Donations and patronage help us keep entries free for UK’s marginalised filmmakers, charities and filmmakers from Ukraine.

It also helps us keep the screenings free of cost for millions of viewers from across the world.


PATRONS receive exclusive privileges from VVIP tickets for the gala awards ceremony of the 2023 Big Syn International Film Festival (10th Nov 2023, Curzon Mayfair), naming awards to dedicated webpages and many more.

DONORS get the chance to win a ticket to the gala awards ceremony of the 2023 Big Syn International Film Festival (10th Nov 2023, Curzon Mayfair).

Extinguish the burners and light up life
Angel Hernandez Hernandez

Pablo Fajardo, the renowned environmental lawyer who managed to bring down the North American transnational Chevron (formerly Texaco), shows us his world of commitment for the rights of an Amazonian population affected by oil activities. Together with the activist Donald Moncayo and the Union of People Affected by Texaco, the discourse in defense of the environment extends and structures a series of events and testimonies with a clear purpose: to make visible the struggle and injustice that has been going on in that region of Ecuador for more than fifty years, for the humble attempt to cross borders and raise awareness among the public of all ages of the fragility, duality and privilege promoted by the dominant energy system in the world.
Native Place
Andrew Francisco

‘Native Place’ is a film about movement and economic competition, told through the stories of those who have come to Delhi to earn. From day laborers to a stock broker, these characters are all compelled by the push and pull of the need to make a living. By following some of these individuals back to their hometowns, ‘Native Place’ reveals the deepest disjunctures of capitalism, in which even apparently settled workers feel mentally and physically divided between the lives they lead and the lives they wish to lead. ‘Native Place’ presents migration as less of a choice and more of a necessity, a question that is answered not by a decision to either go or not go, but rather where and for how long.   The documentary has an accompanying oral history collection that can be found at:
Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops
Sarah Forney

Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops, narrated by Richard Gere and available in 30+ languages, is a series of five short films featuring 12 world-renowned climate scientists.

Fossil fuel emissions from human activity are driving up Earth’s temperature—yet something else is at work. The warming has set in motion nature’s own feedback loops which are raising temperatures even higher. The urgent question is: Are we approaching a point of no return, leading to an uninhabitable Earth, or do we have the vision and will to slow, halt, and reverse them?
Lily Daroff

A short documentary that follows my Uncle Rob as he returns to Cleveland, Ohio. The city he grew up in and the first place he was out as a gay man during the AIDs epidemic in the 1980s. It is difficult to express how important my uncle is to me. We have always been close, and I knew from a very young age that one day I would make a film about him. I was lucky enough to get that opportunity this year. In March 2023, we met in Cleveland, Ohio, the city where he first came out as a gay man in the 1980s. It was inspiring to film his story and to do so in the actual locations where the formative events of his life transpired. As a young queer woman, I recognize how lucky I am to be out in an environment where earlier generations truly paved the way. In this short film, I aspire to shed light on their bravery, courage, and dedication. And, to say thank you on my behalf and that of future generations.
Shaking Hands With The Devil
Olz McCoy

This short documentary follows wildlife photographer and Parkinson’s sufferer David Plummer as he travels through Kenya to meet those who have been marginalised, stigmatised and persecuted for having Parkinson’s Disease.
Heavy Metal
Timo Bruun & Edward Knowles

The girls of the Champ Camp are in some ways typical teenagers — eager to challenge the old ways and looking to make their mark, pursue their purpose. But Adla, Rahmeeh and We’am– Palestinians growing up in Jordan’s Al-Baqa’a refugee camp– can also lift as much as 70 KG and are aiming for medals in international weightlifting competitions. Maybe even the Olympics…

To book their ticket, the young women must succeed on stage in front of their loved ones in the heart of a refugee camp. The pressure of the competition leads to tears and triumph as the team dazzles the crowd with their formidable strength.

It also raises the question: what does it mean to be a strong, young Palestinian woman?

