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SHEFFIELD DOC/FEST REVEALS PROGRAMME…SIX UNMISSABLE DAYS OF THE WORLD’S BEST DOCUMENTARIES, VIRTUAL REALITY AND INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES AND TALKS

  • World Premiere Opening Night: Queerama with short Live Performance From John Grant
  • Closing Night: Jo Cox: Death Of An MP Documentary
  • Record Film Numbers: 182 Documentary Features And Shorts; 34 World, 21 International, 24 European And 73 UK Premieres
  • Record Alternate Realities Numbers: 26 Projects; New Commission, 12 World, 1 International, 5 European, 8 UK Premieres
  • Andrea Arnold, Paul Mason, Anand Patwardhan, Reggie Yates and join Festival Juries
  • Walter Murch Speaks At Doc/Fest Craft Summit
  • Four Alternate Realities Exhibitions; Two New Immersive VR Domes
  • First time at Doc/Fest: Sir Lenny Henry, Peter Greenaway CBE and Ian Hislop in conversation with Jolyon Rubinstein; YouTube sensation Elijah Quashie, aka ‘The Chicken Connoisseur’.
  • Filmmaker Conversations: Nick Broomfield And Louis Theroux
  • Works-In-Progress Films & Discussions Feature In New Focus/Industry Strand; Plus Addition of Industry Only Screenings
  • New Opportunities for New and Emerging Talent Include New UK Delegation Initiative; Doc/Dinner Initiative with Reggie Yates, Also Stacey Dooley In Conversation
  • Controversial Filmmaker Martin Durkin And Trevor Phillips OBE Join Public Debate: Is The Media Failing To Reflect The Real Opinions Of The People? 

 

The line-up for the 24th edition of Sheffield Doc/Fest is revealed today with a programme of UK and international non-fiction content including a record number of worlds, international, EU and UK premiere titles across the Film and Alternate Realities programmes.

 

The Festival opens and closes with two highly relevant titles from the UK. On 9 June, the Opening Night event of the Daisy Asquith’s documentary Queerama will be followed by a short live performance from singer-songwriter John Grant at City Hall, Sheffield. Created from the treasure trove of the BFI National Archive, Queerama captures the relationships, desires, fears and expressions of gay men and women since 1919 against a backdrop of lyrics and music by John Grant, Goldfrapp and Hercules & Love Affair. Queerama is produced with the support of BBC Storyville, Ffilm Cymru Wales and the BFI. On the final day of the six-day Festival, the Festival honours the Yorkshire MP Jo Cox with a special Closing Night screening of Toby Paton’s Jo Cox: Death of an MP, followed by a discussion about Jo’s legacy. Jo Cox: Death of an MP is commissioned BBC Current Affairs.

 

Says Liz McIntyre CEO & Festival Director: “This year at Doc/Fest, we’re thrilled to be bringing you the most extraordinary and inspiring stories, born out of this time of seismic change. From remarkable new talents to world renowned greats, documentary, virtual reality and interactive storytellers are converging on Sheffield to show their work both maverick and influential, funny and quirky, heart stopping and heart breaking. This year, we shine a light on stories of fightback and offer a celebration of the human spirit. We have exciting new programme additions including the Doc/Vision strand for bold new cinematic works; Doc/Dispatch for in-the-moment films and Focus/Industry for works-in-progress. We’ve also added Docs til Dawn for late nighters. Whether fresh to the industry or an award-winning filmmaker, whether local or global, at Doc/Fest we love that everyone has a story to tell.”

 

Strengthened Doc/Fest Awards categories will honour the very best Film and Alternate Realities events: the Grand Jury Award supported by Screen International and Broadcast and selected by a jury including Andrea Arnold, Paul Mason, Anand Patwardhan; the Art Doc Award; the Environmental Award supported by Discovery Communications; the Tim Hetherington Award supported by Dogwoof; the Illuminate Award supported by Wellcome; the Alternate Realities Virtual Reality Award, the Alternate Realities Interactive Award, the Short Doc Award supported by Virgin Money Sheffield Lounge; the New Talent Award with Reggie Yates joining the jury, and the Youth Jury Award.

 

Chosen from a selection of the best films in the programme, the Grand Jury Award supported by Screen International & Broadcast will honour one film that best displays excellence in style, substance and approach to documentary filmmaking. Academy Award-winner Laura Poitras (CITIZENFOUR) found that her portrait of the Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange was not the film she originally intended it to be - she takes us along on her journey through power, principles and betrayal in the UK Premiere of Risk; also making its UK Premiere is Dina, a remarkably intimate film from directors Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles that follows outspoken Dina and her fiancé Scott, both neurodiverse, who have recently moved in together and are striving to reconcile their conflicting approaches to romance and intimacy. The Academy Award nominated director of Cartel Land, Matthew Heineman, is no stranger to precarious filming environments. In the UK Premiere of City of Ghosts, he turns his attention to the covert citizen journalist group RBSS (Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently) who are intent on exposing the horrors of life under ISIS rule via the only weapon they have: the media. Raw and revealing, The Work, (International Premiere) follows an intense group therapy retreat inside a single room in Folsom Prison. Expertly captured by filmmakers Gethin Aldous and Jairus McLeary, the film offers a rare look beyond the prison walls to reveal a profoundly moving story of change and redemption. Rehabilitation is explored in an entirely different, and often brutal, fashion in Ghost Hunting (UK Premiere), an unflinching documentary that replays the historical incarceration of Palestinian prisoners at an infamous Israeli interrogation centre from director, and ex-prisoner, Raed Andoni. Returning to Sheffield, Academy Award nominated filmmaker David France (How To Survive A Plague) presents the International Premiere of his gripping film The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, demanding answers to long unanswered questions surrounding the mysterious death of the trans-activist credited with starting the first transgender rights organization. See below for all films in competition, and main themed strands.

