Aldeburgh: Documentary festival hailed a great success

ORGANISERS of a documentary festival said the event will continue to go “from strength to strength” after the success of this year’s programme.

The 17th Aldeburgh DocFest finished on Sunday afternoon, marking a weekend of high-level screenings, debate and lectures.

The festival, held at the Aldeburgh Cinema, featured a broad spectrum of events and leading names from the literary world.

Local businesses said the programme of events provided a welcome boost to the town, with visitors travelling to the town from across the UK.

Diana Quick, the actress and DocFest director, said: “This year’s Aldeburgh DocFest confirmed our commitment to showcasing the latest documentaries alongside discussions with household name film-makers on their careers and achievements.

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“Our audiences consisted of both locals and visitors who had travelled from London or from across the UK.

“We anticipate that the DocFest will continue to grow from strength to strength, and are already planning for 2012.”

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The final day of the festival included a showing of the Page One documentary on the New York times, followed by a Newspapers on Trial debate on press freedom which was chaired by Anna Ford and featured Ian Katz, deputy editor of The Guardian, James Harding, editor of The Times, and Roger Graef, acting head of the Media Standards Trust.

Other events over the weekend included TV historian Michael Wood playing a preview extract from his forthcoming The Story Of The Nation, Mark Kidel introducing the first UK festival screening of his study of classical pianist, Leon Fleisher, and a showing of hit Australian documentary, Mrs Carey’s Concert.

A fringe festival in nearby Walberswick was geared towards the next generation of documentary makers, with screenings, workshops and masterclasses from leading names.

The event also provided a welcome boost for local businesses. Mary James, owner of The Aldeburgh Bookshop, on the High Street, said the event had brought “a really festive festival atmosphere” to the town.

“Directors, film-makers and actors were browsing in the shop and discussing books, film, culture, history, India and Shakespeare,” she said.

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