The featured girls aren’t looking for an escape from their homes. They are aiming to amend their realities to make better lives. The group are true friends who have built a community but there are still many challenges within the camp – from a dysfunctional waste disposal system to limited financial opportunities. The film hopes to highlight that sport can help create unseen pathways to provide a sustainable future.
Open Dialogues: Black Voices | Black Stories
Jeff Rusnak

Through compelling narratives and performances, Open Dialogues: Black Voices | Black Stories invites viewers into a profound dialogue about racial inequity, systemic injustice, and the insidious impact racism has on us all. Filmed in Broward County, Florida, this documentary transcends local boundaries, serving as a universal call to action. In a world where racial prejudice knows no borders, Open Dialogues: Black Voices | Black Stories resonates globally. Its exploration of shared human experiences creates a bridge that connects diverse communities, making it relevant to everyone, regardless of geographical location. With probing questions such as ‘When did you know you were black?’ and the first realization of being marginalized as “different,” the film addresses our collective responsibility in creating empathy and ensuring a safe, secure, and sustainable future for all. By confronting systemic racism head-on, fostering empathy, and inspiring conversations, the film advocates for a world where equality and justice prevail. It becomes essential viewing for a global audience committed to a better, more inclusive tomorrow. Black Voices | Black Stories challenges us to confront the deep-seated issues of racism and injustice, urging us towards meaningful change and unity on a global scale. 
This is a Story About Water
Kathleen Harris and Samuel Viana
This short documentary explores the impacts of industrial agriculture and a changing climate on a rural community in southern Portugal, where multinationals grow berries bound for supermarkets across the UK and Europe.

We meet local farmers as they compete with these multinationals for water resources. Migrant workers as they struggle with low wages, crowded accommodation and integration. A scientist as she condemns the expansion of greenhouses – and their use of pesticides and fertilisers – into what is meant to be a Natura 2000 haven for some of Europe’s most threatened species and habitats. Activists and artists who protest what they see as a threat to both people and nature. And the berry producers themselves, who must manipulate their plants to grow in a way that optimizes the harvest, for both people and profits. This mosaic of voices shows some of the complex social, political and environmental knock-on effects of our global food system on various communities in the Alentejo.

This documentary is important because it captures the interlocking impacts of climate change, water shortages, migration and globalisation. Here we show what is a persistant theme, condensed into a short film, that captures the interconnectedness of our world and the wide ranging knock-on effects of climate change coupled with how we produce food that ends up in our supermarkets throughout
the world. 
At The Gate
Patricia Kiy

This project began with the smell of oil. The first time I visited the Horse Hill oil site, I was shocked that I could smell the oil being extracted. What had been just a concept, became my embodied reality.

At The Gate follows a group of anti-fracking activists in East Surrey and the ways they are trying to engage local people with environmental issues. The film focuses on the importance of place in environmental activism and advocates for an embodied experience of community in the landscape.

By recognising our physical connection to our local landscapes, and through realising our place within a community of human and more-than-human beings, we can better understand the world around us and more readily work towards justice.

A hybrid of digital and analogue techniques is employed to bring different styles of filmmaking and activism into conversation with each other. By using experimental filmmaking techniques, the film explores environmental activism through a less conventional lens and encourages different and creative ways of engaging with environmental causes.

What are the leaves and the petals around you trying to say? What do they see? What do they feel? How can you connect and fight for your home?
My Glow
Sahera Khan

A mature, Deaf, Muslim, British Sign Language (BSL) mother shares her pregnancy journey through the pandemic, and how she coped with limited communication with others such as the health service. She shows the audience the access barriers she experiences and to understand the mother’s needs e.g. BSL interpreters. How she coped with limited communication during appointments and labour.

Important for Deaf and disabled’s rights for accessible and equality.
Caylon Jasmine La Mantia, Anna Roberts

KELP! is a powerfully uplifting film that takes us on a journey under sail through Britain’s rugged coastline to meet the pioneers of regenerative kelp farming. From diving in kelp forests full of wildlife to being blown away by the future of oil-free plastics, this is fresh and funny with a banging soundtrack!

Kelp, a rapidly-growing seaweed, is an emerging super-solution that can absorb carbon, replace plastics, and at the same time regenerate the ocean and its wildlife. Yes, really, all that. Kelp farming is driven by tough, visionary people who are out there giving everything they’ve got, as are so many other innovators around the world, pushing for a better future for us all. They are the heroes of this story: regular people inspiring all of us to take responsibility for creating a future we can look forward to.

The ubiquitous concerns of climate and ecological breakdown unite us all, and overcoming them requires our optimum resourcefulness. After decades of doom-mongering by the mainstream media, apocalypse-fatigue and climate-anxiety are demotivating and disempowering us instead of building the resilience we need. Research shows that positive framings propel the motivational centres of the brain into action and build our problem-solving capabilities. Simply put, telling positive stories of opportunity and hope will generate global collective activation. This is KELP!