Open City Docs

The Art of Non-Fiction

Open City Docs is home to several projects in the world of documentary. Founded at UCL by Michael Stewart in 2010, Open City Docs is dedicated to developing and supporting non-fiction storytellers.

The organisation nurtures the next generation of filmmakers, audio producers and VR filmmakers through training programmes, an annual film festival and other screening projects throughout the year.


Celebrating the art of non-fiction, Open City Documentary Festival creates an open space in London to nurture and champion the art of creative documentary and non-fiction filmmakers. We aim to challenge and expand the idea of documentary in all its forms. We provide a platform for emerging talent as well as established masters working within the documentary form.

The festival takes place over seven days in venues across Central London, and consists of international contemporary and retrospective non-fiction film, audio and cross media, as well as filmmaker Q&As, industry panels, workshops, networking and parties.

A digital version of the Open City Documentary Festival 2018 catalogue can be found here.

The ninth edition of the festival will take place between 4th – 10th September 2019. Submissions for the 2019 festival are now open.


Since 2008, Open City Docs School has been running short courses covering documentary in various forms, covering filmmaking, audio and virtual reality; as well as film theory lectures, practical camera training, film editing and workshops with award-winning documentarians.

The school also runs an MA in Ethnographic and Documentary Film Practice, and an MFA in Creative Documentary as part of the UCL Anthropology department.

Additionally, Open City Docs School delivers a range of practical filmmaking modules at Undergraduate and Masters level for UCL students.

All of these unique programmes build on the experience in professional-standard technical training that the Open City Docs School has built up as well as the world-class strengths in social science research at UCL.

A digital version of the most recent catalogue of student films is available here. Please get in touch to request a print copy.

Founding Supporters
Matthew and Pauline Bickerton, Mick Csaky, Christopher Hird and Frances Pine.