Month: December 2015

Some Christmas love from Pop Up Docs

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Thanks for all your support this year – we’re looking forward to a great 2016!

2015 has been a great year for us. It started off with one of our most unique screenings to date: the Mumbai Film Festival award-winner POWERLESS at The Eastern Eye. Hot on its heels we felt very smug with ourselves for picking Oscar-winner CITIZENFOUR, aptly screened in The Francis Hotel (Bath’s answer to Hong Kong’s Miramar Hotel don’t you know!). Other highlights included a great collaboration with Fringe Arts Bath to screen a Lucy Walker double-bill in an art gallery… and it was also a pleasure to support the Big Bath City Bid with NEXT GOAL WINS and Bath Artists Studios with MARWENCOL. In November we sparked some interesting discussion amongst the audience following THE HUNTING GROUND and packed out St James Wine Vaults for an evening of classic wartime films… Finally, we finished off the year in style with the eye-opening CARTEL LAND at the Nest as part of Bath Film Fest.

We’d like to say a massive thank you to all our fantastic followers… we come away from every screening inspired by our lovely audience!

2016 looks set to be another exciting year for Pop Up Docs so do watch this space for updates. In the meantime, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

CARTEL LAND at The Nest Dec 10th 2015
CARTEL LAND at The Nest Dec 10th 2015

Raw, brutal & bitter: Pop Up Docs at the Bath Film Fest!

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We’re feeling a bit bleary-eyed this morning after a fantastic screening of CARTEL LAND last night at The Nest as part of Bath Film Festival.

What a wonderful turn-out (sold out!) at this great venue – and fantastic that just days before the screening, CARTEL LAND made it onto the documentary short-list for the 88th Academy Awards next year.

Raw, brutal, and bitter, CARTEL LAND offers a ground-level look at vigilante efforts to thwart organised crime on the Mexican-American border. The film’s protagonist, Jose Mireles, was arrested in June 2014 for the unlawful possession of firearms. Since then, he has been refused bail and removed to a prison 1,000 miles from home. His trial is underway but it looks like it will be a long, drawn-out affair. Amongst other things his lawyer, Javier Livas, has complained of the failure of police and other witnesses to turn up, and of failed Skype calls to Mireles’ cell setting things back by weeks at a time.

All the while, vigilante groups across Mexico have grown fragmented and started fighting amongst themselves rather than against their nominal enemy, the cartels.

But Livas remains positive: “Mr Mireles showed what one man achieve,” he says. “He’s an inspiration to all of us as we seek a way out of this war. Surrender isn’t the only option.”

It was an honour to be screening the film as part of the Bath Film Festival, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The festival comes to an end this Sunday but hurry and you can still catch some great documentaries before it closes:

(6pm, Fri 11th Dec, Odeon) links the famous 1001 Nights tales with Middle Eastern politics and current affairs through traditional storytelling mediums.

STAR MEN (6pm, Sat 12th Dec, Odeon) is a humorous documentary that follows four leading astronomers on a road trip across the American Southwest as they celebrate 50 years of friendship.