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UCD Volunteers Overseas

UCDVO Development Film Series

With funding support from Trocáire and Concern, the seventh UCDVO Development Film Series took place over five consecutive Monday evenings, starting the 28th January - 25th February. The series included 5 high quality feature documentary films on subjects relating to development and global justice issues. Each screening was followed by a guest speaker with an opportunity for discussion. 

The 2020 UCDVO Development Film Series will take place over five consecutive Monday evenings, starting the 27th January - 24th February. So stay tuned for details on films!


2019 Programme Details


Date: Monday 28th January 2019
Starting Time: 6pm
Location: UCD Cinema, Belfield
Guest Speaker: Andreas Dalsgaard, Director of The War Show

Synopsis: Syrian radio host Obaidah Zytoon and her friends are caught up in the euphoria of the 2011 Arab Spring. Camera in hand, these artists and activists take to the streets to protest Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and record their experiences. They talk about art and relationships as much as politics. But as they film themselves over the next several years, their hopes for a better future are tested by violence, imprisonment, and death.

Best Film, Venice Film Festival
Human Rights Award, Bergen International Film Festival 
Best Nordic Documentary, Göteborg Film Festival



Date: Monday 4th February 2019
Starting Time: 6pm
Location: UCD Cinema, Belfield
Guest Speaker: Tom Burke, Director of Losing Alaska

Synopsis: Sitting atop a melting permafrost, battered by coastal erosion and aggressive summer melt waters, Newtok, Alaska is set to be the first American town lost to climate change. The 375 residents of Newtok, Alaska watch their homes disappear into rolling seas as winter storms steal their coastline and melting permafrost erodes the edges of their town. Tom Burke’s (The Liberties) elegiac study follows the community as they struggle to maintain their traditional Yup’ik culture, a subsistence lifestyle of hunting and fishing, and build a new town on safer, higher ground.



Date: Monday 11th February 2019
Starting Time: 6pm
Location: UCD Cinema, Belfield
Guest Speaker: Andrea Horan, Tropical Popical

Synopsis: Lauren Greenfield’s “Generation Wealth” is an extraordinary visual history of our growing obsession with wealth. Through riveting first-person interviews, Greenfield’s journey starts in Los Angeles and spreads across America and beyond, as she documents how we export the values of materialism, celebrity culture, and social status to every corner of the globe. We embark on this journey with Greenfield as she travels the world – from Los Angeles to Moscow, Dubai to China – bearing witness to the global boom-and–bust economy and documenting its complicated consequences.

SXSW Film Festival 
Nominee Best Documentary Feature, Sarasota Film Festival
Nominee Best Documentary, Adelaide Film Festival



Date: Monday 18th February 2019
Starting Time: 6pm
Location: UCD Cinema, Belfield
Guest Speaker: Professor Patrick Paul Walsh UCD

Synopsis: On board a sleeper train crossing Tanzania, the stories of three passengers unfold. Rukia is an entrepreneurial woman, on her way to begin a new life. Isaya is an old Masai man heading back to the bush with his grandson. Peter, a powerful preacher, makes money by letting his followers pay for his services. This microcosm offers a glimpse into their lives as each character moves towards an uncertain future in this precarious society.

Best Cinematography in a Documentary Film, Tribecca Film Festival
Leeds International Film Festival
Nominee Best International Documentary Film, Zurich Film Festival



Date: Monday 25th February 2019
Starting Time: 6pm
Location: UCD Cinema, Belfield
Guest Speaker: Noeleen Blackwell

Synopsis: Twenty-three-year-old Nadia Murad’s life is a dizzying array of exhausting undertakings—from giving testimony before the U.N. to visiting refugee camps to soul-bearing media interviews and one-on-one meetings with top government officials. With deep compassion and a formal precision and elegance that matches Nadia’s calm and steely demeanor, filmmaker Alexandria Bombach follows this strong-willed young woman, who survived the 2014 genocide of the Yazidis in Northern Iraq and escaped the hands of ISIS to become a relentless beacon of hope for her people, even when at times she longs to lay aside this monumental burden and simply have an ordinary life.

Winner Directing Award, Sundance Film Festival
Top Ten Audience Favourite, Hotdocs
Special Jury Award, SXSW Film Festival


The UCDVO Development Film Series is kindly supported by the Trocáire Connecting for Impact Mini-Grant and the Concern Development Education Grants Scheme.

The content and views represented in these films should not be taken to reflect the policies and views of Trócaire, Concern or UCD Volunteers Overseas.