 

The film programme in 2017 features a record 183 documentary features and shorts from around the world, including 35 World, 21 International, 24 European and 74 UK Premieres.

Director of Film Programming Luke Moody says, We want to take you on a journey through your world with storytelling that will hypnotize, rouse and inspire your soul, both now and in the future, from urgent to slow journalism, from journeys of absurdity to tales of mirth. In a media climate of fake news, post-truths and murky political agendas, these films are our navigators between information and perspective, evidence and opinion, proof and wild possibility.

The Film Programme features clear thematic strands, namely: ideas of thrilling tales, dramatic challenges, sports docs and road trips in Doc/Adventure; investigations, corruption, crime and injustice in Doc/Expose; the power of love, family and friendship is celebrated in Doc/Love and Doc/Think offers new ways of seeing and thinking about the world – from politics to science to philosophy.

Energetic portraits of dance, music and contemporary culture from established and emerging performers feature as highlights within the Doc/Fest renowned and newly named Doc/Rhythm strand, to include World Premieres such as Cori McKenna’s Bruk Out!, combining underground dance visuals and intimate vérité scenes to look deep inside the raw, energetic world of Jamaican Dancehall culture; Sofia Ollins’ Lost In Vagueness retraces Britain’s sub-culture history, to see how anti-hero Roy Gurvitz and Festival founder Michael Eavis came together to reinvigorate Glastonbury Festival; American Valhalla, co-directed by Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and photographer Andreas Neumann, utilises luminous visuals to tell the fascinating story of the collaboration between Iggy Pop and Homme, and also features Matt Helders of Arctic Monkeys. The shift in relations between the US and Cuba are evident in Give Me Future (UK Premiere), Austin Peters’ concert doc showing American dancehall mega-band Major Lazer playing a surprise concert in Havana to half a million people, capturing a country on the brink of enormous change; the International Premiere Eva Mulvad’s A Modern Man is a portrait of one of Europe’s most accomplished classical violinists, Charlie Siem, whose outward trappings of success bely a troubled interior.

Inspiring, radical artists and bold cinematic visions will be highlighted in the new Doc/Visions strand including the World Premiere of Leonora Carrington – The Lost Surrealist directed by Theresa Griffiths, and Andres Veiel’s Beuys (UK Premiere) an intimate look at German artist Joseph Beuys, his art and his world of ideas. Enduring creative expression is never more in evidence than in Reiner Holzemer’s Dries (UK Premiere), a year long study of Dries Van Noten, the master fashion designer who has remained independent in a landscape of fashion consolidation and globalization for 25 years; plus the European Premiere of Spettacolo in which filmmakers Jeff Malmberg (Marwencol) and Chris Shellen document a year in the life of Montichiello’s amateur theatre, a generation-spanning performance art project in rural Tuscany.

The programme this year will be notable for its additional focus on works by award winning artists; Forensic sound analyst and artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan illustrates his investigation of the death of two Palestinian teenagers in the short film Rubber Coated Steel (winner of Tiger Award for Short Film at International Film Festival Rotterdam); in Studies in the Ecology of Drama the Finnish video artist and photographer Eija-Liisa Ahtila expands upon the issues of ecological moving narrative by focusing on presentation, imaging and imagination; Jonathas de Andrade captures the athletic physiques of fishermen during a surreal, tender ritual along the Sao Francisco river, North East of Brazil in The Fish; and Glasgow’s Luke Fowler pays tribute to the work and musical ideas of a proudly gay Canadian composer who pioneered the use of the ‘microcomputer’ in the short Electro-Pythagoras: A Portrait of Martin Bartlett.

 

The 3D screening of Ulysses in the Subway (UK Premiere) is a unique collaboration between avant-garde filmmakers Ken and Flo Jacobs and digital-art duo Paul Kaiser and Marc Downie. Ken’s journey through the New York subway - voices, footsteps, a steel-drum performance - is transformed into grand visual renderings via the use of a sound-analysis algorithm and even a fleeting contribution by Thomas Edison.

 

From short form to long form and all platforms, the industry programme will consider the challenges and opportunities of all non-fiction filmmaking including: How to Get Your Film Oscar Ready supported by Molinare, in which Tom Oyer of the The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will talk to Academy Award winners Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara; How Do You Reach the Other 99%. The Global Opportunities for Documentaries Online, supported by Little Dot Studios; Celebrating the Queers: Making LGBTQ+ Docs; Playtime with Archive; Music Makes the World Go Round: Making Music Docs, Docs & Trauma: A Survivor's Guide for 2017 and from BRITDOC: Sh*t Creek: The Hypothetical Paddle Game which will invite the audience to participate and develop a whole new enthusiasm for smart risk management with Peter Dale (Rare Day) and Molly Clarke (Rory Peck Trust).

