Sheffield DocFest is the UK’s leading documentary festival and one of the world’s most influential markets for documentary projects. We champion and present the breadth of documentary form – film, television, immersive and art – in the vibrant city of Sheffield each June. We offer makers and audiences a place for inspiration, debate, development, learning and challenge. Our programming represents our core values – creativity, empathy, freedom, inclusivity and internationalism.
In 2022 we hosted our first predominantly in-person edition since 2019, welcoming the documentary community and audiences back to Sheffield. The festival attracted 25,424 in-person attendances, as well as a further 4,899 admissions online. We screened 135 films from 55 countries; 29 projects were exhibited in our Alternate Realities programme; 39 projects were presented in the MeetMarket pitching forum.
The 2023 Festival, in which we celebrate our 30th edition, will run from Wednesday 14 June to Monday 19 June 2023.
In a change to our recent schedule, the MeetMarket will take place on Thursday 15 June and Friday 16 June, allowing Industry Professionals the opportunity to experience the opening of the festival.
Our Film Programme offers filmmakers a place for inspiration, debate and challenge, and a relevant international platform to launch their work. It engages audiences with a multitude of forms, ideas, ways of doing and thinking, through World, International, European and UK premieres and through curated retrospective programmes. Sheffield DocFest looks to question the boundaries of documentary through a programme that challenges trends, brings diversity and enriches debate. The festival invites audiences to engage with experiences and stories from different parts of the world and to join makers in inspiring moments.
Alternate Realities Programme
Alternate Realities is Sheffield DocFest's programme for exhibiting and showcasing innovative non-fiction and immersive documentary in all forms.
Whether using new technologies or creative techniques which break the boundaries of traditional documentary practice, the Alternate Realities programme highlights the bravest most intriguing developments in non-fiction by artists, technologists and documentarians.
Platforms considered for exhibition include virtual (VR), augmented (AR) and mixed reality (MR), 360 video, moving image, sound art, web interactives, artificial intelligence, games and performance.
Alternate Realities Exhibition Tour
Since 2017, Sheffield DocFest’s Alternate Realities exhibition has toured in the UK and internationally. Venues and events that hosted the tour include:
- National Science & Media Museum
- HOME Manchester
- The Hepworth Wakefield
- The Cooper Gallery
- DocSP (Sao Paulo)
- Noviembre Electrónico (Buenos Aires)
- Phi Centre (Montreal)
Sheffield DocFest will tour the Alternate Realities exhibition again in 2023.
This programme is supported by Arts Council England.
The Industry Programme is the space within the festival for supporting the creation of new work, and discussing together the ways in which new work is made. Our flagship pitching forum, the MeetMarket, connects selected teams with a vast network of international industry representatives to present new projects (features and series). The Alternate Realities Talent Market runs in parallel to facilitate partnerships for teams presenting non-fiction new-media projects. The Amplify: Production Talent initiative is for entry-level production professionals to elevate their careers, and connect with UK-based production company execs.
We also host several live pitches where filmmakers can gain funding and constructive feedback from industry experts. And alongside all the pitching, every year we’ll host an array of panel discussions on key topics relevant to industry delegates. We welcome delegates from all levels of experience and all territories to engage with our Industry Programme. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any help navigating it.
Click here to find out more about our Industry Marketplace and initiatives.
The Community programme features stories and ideas with a strong focus on what happens when people come together. It’s about making connections in and to our city and is produced in partnership with people, artists and organisations based in Sheffield and the South Yorkshire Region.
The programme makes links across Film, Alternate Realities and Industry programmes to collaborate with local audiences, make deeper connections across the festival and broaden access for the programme, as well as strengthen industry opportunities for first time and independent filmmakers in Sheffield.
Sheffield DocFest is run by International Documentary Festival Sheffield, an independent registered charity (no.1184849), whose purpose is to advance the art of film, education and training in documentary filmmaking. Our core values as a charity centre around empathy, inclusiveness, social engagement, freedom and internationalism.