Open City Documentary Festival creates an open space in London to nurture and champion the art of non-fiction cinema. Based at the UCL Centre for Public Anthropology, we deliver training programmes, an annual documentary festival, the bi-annual Non-Fiction journal and events throughout the year that aim to challenge and expand the idea of documentary in all its forms.

The 12th edition of Open City Documentary Festival takes place in venues across London between 7th – 13th September 2022 and will present a diverse programme of international contemporary and retrospective non-fiction film, audio and cross media, as well as filmmaker Q&As, panels, talks and workshops. After a hybrid edition in 2021, we expect the festival to take place fully in-person in 2022.

Open City Documentary Festival seeks to nurture experimentation within the expanded field of non-fiction cinema, from artists’ moving image to documentary, the essay film, audio and cross-media works. In conceiving the festival as a discursive space, we intend to provoke dialogue, creation and research through the collective participation in screenings and events. Some of the artists and filmmakers screened at the festival in recent years include Luke Fowler, Kazuo Hara, Laura Huertas Millán, Onyeka Igwe, Naomi Kawase, Zhao Liang, Simon Liu, Rosine Mbakam, Pablo Alvárez Mesa, Miko Revereza, Jessica Sarah Rinland, Renate Sami, Haneda Sumiko, Alia Syed, Anya Tsyrlina, Ana Vaz and Morgan Quaintance.

GENERAL RULES
1. Open City Documentary Festival (OCDF) screening programmes are curated and all entries will be fully considered by the Programming Team.

ELIGIBILITY
2. OCDF accepts documentary films and audio work of all lengths and subject matter, originating from anywhere in the world.
3. OCDF accepts submission of non-fiction films, cross-platform projects and audio works completed after 1 January 2021.
4. All entries must be in English or contain English subtitles. Please note that the festival may not be able to consider non-English entries submitted without subtitles, or supplementary printed translations.
5. Open City Documentary Festival has no strict premiere requirements, but the programming team will prioritise works that have yet to receive a public screening in London prior to OCDF 2022.

SUBMISSION
6. Only completed entries (Entry Form, Preview Screener, Payment) will be processed and considered for screening.
7. Each entry must be accompanied by the appropriate Entry Fee. Entry Fees are not refundable. Projects entered with the incorrect entry fee will not be considered for selection.
8. OCDF accepts FilmFreeway and Vimeo Secure Online Screeners for preview purposes. Whilst we can also accept DVDs, this must be additional to an online screener. For cross-platform projects, please include an online screener if possible or a downloadable project file.
9. DVD entries must be marked with production title and tracking number. Please ensure that DVDs are checked on a stand-alone player before dispatch.
10. DVD entries must be sent to:
Open City Documentary Festival,
UCL Anthropology,
Student Central,
2 Malet Place, Bloomsbury,
WC1E 7HY
UK

11. OCDF is unable to return preview copies.
12.OCDF accepts completed films and films at fine and rough-cut stage for consideration. When submitting a work-in -progress, please state clearly within the entry form so that the programming team are aware when viewing.
13. OCDF can only accept resubmissions when substantial changes have been made. Please contact the programmers if you have any specific questions.

COSTS AND FEES
14. Waivers (free entry) are granted only to select applicants who have been invited to submit by the Programming Team.
15. If selected, the cost of postage and packing of screening copy (inbound and outbound) will be covered by OCDF. In the case that the screening materials are being shipped direct to another festival or venue, OCDF would expect the receiving organisation to cover the outbound shipment from OCDF.
16. OCDF offers standard screening fees to submitted projects selected for the festival. OCDF’s standard screening fees for films and audio are £275 (inc VAT) for works over 60 minutes, £140 (inc. VAT) for works over 40 minutes and £70 (Inc.VAT) for works under 40 minutes. OCDF offers a standard screening fee of £100 (in. VAT) for cross-platform projects

NOTIFICATION
17. If a project is selected for screening, the Festival will contact the entrant by e-mail. All entries will be notified by August 1st 2021 at the latest, barring unforeseen circumstances. If for some reason you haven’t received an email by this date, please check festival website for programme announcements or contact the Programming Team.
18. Following selection, the Festival will provide all successful entrants with a Screening Agreement and delivery schedule.
SELECTION
19. All entries are viewed and chosen by the Programming Team. Final selections are at the sole discretion of the Festival.
20. All projects selected will be made available for public viewing. All timings, date and venue details will be assigned by the Festival.

21. The Festival reserves the right to place projects into relevant programme strands.
22. If selected, the entrant grants OCDF the right to utilise publicity materials related to the production (e.g. press kits, posters, stills, etc.) for promotional purposes and to broadcast or screen clips of a maximum of five minutes.
23. If selected, the entrant must provide OCDF with a secure online screener of the complete project for the festival to make available to members of the press (if applicable).
24. Successful entries may also be used for private press screenings prior to the festival. In this case, the Festival would contact the entrant in advance.

GENERAL
25. Entrant confirms and warrants required legal authority to submit the entry into the Festival and to use all music, images and content in the entry.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Rolla Tahir

    One of the best festival teams I've ever met. Excellent programming, and opportunities to network and learn. I would definitely go again.

    September 2019
  • ZITA Erffa

    Best festival! The people who organize it are great, they have very interesting panels and good films! Met a lot of nice people there!

    March 2019
  • Vincent Förster

    I had a really good time at OCDF. The focus of industry events on young and upcoming filmmakers' development was brilliant and the carefully curated and diverse programme was pushing the boundaries of the documentary form. Congrats for putting up this great, growing but still intimate festival and for having me being part of it! :)

    September 2018
  • david mcnulty

    Brilliant on all fronts. A PROPER festival, run by a brilliant and dedicated team who really care about storytelling.

    November 2017
  • Kees-Jan Husselman

    Very nice festival. Very good film programme and nice cinemas.

    September 2017