THE Doc’n Roll film festival showcasing seven big screen premieres across Glasgow and Edinburgh gets underway today. 

The ninth edition of the music documentary festival will run at the Glasgow Film Theatre and Cameo Picturehouse in Edinburgh. 

A wide variety of films will be screened showcasing cult music icons and underground subcultures. 

Speaking to The National, the festival’s co-founder Colm Forde, originally from Dublin, said: “As a result of cutbacks in around 2013, there wasn’t a lot of work in the audio-visual industry where my skills lay. 

“Rather than going back into post-production stuff I came up with this idea to put nine years of my life behind a music documentary film festival.”

The festival is very much a passion project for Forde, fuelled by a love of “off-field music” and sounds that are “quite left-field”. 

Some of the films being screened this year include This Is National Wake, about a South African trio that formed together when it was illegal for them to play music. 

There’s also the Age of Rage, which tells the story of when punk first broke on the Australian shores in the 1970s.

The documentary Rewind And Play: Theolonius Monk is also set for a rare Scottish screening. 

It tells the story of an infamous jazz genius who took down a journalist in a 1969 interview on French TV. 

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Forde continued: “The kind of films we screen are about the musician’s musician, the band’s band. It’s people respected by the gods of the industry like Bob Dylan or Patti Smith. 

“We show all sorts of oddball stuff.”

Central to the festival is that people come along to the cinemas to see these movies, the place they were “intended” to be viewed in, says Forde.

Following the closure of the Filmhouse Cinema and Café Bar in Edinburgh and the Belmont Filmhouse in Aberdeen, Forde hopes festivals like this can reiterate the importance of cinema to local communities. 

He said: “It’s important not only to me we see these in the cinema but to the filmmakers who spend a decade of their life getting their films out of the door. 

“They’re borrowing money to fund it and giving so much of their time to make it. Back in the day, they’d have been afraid it would get put straight onto DVD and now it could just end up somewhere online. 

“It’s important to give them an end goal to make their struggle worthwhile, but at the same time feed those independent cinemas with alternative content that isn’t a Marvel film or a French auteur film. 

“As good as all those films are, they just have a different audience than the one we’re trying to capture.”

Six films across the programme’s line-up will compete for the Doc’n’Roll award for Music Documentary of the Year.

Forde added: “We have built up a bridge with our audience over the past four or five years and so we want to make sure we put on the best films.

“There are people who keep coming back to us because they appreciate the work that we’ve done over the past few years.

“If we show a metal film in Liverpool or Glasgow, we get a lot of appreciation because those films otherwise wouldn’t make it to the cinema.”

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“We are an all-inclusive safe space for people who don’t have anyone to talk to about their interest in a band. 

“Maybe they can meet someone like that at the cinema. As much as anything, cinemas are a part of our social fabric, they can be centres of learning. 

“It’s not just about the amount of money they make, they’re places of community spirit.”

The festival runs in Glasgow from November 2-6 and in Edinburgh from November 5-12.