American filmmaker Michael Moore once said, “Documentaries are a form of journalism.” It’s true – documentaries often shed light on issues people may not have known about otherwise, and rely on real people—not actors—to tell stories.
We believe stories from study abroad are some of the most impactful—particularly when they come directly from the students themselves. That’s one of the many reasons we created the Study Abroad Film Festival: to share our students stories through the power of film. Our international jury has spoken, the finalists are selected, and public voting on Facebook begins Monday, September 1. We know, we know—the suspense is killing us, too!
In the meantime, check out the Film Festival Jury’s six favorite documentaries. Given their good taste and expertise, we’re sure these films won’t disappoint!
- My Architect
“It's one of the most compelling documentary about father-son and art-life relationships.”-Elisabetta Lodoli, IES Abroad Rome Film Studies Faculty
- Touching The Void
“Joe Simpson’s shocking, spectacular account of climbing expedition that goes disastrously wrong, and leads to a brutal moral choice.” – Dr. Ashley Taggart, IES Abroad Dublin Center Director
- More than Honey
“The most interesting documentary film from both past years is, in my eyes, More than Honey. It tells of the extinction of the bees and their importance for mankind and shows fantastic images.”- Franz Leithold, IES Abroad Freiburg Faculty - Film Studies
- The Agronomist
“It is the story of a brave man who, without a land, learned from the farmers in Haiti how to fight for justice. He founded a most inspiring radio station in Port-au-Prince and worked with his wife until he was shot by the military.” – Dr. Octavio di Leo, IES Abroad Rio de Janeiro Center Director
- Bowling for Columbine
“…for his courage to show and discuss what most people prefer to hide and forget. In his words: ‘I don't compromise my values and I don't compromise my work. That's why I've been kicked from one network to the next: I won't give in.’” - Mara Perbellini, IES Abroad Milan Film Studies Faculty
- Up Documentaries
“It is an on-going project and is the work of British director Michael Apted who revisits a group of people every seven years whose lives he has been chronicling since they were children. It is an inspired use of the film medium and continues to provide profound insight into the unpredictable paths that life can take.” - Naomi Seekings, IES Abroad London Film Studies Faculty