I'm just back tired and emotional from BritDoc 2008 & I can definitely report that the festival is much more fun when your film is not playing! This year I was able to see more stuff, concentrate on what was being said/shown and enjoy responding to the question of 'what are you working on next' with 'a film about cat breeding' ... which caused most 'networking' pressures to evaporate ...
My absolute top recommendation would be a co-SXSW film from this year 'Heavy Load - A film about happiness', which I was excited and nervous to see. It didn't disappoint, I loved the film & you can't help but love a band who cover Kylie & the clash & wrote a song in tribute to George Michael 'Gay at weekends'.
Visit their website for more info & sign up for screening info when it's released in the UK - you won't regret it. The image to the right shows the band singing with the producer & director at the closing party.
It reminded me of Bata-ville in a funny way, and how moved I was by the experience of making it, and the commitment of many of the films 'characters'. Bata-ville has been called 'a sad film about hope', in many ways Heavy Load is a sad film about happiness, it obviously had as big an impact on the director as Bata-ville and its participants had on Karen & I.
The other film I saw was Man on Wire ... also a cinema visit you won't regret, although at a festival focussed on composers & music, it was shame to see a film with such a miserable off the shelf top-classical-hits sound track. For me it spoiled an otherwise top notch film.
Other highlights were my 'surgery' with Danielle DiGiacomo of Indiepix & an extraordinarily helpful hot housing session (we BritDoc grantees get extra special treatment) with the forthright Documentary Doctor Fernanda Rossi. The woman is an advice power house, I could see why you might end up paying her to Skype you with exec. feedback!