Best of Fests

    • set 38 items

    Striking documentary films from the international festival circuit are central to Best of Fests. The program showcases prize-winners, public favorites, and high-profile titles from the past year.

    Items in this selection


    • Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside
    • 2018

    With their father in prison, three Mexican brothers care for their elderly grandmother, who is suffering from dementia.

    Angels Are Made of Light

    • James Longley
    • 2018

    A finely-balanced portrait of contemporary Afghanistan, featuring recollections, misgivings and ambitions expressed in a variety of voices.


    • Rikun Zhu
    • 2018

    A powerful cinema verité documentary about 10-year-old Anni, who gets banned from school because of her father’s resistance to the repressive Chinese regime.

    Bixa Travesty

    • Claudia Priscilla, Kiko Goifman
    • 2018

    This raw, lively and sometimes very intimate portrait of the Brazilian “tranny fag” Linn da Quebrada sees her transcending heteronormative morality.

    Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes

    • Sophie Huber
    • 2018

    Blue Note then and now: the history of the legendary jazz label retold by musicians young and old, as well as their fans.

    Cassandro, the Exotico!

    • Marie Losier
    • 2018

    Glitter, glamour and broken bones. The life of a Mexican show wrestler has its darker side, as this flamboyant veteran artiste knows all too well.


    • Sara Fattahi
    • 2018

    What does war do to your mind? Three Syrian women make us their companions in grief and inner disengagement. Winner of a Golden Leopard at Locarno.

    Chris the Swiss

    • Anja Kofmel
    • 2018

    A very personal investigation into an unsolved murder during the Yugoslav Wars highlights the dilemmas faced by war reporters.


    • Carmen Torres
    • 2018

    A tender, acclaimed directorial debut about a dual journey: to a far-off biological mother in Colombia and an adoptive mother in memory.

    Ed Sheeran: Songwriter

    • Murray Cummings
    • 2018

    Behind the scenes with superstar Ed Sheeran: an intimate and musical account of the production process for his latest album Divide.

    Free Solo

    • Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin
    • 2018

    Breathtaking record of American free solo climber Alex Honnold’s perilous ascent of El Capitan’s sheer rockface—without any safety equipment.

    Freedom Fields

    • Naziha Arebi
    • 2018

    Women’s football faces huge opposition in Libya but a group of ambitious players fight for autonomy, on and off the field.

    Hale County This Morning, This Evening

    • RaMell Ross
    • 2018

    A warm and poetic portrait of an African-American community in the Black Belt of the Southern United States.


    • Janus Metz, Sine Plambech
    • 2018

    A Danish Thai woman named Sommai is the pivotal figure in this long-term portrayal of Thai women traveling to Europe to marry.

    In the Open

    • Guillaume Massart
    • 2017

    Casabianda is a detention facility that houses mainly sex offenders. A breathtaking, observational quest for humanity.

    Inland Sea

    • Kazuhiro Soda
    • 2018

    Guided by curiosity, with warmth and a touch of poetry, Kazuhiro Soda captures life in a disappearing Japanese fishing village.

    Island of the Hungry Ghosts

    • Gabrielle Brady
    • 2018

    A crab migration, a ritual for wandering ghosts, and a heavily guarded Australian detention center are brought together in a mesmerizing contemplation of migration.

    It’s All Good

    • Tuki Jencquel
    • 2018

    It’s All Good (Está todo bien) features harrowing personal accounts of the medical crisis in Venezuela, where patients and doctors are powerless in the face of a failing state.

    Minding the Gap

    • Bing Liu
    • 2018

    A group of skateboarders in America’s Rust Belt struggle in the gap between turbulent childhood and the responsibilities of adult life.

    Obscuro Barroco

    • Evangelia Kranioti
    • 2018

    Brazilian transgender legend Luana Muniz (1961-2017) is our guide as we explore Rio de Janeiro in this sensual and hallucinatory film essay about identity and self-expression.

    The Raft

    • Marcus Lindeen
    • 2018

    A look back at a fascinating 1973 social experiment: put a group of people on a raft for three months and see what happens.

    Room for a Man

    • Anthony Chidiac
    • 2017

    An intimate essay in which the gay Lebanese filmmaker Anthony Chidiac explores his own identity and the hostile society in which he lives.

    Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records

    • Nicolas Jack Davies
    • 2018

    An infectious, richly documented history of the legendary British record label that brought ska, rocksteady en reggae to a wider audience.

    Samouni Road

    • Stefano Savona
    • 2018

    A compelling reconstruction of a drone attack in Gaza that claimed the lives of 29 members of the same family, told through the memories of survivors.

    The Silence of Others

    • Robert Bahar, Almudena Carracedo
    • 2018

    Crimes committed by the Franco regime have gone unpunished for years, but a group of victims and family members are determined to change that.

    The Silk and the Flame

    • Jordan Schiele
    • 2018

    A beautiful and somber black-and-white portrait of a closeted homosexual Chinese man in his thirties under pressure from his family to marry.

    A Sister’s Song

    • Danae Elon
    • 2018

    In a Greek convent, a nun named Tatiana receives a visit from her sister, whom she hasn’t seen in years. Why did Tatiana make such radical decisions?


    • Nebojsa Slijepcevic
    • 2018

    The Yugoslav Wars echo on in Croatia, behind the scenes of a controversial play telling the true story of an ethnically-motivated murder.

    The State Against Mandela and the Others

    • Nicolas Champeaux, Gilles Porte
    • 2018

    Original sound recordings of the trial of Nelson Mandela and nine others in 1964 combine with animation, interviews and archive footage to produce a unique history lesson.

    Three Identical Strangers

    • Tim Wardle
    • 2018

    The astonishing story of the reunion of identical triplets who were separated at birth takes an unexpected and tragic turn.

    To the Four Winds

    • Michel Toesca
    • 2018

    A portrait of a rebellious farmer on the border between France and Italy, who risks his own freedom to help migrants on their journey.

    Touch Me Not

    • Adina Pintilie
    • 2018

    This groundbreaking hybrid documentary sees the filmmaker and her protagonists explore the universal human need for intimacy.

    Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist

    • Lorna Tucker
    • 2018

    A fantastically documented portrait of flamboyant fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, who has most recently become a climate activist.

    What Walaa Wants

    • Christy Garland
    • 2018

    The rebellious Walaa is growing up with few prospects in the dangerous environment of a Palestinian refugee camp. The escape route she dreams of is to join the police.

    When the War Comes

    • Jan Gebert
    • 2018

    An unsettling portrait of a right-wing paramilitary group of Slovakians, who train in the forest every weekend, preparing for the coming war.

    Yours in Sisterhood

    • Irene Lusztig
    • 2018

    Letters published in the feminist magazine Ms. cover everything from nuclear energy to sex. Forty years on, the letters are read again.

    #Female Pleasure

    • Barbara Miller
    • 2018

    Mechanisms of hostility toward women span cultures, religions and continents, as we see in this portrait of five women fighting for their sexual freedom and autonomy.

    4 Years in 10 Minutes

    • Mladen Kovacevic
    • 2018

    Upon reaching the top of Mount Everest, a Serbian mountain climber feels only emptiness. Was he just on his way to the big nothing?