News: Assembly 2020 – Selected Projects Announced


Open City Documentary Festival are pleased to announce the participants for the second edition of Assembly, a development lab for creative feature documentaries that will take place online in September 2020.

The lab is a project-based intensive workshop for international filmmakers working on their first or second feature. Participants from six selected projects will attend a six-day online programme (3rd – 8th Sept) that will include talks, workshops and one-to-one mentoring, tailored to each project.

During the programme, one of the six projects selected for Assembly will be awarded £10,000 in development funding for their feature film, following a closed pitch. Instead of the travel and accommodation offer that is provided as part of the in-person version of the lab, all selected projects for this online edition will receive a participation fee

The projects selected for Assembly 2020 are:

  • Ghost Wives (UK). Director: Eva Weber.

When a Shanghai-based journalist sets out to investigate the case of a missing woman in China’s North, his investigation leads him to Song Tiantang, a 53-year old man who murdered six women to sell their bodies for ghost weddings.

  • Here, the Silence is Heard (Chile). Director: Gabriela Pena. Producer: Picho García.

After arriving in Chile and inhabiting the old house my grandparents were forced to abandon in exile during the military dictatorship, the ghosts of an open family wound start appearing at night. 

  • Seeds (USA). Director: Brittany Shyne .

Seeds is a lyrical black and white portrait of a centennial African-American farm in Thomasville, Georgia.

  • The Leopard (Germany/Lebanon/Canada). Director: Ali El-Darsa. Producer: Vincent Förster.

A reflection on a father and two divided cities, Berlin and Beirut, The Leopard is a story of desire, absences, and their manifestation as present realities.

  • Untitled Scholars Project (UK/Kenya/USA). Director: Eloise King. Producer: Riel Roch-Decter.

For the safety of the film’s contributors details for this project have been withheld at the request of the filmmakers. 

  • Untitled Hydebank Film (UK). Director: Ross McClean. Producer: Bronte Stahl.

Ryan is released from prison with a newfound passion for working with sheep which he hopes will sustain and guide him in this dizzying Northern Irish landscape.

Assembly Founder Chloe Trayner says: “After a successful first year of the programme, we’re thrilled to be returning for the second edition of Assembly with an incredible line-up of projects from emerging filmmakers. Now more than ever, it’s an honour to work with these projects offering them community and support to pursue their own unique cinematic visions.”

Assembly aims to create a space for filmmakers to develop and strengthen their projects in order to support emerging voices in non-fiction storytelling. The selected projects for Assembly were drawn from a pool of applications originating from 59 different countries.

The programme for Open City Documentary Festival will be announced on 11th August.

Assembly Mentors have been announced, click here to find out more.