By Toby Smith
Showcasing more than 130 works from 36 countries, and giving a voice to stories from seldom seen corners of the globe, LIDF is now the largest documentary festival in the UK. The programme, which features the work of documentary filmmakers and photographers, is further bolstered by a series of discussion, debates, workshops and even a treasure hunt.
The Barbican, British Museum, Tricycle Cinema and Tate Modern (to name but a few) are all involved and festival highlights include the UK premiere of Napoli, Napoli, Napoli detailing the lives of prisoners in a Neapolitan jail and the European premiere of Playground, a film executive produced by George Clooney that deals with child sexual exploitation.
If you head down to the Barbican Mezzanine, you can catch London based photographer, Toby Smith's incredible exhibition Madagascar: Bois de Rose, for which he went undercover, posing as a timber buyer to document illegal logging within Madagascar's UNESCO protected rainforests. The resulting photographs have only recently been made public as they formed the backbone of evidence in the investigation and subsequent infiltration of the illegal timber trade. Madagascar: Bois de Rose finishes on the 26th April.
By Jonnie Fielding