Marking its 25th edition this year the six-day line-up will celebrating the art and business of documentary and non-fiction through film, interactive and immersive story forms, special events and live performance, plus talks by on-screen talent and makers. The festival runs from 7-12th June. This year’s programme features 200 documentary features and shorts, 27 interactive and immersive projects, including seven virtual reality installations in the Alternate Realities Exhibition held at Trafalgar Warehouse, plus special events and talks and industry sessions. To celebrate the 25th edition Doc/Fest will present three Festival commissions: DOUBLETHINK, by renowned artists and filmmakers Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard (20,000 Days on Earth) written by Stuart Evers and performed by George MacKay (Pride, Sunshine on Leith) with support from Wellcome; the Alternate Realities Commission, Face to Face supported by Arts Council England, and Warp Records artist GAIKA will perform a new live score responding to Khalik Allah’s Black Mother.
Says Liz McIntyre, Festival Director & CEO, Sheffield Doc/Fest, “When Doc/Fest was born in 1994, the world was ushering in a remarkable era of new power and influence: the world wide web, President Mandela and the end of the Cold War. A quarter of a century on, stories abound at Doc/Fest that question anew what power we each hold or lack politically, socially and in our personal and professional relationships. Doc/Fest 2018 is alive with a new wave of diverse filmmakers responding to these extraordinary times and disrupting the status quo.”
Opening Night Film: A Northern Soul Dir: Sean McAllister
Opening on Thursday 7 June with the World premiere of Sean McAllister’s A Northern Soul who returns to his hometown of Hull where he meets and starts filming Steve Arnott, a struggling warehouse worker by day and hip-hop performer by night, who harbours his own creative dream. Sean McAllister and Steve Arnott will attend the Festival Opening at City Hall and take part in post screening questions and answers.
With Doc/Fest’s core focus on new and emerging talent, fullest diversity, representation and opportunity, stand out sessions amongst this year’s 40+ line-up include: Whose Story: Authentic Voices in Storytelling, chaired by Anca Dimofte (Frontline Club) and panel of filmmakers including Deeyah Khan (Jihad/ The White Right: Meeting The Enemy) and Feras Fayyad (Last Man in Allepo) will share their own experiences of extractive vs authentic storytelling; What Would A Fully Representative and Diverse Industry Look Like?, chaired by Anne Morrison (WFTV) will explore the obstacles facing the industry in creating a truly diverse workforce and ask what can be done to deliver meaningful change; Times Up: The Industry Response to Bullying & Harrassment, chaired by Ali Bailey (Head of Campaigning, Directors UK) with Natasha Dack (Tigerlily Productions), Fiona Campbell (BBC), Kelly Webb Lamb (Channel4), Tim Hunter (BAFTA) and Billie JD Porter (Documentary filmmaker) will debate how the film and television industry is responding to the anti-sexual assault and women’s empowerment movements. My Big Break, chaired by Ade Rawcliffe will discuss film and TV professionals at varying stages in their career the successes and challenges that paved their way into the industry.
Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018 Art Doc Award
Films competing for the award which supported by MUBI include: Khalik Allah’s Black Mother (UK premiere) which interweaves voices and images of Jamaica to reflect the natural, spiritual and cultural fabric of the Caribbean island; Ismael Caneppele’s Music When The Lights Go Out (UK premiere), a documentary floating on this thin border between fiction and reality; in Evangelia Kranioti’s Obscuro Barroco (UK premiere) a metamorphosis is taking place under the gaudy lights of the Rio de Janeiro carnival where bodies shimmer with otherworldly luminosity, as transgender Luana Muniz dreams herself into being;
Special Events Line UP
This features live, interactive and immersive storytelling experiences: this includes a vibrant night from São Paulo pop star Linn da Quebrada, follows the screening of Kiko Goifman and Claudia Priscilla’s Teddy Award winning Tranny Fag, a candid profile of this black trans woman whose explicit anthems give voice to marginalised communities from the favelas; world-class beatboxer and vocal artist Reeps One presents the World premiere of his new live show Reeps One presents: We Speak Music Live, which blends the latest technology, stunning visuals, and unbelievable performances, to explore the human voice and the power of self-expression; Singaporean vocal loop artist Weish will live accompany the UK premiere of Sundance Award winning Shirkers, which will be followed by a Q&A with director Sandi Tan.
Focus on Mental Health
On Tudor Square, Doc/Fest Exchange: Head Space supported by Wellcome, will host a programme of special talks, films and activity about mental health. The Exchange programme of events is headlined by Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard’s immersive video installation DOUBLETHINK which invites audiences to make a binary decision: enter the container marked HATE or the one marked HOPE. Iain & Jane will be joined by George MacKay to talk about the making and experience of DOUBLETHINK in Doc/Fest Exchange. Other Exchange speakers include SBTV founder Jamal Edwards who will talk about his work to break the stigma around mental health; vocal artist Reeps One will talk about the crossover between music, science and mental health; and BBC Asian Network presenter Mim Shaikh. Exchange/Dome will host film screenings including Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside’s América and contemporary artist Leigh Ledare’s The Task
Installation created by Richard Ramchurn
Throughout the Festival, alongside The Light Cinema Free Screen on Howard Street, audiences can experience a ‘brain-controlled film’ installation The Moment (World premiere) created by neuroscientist and filmmaker Richard Ramchurn: a dystopian sci fi short film whereby the editing and narrative is controlled by brain sensors attached to one viewer, selected as ‘The Controller’, to create one of 1.1 trillion versions of the film.
Doc/Fest is proud to be bringing back Doc/Dinner, supported by Canon with Reggie Yates
A forum for new and emerging talent to share knowledge, ideas and experiences with Decision Makers on a level playing field, for mutual business and creative benefit. Doc/Dinner founder Reggie Yates will be among the attending industry mentors and the evening will hosted by BBC Asian Network presenter and first time documentary maker Mim Shaikh.
Master Class supported by BAFTA: with Matthew Heine, Khalik Allah and Ashley Clark
The BAFTA- and Oscar- nominated director Matthew Heineman (City of Ghosts; Cartel Land) will give a masterclass supported by BAFTA; the self-taught director of Black Mother and Field Niggas, Khalik Allah, will explore a new film language with curator and programmer Ashley Clark; and acclaimed filmmaker and author Mark Cousins will look at 30 key cultural images to explore the aesthetics, politics and emotion of ‘looking’.
For the full programme and to book tickets go to: https://www.sheffdocfest.com/passes/delegate