 

The Festival has also introduced a new Doc/Fest Craft Summit supported by Documentary Campus, to include The Art of Editing and Sound Design with Walter Murch plus The Art of the Story with Fernanda Rossi (writer & script doctor), Art of Cinematography with Shaul Schwartz and Richard Ladkani; The Art of Directing with filmmakers Jihan El-Tahri and Julia Dahr; The Art of the Serialised Doc with Ben Steele and Charlotte Cook.

 

With both distinctly local and global perspectives, the Alternate Realities Programme demonstrates how VR, immersive and augmented reality technology is changing the way stories are told and how immersive journeys of discovery can take audiences into the mind and lives of others.

Dan Tucker, Curator, Alternate Realities says: “Digital humans: prepare to engage, immerse and emote. This year’s Alternate Realities programme is bursting at its digital seams with incredible virtual, augmented and interactive experiences, powerful stories, and illuminating talks and discussions that will bring audiences closer than ever before to the lives of others. From augmented reality to gaming, to virtual reality and interactive installations, the exhibition will be an unearthly garden of factual delights with a focus on stories of home, heritage, intimacy and identity. At the Alternate Realities Summit on Sunday, we welcome Jessica Brillhart (Google) to talk about the amazing VOYAGER a virtual reality series in collaboration with NASA and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and explore new dimensions in digital storytelling across panels, talks and demonstrations - all in our world leading Summit.

I am so proud of this year’s Alternate Realities programme and the team that have delivered it and I hope that all our visitors enjoy the incredible selection we have made and leave contemplating what it is to be a digital human in 2017”.

The Alternate Realities Programme continues to be supported by Arts Council England. This year’s Festival will feature across four venues, including the Immersive VR and Interactive Exhibitions in Millennium Gallery plus two new immersive VR domes, the Virtual Reality Portal on Tudor Square and Virtual Reality Campfire Dome on Upper Chapel Street with a record 26 exhibits from thirteen different countries, the new Festival commission, 12 World, 1 International, 5 European and 8 UK Premieres. 

 

The Alternate Realities Awards include the Virtual Reality Award, given to the project that displays excellence in factual storytelling and technical ingenuity by the jury: Resh Sidhu (Head of VR at Framestore), Solomon Nwabuezze (Director of Content at Creative England), and Michelle Feuerlicht (Head of Digital at Keo Films).

 

The Interactive Award, for projects that exhibit originality in their approach to form, storytelling and delivery by the jury: Heidelinde Blumers (Web Commissioning Editor at Arte), Sarah Ellis (Director of Digital Development at RSC) and Phil Stuart (Creative Director at Preloaded).

 

The programme will also include the International Premiere of the boundary-defying virtual reality experience and live performance, Doom Room from Danish VR filmmaking studio Makropol.

 

The Alternate Realities Summit, supported by Art Council England curated by Dan Tucker and co-hosted by May Abdalla and Amy Rose from creative collective Anagram presents a day of intriguing talks and demonstrations from the world’s best gaming, interactive and virtual reality makers.

 

The winners of Doc/Fest’s second open Alternate Realities commission worth £10,000, awarded in partnership with FACT and supported by Arts Council England, are Alex Pearson and renowned creative collective Marshmallow Laser Feast. Together they will present the world premiere of the virtual reality experience Future Aleppo. As a way of preserving the culture and history of Aleppo and defying its destruction, Syrian-born Mohammed Kteish tirelessly and lovingly recreated fallen landmarks as paper-craft models.  Re-imagined by the artists through a mix of photogrammetry and 3D modelling, users will be guided in virtual reality by the 15-year-old Mohammed through the buildings, the city and its inhabitants.

The Alternate Realities exhibitions will also include two cross-programme projects with the Film programme: from the award-winning team behind Notes on Blindness, the VR project Unrest VR is an immersive journey into director Jennifer Brea’s experience of an invisible illness, ME, contrasting the solitary confinement of a bedroom world with the kinetic freedom of an inner dreamscape, and in the film programme Brea’s documentary Unrest appears in competition in the Illuminate Award; and Chasing Coral: The VR Experience (Jeff Orlowski) immerses the viewer in the underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef to witness the unprecedented coral bleaching event that occurred  last year, and in the film programme Jeff Orlowski’s Chasing Coral appears in competition in the Environmental Award.

 

An additional three industry sessions include: BAFTA and Virtual Reality and Exploring the Future of Virtual Reality Distribution, Canadian Creative Collaborations: VR & Interactive.

 

See below for full Alternate Realities programme including details for Alternate Realities Summit.

