Doc Fest Weekend 2016

Wakefield Doc Fest screened its first Doc Fest Weekend in 2016, a special themed mini-festival of feature-length documentaries that took place September 16 – 18 at Centre Wakefield La Pêche.

Watch for the 2017 Doc Fest Weekend this coming September!

Shown in Wakefield Doc Fest Weekend 2016:

Song of Lahore

Friday, September 16 at 7pm

A group of Pakistani classical musicians, downtrodden by 30+ years of fundamentalist rule, are invited by Wynton Marsalis to play with him in NYC. A feel-good exploration of making music as an act of defiance and the unifying property of love of the arts, from Pakistani-Canadian filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and her American co-director, Andy Schocken. Read more

Landfill Harmonic

landfillharmonic_tania_at_homeSaturday, September 17 at 4pm

Kids living in a slum built on a landfill in Paraguay perform in an orchestra made of trash, the Recycled Orchestra. A beautiful story about the transformative power of music. Read more

I Am the Blues

JIMMY+DUCK+HOLMES+(C)+GENE+TOMKO_0379Saturday, September 17 at 7pm

As the camera glides over bayous, we are taken into Mississippi, to the home of the blues and its living legends… sharing stories and sliding their strings to create an authentic and moving tribute to the last of the original blues devils. Read more


Sunday, September 18 at 4pm

As an Afghani refugee living in Iran without papers, teenager Sonita imagines her ideal parents – Michael Jackson and Rihanna – and dreams of a life other than her own, as a superstar rapper! Read more


Music unites us as human beings, across time, across the globe, across culture, across politics. It is essential to human experience, some might even say ‘the’ essence. It is a universal language.

A group of kids playing instruments crafted from garbage in a landfill end up touring the world; classical Pakistani musicians, beaten down by the Taliban, carry on in a dangerous milieu where they are constantly threatened – and attract the attention of Wynton Marsalis with their version of Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five”; aged blues musicians continue to live in the Deep South in the U.S. and still play the Chitlin’ Circuit, 50 to 60 years on; a young Afghani girl living without papers in Iran dreams of being a rap artist, performing in front of the girls in the shelter where she lives, in spite of the fact women are not allowed to sing in public and her family wants to sell her as a bride for $9,000.

The thing that drives all of these people and pushes them through incredible adversity? Music. Plain and simple. All of these are affecting stories – and most of the reason they have impact is that we have an innate understanding of and appreciation for this thing that drives them. As humans, even if we’re not musicians, we understand and praise and support the searching, the quest, that all these people undertake. We get it.

Wakefield Doc Fest Weekend celebrates Music with a special mini-festival of feature-length documentaries September 16–18, 2016. Four films telling real stories about real people driven by, fed by, nurtured by, sustained by music. What it is! And, as always with Wakefield International Film Festival screenings, there will be a whole raft of event ‘enhancements’ for our audience.