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To ease navigation, our programmers divide the film programme into four sections with each their unique tone. Filter by section or read more.
Our main competitions and tomorrow’s film talent
Celebrating great storytelling and bold cinema
Retrospectives, film art and an in-depth look at filmmaking
Explore this year's theme programmes
The Ballad of Shirley CollinsRob Curry, Tim Plester IFFR 2018 94′
Standing on stage and seeing your partner in the audience having an affair – it literally silenced the ‘High Queene of English Folk’. The once popular vocalist could no longer sing, until four decades later she made a striking comeback. A warm, intimate film about the glory days of folk.
Bruk Out! A Dancehall Queen DocumentaryCori Wapnowski IFFR 2018 69′
This raw, energetic documentary follows six women, all of whom want to become the best Dancehall Queen in the world. It’s not just pop divas such as Beyoncé, Rihanna and Miley who furiously imitate the provocative Jamaican dance style – anonymous women from Spain, Italy, America, Poland and Japan are also making this their emancipatory life goal.
The Doom DocConnor Matheson IFFR 2018 85′
Immerse yourself in the super-heavy Sheffield doom scene, with concert footage and interviews with Bill Ward (Black Sabbath) and members of Conan, Crowbar and Primitive Man. Heavy metal is a lifestyle. Fans and musicians live for doom and channel their anger into crushing, yet positive live shows. EarWORM LIVE Line-up: Poetry: Vincent Niks, Introduction: Richard Foster, DJ Pim Blankenstein.
The Groove Is Not TrivialTommie Dell Smith IFFR 2018 62′
Midlife crisis or late vocation? Alasdair Fraser, a successful industrial engineer, changes course and chooses the violin. From California, he starts a contagious propaganda campaign that not only focusses on Scottish folk music but also on Scottish independence. A portrait with a striking resonance.
Here to Be Heard: The Story of The SlitsWilliam E. Badgley IFFR 2018 86′
In 1976, four teenage Londoners started experimental reggae-punk band The Slits, turning the music world upside down. Young, intimidating women for whom nothing was sacred, their desire for freedom continues to inspire. This homage to lead vocalist Ari-Up, who died in 2010, cements The Slits' reputation. EarWORM Live Line-up: Introduction: Leonor Faber-Jonker, Q&A: Jan Hiddink, DJ’S Girls go BOOM, DJ Squad.
How They Got OverRobert Clem IFFR 2018 87′
Rock 'n' roll’s roots aren’t just rhythm and blues, but go much further back to 1930s gospel quartet music. A surfeit of musical clips illustrates how harmony singing gradually evolved into an upbeat spectacle with electrical instruments and, ultimately, more worldly lyrics.
It Must Make PeacePaul R. Chandler, Brian David Melnyk IFFR 2018 123′
Mali, the 'birthplace of music', is so oppressed by religious strife that its culture is dying. Few can still play the traditional instruments. Globalisation and rap music are also taking their toll. Will this be the last documentary on this musical country?
OlanchoTheodore Griswold, Christopher Valdes IFFR 2018 70′
Music brings joy, but what if your life is at risk when you perform? In Olancho, the most anarchic province of Honduras, the most murderous country in the world, criminal cartels love to vie for the best musicians. Then they have to sing the praises of the most powerful drug baron until a rival calls for them.
Raw Chicks.BerlinBeate Kunath IFFR 2018 105′
Portraits of 11 international, female electro pioneers from Berlin by club organiser Beate Kunath. With infectious enthusiasm they express their love of music, sound and the city of Berlin. It is this melting pot of venues, squats, clubs and art galleries that allows them to rave and experiment to their heart’s desire. EarWORM LIVE Line-up: Nadia Struwigh, Van Anh, Linh Luu, Visuals: Sophia de Jong.
RocKabulTravis Beard IFFR 2018 86′
Under Obama, the US government pumped millions into the war in Afghanistan, a tiny portion of which was spent on culture. Even starting-out heavy metal bands could get a subsidy. An Australian soldier becomes the manager of the first local group of foul-mouthed headbangers who dare defy the Taliban. Free admission on Thu 1 Feb.
Stammering BalladZhang Nan IFFR 2018 111′
A contemporary version of a young Woody Guthrie, eccentric folkie Ga Song wanders from city to city, scoring gigs wherever he goes. The stubborn loner also struggles with homesickness for his village deep in the back country. When his career just won't budge, he allows himself to be convinced to participate in China’s Got Talent.