Real Stories

This documentary block looks at ‘miracle’ people – those who are often overlooked in mainstream society, but are the pillars of our complicated and multifaceted world. We travel from Vietnamese farmlands to the suburbs of the West Country to see how these remarkable individuals deal with difference and redefine the word ‘normal’.

Fraser Syndrome & Me
United States (20min), Dir: Kyle Anne Grendys

Filmmaker Kyle Anne Grendys, is only the 75th person to be born
with the rare, recessive gene disorder called Fraser Syndrome.

Having always felt alone in the world, she sets out on a journey to find her community and finally meets others just like her.

I am Chuma
South Africa (7min), Dir: Wendy Spinks , Clea Mallinson

I am Chuma explores the story of how a young black woman, (having experienced numerous gender-based violence incidents) studying at a business college in Cape Town found herself homeless and living rough on a park bench for 3 years.

Chuma Somdaka is a disabled, lesbian, isiXhosa woman, who unexpectedly finds her calling as an artist when to survive, she responds to an inner voice and embarks on an empowering journey of awakening and healing, but meets new societal challenges in her yearning to be truly seen and remain connected to her inspired state.

Hello Sunshine
United States (13min), Dir: Joe Quint

Roz Pichardo is more than a domestic violence and gun violence survivor, she’s a warrior. Despite of – or because of – being thrown off a bridge by an abusive ex-boyfriend, the unsolved murder of her brother, and the suicide of her identical twin sister, she’s able to channel her trauma into service by helping the often-forgotten people of North Philadelphia.

From giving comfort to families of murder victims to saving the lives of over 500 men and women in active opioid addiction, Roz knows that her healing and her survival depends upon healing others.

My Family Trees
United States (18min), Dir: Roshi Givechi

My Family Trees is a bittersweet tale about a man from Iran who took unconventional measures to stitch his family back together in Kansas…one single tree at a time. It’s a short documentary that spotlights the ways love, duty, and inexplicable hope make us uniquely human, and beautifully resilient.

Rahmat Creel
Iran (2min), Dir: Behzad Alavi

Rahmat Bagheri is a retired man that other people called him RAHMAT CREEL… every week he is going near a lake around the ZANJAN city to fish out as other hunters but his hunt is different with others…

United Kingdom (10min), Dir: Thomas Harman

Fluffypunk documents the insecurities, instabilities, and conflicts that plague the life of a performer. Trying to balance the responsibilities of parenthood, artistic integrity, and personal happiness is anything but fluffy!

Starring Jonny Fluffypunk aka Jon Seagrave a comedy performance poet based in Stroud Gloucester UK.

The Fell Runner
United Kingdom (4min), Dir: Alex Simpson, Phillip Suddick

A portrait of fell runner Calum from Cumbria by London-based directors Alex Simpson and Phillip Suddick. Fell-running is a sport that involves running over mountains, with gruelling marathons of more than 20 miles. While considered a new school fell runner, Calum shares his relatively old fashioned reasons for doing what he does.

The Girl With Blue Eyes
United Kingdom/Vietnam (15min), Dir: Alireza Mirasadollah

An phouc is an 11 years old girl from Vietnam. her pairs of big bright blue eyes attracted many photographers from all around the world to visit her. She is one of the Vietnam tourist attractions icons but despite all that, An Phouc and her family are suffering from poverty and struggling with racism. She also has some bad memory of modeling for some dodgy Photographers.

This block will play on Sunday 29th August at 8.00pm (GMT+1). The block will play for approximately 85 minutes and be followed by a Q&A with any of the filmmakers who are in attendance. View our 2021 programme here.

Grab FREE tickets to the online festival here.