Small Radical Films
All film is political. But all films are not equal. This is a competition for films that directly address social, political and ideological issues. Films that grapple with ideas and concepts that explore how we organise ourselves as a species and as a society.
We accept everything – from direct polemic, to experimental film, from original fiction to observational documentary.
We want opinion, analysis, personal stories, ideology, vision and fresh perspectives.
Challenge, explore, celebrate, discuss…
In short, any film that you feel is radical is welcome. As long as it is short (under 30 minutes).
Our Jury is made up of the festival organisers, supporters and award winners from previous years.
Best Student Documentary 2022
Tanja Holm was born in Kosovo 1981. She has a Master of Fine Arts from Stockholm University of the Arts, where she also studied documentary cinematography. For five years she lived in Yemen and wrote the book Yemen is good! She directs documentaries and animations, among other themes about the war in Yemen. Her work has been screened at festivals and galleries both in Sweden and abroad.
Audience Award 2022
Azure Kwok is a fine artist with a career focused on the cinematic arts. Azure is known for their ability to craft compelling narratives through an experimental and progressive lens. Their unique perspective and creative approaches have earned them recognition and acclaim from both critics and political advocates in diverse film festivals and exhibitions. www.azurekwok.com
Best Documentary 2019 & 2022
Alex Johnston is a Seattle-based documentarian, media maker, scholar, and educator. His work has screened at a range of venues, from the Berlinale to a convalescent home for retired miners. He is an editor of the radical media journal NOW! (NOW-Journal.com) and an assistant professor of film at Seattle University. http://www.aljiers.net/
Best Student Fiction 2020
Josia Brezing is German a director studying at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg. His films have successfully screened at national and international festivals. Josia is currently working on various projects, including the development of his first feature film, which is supported by the German film fund.
Best Fiction 2022
Christopher James Reeves
Audience Award 2022
Director of Small Axe and Tolpuddle RFF co-director.
Reuben teaches film production at the university of Worcester. Before joining the university Reuben worked for many years as an editor in documentary and fiction. As a co-director of Gorilla Cinema he worked as a community activist and producer as well as setting up and touring with the solar powered mobile cinema.
Jury members from previous years include:
Keziah Ann Abakah
Keziah is a Video Editor for Witness Change. A non-profit organization that champions the voices of those from marginalized communities and works to change, inform and challenge perspectives on Refugees.
Keziah has worked for several years as a freelancer and also founded the London based production company 4tyl.
Writer / Director / Musician
Carl Hunter is the bass player of the hit band The Farm, and an award-winning film director and designer. Feature film credits include, Sometimes Always Never (2019) and Grow Your Own (2009). His documentary and short films have been screened on Channel 4 and ITV and have been supported by the British Council and The Beatles. He is Senior Lecturer in Media and Film at Edge Hill University.
Jeremy was well known for his Radio appearances including; Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation, The News Quiz and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue as well as TV including; Saturday Live, Blackadder Goes Forth, QI, and Mock the Week. He has been in films; Hotel, How To Be, Jeremy Hardy vs the Israeli Army. He wrote books; When Did You Last See Your Father, Jeremy Hardy Speaks to the Nation, and My Family and Other Strangers and of course he performed continuously as a stand-up comedian.
Documentary film maker and Founder of Open Bethlehem
Leila was one of the first producers at Al Jazeera having worked on the channel's leading documentary series. She currently works for ITN news and is best known in the UK for her film "Jeremy Hardy vs The Israeli Army" (2003). Her latest feature documentary 'Open Bethlehem' will be released in the UK in Christmas 2014. The film is a deeply personal story that charts the creation of a campaign called Open Bethlehem, an initiative that works to save the city and bring down the wall.
Mohamed Ben Tabib
Filmmaker, Agitator, Academic and Festival Director
Agitator at The Institute of fine Arts, Nabel, Carthage University Studied philosophie + cinéma+ esthétique at manouba+ 9avril+ecole des beaux-arts tunis Graduated in 1997
Documentary producer and director.
