THE Central Scotland Documentary Festival returns to Forth Valley for the fourth year this week.

The festival celebrates creative documentary and non-fiction filmmaking and will begin on Thursday, October 28.

Curated and presented by Macrobert, it’s a fitting tribute to the city of Stirling, which is the birthplace of John Grierson, known as the father of documentary.

Alloa man Grahame Reid, curator and programmer and film programmer at Macrobert, explained how the idea for the festival first came about.

He said: “With us being on the campus of Stirling University and the university being renowned for documentary film making, everything seemed to align and there was nowhere else within the central belt in Scotland that was doing documentary as a festival.”

Some films on the bill this year include Quant, Sadie Frost’s directorial debut about Mary Quant, often credited with the invention of the mini-skirt.

Also showing is The Auld Game which looks at Scotland’s complicated love of football and Alistair Cole’s Lorram, the first cinema documentary entirely in Scottish Gaelic.

He continued: “This year we have 12 official submissions, from 23 countries and more than 50 submissions which we’ve whittled down to 12.

“They will vie for a Jury award, which will be judged by a panel of industry and academy experts, and another award, the Audience award, which will be voted for by people who go to the screening.”

Grahame is the one who predominantly selects the films for the festival, however he added there were a few people involved in the official selection to narrow down the submissions to the final 12.

He continued: “I essentially spend most of my year reviewing films with the documentary festival in mind.

“On a regular year I’ll travel around the country and view documentaries at different film festivals.

“I’ve picked a programme that I think is very wide and varied so there’s something there for everyone.”

Over five days, the festival will showcase 21 films, comprising one world, three European, five UK and two Scottish premieres along with some of the best documentaries from festivals seen throughout the year.

The festival was postponed last year and it’s clear Grahame can’t wait for its return this year.

He continued: “To me there’s nothing better than watching film in a cinema, there’s such a prevalence of documentaries on the likes of Netflix.

“When you’re watching something on TV your phone’s in your hand or you’re having a conversation with the person beside you.

“Being able to go in and sit – and for it to be that communal atmosphere where everybody’s looking at the screen and taking in what’s in front of them – to me there’s nothing like it.”

Visit for full details on each film.