After the success of its first edition, BBC Reel’s online film festival LongShots returns this summer with a new format and attitude. The BBC has created an unprecedented alliance of 13 prestigious film festivals from around the globe to showcase the most exciting current works in non-fiction that embody this year’s motto Age of Bloom. The line-up features 13 films loved by programmers and local audiences but not yet widely distributed. Without LongShots, they would be lost to a global audience.
Last year, over 10,000 people around the world voted for their favourite LongShots film, with the festival receiving more than 1.5 million page views on BBC Reel. The seven films garnered 400,000 video views, with the most successful film being viewed 100,000 times, catapulting emerging talent and hidden gems from the film industry into the homes of film fans around the world.
In addition to our signature audience award, voted on by the BBC’s global audience, an international jury of four personalities in the film industry will decide on the festival’s main prize. Among the jurors are acclaimed actress and director Nandita Das from India, emerging talents like Oscar Nominated Polish director Anna Zamecka, this year’s big winner at Visions du Réel, Mexican Ethiopian filmmaker Jessica Beshir, and award-winning Vietnamese American filmmaker Bao Nguyen.
In the spirit of the roaring 20s, the films in our programme 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, colourful 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 will be drawn from a longlist of 110 films nominated by a network of 13 prestigious festivals around the globe, representing countries from Argentina to India, China, and Kosovo. The full list of festivals is below. From these 110 films, BBC Reel selected 13 finalists, one per each festival, to take part in this year’s selection.
The Letter (Kenya)
The intricate story of deadly witchcraft accusations
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 Kings (Chile)
Drugs, dogs and dating in a city park
The Kiosk (France)
The disappearing Parisian kiosk that sells dreams
Participating Festivals and Institutions
- Docaviv (Israel)
- Doclisboa (Portugal)
- Dokufest (Kosovo)
- Encounters South African International Documentary Festival (South Africa)
- El Gouna Film Festival (Egypt)
- Festival Internacional de Cine de Mar del Plata (Argentina)
- First Look (US)
- Guangzhou International Documentary Film Festival (China)
- International Film Festival of Kerala (India)
- JEONJU International Film Festival (South Korea)
- Cinema Tropical (US covering Latin America)
- Reykjavik International Film Festival (Iceland)
- DocsMX (Mexico)