Paul's first major award was an SFTA in 1969. He went on to bring reality TV to Britain with the 1974 series 'The Family' and has not stopped since. His credits include: the '40 Minutes' series (1980's/90's) Sylvania Waters (1992); The Home (1996); Malcom and Barbara: A Love Story(1999) and Loves Farewell (2007); Rain in My Heart (2006). He has picked up a string of awards and nominations including a Grierson, Prix Europa, RTS and in 2008 he was awarded a BAFTA 'Special Award for Outstanding Creative Contribution to the industry'
Anastasija Harrowna Bräuniger
Artist, actress and director
Anastasija grew up in Germany, Moscow and the UK. She studied at Hochschule für Musik und Theater Rostock, winning several prizes for performance before going on to study directing at Ernst Busch School for Performing Arts Berlin. She is co-funder of “FLUGWERK” in Berlin-Wedding. Her artists collective FLUGWERK ENSEMBLE work in theatre and film. “Champions” was her first film project and won an Audience award at Tolpuddle 2017
Writer, Director, Photographer
Winner of Best Fiction Film 2016 with Wall (To Ihos)
Audience Award Student Documentary 2019 & 2020
Daryl is a Black filmmaker from the South Side of Chicago. His films, Eyes of a Survivor, and In Blood, We Trust, were created as part of the Documentary program MFA at Chapman University and have been awarded at film festivals around the world. Daryl has helped organize for abolition agendas, and was a member of Black Lives Matter LA and the Philippines - U.S Solidarity Organization So-Cal. He is now based in Boston were he work as freelance film director and cinematographer for various productions.
Audience Award Documentary 2020
Efi Amanatidou is a visual artist producing photo-based, new media, installation and video works. Her work revolves around the inter-relatedness of the elements of this world and the invisible threads that keep them connected. Interested in experimentation, cut-ups, chaotic vs controlled processes, dialectics, e-prime and researching notions such as autonomy and self-actualization.
Double winner 2019
Spanish teenager and aspiring film direct Aitana Serrallet has won international prizes in 10 countries for her debut short film Bosa, as well as mulitple prizes in Spain for other short films and documentaries.
Still at school, she also acts, sings, composes, plays the harp and is working on her next film project, recently shot in Cuba.
Best student documentary 2018
Ellie primarily works in the field of documentary film with a focus on stories which challenge current social issues and address human rights violations. She recently graduated from the Northern Film School and her graduate film 'We Are Here' is currently on the festival circuit. Voices best student doc 2018.
Audience Award 2018
Anni Sultany (*1985, Hamburg) finished her acting education in 2009 and works in films (production, direction, texts, editing) since 2008. Her film Welcome to the New World won the audience Award for fiction in 2018
Winner 2018 - Young Film
Yorgos Angelopoulos lives in Athens, Greece. He studied Filmmaking in Fine Arts AUTH. He later completed on a scholarship, an MA in Screenwriting in UAL London. His debut short film, Goldfish, received 19 awards and distinctions. He co-wrote Patision Avenue, which premiered in Venice Film Festival. He currently works for the Greek Film Centre and is engaged in film education.
Alexander Kereklidis Turpin
Winner Best Fiction 2018
Alexander Kereklidis Turpin is a Swedish film maker based in Oslo who graduated from the Norwegian Film School in 2016. He has done several short films focusing on how capitalism affect our culture and private life. Most attention has been given to his graduation film Generation Mars, and last year's Small Axe winner Kill the Rich, which discusses extreme wealth and injustice.
Director of Bunkers
Anne-Claire is an independent video-maker whose debut short documentary BUNKERS on asylum conditions in Switzerland has been screened in more than 30 festivals. She works at the intersection of arts and politics, and is the current co-director of Les Créatives, a feminist art&talk festival in Geneva. Bunkers won the Best Documentary at SmallAxe 2017.
Maria Burza and the TV Kryzyz Collective
Anarchist Film Collective
Winners of the Best Documentary 2016 with House On Strike (Syrena to nie skłot, to strajk) The collective viewed films together and Maria fed this back to the rest of the jury.
Winner of best student documentary 2016 with Limpiadores
Winner Young Film 2020
Andrew was born and raised in Buffalo Grove, Illinois. He is a freshman at the Georgia Institute of Technology, studying computer science with a concentration in media. He has 36 film festival selections. His animation "The Homo Sapien Virus" has won awards in some of the biggest environmental film festivals in the world. You can see his films here.
Director of Young Film Programme
Rea is 14 years old. She has grown up around film and watched this festival develop since she was 6. This year she has seized control of the Young Persons programme and is going to make it fabulous! In primary school she set up Stars for Lives, using art to raise awareness of missing refugee children. She does not take bribes. Or does she....?
Best Student Documentary 2019
Jalal Veisi was born in Sanandaj City of Kurdistan province in Iran . He has been in documentary cinema since he was 14 years old.
“ …and I'm still doing other things.
I turn the brain of social problems into a documentary." His film 'What's Your Wish' won best student documnetary in 2019.
