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The essay film may serve as a springboard to launch into a vital investigation of knowledge, art and culture in the 21st century, including the question of what role cinema itself might play in this critical project: articulating discontent with its own place in the world.

(Kevin B. Lee, Sight and Sound)

Beirut, Never Again [Beyrouth, Plus Jamais], Jocelyne Saab, 1976

The Essay Film Festival, now in its seventh edition, presents a global range of contemporary and restored essayistic works, each exploring the critical and creative zone of possibilities that lies between experimental and documentary modes of filmmaking

On this website you will find information and resources about past and present editions of the Essay Film Festival, including video and audio recordings of events, photographs, articles and other documents, which we would like to build into a veritable research archive for anyone who is interested in this most lively and engaging mode of filmmaking.

The Essay Film Festival is a collaboration between the ICA and Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image, with support from the CHASE Doctoral Training Partnership.