27th JUNE – 1st JULY

@ Watershed Cinema & Rough Trade

DOC’N ROLL The UK’s Music Documentary Festival arrives in Bristol for the very first time from 27th June to 1st July 2018.

Taking over Watershed cinema and Rough Trade – the festival will be bringing a programme of nine premiere films to the city, along with unique artist and director Q&As and special events.

Bristol will also be screening two UK-exclusive premieres…

Airing for the first time at the Watershed Theatre Something Left Behind will at last be giving The Wedding Present’s avid fans an impassioned thrill-a-second account of the making of the band’s seminal 1987 album George Best (30 June).

Whilst on Friday 29th June, buckle-up as Rough Trade brings you the UK cinema debut of Slave To The Grind - a no holds barred commemoration of the fastest, most abrasive, and controversial genres: Grindcore, as it marks 35 anarchic years.

As part of the festivities, Doc’n Roll will also be showcasing a series of other sublime films throughout the week, with something to suit every taste…

About A Badly Drawn Boy will tell the story of the beloved Mancunian troubadour and the Mercury prize-winning album that would take him to stardom; Freedom will be laying bare the sheer star quality of the late George Michael; the extraordinary talents of Ella Fitzgerald talents are spotlighted in a sensational new picture - Pure Love; there’ll be a chance to bask in the otherworldly jazz of John Coltrane in a loving new flick dedicated to the immeasurable icon; for those with steelier audio palette there’s a long overdue exposé on the originators of extreme metal: DEATH; a chance to lose yourself in the cerebral mind of The’s The’s Matt Johnson in a maverick new film about the post-punk hero; and all before some undeniable feel-good Sunday vibes soundtracked by Betty Davis, with a cinematic celebration of how the Funk Queen changed the pop landscape for female artists closes out the festival.


I’m delighted to bring Doc’n Roll to Bristol for its first edition this June. Since we launched this festival in London back in 2014 Bristol has been on my radar as the ideal alternative music city location for this music film festival!

Across our six-day programme, we’re premiering nine music docs covering the genres of pop, rock, indie, funk, jazz, metal and post-punk, while stirring up discussion on the subjects via post-screening Q&As from the filmmakers and their musical accomplices - Colm Forde, Co-director/Programmer


Doc’n Roll is supported by the BFI using funds from the National Lottery to grow audience appetite and enjoyment for a wide range of independent British and international films.

Doc’n Roll Film Festival launched in 2014 and set out on a mission to champion under-the-radar music films that are largely ignored by risk-averse film programmers. Post-screening Q&As, DJ sets and live music themed on the films, all add to the overall cinematic experience.




20:50 WEDNESDAY 27TH JUNE –  The Inertia Variations (featuring The The)
21:00 THURSDAY 28TH JUNE - George Michael: Freedom - The Director’s Cut
20:00 FRIDAY 29TH JUNE -  About A Badly Drawn Boy + Q&A
14:00 SATURDAY 30TH JUNE – Pure Love: The Voice of Ella Fitzgerald
18:00 SATURDAY 30TH JUNE - The Wedding Present: Something Left Behind + Q&A
15:00 SUNDAY 1ST JULY - Chasing ‘Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary



19:00 THURSDAY 28TH JUNE - DEATH by Metal
19:00 FRIDAY 29TH JUNE – Slave To The Grind: A Film About Grindcore
16:00 SUNDAY 1ST JULY –- Betty: They Say I’m Different (a film about Betty Davis) + Q&A


Tickets on sale from 23 May 2018 via
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Film and listings information:

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The Inertia Variations

Dir. Johanna St Michaels, Sweden/UK, 2017, 85 mins


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Matt Johnson of post-punk band THE THE, known for his intensely personal and political songs, has remained silent as a singer-songwriter for the last 15 years. Conflicted by creative inertia, he has observed from the side-lines as corporate state propaganda has swamped the cultural airwaves.

To try and purge his feelings of disenchantment—and to attempt to relocate his mojo and muse—Johnson decides to challenge the narrow media consensus through his own radio broadcast. A long-term listener of shortwave radio, he launches Radio Cineola, his conceptual version of this romantic medium, via a live midday to midnight marathon. The show includes not only live music and poetry, but also interviews and discussion about where local, national and international democracy now stands in the 21st century. The guests range from geo-political analysts to local activists, from students of mind control to semiotics experts, from teachers to healers. A promise to the director of the documentary, his ex-partner Johanna St Michaels, to write a new song for the broadcast stirs up old demons of inertia and bereavement.

