Central Scotland Documentary Festival announces 2022 line-up

Now in its 6th year, the festival runs from 3-7 November 2022 at Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling’s cultural hub

• With screenings taking place across Macrobert’s Filmhouse, Playhouse and Mainhouse, the 23 films in the programme will transport audiences across the world with deeply personal stories on series of urgent and important issues.

• The festival features 1 world premiere, 2 European premieres, 5 UK premieres and 9 Scottish premieres.

• The festival received submissions from 21 different countries, resulting in a diverse and innovative programme.

• Brett Morgan’s new David Bowie documentary Moonage Daydream will be bringing the party on the Festival’s Saturday night in the form of a standing, immersive screening of the film with a light show on Macrobert’s Mainhouse stage. • This year’s Audience and Jury awards will be presented on Monday 7 November.

Edinburgh-based director Emma Davie's The Oil Machine opens the festival on the  3rd November

Matthew Heineman's Retrograde receives it's Scottish Premiere on the 5th November

The Central Scotland Documentary Festival is proud to present a programme for 2022 which celebrates creative documentary and non-fiction filmmaking from around the world.

Curated and presented by Macrobert Arts Centre’s Film Programme Manager Grahame Reid, the festival continues to be a fitting tribute to the city of Stirling, which is the birthplace of the ‘father of documentary’ John Grierson. 2022 sees the 5th iteration of the festival which opened to filmmaker submissions for the first time last year.

With screenings taking place across Macrobert’s Filmhouse and Playhouse, plus a special immersive event which sees audiences partying on the Mainhouse stage, the 2022 edition of the festival will be a real celebration of documentary filmmaking.

The festival will open with the Scottish premiere of The Oil Machine by Edinburgh-based filmmaker Emma Davie, which explores our economic, historical, and emotional entanglement with oil by looking at the conflicting imperatives around North Sea oil. This essential and visually arresting documentary considers how this machine can be tamed, dismantled, or repurposed and asks ‘is this the end of oil?’ The screening will be followed by an in-person Q&A with director Emma Davie.

Highlights of the festival include the world premiere of The Ballad of Bessie May by last year’s Festival Jury Award winner Oliver Guy-Watkins, an explorative journey following the LARP community.

European premieres include Taimoor Choudhry’s Real Fur, an eye-opening undercover investigation about the true cost of the fur farming industry in Canada.

Also screening in Europe for the first time is No One Told Me, a raw and honest observational documentary about the postpartum experience. Incredibly intimate moments show the highs and lows encountered by parents Elise and Marc as they adapt to life with a baby.

Receiving its Scottish premiere is Retrograde, a film by Oscar-Nominated and EmmyWinning Director Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land) which captures the final nine months of America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan from the perspectives of the last U.S. Special Forces units deployed, a young Afghan general, and the civilians desperately attempting to flee as the country collapses.

UK premieres include Ayena (Mirror), the courageous story of acid attack survivors Ritu and Faraha, whose lives were transformed forever by a momentary act of revenge. Ballymanus uncovers one of the worst tragedies in modern Irish history, through the words of the victims’ descendants and the memories of the few remaining survivors, while EXIT follows the journey of three women who were looking for a way out of their extreme poverty and who find themselves at the heart of human trafficking networks.

Benjamin Kling’s Interior Cinema is a portrait of an audio describer who translates movies for blind and visually impaired viewers, and also a beautiful portrait of an audience who are often left outside the cinema. Venice Elsewhere features personal stories told by a handful of characters from around the world who have never set foot in Venice but who all have intimate ties with the city.

Jay B. Jammal’s second documentary feature El Arena explores the colourful and highly energetic battle rap scene in Lebanon, a fascinating subculture struggling with the most unusual circumstances. The film delivers a fresh and unique perspective on the relationships between the various rap communities of the region as well as a deeper look into the current state of cultural life in Lebanon.

My Old School closes the festival on the 7th November

A Bunch Of Amateurs screens at the festival on the  6th November

Ferroequinology explores the world of railroad photography. Desolate carriages take on an otherworldly presence and time loses its grasp in this study of photographers in motion, capturing slow travel in today’s increasingly fast-paced society. The New Greatness Case follows Anya, an ordinary teenager who dreamt of making life in Russia better, who was arrested and incarcerated in 2018 on charges of forming an extremist group with the aim to violently overthrow the government. With dark humour and extraordinary intimacy, Eat Your Catfish is a film which probes the breakdown of a family’s bonds and of a paralyzed woman’s will to live as she holds on to see her daughter’s wedding.

Sixty years after the pill revolutionised women's emancipation, The Business Of Birth Control examines the complex relationship between hormonal birth control and women’s health and liberation. Savage Waters is a stunning and intimate portrait of modern adventurers as they follow clues left in a 19th century treasure-hunter’s journal to find and ride a mythical wave in some of the most dangerous waters of the Atlantic.

Bella is about the life, influence, and impact of California-based artist and activist Bella Lewitzky, designated one of America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures by the Dance Heritage Coalition, and awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. Using a female voiceover, photographs and archive footage, The Voice of Thaïs is a biographical portrait of Elena Jordi, the first woman that directed a film in Spain and a woman who thrived against all odds.

An immersive delight in this year’s programme is Oscar-nominated filmmaker Brett Morgen’s Moonage Daydream, a genre-defying cinematic experience based on one of the most iconic rock stars of all time, David Bowie, destined to be one of the defining cultural moments of the year. This showing will be a standing, immersive screening with a light show to give a full gig experience on the stage of Macrobert’s Mainhouse.

A Bunch of Amateurs follows the most quintessentially British working-class filmmaking club, Bradford Movie Makers, as its members grow old amid flickering memories and the brutal reckoning of their final years. Fashion Reimagined follows trailblazing fashion designer Amy Powney who is on a mission to create a sustainable collection from field to finished garment and transform the way we engage with fashion.

Central Scotland Documentary Festival is proud to present distinctly Scottish stories including Notes from a Low Orbit, a quietly beguiling portrait of the town of Hawick, its communities, and their everyday rituals and routines.

The closing documentary of this year’s festival is My Old School, the astonishing true story of Scotland's most notorious imposter. A celebration of the film’s hugely successful run, its screening at Central Scotland Documentary Festival will be one of the last chances audiences have to witness this extraordinary tale alongside fellow cinemagoers.

13 films in this year’s programme are eligible for the Jury Award and Audience Award, with a prize of £1000 available for each award. The winners will be announced on Monday 7 October.

Grahame Reid, Head Curator for Cent Scot Doc Fest has said: “We are thrilled to bring this programme of innovatively told stories from both award-winning filmmakers and inspiring new filmmaking talent to audiences this year. Since opening up our festival submissions last year, it has been a joy to see so many bold and exciting pieces of work coming in from both Scotland and around the world. 2022 represents our most wide-ranging programme to date and we are excited to continue building what Cent Scot Doc Fest can be and to welcome new audiences joining us on our journey.”

Ticket are available via the Macrobert website from 10am on Thursday 6 October.

Savage Waters narrated by Charles Dance screens on the 6th November

Ayena (Mirror) receives its UK premiere on the 4th November