Open City Doc Fest: the Lives of Others: a weekend exploring character driven documentary Sat 28 & Sun 29 March 2015 at UCL

Sunday 29 March 11:000 – 12:30. What practical and philosophical questions surface in judgements about the ethics of documentary filmmaking? In this session Dr Pratap Rughani, Course Director of MA Documentary Film at University of the Arts London, explored a number of ethical challenges in his own and others’ documentary film practice. Come with questions / scenarios to discuss.

Many of the greatest stories told on screen are those about real people. From the eccentric (Little Edie in Grey Gardens) and extraordinary (Philippe Petit, Man on Wire) to the more everyday (Tony Walker, The UP Series documentary filmmaking has the power to convey the lives of real people in the most compelling form. But how do non-fiction filmmakers find their characters and how do they go about presenting their life on film?

The event is free but booking is essential:

Open City Documentary Festival

“Justine” at Cinema and Human Rights Day, Saturday 14th March 2015 10:00

Justine will be screening, along with a discussion chaired by Dr Jacqueline Maingard, University of Bristol, with Pratap Rughani, director, Iris Wakulenko, sound recordist and Kate Adams, the director of Project Art Works about the issues which making the film raised in relation to human rights. The event is free but registration is essential at Eventbrite:
Cinema and Human Rights Day
The Birkbeck Institute of the Moving Image

Saturday 14th March, 2015, 10:00
Birkbeck Gordon Square Cinema
43 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0PD




Photo: Chryssa Panoussiadou, wwamc

Birkbeck 1

“Justine” screening at the London Short Film Festival 18 January 2015

Q & A with director Pratap Rughani following screening of Justine.

New Shorts: DOCS: Long(er) Docs and filmmaker Q&As.
Sun 18 Jan 15:30 Hackney Picturehouse, London.

London Short Film Festival

“Justine” to screen at the World Documentary Film & TV Conference 2014

World Doc Film & TV Conference 2014

To contribute to world cinema documentary studies and to film theory/practice debates, the World Documentary Film & TV Conference aims to bring together international scholars and film practitioners. It seeks to critically examine historical and contemporary world documentary films and factual television productions, whose analyses have been developed across many disciplines, but rarely discussed in one place.

“Justine”: resources

Justine rarely speaks.

She communicates through looking, gesture and the body language of her movement and interactions. What can be understood across the language divide?

This documentary portrait of a young woman living with severe neurological disorders observes the close rhythms of her days in the run-up to her milestone birthday, at a crucial moment for Britain’s strained welfare system.

“Cinematically, the film represents Justine with breathtaking delicacy and sets a high ethical bar that challenges future filmmakers to rise to the same level of awareness and respect when documenting the lives of disabled individuals.” 
Cineaste review of Justine by Deirdre Boyle, Winter 2015

Professor Michael Renov, one of the pioneering thinkers and theorists of Documentary Studies (of the School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California, L.A., U.S.A.) discusses the making of Justine and its relationship to the documentary tradition with director Pratap Rughani, and the absence of documentaries about people like Justine which refuse to be defined by a deficit model.

Read the transcription here.

Listen to a short interview with Pratap Rughani on the research process of making Justine.

Microphone and boom Sound recordist Iris Wakulenko writes about working with Justine.

Justine screening at the Inaugural ACT Human Rights Film Festival, April 15 – 22, 2016 in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

UAL Animated shorts & Documentaries at Fastnet Film Festival, 27 May 2016

British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS) BAFTSS Practice Research Awards 2016, for Justine.

Screenworks Peer Reviewed for Practice Research

The Ethics of Participatory Research and Arts Practice, Tate Research Centre: Learning, at the Tate Modern

Justine Screening and discussion @ Leicester DocMedia month November 18th 2015

Poetics and Politics Documentary Research Symposium, USA, May 15 – 17 2015

Justine screening and discussion May 6 2015 Biennale of Research Moose on the Loose event, LCC

Justine at Cinema and Human Rights Day, Birkbeck University 14 March 2015, screening and discussion

Justine screening and Q & A @ the London Short Film Festival 2015

“The Art of Not Knowing” by Pratap Rughani, chapter in Anthology Project Art Works: 1997 – 2012

“The Dance of Documentary Ethics” by Pratap Rughani in The Documentary Film Book

This chapter investigates the relationship between ethics and aesthetics in forms of documentary arts and film practice, with a focus on the tension between ‘responsibility’ and ‘artistic freedom’ as interpreted by documentary artists and filmmakers.

Rughani, Pratap The Dance of Documentary Ethics chapter in: The Documentary Film Book, (2013) ed Brian Winston, BFI / Palgrave Macmillan. Shortlisted for the Kraszna Krausz Book Awards 2014.


Visible Evidence XX, the annual conference on documentary film, Stockholm, Sweden, 15 – 18 Aug., 2013

Pratap Rughani presents “Justine” at the 20th anniversary of the Visible Evidence conference.

Vis Ev XX 2013  Necs