True story – stars shine for 22nd edition of documentary festival

Stars of cinema and the small screen turned out for the 22nd edition of a Suffolk film festival celebrating real life stories.

The Aldeburgh Documentary Festival featured appearances by actors Joanna Lumley, Bill Nighy and the event’s artistic director Diana Quick, BBC journalists John Sergeant and Nick Robinson, and filmmaker Louis Theroux, who was awarded for Outstanding Contribution to the nonfiction industry.

Bill Nighy introduced the festival’s closing night screening at the seaside town’s cinema – rounding off a weekend of premieres and on-stage conversations, including Joanna Lumley’s discussion about her travel film work, Nick Robinson’s talk with Norma Percy and Paul Mitchell about the American presidential election, with clips of their Inside Obama’s White House series, and Louis Theroux’s chat with John Sergeant.

Aldeburgh Cinema manager and documentary festival director, Thomas Gerstenmeyer, said: “This year’s festival was a spectacular success, with many sold out screenings pushing visitor figures beyond 2,000 for the first time ever, and enormously positive comments on programme quality and overall ‘film fest buzz’ from audiences, visiting filmmakers and panellists alike.

“We are delighted to have been able to go beyond the ‘movie theatre’. Maurice Dekkers, Dutch director of the opening night film (Ants on a Shrimp), and also highly successful chocolatier, was so enamoured by the festival programme and ethos, that he asked for his travel expenses to be donated to a Nepalese girls’ charity.

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“Around the screening of closing night film Sunakali, an all too rare meeting of the worlds of ‘football and film’ took place, which will hopefully lead to collaborative work to ensure Suffolk youngsters get to see this wonderfully motivational story from Nepal.”

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