London International Documentary Festival – Call For Submissions


“Experience teaches only the good observer” (Gide)

The LIDF2013 is calling for submissions. The call is open and international. All subject matter is considered. Feature length and short film categories. First time and established filmmakers all welcome.

We are very pleased to announce that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has chosen the LIDF as one of its qualifying film festivals. This means that recipients of the festival’s prize in the Documentary Short Subject category will now qualify for consideration at the Annual Academy Awards® (OSCAR®) without the standard theatrical run, provided the film otherwise complies with the Academy rules.

The first LIDF – London International Documentary Festival: A Conversation in Film – took place at the British Museum in 2007.

The LIDF arose from a commitment to what it called, and continues to call, ‘Conversations in Film’. These conversations go beyond the films themselves. The intention is to throw light not only on the film process, but to engage with the wider social, artistic and political issues the films highlight, and to examine how film can function as an important source of information about the world. In this context filmmakers are encouraged to talk about their role as essayist, polemicist, poet, agitator, and knowledge producer. We also reflect on how we, the audience, need to engage critically with film and learn to read the moving image. Audiences are actively encouraged to take part in these discussions and contribute directly to the debates. Alongside established names like Martin Scorsese and Steve Soderberg, the festival presents the best emerging talent from around the globe in a highly distinctive environment for cultural interaction. A truly public sphere for debate, analysis, and entertainment.

While it is true that documentaries can be hugely entertaining, they are rarely merely entertaining. A combination of art and the well argued essay produces a powerful means for reflection. Reflections are better shared and put to the test. The conversations that ensue amplify those issues that the filmmakers have taken such pains to broadcast. At the very least this moment of conversation and contact counteracts the sensation that there is nothing anyone can do about anything.

The LIDF is the UK’s largest independent documentary festival and provides a platform for radical and groundbreaking output from around the globe. We look to support new and innovative filmmaking talent, and to ask filmmakers to participate in the ‘conversations’ and debates that run alongside the screenings.

We look forward to seeing your films.

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