This year's festival, the largest documentary showcase in the UK, will kick off with a special showing of Senna, the Sundance Film Festival Winner, which charts the life and impact of Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna.
All three of the above fit into the A Portrait of... theme of the festival, showcasing films which use both documentary and cinematic techniques to portray the lives of key 20th-century figures.
Other key strands of the 2011 festival include:
- The Arab World – Life & Optimism – films looking at the complex issues behind the ongoing troubles in the Middle East
- Privacy & Press Freedom – including Article 12 (featuring Noam Chomsky and Brian Eno) and Roberto Saviano – in the Shadows of Death
- Australia – a compelling programme focussing on the indigenous population Down Under
There are more than 130 films in the whole festival, from 36 countries; topics covered include happiness, morrismen, the Indonesian tsunami, women in Afghanistan, cowboys in India and world music. Check out the full programme here; there's bound to be something to turn the head of even the most ardent lover of brainless blockbusters.
The London International Documentary Film Festival (LIDF) takes place from 13 to 28 May at venues across London including the Barbican, Curzon Soho, the Tricycle, Horse Hospital, Rich Mix, Roxy Bar and Screen and Frontline Club. Visit www.lidf.co.uk for more information, or to book tickets.