Around the World in 90 Films

Plan your days! Explore the full film and sessions programme with prize screenings, workshops, special events. Consult the interactive map of film locations in 38 countries.
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The Royal Anthropological Institute is pleased to announce that the following Film Prizes have been awarded at the 12th RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film, London, 23rd - 26th June 2011.

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11th RAI Film Festival, 2009
CTCC, Leeds Metropolitan University

10th RAI Film Festival, 2007
GCVA, The University of Manchester

7th RAI Film Festival, 2000
SOAS, University of London


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Big Fat Roma (Gypsy) Films?
Though often ignored and disenfranchised politically, Roma are disproportionately represented in the documentary cannon. This special day of films follows on from Open City's closing show, The Curse of the Hedgehog, allowing a discussion of the representation of an often despised and commonly misunderstood minority. We have attempted to give you a range of different visions but focus on three films that have excited controversy through their documentary presentation of Romany lives. The Big Fat Gypsy Wedding series won and held audiences of 9 million (one-third of the UK viewing public). It was both denounced as 'a platform for bigotry and hatred' and celebrated as a new form of populist documentary. One of the leading characters summed up his feelings: ‘I loved every minute of making it. I agreed to do it because I hoped it would help change the way people see the travelling community, to break down barriers between us and ‘country people. I still hope in the long run that is what will happen. But the personal cost to me and my family has been too high. If I could turn back the clock I would not take part. I’m not a celebrity.’
Come along – watch and discuss!
Happy New Life 
Arpad Bogdan
2007 | 81' | Hungary
The story takes place in  modern, anonymous city. The Roma protagonist grew up in a  foster home and never knew his parents. He was told nothing about his Romany background. ONe day he received a gift from the person who used to look after him in the home: a dossier with his childhood files. What can he  do to reconstruct his lost childhood? Arpad Bogdan's film addresses the condition of tens of thousands of 
Romany youths in Europe who grew up in homes and orphanages but speaks to the broader ambivalent acceptance of the Roma in our continent.
Sutka Book of Records
Aleksander Manic
2005 | 76' | The Netherlands (prod.), Macedonia (focus)
There’s something very unsettling about The Sutka Book of Records. On its surface, Aleksander Manic's film is a light-hearted look at Shutka, a town in the Balkans that boasts the largest Roma (gypsy) population in the world. The town is full of unique personalities, all of them claim to the be “champion” of something, be it goose fighting, vampire hunting or music collecting. Lurking beneath the film’s surface, though, is a darkness that, by its end, threatens to overwhelm the movie; the darkness stands in great contrast to the film’s general jaunty tone, and makes it very difficult to discern Manic’s intentions.
Big Fat Gypsy Weddings Part 2
Morag Tinto
2010 | 48' | UK
Romany Gypsy Pat faces criticism for marrying a non-gypsy. But his bride Sam is determined to prove her Gypsy girl credentials with a 14-stone dress that lights up in the dark. With 21 underskirts and moving 
diamante butterflies, it weighs more than the bride's father.
Six-year-old Mary Ann lives on Europe's biggest traveller site, Dale Farm in Essex, which is home to more than 1000 travellers. With a site eviction looming, Mary Ann's mother Margaret hastily arranges the celebration for her daughter's first communion.
While Mary Ann has her first ever spray tan, and suffers welts on her hips from the size of her dress, three miles away a smaller site is cleared and the traveller families watch as the bulldozers move in and destroy their homes.
Big Fat Gypsy Weddings Part 4
Morag Tinto

2010 | 48' | UK

While Gypsy and traveller women want to be a princess on their wedding day, the reality in the Gypsy community is that on every other day it is man who is king.
This film looks at the testosterone-filled world of the traveller man, where disputes are settled with fists, and status is conveyed by the car you drive. Ex bare-knuckle boxer Paddy, the patriarch of a traveller site in Salford, explains the role of a traveller man and, crucially, how he earns enough to keep wife Roseanne happy.
The film also includes a christening, weddings, and a uniquely traveller memorial service - all from the male point of view.
There is also build-up to the wedding of Romany Gypsy Violet-Ann, who is used to being independent but is about to give up her job to become a Gypsy wife. Until now she has hidden her Gypsy identity from her employer for fear of reprisal, but two days before the wedding she finally feels able to reveal to her boss who she really is.
Concluding Discussion
with Prof. Judith Okely (author of The Traveller Gypsies), Catalina Tesar (doctoral student UCL) and Dr. Michael Stewart (UCL)