 

In Doc/Fest’s Talks & Sessions programme, many guests will attend the Festival for the first time including Sir Lenny Henry, in a talk supported by Sky, to discuss his drive for reforms in the fields of arts and diversity, and tackling poverty through the charity Comic Relief. In conversation with broadcaster June Sarpong MBE, Sir Lenny will talk about his documentary work for Sky Arts, including a passionate argument for blues music being a tool for change, and how humour remains a powerful means of campaigning through the media. Also speaking attending for the first-time, maverick game-changer Peter Greenaway CBE will talk about his predictions for storytelling and his own work, including the documentary about the life of the German theologian Martin Luther marking 500 years since the Reformation; and Ian Hislop with Jolyon Rubinstein will explore the fundamental role that satire plays in documenting our world and searching for the truth.

Other highlight speakers include Nick Broomfield and Louis Theroux in conversation for this year’s BBC Interview; Nick Broomfield will additionally attend an extended Q&A following the screening of Whitney “Can I Be Me” which explores the career and complex life of Whitney Houston.

World renowned Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani, best-known for designing controversial advertising campaigns for the Italian brand Benetton, will talk about the latest in the series, dissect previous work, and discuss the synergies between photography and film. Conductor Charles Hazlewood will discuss (aided by a piano) My Own Beatles Black Album (made for Sky) in which he examines the break-up of the world’s greatest pop group. Hazelwood has worked with musicians including Wyclef Jean, Professor Green and Nigel Kennedy and was the first conductor to headline Glastonbury with an orchestra.  BAFTA winner Bruce Parry returns to Sheffield talk to journalist and presenter Katie Puckrik about his new feature length doc Tawai – A Voice from the Forest, due for release in cinemas from the Autumn. The film is the result of 5 years work by Bruce who went back to visit the Penan of Borneo, which led him to re-evaluate his views on human nature.

Talks in the Doc/Fest Exchange, developed with Wellcome, will dig deeper into subjects from across the Festival programme and include speakers such as acclaimed Indian documentarian Anand Patwardhan, YouTube sensation Elijah Quashie aka ‘The Chicken Connoisseur’, cultural observer and poet, Naana Orleans Amissah in conversation with Yance Ford, director of Strong Island, and Yorkshire’s Francis Lee (God’s Own Country), whose documentary The Last Smallholder premiered at Doc/Fest 2014, who will talk about his journey from short to long form filmmaking.

 

This year’s Festival includes a new focus on podcast and audio documentaries. In Doc/Fest Exchange, Nick van der Kolk’s award-winning Love+Radio podcast features otherworldly interviews with an eclectic range of subjects, from the seedy to the sublime. Nick will present a new episode live in Doc/Fest Exchange to a blindfolded audience, followed by a Q&A. Radio Atlas: In a Relationship With…, a documentary love story with more drama than a Hollywood romance. Radio Atlas presents a gripping story from one of Denmark's most celebrated podcasts - Third Ear. Radio Atlas is an online platform for subtitled audio, designed to help you explore great documentaries and sound art created in languages you don't necessarily speak. A marketplace round table, All Ears: Making Audio Docs and Podcasts will look at the current needs and interests in terms of new content? This session takes the pulse on the audio industry by inviting key commissioners and production companies to outlines their editorial profiles and commissioning processes.

 

Elsewhere in the Festival, Focus/Industry will include three works-in-progress screenings including from BBC Storyville, The Dread Pirate Roberts (Working Title) directed by Mark Lewis, Emily James, the story of the largest online manhunt in history: the search for the creator of the billion dollar online drug cartel known as Silk Road. Focus/Industry will also include an industry exclusive preview screening of We Were Kings directed by Alex Bescoby, recipient of the 2016 Whicker’s World Foundation £80,000 funding award made at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016. Bescoby portrays a unique rediscovery of Burma’s lost royal family. Deposed and exiled by Britain, they’re now emerging from the shadows in a country experiencing seismic change, and on an unusual quest to bring their family – past and present – back together. For the first time in 2017, the Festival will offer Industry Only screenings for Festival Delegates.

 

Doc/Fest is proud to continue its strong support for new and emerging national and international talent, which benefits both filmmakers and those decision makers looking for the next hot project.

 

A new initiative at this year’s Festival sees Reggie Yates return to Doc/Fest for Doc/Dinner with Reggie Yates, aimed at Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicity (BAME) new and emerging filmmakers who are underrepresented in the film industry. A networking evening hosted by Doc/Fest’s Marketplace & Talent team, selected attending filmmakers aged 18-25 will be invited to join Reggie and Decision Makers from MeetMarket for dinner with a conversational focus on knowledge sharing amongst the group - industry professionals will hear about what motivates emerging filmmakers and discuss new ways of storytelling. Conversely, emerging filmmakers will discover insider tips on navigating the industry and have the chance to ask questions and discuss their ideas and story approaches with industry professionals.

 

This year Doc/Fest also introduces UK Talent Delegations to provide the opportunity for those established in the industry and emerging filmmakers and fresh voices and perspectives, to connect with each other and share information and knowledge for mutual creative and business benefit, with a focus on offering support to under-represented groups. Organisations attending include Mama Youth Project which provides career coaching and opportunities to next generation; Wellcome supported Doc/Fest Researchers bringing together a delegation of postdoctoral scientists and researchers from around the UK; FLAMIN Productions nurtures innovative artists in their professional growth supported by Arts Council England; for Listen To Britain 2017, BBC Four in partnership with BFI, are commissioning bold and original shorts which explore British identity today.