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Bristol Premiere

DEATH by Metal 

Dir. Felipe Belalcazar, 2016, Canada, 109mins


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DEATH were an American death metal band founded in 1983 by guitarist and vocalist Chuck Schuldiner. They were one of the most influential groups in heavy metal and a pioneering force in their genre. Their debut album Scream Bloody Goreis widely regarded as the first death metal record, while Schuldiner, the band’s driving force, is acknowledged as the originator of extreme metal. DEATH’s burning speed and ferocity was only matched by their leader’s unbending determination to bash out the most boundary-crushing interpretation of heavy metal. Presenting exclusive interviews and archive footage, this epic documentary brings the story of Schuldiner and his work and legacy to film for the first time.

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Bristol Premiere

George Michael: Freedom – The Director’s Cut

Dirs. David Austin & George Michael, 2018, UK, 109 mins


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Described as a “modern day elvis” by Liam Gallagher, any fan of George Michael will be interested in this documentary revealing how George became one of the biggest pop stars in the world, to changing music history, to eventually turning his back on celebrity. Concentrating on the formative period in the late Grammy® Award winner’s life and career, the film features incredible, unseen archival and private home-footage, giving us a first-person account of the dramatic period in George’s life on his way to stardom and becoming one of the most influential artists of all time – a figure who alone fought a corner for all artists by challenging the standard recording contract helping to rewrite the rules of the music industry.

Filmed before Michael’s untimely passing, the documentary is narrated by the singer, who was heavily involved in the making of the film that serves as his final work. Not to mention an array of musc legends of all of George’s greatest pals including Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Ricky Gervais and Nile Rogers to name just a few.

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UK Premiere

Slave To The Grind: A Film About Grindcore

Dir. Doug Brown, 2018, Canada, 100 min


If you lived in Flint Michigan, USA in the 80s, you likely worked in an auto factory. If you lived in Birmingham, England in the 80s, you likely worked in an industrial setting. If you were a teenager in either of these cities during those years, you either accepted your fate or broke the mold. In defiance of tradition, groups of punk rockers and metalheads in these respective cities created a new sound, and consequently a new genre of music, that was too punk for metalheads, and too heavy for punks.

Grindcore fused the anarchistic and leftist attitudes of the UK Punk scene with the speed and drunken aggression of Death Metal, which was simultaneously being created in the US. When Napalm Death released ‘Scum’ in 1986, world-renowned BBC DJ, John Peel, announced that ‘Grindcore’ was the fastest and most abrasive sounding music imaginable, and he was right. Immediately musicians were torn. Many believed Grindcore to be an anticapitalistic, cathartic blast of jokingly short songs. Lyrics were often aggressively pro-life, anti-homophobic and anti-racist. While others inverted the genre with the hopes of becoming as offensive as possible when it came to band names and lyrical content; likely a ‘fuck you’ to the mainstream.

Slave To The Grind is the first documentary on Grindcore to capture the genre’s 35 year life span. The film takes you to Japan, the United States, UK, Australia, Singapore, Finland and Sweden to discuss why the genre has persisted, and changed, over time.

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Bristol Premiere

About A Badly Drawn Boy + Q&A

Dir. The Mitcham Submarine, 2018, UK, 105 mins

Q&A with the director


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An in-depth feature film all about the boy himself Damon Gough and the legacy of his Mercury Prize winning album The Hour of Bewilderbeast, eighteen years after its original release in 2000. Damon talks about his musical upbringing, the mix tape cassettes his mother made him, the first record he bought and the first concert he attended. The story continues with Damon meeting his future creative collaborator and business partner Andy Votel and how together they founded the Twisted Nerve record label in Manchester in the late 1990’s. We hear of the influences Damon brought to the recording of the album, the songwriting process and stories behind the songs, musicians, producers and album artwork.

The film features exclusive new interviews with Damon and acoustic performances of songs from the album filmed in the Gough family print factory in Bolton and his home in Manchester, alongside previously unseen archive footage and photographs, animation and lots more. Includes contributions from Andy Votel, musicians Jane Weaver, Ian Smith (Alfie), Jimi Goodwin (Doves), Guy Garvey (Elbow) and Ghostpoet. Damon’s big brother Simon Gough, producer and member of Mum and Dad Joe Robinson, Grammy award winning producer Ken Nelson, XL Recordings Richard Russell, film director Garth Jennings, journalist Luke Bainbridge, radio DJ Pete Mitchell, 2000 Mercury Music Prize judge Fleur Sarfaty, Square One Studio’s Bob Little and Artist Joe Simpson.

