pop up docs


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We are excited to be able to let you know who our speakers are for our screening of A SYRIAN LOVE STORY, a Bath Welcomes Refugees fundraiser, on Monday 23rd January: Alaa Al Khourdajie and Sally Harris will kindly be joining us.

Sally will present an overview of Bath Welcomes Refugees (BWR) in Bath and beyond, their goals, and how to get involved for those interested.
Alaa will share the experience of two friends, his peers, and their suffering under the current Syrian regime. He will also highlight the challenge we’re facing with ever-expanding refugee crises (political, conflict, environmental) and how we plan for these logistically, as well as politically & through group mentality.

Sally Harris, an active Human-Rights campaigner, is Deputy-Chair of BWR. Alaa Al Khourdajie is a Syrian citizen currently studying for a PHD at Bath University, and a member of the BWR management committee.

Get your tickets here: https://a-syrian-love-story-popupdocs.eventbrite.co.uk



Screenings in schools: Inspiring a new audience

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This week Pop Up Docs has been involved in another ‘alternative’ screening – at King Edwards School. One of our aims as an organisation is to inspire people to think about the world in different ways by showing thought-provoking films that encourage people to engage in the world around them. But we don’t just screen to members of the public – we also work with local filmmakers to deliver school workshops that use documentary film to explore a range of issues, many of which can be often be otherwise be difficult to cover within standard lessons.


As Lisa Bowman of King Edwards School says: “The strength of Pop Up Docs is that it is a local organisation, in tune with today’s major issues and au fait with quality documentaries.  The beauty of PopUp Docs is that it brings these pieces of magical brilliance to groups who can appreciate and question them together.”


On this occasion we brought local transgender filmmaker Jason Barker to King Edwards School to screen his authored film MILLENNIUM MAN and talk to over 100 GCSE students about issues of gender identity.


MILLENNIUM MAN is a film about Jason’s transition from female to male which coincided with his godson’s puberty. Jason and his godson had filmed each other over the course of four years.


The workshop which followed was part of the Year 10 students’ PSHE (Personal, Social, Health & Economics) curriculum covering the topic of gender. The number of children referred to the NHS as a result of transgender feelings and confusion about their gender has quadrupled in five years and the government recently commissioned a major new report into how to ensure full equality for trans people. One of the key recommendations from the report was a call for gender issues to be included in the PSHE curriculum for all schools.


As well as watching Jason’s documentary film the pupils worked in small groups to discuss the difference between sex and gender and what ‘trans’ means to them. King Edwards’ PSHE Co-ordinator Lisa Bowman said: “By providing insight into what it’s like to transition, Jason asked us to question what it means to be a boy or a girl which proved a difficult and profound exercise. Often pigeonholed as a transgender issue, the film MILLENNIUM MAN’s message was what it’s like to be human.”

Pop Up Docs next screening for the public takes place at 8pm on Thurs 2nd June at St Marks Community Centre. In collaboration with Fringe Arts Bath Festival, we invte you to bring your (well-behaved) dog to the cinema to watch the Bath Premiere of Laurie Anderson’s new film HEART OF A DOG. Described by The Guardian as a “poignant, eccentric essay-film (that is) more a waking dream than a lecture”.

Tickets on sale via www.popupdocs.com but all dogs go free!


For the love of the game…

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The upcoming screening of NEXT GOAL WINS on Saturday 27th June is an exciting collaboration between Pop Up Docs and The Big Bath City Bid. Oliver Holtaway explains a little more about what this important local project is trying to achieve…


The Big Bath City Bid is an initiative that aims to take Bath City FC into community ownership. This means giving the entire community a say in how the club is run, and putting community benefit at the core of the club’s constitution. If we are successful, Bath City FC will become a members-owned club run on a “one member, one vote” model – similar to AFC Wimbledon or FC Barcelona.

We are especially pleased to be partnering with Pop Up Docs on this event. Over the last ten years Bath has seen a boom in the arts and creative industries, attracting graphic designers, film production companies, brand and marketing experts as well as coders and programmers. A community-owned Bath City FC would throw the doors open to Bath’s creatives and invite them to breathe new life into the club. We want Bath City to become a hub of exciting activity where everyone’s talents can find rewarding and meaningful expression.

We need to raise at least £750,000 by 4 September. Sounds like a lot? Well it’s been done before, in the very pub where we are holding this screening! To do this we are selling community shares for a minimum purchase of £250. To find out more about how you can get behind the bid, please visit bigbathcitybid.org.uk3872879

The film’s co-director Mike Brett is an AFC Wimbledon fan and sent us this message of support:

“Given the current state of governance in football, there’s never been a more important time for fans to work together, take control of the clubs they love and keep alive the communal values that make this the people’s game.

The Bath City Bid epitomises all that is good about grassroots football support, and shows how integral local clubs can be to their local communities.

Achieving fan ownership isn’t easy, and there will always be challenges along the way, but – as they say in Pago Pago – “fa’a malosi!” (“stay strong!”) and you can achieve anything.”


Pop Up Docs picks another Oscar-winner!

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We’ve done it again – we’ve managed to pick the Oscar-winner for our next screening. Well done to director Laura Poitras, editor Mathilde Bonnefoy and producer Dirk Wilutzky.

Collecting the award, Poitras, flanked by journalist and collaborator Glenn Greenwald, said: “The disclosures of Edward Snowden don’t only expose a threat to our privacy but to our democracy itself. When the decisions that rule us are taken in secret we lose the power to control and govern ourselves.” Poitras thanked Edward Snowden for his “sacrifices”, and added: “I share this award with Glenn Greenwald and the many other journalists who are taking risks to expose the truth.”


The team were joined onstage by Snowden’s girlfriend, Lindsay Mills. In response to the news, Snowden himself wrote:

“When Laura Poitras asked me if she could film our encounters, I was extremely reluctant. I’m grateful that I allowed her to persuade me. The result is a brave and brilliant film that deserves the honour and recognition it has received. My hope is that this award will encourage more people to see the film and be inspired by its message that ordinary citizens, working together, can change the world.”

Citizenfour was the strong favourite in the documentary category, having taken a string of awards over the last few months, including best documentary at the BAFTAS, the DGA, and the National Society of Film Critics (the Golden Globes has no non-fiction award.)

Pop Up Docs will be screening the film in a very apt venue: The Francis Hotel (Bath’s answer to the Mira Hotel perhaps?!) on Fri 20th March.

Book tickets before they sell out!