 

Market Mentors is a unique opportunity for new and emerging documentary filmmakers to connect with experienced Executive Producers and industry experts for mentoring and advice about a specific film project. Coordinated by the European Documentary Network (EDN), successful applicants will be given pitch-training and paired with an experienced industry mentor for project-specific feedback and pointers on development, where to go next, and how to improve your chances of securing funding and distribution.

 

Other opportunities for new and emerging talent within Talks & Sessions include: BBC3 documentarian Stacey Dooley returns to Doc/Fest to inspire others about her route into the industry as a film participant aged 21, and her subsequent career, her campaigns against child labour and her latest slate of docs for BBC3; other related industry sessions include How to Break Into The Industry; Youth in Revolt: Making Docs Post-YouTube; and The New Leaders: Developing an Equal & Inclusive Industry, supported by MAMA Youth Project.

 

For a 2nd year, the Festival will also host a Public Debate at the Crucible Theatre, Doc/Question Time: Is the Media Failing to Reflect the Real Opinions of the People?, offering audiences an opportunity to voice opinion, influence debate and hear from a distinguished panel on a subject affecting both UK and global landscapes.  Speakers include the libertarian filmmaker Martin Durkin, the man behind the highly controversial The Great Global Warming Swindle, Thatcher: Death of a Revolutionary, Nigel Farage: Who Are You? and Brexit The Movie, and the writer, broadcaster and former Labour politician Trevor Phillips OBE, who will explore cultural commissioning for the current populist and right wing audiences and whether and how best to reflect the changing global landscape.

 

The series of refreshed genre-based commissioning panels, Commissioner Question Time, will cover both local and global content, for all platforms. Commissioners will share a ‘sneak preview’ of the commission they are most excited about, and more time will be given for open discussion of questions posed by the live audience and via Twitter. Commissioner Question Time panels include: Feature Length for all Platforms; Arts Documentary for all Platforms; Specialist Factual for all Platforms; Factual Entertainment for all Platforms; Shorts for All Platforms. Other sessions exploring the funding of documentaries include Exploring the American Markets, supported by Department of International Trade and featuring double Academy Award winner Simon Chinn.

 

Further industry sessions will include How to Make Fast Turn Around Docs to compliment the brand new Doc/Dispatch initiative supported by Deutsche Welle designed to appeal to producers and filmmakers of topical, urgent and fast turnaround stories from around the world.

 

THE FILM PROGRAMME

The 2017 retrospective, 1967: Summer of Love and Disobedience, includes eight documentaries that capture the zeitgeist of the world 50 years ago. A highlight, and coup for the Festival, is a very rare screening of Silent Revolution / Black Liberation, Edouard (Yves) de Laurot’s lost masterpiece of the civil rights movement featuring Malcolm X and narrated by actor Ossie Davis. Also screening are Peter Whitehead’s Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London illustrates ‘Swinging London’ via a series of psychedelic interviews and live performance by Pink Floyd with the likes of John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Mick Jagger and Vanessa Redgrave. Warrendale - a cinéma vérité study of the lives of twelve emotionally disturbed children - was the controversial debut by Canadian filmmaker Allan King but despite winning awards at Cannes, Warrendale was never subsequently shown on the commissioning broadcaster CBC Television. Portrait of Jason by filmmaker Shirley Clarke, films Jason - a gay African-American hustler - narrating his troubled life to camera over one night in her Hotel Chelsea penthouse apartment in New York.  Six revolutionary filmmakers from the French New Wave – Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, Agnès Varda, Joris Ivens, William Klein and Claude Lelouch – demonstrate their contempt for the Vietnam War in Far From Vietnam from inimitable producer Chris Marker. The ‘happenings’ continue with Murray Lerner’s Academy Award-nominated concert film Festival!, made over three editions of the Newport Folk Festival and featuring the infamous electric set by Bob Dylan; plus Antonello Branco’s What's Happening?, an irreverent portrait of 60s America seen through Beat Generation writers and Pop Artists including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, and Marie Benois. Also screening at this year’s Doc/Fest are two groundbreaking BBC documentaries from 1967, Dispute: Round 1 and Dispute: Round 2, which showed for the first time anywhere the actual events on both sides of a genuine industrial workers union dispute.

The challenges faced by Europe and the wider world due to politically shifting sands and the continuing refugee crisis are highlighted by a number of documentaries in the programme: an uncomfortable image of Britain today emerges in Brexitannia (UK Premiere) as filmmaker Timothy George Kelly travels up and down the British Isles in the period following the referendum to meet with people from both sides of the ballot; the meaning of “freedom” is thoughtfully examined in the World Premiere of academic turned filmmaker Rupert Russell’s Freedom for the Wolf, featuring urgent political perspectives from activists and academics alike. The World Premiere of Nicholas Hampson and Stephen Robert Morse’ Wilders follows right wing populist Geert Wilders as he runs for Dutch Prime Minister, unearthing the man behind the media mask and providing many revelations about “The Dutch Donald Trump”; Fernando León de Aranoa’s Politics, An Instruction Manual (UK premiere) is an inside look at the exhilarating and frustrating work of movement-building worthy of the Spanish party’s name, Podemos (We Can), and palpitates with a vital energy that defines moments of great change; and operating at the intersection of documentary and fiction, Stranger in Paradise (UK Premiere), directed by Guido Hendrikx, investigates uneven power relations, weaving an unflinching narrative of the mechanisms through which Europe manipulates refugees’ desire for happiness.