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Bristol Premiere

Pure Love: The Voice of Ella Fitzgerald 

Dir. Katja Duregger, 2017, Germany, 52mins


No Trailer available

Focusing on the phenomenon of her extraordinary voice, this film pays tribute to The First Lady of Song – Ella Fitzgerald – on what would have been her 100th birthday on 25 April 2017. Fitzgerald’s voice is a phenomenon and unrivalled to this day. With absolute pitch and perfect intonation, her voice spanned three octaves, her phrasing seemed effortless, and the odd moments in her nearly 60-year career when she sang off-key were few and far between. There is almost no style of music in which she did not excel, and her numerous – now legendary – recordings of the Great American Songbook with pieces by US composers such as George and Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter and Duke Ellington remained a benchmark for the interpretation of those songs for generations of singers. Ira Gershwin is rumoured to have said: “I didn’t realise how good our songs were until Ella sang them.” Duregger unravels the secret of Fitzgerald’s voice via insights from singers Dianne Reeves and Dee Dee Bridgewater, jazz drummer and producer Terri Lyne Carrington, jazz violinist Regina Carter, author Tad Hershorn and the eminent jazz critic Will Friedwald, among others. They describe the impact her voice had and continues to have on their lives.

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UK Premiere

The Wedding Present: Something Left Behind + Q&A

Dir. Andrew Jezard, 2018, UK, 87 mins

Q&A with the director

Wedding present.png

View trailer

Something Left Behind tells the story of the fast and furious sound from the Northern band The Wedding Present’s much-heralded 1987 debut album George Best, exploring the 30-year lifespan of a record that has come to define youth in the minds of so many and has been labelled the greatest break-up album of all time. Featuring interviews with all four original band members, key players in the record’s history plus the major influence behind its very existence, the film also follows the album’s life story through the eyes of the fans who have grown up alongside it. All leading up to the band’s blistering and emotional final ever performance and the closing of a hugely significant and personal chapter for songwriter David Gedge and The Wedding Present. Much more than just a making of, this documentary is crafted very much as a love story with all the emotions and turmoil that entails. The lyrics themselves, the way that people connect with this iconic album and the reasons that people still hold it dear so many years later.

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Bristol Premiere

Chasing ‘Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary

Dir. John Scheinfeld, US, 2017, 99mins

Chasing Train.png

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The definitive documentary film about an outside-the-box thinker with extraordinary talent whose boundary-shattering music continues to influence and inspire people around the world. This smart, passionate, thought-provoking and uplifting documentary is not just for jazz heads, but for anyone who appreciates the power of music to entertain, inspire and transform.

Trane was an enigmatic figure whose massive influence on generations of artists has grown even stronger since his untimely death at the age of 40. Scheinfeld’s film features great insights from notable fans, including commentary from Denzel Washington, Carlos Santana, Common, Cornell West, and many others.

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Betty: They Say I’m Different + Q&A

Dir. Phil Cox, 2017, UK, 52 min

Q&A with the film’s Editor

View trailer

Funk Queen Betty Davis changed the landscape for female artists in America. An aspiring songwriter from a small steel town, Betty arrived on the ‘70s scene to break boundaries for women with her daring personality, iconic fashion and outrageous funk music. Then suddenly – she vanished.

Creatively blending documentary and animation this movie traces the path of Betty’s life, how she grew from humble upbringings to become a fully self-realized black female pioneer the world failed to understand or appreciate. After years of trying, the elusive Betty, forever the free-spirited Black Power Goddess, finally allowed the filmmakers to creatively tell her story based on their conversations.

Tickets on sale from 23 May 2018 via
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About Doc’n Roll Film Festival:

Doc’n Roll Films Ltd., set up in 2013, is a music documentary production, distribution and exhibition company, unique within the UK. Projects include Doc’n Roll Film Festival, the UK’s annual music documentary festival, as well as one-off London premieres, curated seasons, and an annual UK regional touring programme in Brighton, Liverpool, Bristol, Hull and Manchester.

Doc’n Roll are passionate about independent film and music across all genres, and celebrate music subcultures by providing a platform to support their cinematic expressions. They present their audience with the opportunity to watch these films as they were designed to be watched – LOUD.

They launched Doc’n Roll Film Fest in 2014 to finally show some love to the under-the-radar music films that are largely ignored by risk-averse film programmers. Post-screening Q&As, DJ sets and live music themed on the films add to the overall cinematic experience.

This film festival is taking place with the support of the BFI, awarding funds

from The National Lottery.


For all press enquiries, please contact:

 Thom Williams at Sonic PR


M: 078 7971 9151

About the BFI

The BFI is the lead body for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:

  • Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
  • Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
  • Championing emerging and world class film makers in the UK – investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
  • Promoting British film and talent to the world
  • Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences

The BFI is a Government arm’s-length body and distributor of Lottery funds for film. The BFI serves a public role which covers the cultural, creative and economic aspects of film in the UK. It delivers this role:

  • As the UK-wide organisation for film, a charity core funded by Government
  • By providing Lottery and Government funds for film across the UK
  • By working with partners to advance the position of film in the UK.

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter.

The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger CBE.

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