Kim Longinotto

Kim Longinotto (born 1952) is a British documentary filmmaker, well known for making films that highlight the plight of female victims of oppression or discrimination. Longinotto studied camera and directing at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, England, where she now tutors occasionally.

Longinotto was born to an Italian father and a Welsh mother; her father was a photographer who later went bankrupt. At the age of 10 she was sent to a draconian all-girls boarding school, where she found it hard to make friends due to the mistress forbidding anyone to talk to her for a term after she became lost during a school trip. After a period of homelessness, Longinotto went on to Essex University to study English and European literature and later followed friend and future filmmaker, Nick Broomfield to the National Film and Television School. While studying, she made a documentary about her boarding school that was shown at the London Film Festival, since when she has continued to be a prolific documentary filmmaker.

Longinotto is an observational filmmaker. Observational cinema, also known as direct cinema, free cinema or cinema verite, usually excludes certain documentary techniques such as advanced planning, scripting, staging, narration, lighting, reenactment and interviewing. Longinotto’s unobtrusiveness, which is an important part of observational documentary, gives the women on camera a certain voice and presence that may not have emerged with another documentary genre. She has received a number of awards for her films over the years, including a BAFTA for her documentary PINK SARIS.

Among her more than 20 films, she has followed a teenager struggling to become a wrestling star in 2000’s GAEA GIRLS, challenged the tradition of female genital mutilation in Kenya in 2002’s THE DAY I WILL NEVER FORGET, and told the story of an Indian Muslim woman who smuggled poetry out to the world while locked up by her family in 2013’s SALMA. In 2015's DREAMCATCHER Longinotto looks at the life and work of a former sex worker who rescues Chicago girls from the street.

Her new film SHOOTING THE MAFIA, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. (3/19)

Available Title(s):


Dreamcatcher


A film by Kim Longinotto, 2015, 98 min., Color
“You got any dreams you wanna catch?” Sundance award winner DREAMCATCHER takes us into a hidden world of prostitution and sexual trafficking through t...

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Salma


A film by Kim Longinotto, 2013, 89 min., Color
When Salma, a young Muslim girl in a south Indian village, was 13 years old, her family locked her up for 25 years, forbidding her to study and forcin...

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Pink Saris


A film by Kim Longinotto, 2010, 96 min., Color
“A girl’s life is cruel...A woman’s life is very cruel,” notes Sampat Pal, the complex protagonist at the center of PINK SARIS, internationally acclai...

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Rough Aunties


A film by Kim Longinotto, 2008, 103 min., Color
Fearless, feisty and resolute, the “Rough Aunties” are a remarkable group of women unwavering in their stand to protect and care for the abused, negle...

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Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go


A film by Kim Longinotto, 2007, 100 min., Color
Harrowing at one moment and heartwarming the next, HOLD ME TIGHT, LET ME GO is set at England’s Mulberry Bush School, founded by Barbara Dockar-Drysda...

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Theatre Girls


A film by Kim Longinotto and Claire Pollak, 1978, 56 min., BW
In her final piece at film school, Longinotto and her partner take us into the "Theatre Girls Club" in Soho, London–a hostel for elderly and destitute...

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Pride of Place


A film by Dorthea Gazidis and Kim Longinotto, 1976, 60 min., BW
A rarely seen classic, PRIDE OF PLACE was made as a first project while Longinotto was a student at England’s National School of Television and Film. ...

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Sisters in Law


A film by Kim Longinotto, Co-directed by Florence Ayisi, 2005, 104 min., Color
Winner of the Prix Art et Essai at the Cannes Film Festival and screened to acclaim at more than 120 festivals around the world, SISTERS IN LAW is the...

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The Day I Will Never Forget


A film by Kim Longinotto, 2002, 92 min., Color
THE DAY I WILL NEVER FORGET is a gripping feature documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Kim Longinotto that examines the practice of female genital mutil...

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Runaway


A film by Kim Longinotto and Ziba Mir-Hosseini, 2001, 87 min., Color
“RUNAWAY is a powerful and heart-breaking documentary about a group of young runaway girls who are taken to a women's shelter in Tehran, Iran. The fil...

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Gaea Girls


A film by Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams, 2000, 106 min., Color
"This fascinating film follows the physically grueling and mentally exhausting training regimen of several young wanna-be GAEA GIRLS, a group of Japan...

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Divorce Iranian Style


A film by Kim Longinotto and Ziba Mir-Hosseini, 1998, 80 min., Color
Hilarious, tragic, stirring, this fly-on-the-wall look at several weeks in an Iranian divorce court provides a unique window into the intimate circums...

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Shinjuku Boys


A film by Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams, 1995, 53 min., Color
From the makers of DREAM GIRLS, SHINJUKU BOYS introduces three onnabes who work as hosts at the New Marilyn Club in Tokyo. Onnabes are women who live...

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Dream Girls


A film by Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams, 1993, 50 min., Color
This fascinating documentary, produced for the BBC, opens a door into the spectacular world of the Takarazuka Revue, a highly successful musical theat...

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The Good Wife of Tokyo


A film by Claire Hunt and Kim Longinotto, 1992, 52 min., Color
“Forget those demure ladies with fragrant fans and meet the new breed of Japanese women!” - Amanda Casson, London Film Festival. Kazuko Hohki goes ba...

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Eat the Kimono


A film by Claire Hunt and Kim Longinotto, 1989, 60 min., Color
EAT THE KIMONO is a brilliant documentary about Hanayagi Genshu, a Japanese feminist and avant-garde dancer and performer, who has spent her life defy...

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Hidden Faces


A film by Claire Hunt and Kim Longinotto, 1990, 52 min., Color
Originally intended as a film about internationally renowned feminist writer Nawal El Saadawi, HIDDEN FACES develops into a fascinating portrayal of E...

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