The Mayor’s Race

A Film by Loraine Blumenthal


Marvin Rees grew up as a mixed-race child in Bristol’s ghettos in the UK, which meant living with prostitution, violence and poverty around him. For a long time, Marvin has wanted to fight the injustices he experienced and so he decides to run for mayor of his city. As an amateur, he steps into the world of politics. Yet, despite his charisma and intellect, his biggest battle is believing anyone will take this black guy from the ghetto seriously. It’s a tight race and he is forced to accept the loss in front of rolling cameras. Feeling personally ashamed, he is also aware that losing has a wider significance. In a city which carries a history of exclusion and racism, people like him feel the echoing of it until the present day.
Bristol was part of the slave trade and at the centre of a UK civil rights campaign in the 1960’s, inspired by Martin Luther King. The city saw black youths uprising in violent battles that sparked riots across the country in the 1980s. Today it is a rising fear of Muslims that shatters the Bristol’s unity. Despite his doubts, Marvin decides to run again. More professional, stronger and with the vital support of the Muslim community. Will he manage to break the circle of history and become the first mayor of African descent of a city in Europe?


  • Picture of Loraine Blumenthal © Loraine Blumenthal

    Loraine Blumenthal

    Loraine Blumenthal is a documentary filmmaker and producer from Berlin, Germany. In 2010 she graduated in theatre- and film studies, sociology and French literature.
    In 2012 she received her Master of Arts degree in Documentary Practice at the University of Bristol. Loraine has worked for TV-Channels such as ARTE and in the editorial offices of the 360° GEO Reportage. Mapi Liberia (2009, 45min) was her first, mid-length documentary film, which was shown at national and international festivals such as the Cape Winelands Film Festival in South Africa and the Int. Black Cinema Festival in Canada. She has been working as a producer at Kloos & Co Medien, one of Germany's most active documentary companies on the international film market. Amongst others, she was involved in the production of the theatrical documentary film TRANSIT HAVANA. With her first feature length documentary film THE MAYOR'S RACE she took part in the renowned MEDIA supported workshop Archidoc and presented her work-in-progress at festivals such as the Thessaloniki Film Festival, the Krakow Film Festival and the Mini Meet Market at Docfest Sheffield.

Awards + Festivals

  • 3rd WALES INT’L DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Blackwood, Wales, UK)April 19, 2018
  • 5th ANGELES DOCUMENTARIES (Official Selection, Los Angeles, USA)June 9, 2018
  • MANIFESTO FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Amsterdam, NL)April 27, 2018
    4th SPOTLIGHT DOCUMENTARY AWARDS (Official Selection, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)June 27, 2018
  • 2nd SOCIAL MACHINERY FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Rizziconi, Italy)July 28, 2018
  • 4th MONTEVIDEO WORLD FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Uruguay)July 12, 2018
  • 3rd DRUNKEN FILM FEST (Official Selection, Bradford, United Kingdom)July 15, 2018
  • 2nd RESPECT BELFAST HUMAN RIGHTS FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, UK)August 5, 2018
    9th BRONZELENS FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)August 22, 2018
  • 3rd URBAN FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Miami, USA)August 30, 2018
  • 7th ANNUAL GREATER CLEVELAND URBAN FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Cleveland, Ohio, USA)September 20, 2018
    9th AWARENESS FILM FESTIVAL (Los Angeles, CA, USA)September 27, 2018
  • 5th BALTIMORE INT’L FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, USA)October 3, 2018
  • 5th (IN)JUSTICE FOR ALL FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Chicago, USA)October 4, 2018
  • 14th UTOPIA FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Greenbelt, USA)October 12, 2018
  • 13th ORLANDO FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Orlando, FL, USA)October 18, 2018
  • 2nd SIFF - SWITZERLAND INT'L FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Online, Switzerland)December 20, 2018
    5th DENTON BLACK FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Denton, USA)January 23, 2019
    1st NORTH EUROPE INT’L FILM FESTIVAL - LONDON EDITION (Official Selection, UK)February 16, 2019
  • 16th NORTH CAROLINA BLACK FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Wilmington, USA)March 21, 2019
  • 1st HEART OF ENGLAND FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Coventry, England, UK)March 28, 2019
  • 12th AFRICA WORLD DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, San Diego, California, USA)March 28, 2019
  • 8th JULIEN DUBUQUE FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Dubuque, IA, USA)April 24, 2019
  • 8th JULIEN DUBUQUE INT'L FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Dubuque, IA, USA)April 28, 2019
  • 8th ANNUAL WORKERS UNITE FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, NYC, USA)May 10, 2019
  • 1st ETOWAH FIM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Canton, Georgia, USA)May 23, 2019
    3rd AFRICAN DIASPORA CINEMA FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Florence, Italy)June 12, 2019
  • 4th MEXICO CITY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Mexico City, Mexico)July 18, 2019
  • 13th I WILL TELL INT'L FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Ladbroke Grove, UK)August 30, 2019
    14th BRITISH URBAN FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, London, United Kingdom)September 1, 2019
  • 3rd POLISH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Warsaw, Poland)October 21, 2019



Loraine Blumenthal
Loraine Blumenthal
Loraine Blumenthal / Rob Mitchell
Director of Photography
Loraine Blumenthal
Rob Mitchell / Shawn-Naphtali Sobers
Lucian Busse
Sound Design
Mathias Wendt


Running Time
80 min.
Shooting Format
Screening Format
DCP, BluRay, DVD, .mov, mp4 (HD)
Aspect Ratio



Markus Kaatsch
aug&ohr medien
Riemannstr. 21
10961 Berlin, Germany

+49 (0)30 61620068


Loraine Blumenthal

Twitter: @mayorsracefilm