clauz

Director: Walid Mattar, 15 mins

Getting by with jobs on construction sites, squatting a flat with fellow illegral immigrants, Foued lives in fear of arrest and deportation. One day, he is offered a well-paid job where he is certain to remain invisible......


Director: Simona Feldman, 9 minutes

Juri is growing up under deprived circumstances in a small village in the former Soviet Union. When his father moves to Germany to earn money for his family he hast to come to grips with a life without a father.

Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry


Director: Alison Klayman, 91mins

Celebrated artist, expert provocateur and one of China'™s most outspoken domestic critics, Ai Wei Wei inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. This nuanced portrait of Ai reveals a man of unrelenting spirit whose passion and defiance continues.

Find out more about Ai Wei Wei and his work

Casa Luz


Director: Navina Khatib, 60 mins

The documentary film "Casa Luz" gives an insight into the everyday life of Peruvian orphans. A life full of poverty, loss and grief '“ a path they did not choose '“ and yet they still manage to find their way

Wolf, are you there?

Director: Xavier Sirven, 28 mins

A cow mysteriously dies in a village. Camille, aged 8, who discovered the dead body observes and tries to understand.

Barbara Johns, the making of an icon


Director: Fabrice Chiambretto, 47 mins

Documentary about Barbara Johns who led a revolt against her Jim Crow High School in 1951. It marked the beginning of the Civil Rights movement and became one of the five Brown v. Board of Education cases. Her memorial stands Capitol Square in Richmond,VA.

Allah is Great


Director: Andrea Iannetta, 8 mins

Frank Asmas, a Danish Engineer, is leaving a Wind Farm located in a remote Indian village. He has to reach Nairobi, where he must attend an important conference. When he is ready to leave he learns the official car designated to him to the airport has not come due to political protests in the region


Director: Moritz Kramer, 15 mins

On the photoshoot, model Helen is unnerved. Back in the changing room she makes a surprising discovery, everything around her is edible - the chair the TV the walls'¦.Morris Kramer's strange approach to all things around us.

The London Film School presents People of a Feather

You can see the trailer here.

Featuring stunning footage from seven winters in the Arctic, People of a Feather takes you through time into the world of the Inuit on the Belcher Islands in Canada's Hudson Bay. Connecting past, present and future is a unique relationship with the eider duck. Eider down, the warmest feather in the world, allows both Inuit and bird to survive harsh Arctic winters.

Traditional life is juxtaposed with modern challenges as both Inuit and eiders confront changing sea ice and ocean currents disrupted by the massive hydroelectric dams powering New York and eastern North America. Inspired by Inuit ingenuity and the technology of a simple feather, the film is a call to action to implement energy solutions that work with nature. (90 minutes)


The Festival screened films in SOAS, Kings College London and the Royal College of Music together with an evening of short films was screened at Cafe 1001 in Brick Lane. The Young Film Makers for Development Day once brought together young people and the #TweetAPitch competition for a £1000 grant kindly funded by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association which attracted nearly 200 entries. We were grateful to the British Universities Film & Video Council for general festival funding.

Arna's Children   Ping Pong   Lucky


The Festival screened films in several university campuses including London Metropolitan University, Regent’s College in association with The Elders; SOAS and at the LSE in association with the embassies of Slovenia and Serbia. At The Young Film Makers for Development Day young people, industry professionals and decision makers came together to debate big issues, vote for the best films and take part in workshops with experts of the craft. There was also a live video link-up with young people in Israel, as well as the opportunity to win a film making bursary and mentorship funded by The Commonwealth Broadcasting Association.

Cyprus – Digging the past in Search of the Future   The Long Road through
Balkan History


In 2010 The Festival introduced awards for the first time, there would be a Best Film of the Festival category. The Youth Day at the BFI had cut new ground with Live relays which were made by young film makers from Soweto in Johannesburg and to a primary school in northern Ghana. A number of short films made by young filmmakers were screened and critiqued by the young audience.

by Alessandro Negrini


The Festival had settled on themes relating to the Three Pillars of Freedom. These had been set out by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his Millennium Report In Larger Freedom in which he drew on the opening words of the UN Charter pointing out that it, though an organisation of sovereign States, exists for and must ultimately serve the needs and hopes of peoples everywhere. The Riverside Studios screened The World of Tibet with its presenter, Dan Cruickshank. Screenings at campuses were held at University College London, London Metropolitan University and Kingston University and the Young Film Makers Day at the BFI was well-supported.

Three Pillars of Freedom        


The third Festival, now named the We the Peoples film Festival, extended to include new venues. At the Frontline Club, Aaron Rockett screened his film The Fixer At the headquarters in Canary Wharf of Clifford Chance LLP, the leading law firm, the Festival screened the world premiere of Stories on Human Rights. At the BFI and in association with the Abingdon Film Unit, based at Abingdon School, Oxfordshire, the Festival launched the first ‘mini-festival’ screening films made by young people under the age of 21. The Festival successfully developed its Outreach Programme having successfully applied for support from The Big Lottery to create a DVD of some of the best films on MDG issues.

'The Fixer' by Aaron Rockett        


The second Festival extended the screenings at the BFI to two days. The five sessions concentrated on the UN Millennium Development Goal challenges with four sessions addressing education, health, gender and the environment and a fifth providing an overview of all these issues. Each session featured a moderated Q&A session with field specialists and film producers.

UN Millennium
Development Goal


The first Festival took its title from the Stories from the Field United Nations Film Festival based in NewYork. Twenty six films, chosen by the New York Festival organisers, were screened in a single day at the British Film Institute, South Bank (BFI).

What's on where?
Festival Aims
BFI Youth Day 2022