BBC Reel’s online film festival LongShots returns this summer with a new format. The online streaming event, which makes 13 documentary shorts available to watch for free through September 22, convenes 13 international film festivals to showcase the best undistributed works in nonfiction filmmaking. You can watch them all through the BBC Reel website here.
Last year’s LongShots garnered more than 400,000 video views. This year’s showcase features a jury of four who will decide on the festival’s grand prize next month: Director Nandita Das from India, Oscar-nominated Polish director Anna Zamecka, Mexican-Ethiopian filmmaker Jessica Beshir, and award-winning Vietnamese American filmmaker Bao Nguyen (director of last year’s Bruce Lee documentary “Be Water”).
Per BBC, the films in the program “will explore inspiring and exhilarating stories that remind us of the pleasures and joys of human existence, honouring new beginnings and the wonders of our diverse, colorful and flamboyant world. Films that make your heart jump, catch you by surprise, examine urgent themes through a new empowering lens, and above all celebrate our planet’s powerful beauty and diversity.”
“It will be a festival of festivals,” said BBC Reel US Editor Anna Bressanin. “We want to offer our audience the chance to discover exciting movies that they wouldn’t be able to see otherwise, unless they could travel from Reykjavik to Tel Aviv, the kind of movies that are shown and acclaimed at great festivals for a week but then disappear until some of them reach streaming services. Personally, it was amazing to co-curate our selection with international institutions that are much loved and esteemed for their programming and their commitment. This year, LongShots is our way of celebrating togetherness and the unifying power of cinema”.
Films competing in LongShots were drawn from a longlist of 110 films, from which BBC selected 13. Below, see the list of titles and loglines for each film, as well as the festival trailer.
Intimate portraits of teens in an unrecognised Soviet territory.
“The Viewing Booth” (US, Israel)
New insights into the most disputed videos from the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
“The School of Housewives” (Iceland)
The Nordic school that creates the perfect housewife.
“Moti Bagh” (India)
The disappearing village where huge radishes grow.
“Dream in Silence” (US/China)
Why it’s never too late to create your masterpiece.
The surreal life of a soldier in a country at peace.
“Kosher Beach” (Israel)
Inside the secluded beach for orthodox Jewish women.
“The Swing” (Lebanon)
Would you lie to your father on his deathbed?
Life in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the world.
What life is really like if you are blind.
“The Letter” (Kenya)
The intricate story of deadly witchcraft accusations.
“The Kings” (Chile)
Drugs, dogs, and dating in a city park.
“The Kiosk” (France)
The disappearing Parisian kiosk that sells dreams