Open City Documentary Festival strives to be as accessible as possible so please contact us if you have any access needs on info[at] 

Descriptive subtitles for Deaf and Hard of Hearing audiences 

Descriptive subtitles incorporate all the spoken dialogue of a film as well as text labels describing any dramatically relevant information, otherwise contained only in the soundtrack (including music and sound effects). Descriptive subtitles attempt to facilitate an experience equivalent to those who are able to enjoy films without them. The following programmes at this year’s festival will screen with descriptive subtitles:

Step-free access 

All festival venues are wheelchair accessible (see details for each venue below).  

Barbican – Cinema 1 is accessible via the Silk Street entrance to the Barbican Centre via lift. Two boxes at the rear of the auditorium each have space for one wheelchair user and a companion. Please book early and ask for these seats. Cinema 2 is located at Beech Street, a short walk from the Barbican Centre’s main Silk Street entrance. There are a couple of steep, dropped kerbs and an incline to negotiate between the two sites. The auditorium has three wheelchair spaces and a number of seats with step-free access. 

Bertha Dochouse – There is a lift and step-free access to the screen, with 1 wheelchair space in the cinema.  

Close-Up Cinema – There is wheelchair access and 1 wheelchair space in the cinema. There is a manual ramp available which staff can install over the step to enter the building from the street.

Genesis There is wheelchair access to the Foyer, Gallery, Café, Kiosk, Screens 2 and 3, Studio 4 and Studio 5. Screen 1, Bar Paragon and The Kitchen are accessible with the use of a wheelchair stair climber (maximum load: 150kg). Please call Genesis in advance to check which screen your film is playing in, or for more information. 

ICA Cinema 1 and Cinema 2 are accessible via ramp. There is space for 2 wheelchairs in each cinema. Please let the ICA know about any accessibility requirements at the time of booking as they may need to adjust the seats in advance. Both cinemas are fitted with induction loops for those wearing hearing aids. 

LUX – The LUX building is fully wheelchair accessible and there are wheelchair accessible toilet facilities. 

Rich Mix – The main entrance can be accessed via a ramp on Bethnal Green Road. Once inside, lifts provide access to all gallery/performance spaces and all three cinema screens, each of which has wheelchair bays.  

Tate Modern – All events in the Starr Cinema have a step-free access route available, space for wheelchairs and a hearing loop. Works screened as part of the Starr Cinema programme will be captioned. 

The Common Press Bookshop The entrance to the bookshop is 90cm wide. The entrance to the bar is 100cm wide. The ground floor is completely wheelchair accessible, with no steps or slopes. 

Content Warnings 

Open City Documentary Festival is committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment. This includes being sensitive to topics which may cause emotional or physiological distress. Content warnings that alert the audience to potentially distressing material will be included at the beginning of each screening and are listed in full below: 


In Focus: Jessica Sarah Rinland 1 

  • Contains flashing images 



  • Contains flashing images, discussion of war and genocide, depiction of blood and injury


Preemptive Listening  

  • Contains flashing images and sustained intense sound 


Losing Ground + GAMA  

  • Discussion and depiction of state violence and torture  


Grandma’s Grammar 1: Prismatic Generations  

  • Contains flashing images and discussion of death


In Focus: Simon Liu 1 

  • Contains flashing images and sustained intense sound 


Folk Memory 1: Self Portrait: Window in 47km  

  • Discussion of death, state violence and murder 


Absent Forces

  • Contains flashing images and sustained intense sound 



  • Contains flashing images and sustained intense sound, discussion and depiction of racism, war and violence


The Soldier’s Lagoon  

  • Contains flashing images, sustained intense sound and discussion of war 


Falling Lessons: The Films of Amy Halpern 1 

  • Contains sustained intense sound, discussion of domestic violence  


Folk Memory Project 2: Mountain Village  

  • Contains mild flashing images, discussion of suicide, state violence and depiction of injury


The Diagonal Force 

  • Discussion of death, violence, homophobia, depiction of blood and injury  


The Films of Narcisa Hirsch   

  • Contains sustained intense sound  


In Focus: Simon Liu 2 – Life as Usual 

  • Contains flashing images, strong language and sustained intense sound 


315 + Artistes en Zone Troublés 

  • Contains flashing images and strong language, discussion of murder, homophobia and sex



  • Discussion of death, violence and drug use, depiction of injury and nudity  


Grandma’s Grammar 3: Of Griots & Genealogies  

  • Discussion of death, war and murder 


The Sojourn + A Stone’s Throw  

  • Discussion of occupation and war 


Folk Memory 3: My Village 2008 + Back to Huamulin  

  • Contains strong language and discussion of death 


In Focus: Simon Liu 3  

  • Contains flashing images and sustained intense sound 


Non-Aligned Film Archives 08: The Missing Cinema of Madeline Beauséjour 

  • Discussion of racism and death, depiction of blood and injury 


Falling Lessons: The Films of Amy Halpern 2 

  • Discussion of police brutality and violence  



  • Contains flashing images and discussion of violence


Grandma’s Grammar 5: Memory’s Hands 

  • Discussion and depiction of death and war 


Man Number Four + background  

  • Discussion and depiction of war and violence  


Nicolás Guillén Landrián: A Gaze Restored (Programme 1)

  • Contains flashing images, discussion and depiction of war and racism 


Nicolás Guillén Landrián: A Gaze Restored (Programme 2)

  • Contains flashing images, discussion and depiction of war, state violence and racism 


A conversation between Narcisa Hirsch and Chantal Akerman  

  • Discussion of genocide 


Non-Aligned 09: Caméras dans le combat  

  • Contains sustained intense sound and strong language, discussion of violence and sexual assault, depiction of blood and injury 


Closing Night: Leila and the Wolves  

  • Discussion of death and violence, depiction of war