Audience Award 2018
Louise is a Flemish French actress, scriptwriter and director. A former language teacher and protection officer in charge of asylum requests, she began her career in theatre in 2007 and in cinema in 2011. El día de la virgen was premiered at the Gaza Red Carpet film festival and screened more than 40 times in 29 countries. It was rewarded in 4 festivals. In 2019, Juan, her first full-length documentary shot in France and Paraguay is in post-production.
Creator of iRony
Radheya is an Australian filmmaker born in 1999 in Malaysia to parents of South Korean and Malaysian ancestry. Radheya's films have more than 500 official selections worldwide winning awards in 6 of the worlds 7 continents including 10 Academy Award qualifying festivals and an Australian Academy of Cinema & TV Arts award nomination.
Director of Belonging.( 2017), experienced short filmmaker, writer, and documentary photographer telling the real stories of real people in order to bring about real change. She is co-author of two best selling books, Hackney Child and Tainted Love both published by Simon & Schuster in 2014.
Cinematographer, Director and Professor
Credits include; Dare to Dream: Cuba’s Latin American Medical School, Venezuela Rising and Against the Silence: The Families of the Cuban Five Speak Out. Wager is an Assistant Professor at Essex County College. She produces for Pacifica Radio/NYC’s Cuba in Focus, as well as the TV series, Newark City of Poets. In March 2017, she launched “She Got the Shot!” a project documenting women cinematographers from around the world.
Director of The Sandman
Lauren Knapp is a documentarian working in film, radio, TV and 360 video. Her work focuses on pressing social issues through intimate, character-driven portrayals. Her work has been featured on The New York Times, National Public Radio, and PBS. The Sandman won best student documentary at SmallAxe 2017.
Filmmaker and writer
Cole is soon to graduate with a Film Studies BA at King’s College London. He is a film-maker and aspiring writer. His first foray into the festival circuit has come with this year’s iteration of Small Axe where he is excited to be working in programming, reviewing, blogging and interviewing. He is interested in many types of film and film writing including: feminist film, LGBTQIA+ film, activist/political film, slow cinema, Buddhist approaches to cinema and ethics.
Audience Award Fiction 2020
Samara Sagynbaeva is a film director and producer from Kyrgyzstan. Her films have won international film awards. Her debut short fiction film “The Swing” won several prizes and was shown around the world.
Best Fiction Film 2020
Nikola is a director/producer and a principal of Asterion Pictures in Brooklyn. Nikola arrived in the US in 1991 as a political asylee from the former Yugoslavia. He has made popcorn in a movie theater, worked as a doorman, been a national chess champion, and managed a successful investment fund. Most recently, he produced the documentary feature BREASTMILK and the narrative feature 18 TO PARTY. He made his directing debut with the short film BROOKLYN PARK, which won numerous international awards. Currently he is developing a feature based on his early immigrant experience.
Winner Best documentary 2018 - Breathing Still
Jill Daniels is an internationally renowned documentary filmmaker based in London. Her films explore themes of exile, memory, identity and place. Her book, Memory, Place and Autobiography: Experiments in Documentary Filmmaking was published this year. She teaches filmmaking at University of East London.
Equalities Activist and Labour Councillor
Ruth is a former labour councillor for Easton ward in Bristol. In 2010 she was given an MBE for work on equalities in Further Education. She is now 'retired' and uses her political career to continue the fight for equality. She is a Trustee at Bristol Refugee Rights and City of Sanctuary and is also chair for the Council’s Inclusive Cities initiative.
Dr of Children’s Media
Becky began her career as a teacher of English, Drama and Media Studies in Secondary schools, before running a film education programme and children’s film festival at the Showroom cinema in Sheffield. Her doctoral research focused particularly on children’s film and included the use of participatory and visual research methods. Becky is currently developing a new MA course focused on digital culture and literacies.
Professor in Media and Education
Julian edits Media Practice and Education, runs the Professional Doctorate (Ed D) in Creative and Media Education at Bournemouth University and convenes the annual International Media Education Summit. He is the author of over 100 books, articles, chapters and research reports and has given keynote speeches and joined invited expert panels in 17 countries...
Winner of the 2016 Audience Award for best film with Three Minute Warning. Iqbal has written several short films including his directorial debut, Against the Norm, which was screened at the very first Small Axe in 2014. He also works as a pharmacist.
Director of Assholio
Nathan's first animated project One eskimO was produced independently and after winning several awards; Warner Premiere commissioned it into a series of animated shorts. Since then he has worked on various motion comics, developed scripts for animated feature films, directed his first documentary; ROAD TO RIO and written a children's book. He is now reverting his focus back to making animated shorts, music videos and documentaries.