RAI Film


RAI Film showcases the best in groundbreaking and innovative anthropological filmmaking from around the world. We provide a forum and resources for exploring the multiple relationships between documentary filmmaking, anthropology, and visual culture. In association with the RAI Film Committee, the Film Officers curate a biennial film festival, run a film distribution service, and maintain a film archive. Our mission is to promote the understanding of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue through film.



Established in 1985, the biennial RAI Film Festival offers a diverse programme of films, workshops, masterclasses and events that question our complex, shared world, and promote social justice and dialogue. The festival nurtures relationships between filmmakers and audiences, creating brave spaces for dialogue and learning.  The Festival has been based at the Watershed Cinema, Bristol UK since 2015 with the next edition on 27-30 March 2025.


We offer an extensive film catalogue (over 600 titles) that are variously available to purchase as DVDs, personal rent on demand (Vimeo VOD), and accessible to institutions via our online streaming partners for educational and academic purposes. We work to support filmmakers and provide long-term access to their films within the larger global research community.  We continue to add new titles on a rolling basis


The RAI’s ethnographic film library is one of the world’s largest and most important of its kind.  We accept archival donations and work to preserve and digitise our holdings.