Marking 70 years since partition, Focus/India takes an insightful celluloid trip to this great and complex continent with highlights including: in Vaishali Sinha’s Ask The Sexpert (European Premiere) the wry, non-judgmental, and most of all practical, sex advice column penned by 91-year-old retired gynaecologist Mahinder Watsa has been a staple for readers (and ruffled moralists) for the Mumbai Mirror since 2005; Smriti Mundhra and Sarita Khurana’s A Suitable Girl (International Premiere) follows three young women in India struggling to maintain their identities and follow their dreams amid intense pressure to get married; and newly digitised from the BFI National Archive, Around India with a Movie Camera is a matchless collection of films shot in pre-independence India.  From the the oldest surviving film of India; Panorama of Calcutta (1899), showing the ghats of Varanasi (1899), to the glorious Tins for India (1941) which finds poetry in the kerosene can, directed by Bimal Roy, one of Indian cinema's greatest directors, these films will be made accessible to audiences in the UK and India, mostly for the first time to view for free on the BFI Player as part of BFI’s year-long India on Film programme. Despite the passing of years since 1947, Pakistan continues to remain unstable; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on the Afghan-Pakistani border, is a place where landmines and suicide bombings are frightfully commonplace. Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Geeta Gandbhir and Academy Award nominated producer Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (Saving Face) show the war still being fought at home in Armed With Faith (World Premiere); and Mo Naqvi explores whether democracy can ever be compatible with his homeland in another World Premiere, Insha'Allah Democracy, nominated for the Tim Hetherington Award, details below.

Focus/UK features new work from homegrown filmmakers and powerful contemporary UK stories including the World Premiere of a profoundly personal film from BAFTA winning Morgan Matthews, The Rise and Fall of Geoffrey Matthews; Clara Glynn and John Archer’s Accidental Anarchist (UK Premiere) explores the possibility of a better society with Carne Ross who resigned from the British Foreign Service and embarks on an extraordinary search for new forms of social and political organisations; rich archive and emotional interviews are at the core of Adam Darke and John Carey’s Forbidden Games (European Premiere), a portrait of British footballer Justin Fashanu, whose open homosexuality in an age of widespread homophobia contributed to his tragic premature demise; and Ayo Akingbade’s hypnotic short Tower XYZ trails three girls meandering through London's concrete jungle as the narrator reflects on the current state of the city, her place within it as a young black woman, and her hopes and dreams for an imagined future.

The exploration of queer history continues throughout the Festival; David France, director of the Academy Award nominated How To Survive A Plague, returns with the International Premiere of The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson, a gripping and inspiring story about the beginning of the modern transgender movement; Catherine Gund and Daresha Kyi’s Chavela (UK Premiere) is a moving portrait of the androgynous and openly lesbian singing legend Chavela Vargas, who Mexicans took to their hearts; the World Premiere of Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution sees Yony Leyser profile the queer fanzine scene which evolved when the punk and Gay Rights movements considered some individuals just too out there to be let in.

LGBTQ+ archive on film is explored in a Drag Double-Bill with material taken from the BFI National Archive; Black Cap Drag, a rare surviving record of 1960s drag performance at Camden's Black Cap pub; and What’s A Girl Like You…?, which captures the UK drag scene of the late 60s, from the northern drag circuit down to the London’s legendary Royal Vauxhall Tavern. This 1960s drag double-bill offers a sneak preview of the BFI’s LGBT50 project.

The focus shifts to modern queer identities with the World Premiere of Mr Gay Syria from director Ayse Toprak, following two gay Syrian refugees who are trying to rebuild their shattered lives via a shared dream to win an international beauty contest; plus Dream Boat (UK Premiere), from German director Tristan Ferland Milewski, casts us adrift amongst the international male-only cruisers aboard a party boat bound for the Canary Islands.

Grand Jury Award supported by Screen International & Broadcast

Jury: Andrea Arnold (Filmmaker), Anand Pathwardan (Filmmaker), Paul Mason (Writer, Filmmaker)
(Full list of Grand Jury Award nominees listed above)

Chosen from a selection of the best films in the programme, the Grand Jury Award will honour one film that best displays excellence in style, substance and approach to documentary filmmaking.

