Interview with Dekel Berenson

“I’m passionate and can get quite obsessive – once I get into something, somebody will have to kill me before I stop”: an interview with Dekel Berenson, director of Anna and Ashmina In Ashmina, an adolescent girl in Nepal wants more freedom than her underprivileged life allows. In Anna, a middle-aged woman in Ukraine tries … More Interview with Dekel Berenson

Oxford Shorts

It was exactly 4 years ago to the day that I posted our very first blog post entry ‘Welcome from the Festival Director’. It seems fitting that four years later I’m posting another welcome to announce we’re back in 2023 for our fourth edition. But as some of you may be aware – something has … More Oxford Shorts

Interview with Yiru Chen

‘I have almost an idiotic hopefulness’: An interview with Yiru Chen, director of Handscape In Yiru Chen’s Handscape, a boy who’s hard of hearing delves into the world of dance against his mother’s wishes. Here, Chen talks about collaborating with the deaf community, what she’s learned from sign language, and how moving to New York … More Interview with Yiru Chen


In a post-lockdown world, the stifling sensations of isolation have been felt almost universally, as we have been compelled to ‘live in a bubble which isn’t necessarily reflective of reality’. Most of the films in this block were made during the first wave of the pandemic, feature this period heavily, or reflect upon the simple … More Isolation

Love In The Time Of Covid

Lockdowns, distancing, Zoom dates: it might seem as if the social estrangement of the past year has stultified romance. Maintaining relationships and finding love is difficult enough without these barriers, but this block proves – as the old saying goes – that romance isn’t dead! Love, Post-LockdownUnited Kingdom (16min), Dir: Ben Mourra, Lucas Boetsch Isolating … More Love In The Time Of Covid

War Is Hell

War is what happens when language fails. Its first casualty is innocence itself: whether soldier or civilian, surviving it leaves an indelible mark, and there is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing the innocent. Despite the pain and trauma of war, this block also asks us: is bad peace worse than … More War Is Hell

Lure of the Sea

There is an indefinable quality to the sea that keeps drawing us back to it – something mesmerising, possibly other-worldly. For these five filmmakers, this compulsive wonder and awed attachment to the sea comes to signify a myriad of cinematic moments: a fascination with trying to conquer the highest waves, a space for a coming-of-age … More Lure of the Sea

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 & … More Real Stories