Personal Truth

  • Charlie Shackleton
  • United Kingdom
  • 2017
  • 17 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Short Documentary
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This short film essay about the power of fake news was inspired by "Pizzagate," an alleged pedophile network of high-ranking Democrats in the United States who would meet at restaurants with secret underground caverns. An idealistic and heavily-armed man named Edgar Welch traveled from Salisbury, North Carolina, to Comet, a pizzeria in Washington, DC, searching for abused children to rescue. He fired a few rounds, but found nothing. Pizzagate was revealed to be a hoax and Welch was ridiculed by all. With the help of energetic editing, archive footage, newspaper articles and location shots, British documentary maker Charlie Lyne stands up for Welch—he once believed a conspiracy theory himself. There were persistent rumors that Elm Guest House in his London neighborhood was headquarters to a pedophile network serving the British establishment—although no proof of this ever emerged. Lyne poses urgent questions in this film. At what point does healthy skepticism become firm conviction? How easy is it to believe in a conspiracy theory? And once you do, is there any way to shake off that belief?


  • 17 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English
  • Subtitles in: English
Charlie Shackleton
Charlie Shackleton for Loop Projects Limited, Catherine Bray for Loop Projects Limited, Anthony Ing for Loop Projects Limited, Laura Poitras for Field of Vision
Executive producer
Charlotte Cook for Field of Vision
Charlie Shackleton
Charlie Shackleton
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IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Short Documentary

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IDFA history