Art Doc Award

Jury: Nico Marzano (Cinema and Film Programme Manager at ICA), Renée Mussai (Curator and Head of Archive at Autograph ABP), Sophia Al Maria (Filmmaker)

In its first year at Sheffield Doc/Fest, the Art Doc Award celebrates new forms of documentary storytelling and recognises bold, innovative non-fiction films; in City of the Sun (UK Premiere), first time filmmaker Rati Oneli moves seamlessly between fact and fiction, zooming in on the joys and woes of four different sets of lives in what remains of a small mining town in Georgia; at the National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico revelry engulfs the town for an entire ten days and this amazing celebration of technical virtuosity is captured with stunning cinematography in the European Premiere of Brimstone & Glory from director Viktor Jakovleski; My Mother is Pink, receives its International Premiere at this year’s Festival and Cecilie Debell creates a moving, funny, almost disarmingly vibrant family story following performance artist Michael Richardt and his mother Malou on a family road trip of rediscovery, where imagination and tolerance are key; the UK Premiere of David Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s Do Donkeys Act? - a hybrid documentary filmed over five years - subtly subverts the notion of the ‘dumb beast’ and instead promotes the stubborn donkey to the role of leading man, complete with poetic reflections voiced by actor Willem Dafoe; another morphing of fact and fiction comes in the UK Premiere of Drib, Kristoffer Borgli’s re-enactment of the failed, violent marketing scheme for a well known energy drink which exposes and revels in the media manipulation that took place; and bookended by the opening and the sealing of two separate time capsules is In Time to Come (UK Premiere), Pin Pin Tan’s (Singapore Gaga) filmic vessel through past, present and future which forces us to reflect on the banal, often forgotten details of daily life.

Environmental Award supported by Discovery Communications

Jury: Hajooj Kuka (Filmmaker), James Sadri (Campaigner, Organiser), Liz Cook (Director of Documentary at Kickstarter)

Awarded to the documentary that best addresses or raises awareness of the environmental challenges faced by the world this year’s Environmental Award shortlist examines how scientists, photojournalists and activists are joining together through filmmaking to report on how the natural world endures and challenges forces beyond its control. Chasing Coral from Emmy-award winner Jeff Orlowski (Chasing Ice) uses ground-breaking underwater technology to capture a three year journey by divers, photographers and scientists to document the annihilation of crucial coral eco-systems from international waters; in Thank You for the Rain (UK Premiere), ‘the mother of all living things’, is explored as Kisilu, a Kenyan farmer and unlikely activist, joins forces with Norwegian director Julia Dahr in a desperate attempt show the world the devastating effects of climate change; in Trophy (UK Premiere) photojournalist Shaul Schwarz and co-director Christina Clusiau focus their lenses on the ethical dilemma of whether big game hunting and wildlife conservation can truly co-exist. A River Below (European Premiere) highlights the alliance between a renowned marine biologist and a reality TV star both campaigning to save Brazil’s pink river dolphin, whilst also posing questions about the ethics of activism in the modern media age; in The Last Animals (European Premiere) another photojournalist Kate Brooks responds to the pan African poaching epidemic and ventures between African front lines and the depths of Asia’s markets to tell the story of an extraordinary group of individuals battling poachers and animal trafficking syndicates; and in the the cryptically titled Dead Donkeys Fear No Hyenas (UK Premiere), Swedish director Joakim Demmer uncovers the Ethiopian government’s practice of leasing masses of farmland to foreign investors, asking questions about the role the World Bank plays in both the evictions of farmers and the environmental fall-outs of such land grabbing.

Tim Hetherington Award supported by Dogwoof

Jury: Joanna Natasegara (Founder and Producer at Violet Films), Brenda Coughlin (Producer), Wendy Ide (Film Critic)

The Tim Hetherington Award, to recognise a film and filmmaker which best reflects journalist Tim Hetherington’s legacy, was first featured at Doc/Fest in 2013. This year for the first time a Jury will consider six nominations; the World Premiere of Even When I Fall from directors Kate McLarnon and Sky Neal and produced by Elhum Shakerifar tells the incredible story young circus artists, trafficked as children and now adapting their skills to educate crowds against modern day slavery; young activists also feature in Whose Streets? (European Premiere), as storyteller Sabaah Folayan and artists Damon Davis show how community protests following the killing of 18-year-old Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri resulted in a new civil rights movement; justice is also the focus of director Yance Ford’s Strong Island (UK Premiere) as the scars of her brother’s death run deep twenty-five years on in this stylish, searing and accomplished portrait of grief; the inspiring Mama Colonel (UK Premiere) works for the Congolese police force, protecting minors and fighting sexual violence, and filmmaker Dieudo Hamadi follows this brave and tenacious woman as she faces new challenges fighting for justice in a country still trying to overcome its horrific past. Winnie is another story of a strong woman, this time South Africa’s former first lady Winnie Mandela - labelled a sinner as her husband was labelled a saint - the mysterious forces that combined to bring her down are examined in this European Premiere from multi-award winning Pascale Lamche; plus in an intensely personal exploration of the politics of post- 9/11 Pakistan, filmmaker Mohammad Naqvi asks in Insha'Allah Democracy (World Premiere) if democracy is compatible with an unstable Muslim country as he goes in search of a leader who can keep him safe in a climate of escalating terror.

