Storyville tackles Mandela, Ai Weiwei and Gaddafi in new winter run

Storyville is unique in its ability to attract some of the world’s most interesting filmmakers to tell the stories that matter most to them."Nick Fraser, Editor
Date: 10.01.2014     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.03
Category: BBC Four
The next series of Storyville – BBC Four’s flagship international documentary strand - kicks off with a series of films about two modern heroes and one villain: Nelson Mandela, Ai Weiwei and Colonel Gaddafi.

With films from a mix of critically acclaimed and upcoming directors from around the world, the Oscar-winning documentary series will then travel from the steel furnaces of Sheffield to the forests of Texas to tackle an eclectic range of hard-hitting and humorous subjects.

Nick Fraser, Storyville Editor, says: "Storyville is unique in its ability to attract some of the world’s most interesting filmmakers to tell the stories that matter most to them. The next series features rare access to Ai Weiwei, Jarvis Cocker’s stirring ode to the British steel industry and Morgan Matthews' tongue-in-cheek Big Foot US investigation."

A number of films for 2015/2016 are also in the pipeline, including Nick Read’s Bolshoi Babylon, a look behind the scenes of Moscow’s prestigious Bolshoi Theatre as it attempts to recover from scandals; The Notorious Mr Bout that sees Maxim Pozdorovkin (Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer) and Tony Gerber examine the home-movies of Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout; and Unlocking The Cage, in which veteran directors DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus follow the Harvard lawyer Steven Wise as he attempts to bring a precedent case to establish that certain animals should have the same legal rights as humans.

Upcoming winter 2014 highlights include:

Mandela, The Myth And Me – Monday 13 January

A timely film made before Mandela’s death, Mandela, The Myth And Me was two years in the making and features interviews with those who knew and loved him – and also with those who criticized him. Global thinkers, politicians and artists including the Dalai Lama, Henry Kissinger and Ariel Dorfman talk about the effect of his policies and his decision making.

Big Brother Watching Me: Citizen Ai Weiwei – Monday 20 January

Big Brother Watching Me: Citizen Ai Weiwei follows China’s most notorious artist, Ai Weiwei, in the tense year following his imprisonment, as he prepares his work for the Venice Biennale. The film documents his ongoing legal battles while on parole and the pressure exerted by the Chinese authorities, who monitor his every move

The Big Melt – Sunday 26 January

A film by Martin Wallace and Jarvis Cocker, The Big Melt combines 100 years of footage from the BFI National Archive with a score recorded live at the Crucible Theatre on the opening night of Sheffield Doc/Fest in June 2013 to tell the story of steel, the story of the men in the steelworks and the story of Sheffield.

Mad Dog: Gaddafi's Secret World – Monday 3 February

A hard-hitting journalistic piece Mad Dog: Gaddafi’s Secret World looks at the nature of dictatorship through the story of the ultimate dictator – and how an uncompromising and unrestrained ideologue, whose oil wealth compromised and silenced Western leaders, could and did do almost anything a human being can imagine.

The Storyville winter run will also feature two Sundance Award-winning documentaries, Cutie and the Boxer, an indelible portrait of art, companionship, and the 40-year love story between two Japanese artists who meet and marry in New York in the early 1970s, and K2: The Summit, a thrilling film that chronicles the worst K2 climbing disaster in history; as well as Coach Zoran And His African Tigers, a tragi-comic story of the world’s newest nation, South Sudan, told through the window of its football team. Completing the run, Shooting Bigfoot delves into a wonderful cast of Americans intent on proving the existence of Big Foot - what lies behind their fantasies and what motivates their continuous search?

Notes to Editors

Storyville is BBC Four’s flagship international documentary strand. Recent award-winning highlights, include The House I Live In, Bobby Fischer and the 2008 Oscar-winning documentary, Man on Wire.