Open City Documentary Festival

Open City Documentary Festival 2020 – FAQs 


  • How do I access the films in the film programme?

If you are based in the UK, our film programme will be accessible via our streaming platform, in partnership with Festival Scope and Shift72. The platform can be found here. Please note, our film programme is only available to UK based audiences unless stated otherwise. 

  • How do I access the Industry events? 

The Industry programme is available for free and accessible internationally. All events will be live streamed via Crowdcast and will require registration in advance. You can find the booking links on the event pages or browse all events here

  • How do I access the Expanded Realities Exhibition?

The Expanded Realities Exhibition has been adapted to an online browser-based exhibition this year. During the festival, will be able to access the exhibition with full details on each project included via the map on the landing page. In advance, you can see details on the included projects here. The exhibition is available to access internationally. 

  • How do I access the Special Events?

The Special Events are ticketed live streamed events taking place at 7PM BST daily between Thursday 10th September and Monday 14th September. Tickets are available via Eventbrite on the event pages and ticket holders will receive a link to access the live stream an hour before the event’s start time. These events will only be available in real time unless it is stated otherwise on the event page. The Special Events are also available to access internationally. 

  • I’m not based in the UK, what events can I watch / take part in?

Our Industry events programme, Special Events and Expanded Realities exhibition are all available to access internationally. The A Radical Empathy: Esery Mondesir’s Haitian Trilogy programme is also available for rental to international audiences.

  • How much do films and events cost?

Film programmes are available for individual rental (£3), or in a package containing all of the programmes included in that block (£18 each). Packages containing all of the films nominated for each feature film award (£9) and all shorts programmes (£6) are also available. Special Events are available to book individually (£3+ booking fee) or as a full package for all five events (£10+ booking fee). The industry programme and Expanded Realities programme are both free to access.

If you are a member of the film industry, you can also find more information about accessing the festival with our industry accreditation.

  • Will there be filmmaker Q&As?

Yes, where possible each film programme will have a pre-recorded filmmaker Q&A which is accessible as bonus content when renting a programme. These will only be available to ticket holders. 

  • What is the recommended age rating for films and events?

All Open City Documentary Festival films and events are advised 18+. 


  • How do I buy a ticket and watch a film?

First, create an account on Festival Scope by clicking the “Create Account” button at the top right of the screen. Search for a film in the search bar or Browse the A-Z dropdown. Click the film thumbnail image to be taken to the film’s main page. From there you can click the “Watch” button, and you will be taken to a pop-up window where you can add your credit or debit card details (or promo code if you have one). If you are pre-ordering a film before the festival has started, the film will become available for viewing only during the festival dates and it’s viewing block. If you are renting the film during the festival, after payment the film will be available to watch immediately and is added to your Library. You will have four days after payment to start watching your film. Once you click play you have 24 hours to complete viewing the film. During that time you can watch it as many times as you like. If you wish to view the film after these 24 hours have passed, you will need to purchase the film again.

  • How long are the films available?

Films are available for ticketed rental in two blocks during the festival dates – Block 1 is available from Wednesday 9th September midday BST to Saturday 12th September midnight BST. Block 2 is available from Saturday 12th September midday BST to Tuesday 15th September midnight BST. For full details of which films are available in which blocks, please see our listings for Block 1 and for Block 2. After purchasing a film, you will have four days after payment to start watching your film. 

  • Where are the films I paid for?

You can see the films you have paid for in your ‘Library’ in the drop-down menu under your signed-in name on the top right of any screen.

  •   What payment methods are accepted?

All major debit and credit cards including Visa, Mastercard and AMEX are accepted.

  • How do ticket bundles work?

Ticket bundles allow you to rent a number of films or film programmes at a discounted price. Ticket bundles can be purchased here.

Available bundles are:

  1. Shorts Bundle (access to the 3 short films programmes) – £6
  2. Open City Award Bundle (access to the 4 nominated features in this category) –  £9
  3. Emerging Filmmaker Award Bundle (access to the 4 nominated features in this category) –  £9
  4. Block 1 Full Access Bundle (access to all films available in the Block 1 screening window) – £18
  5. Block 2 Full Access Bundle (access to all films available in the Block 2 screening window) – £18

Please note that the films rented as part of a bundle are still subject to the availability window of Block1 or Block2.

  • If I rent a film on the last day of its availability, will I still have four days to watch it?

Yes, you will have four days to start watching after payment. Once you click play you have 24 hours to complete viewing the film. 

  • Is it possible for films to sell out?

Yes. Each programme is limited to 500 tickets so pre-booking is advised. If a programme is sold out, it will be marked as such on the event page. The Industry events programme and Special Events do not have a cap on attendance. 

  • Will any of the Q&As or discussions be available online after the festival?

Film Q&As will only be available during the festival to those who have rented a film and industry events and special events will only be available live during the festival. 


  • What do I do if I’m experiencing technical issues with a film or event? 

Please email with as many details about your issue as possible. We will endeavour to get back to you within 24 hours. 

  • How can I view films or events on a Television/Smart TV?

By using Chromecast or your TV’s built-in casting feature, you can cast from your browser on your device (from Chrome on Android, or Safari on iOS), or by using AirPlay to connect to an Apple TV. Alternatively, you can connect your device to your TV using an HDMI cable.

  • I purchased a ticket for the wrong film or event, can I have a refund?

If you purchase a ticket for the wrong film, please email straight away to request a refund. We can only process refund requests made within 24 hours of initial purchase. 

  • Can I watch on different devices?

When you watch a film, the device you use is registered on the Online Platform. You can register up to 2 different devices.

  • Can I download films on my computer?

No, the films are not available for download.

  • How long do I have to watch a film after I rent it through Festival Scope?

You have four days after payment to start watching a film. Once you click play you have 24 hours to complete viewing the film. Please note, if you pre-order a film then it will only become available for viewing during the festival dates and its availability block. 

  • What Internet Browsers does the Festival Scope platform support?

Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer or Opera. We recommend using the latest version of your browser as earlier versions may not be supported. Internet Explorer on Windows 7 is no longer supported. You will need a broadband or fibre internet connection – dial up will not work. Full technical FAQ for Festival Scope can be found here


  • Will there be subtitles for films and events?

Films in a foreign language will have subtitles and all film Q&A’s will be subtitled. For industry events, we can arrange a BSL interpreter if requested by 2nd September by emailing with the title of the event you’d like to attend. 

  • Where can I find spoken language and subtitle information for each film/event?

This information will be listed on the film pages on our website soon, as well as on the streaming platform listing. 


  • What device(s) will I need to view the Expanded Realities content?

You can access the Expanded Realities Exhibition through your internet browser. You will need a broadband or fibre internet connection – dial up will not work.


  • I am interested in providing Press coverage of the festival, who do I get in touch with?

Press accreditation is available via application HERE or get in touch with our Press team directly via

  • How can I provide feedback on my festival experience?

There are feedback surveys available on each film and we will be in touch with all ticket holders after the festival with a survey. If you would like to get in touch directly, please email with FEEDBACK in the email subject line. 

  • How can I contact you if my question isn’t answered here?

Please email with the nature of your query in the email subject line.