Rudeboys and punk rebels, soul survivors and hip-hop stars in waiting, a piano maverick and a stage invasion by Jarvis Cocker: London’s fifth annual Doc’n Roll festival has ended on several high notes – with promises of more great music documentary screenings in the capital and around the country, next month and next year.
Running from 1 to 18 November, Doc’n Roll London 2018 was the biggest and best-attended edition yet of the UK’s music documentary festival, with capacity crowds for many of the 33 screenings of its 28 film line-up. Among the sellout houses were three standing-room-only showings of the 2018 Doc’n Roll Festival Jury Prize winner, Rudeboy, director Nicholas Jack Davies’ ode to the Trojan record label and the love affair between Jamaican and British youth culture.
Boasting multiple world, European, UK and London premieres across more than a dozen of the city’s cinemas, DNR18 also offered post-screening panel appearances by many of the films’ directors, along with insights from record producers, DJs, label founders, journalists and artists including Anne Clark, Kojey Radical, Damon (Badly Drawn Boy) Gough, Silvana, Sir Lloyd Coxsone, members of Slow Club, The Wedding Present,The Turbans and The Anti-Nowhere League, and a slipper-clad Chilly Gonzales, whose mischievous Barbican Q&A was bolstered by impromptu onstage contributions from friend, collaborator and Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker.
According to Doc’n Roll founder Colm Forde, 2018 was “the culmination of five years of relentless DIY spirit involving blood sweat and tears from ourselves and a passionate volunteer group of independent film and music fanatics”, along with ongoing support from the BFI using funds from the National Lottery to grow audience appetite and enjoyment for a wide range of independent British and international films.
The secret to Doc’n Roll’s success? Giving music the big-screen treatment it deserves and covering its globe-spanning, genre-hopping diversity, suggests programmer and festival CEO Vanessa Lobon Garcia. “We give music lovers the opportunity to watch these films as they were designed to be watched – LOUD. For five years, we’ve been offering a line-up that reflects the wide range of music subcultures and their stories: love and war, creativity and conflict, depression and hope, gender, equality, family and friendship.”
With additional screenings for Rudeboy scheduled for December in Birmingham, London, Edinburgh and Dublin, Doc’n Roll is now gearing up to take the best of its current programming to cities including Brighton, Liverpool, Manchester, Hull, Bristol, Nottingham and Edinburgh in the new year. Want to know more? Sign up here.