Illuminate Award supported by Wellcome

Jury: Simran Hans (Journalist, Programmer and Producer at Bechdel Test Fest), Chiara Marañón (Programming Director at MUBI), Sophie Monks Kaufman (Journalist)

This new award for Sheffield Doc/Fest, supported by Wellcome explores the screen chemistry between vibrant storytelling and scientific understanding.

In the filmic experiment …When You Look Away (UK Premiere) Phie Ambo (Family, Gambler) wonders if consciousness exists outside our body as, having dabbled in quantum physics, she knows that nothing is as it seems; Thomas Fuerhapter’s visually striking and thought provoking essay The Third Option (UK Premiere) examines the ethical quagmire posed by the latest prenatal testing and the implications for parents if their foetus tests outside the norm. In Unrest (UK Premiere), filmmaker Jennifer Brea needed to make sense of the debilitating, leaden tiredness that took hold of her and with many questions left unanswered by medical experts, Brea turns to the internet and finds not only that her condition has a name—myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)—but along with it a supportive community of sufferers; Japanese punk-rocker-turned-Buddhist-priest, Ittetsu Nemoto has made a career out of helping suicidal people but this work has come at great personal cost. Emmy-award winning director Lana Wilson (After Tiller) captures Nemoto at this crossroads of faith in The Departure (European Premiere); Janet Tobias’ absorbing Unseen Enemy (UK Premiere) hears from the doctors and nurses braving the front-line of our deadliest enemies -Ebola, SARS, AIDS, Zika - telling us now is no time to bury our heads in the sand. The European Premiere of Florian Habicht’s Spookers reveals the transformative and paradoxically lifesaving power of belonging to a community that celebrates fear.

Short Doc Award: supported by Virgin Money Sheffield Lounge

Jury: Eloise King (Executive Producer at VICE and i-D & Amuse, Co-Founder of Women on Docs), José Rodriguez (Director of Documentary Programs at Tribeca Film Institute), Mustafa Khalili, Filmmaker, (Deputy Global Head of Video and Audio at The Guardian)

Sheffield Doc/Fest is delighted to be a Festival selector for the Best Documentary Short at the Academy Awards; the Short Doc Award winner is automatically eligible for selection at the an Academy Awards in 2018. The Short Doc Award celebrates the best short films made by emerging and established filmmakers from around the world.

In an uncertain age the World Premiere of Steve Hawley’s War Memorial becomes altogether more poignant when this montage of filmed messages from WWII soldiers stationed overseas is viewed through a modern prism; in The Rabbit Hunt, Patrick Bresnan’s compelling short on tradition and necessity, a Florida dawn is disrupted by an urgent call to a family alerting them of a unique field-to-fork opportunity; Jonathas de Andrade captures the athletic physiques of fishermen during a surreal, tender ritual along the Sao Francisco river, North East of Brazil in The Fish; Laura Checkoway’s Edith+Eddie (European Premiere), tells the story of America's oldest interracial newlyweds, and how their happiness together is potentially threatened by callous institutional forces; blurring fantasy and reality Raj and the Rebellion, a World Premiere short from director Nathan Reich, takes us inside the complicated fantasy life of Raj - a shy 15 year old boy dedicated to the game of LARP (Live Action Role Play); and a heart-breaking testimonial comes via the European Premiere of Waiting for Hassana from director Ifunanya Maduka. Jessica, an escapee, shares her haunting account of a friendship violently interrupted by Boko Haram in 2014 - essential viewing in this third year anniversary of the Chibok child abductions.

New Talent Award

Jury: Julia Nottingham (Head of Documentary at Pulse), Laure Bonville (Film Programmer at BFI London Film Festival), Reggie Yates (Filmmaker and Broadcaster)

An integral part of Doc/Fest is the nurturing of new talent and this award discovers and showcases the future of documentary film; the International Premiere of Eduardo Esquivel’s short Uriel y Jade examines how choreographer Uriel has surrendered his trans identity, Jade, to the conservative spiritualism of his hometown Mezcala, Mexico, under the belief that he needs redemption; the devastating Chilean earthquake of 2010 left many historic neighbourhoods in ruins and Antúnez House (World Premiere) from director Nora Niasari tells how the destruction of one such house revealed a divided family within; we stay in South America for Artemio, (International Premiere), as anthropologist-filmmaker Sandra Luz López Barroso quietly observes ten-year-old Californian born Artemio as he joins his mother in Mexico, far away from everything he knows; Emma Charles takes us inside Stockholm’s Pionen Data Center in her film White Mountain (UK Premiere) to explore a mysterious subterranean structure residing 30 metres below the earth's surface - an architectural paean to science fiction; via the dreamy realm of nature and the abstract use of archival footage comes a film about the director’s religious father and his mental condition, in You Are Still Somebody’s Someone (International Premiere) a short from Denmark’s Esther Wellejus; Denmark is also the location for Ubermensch (World Premiere) a short from Jesper Dalgaard as a pair of teen Goths prepare a ritual in a vacant coastal church, exploring their angst and pursuing their own personal Jesus.

Youth Jury Award:

In a category overseen by judges aged 18 - 22 the Sheffield Doc/Fest Youth Jury will decide between five innovative shortlisted films; Egil Håskjold Larsen’s hauntingly poetic 69 Minutes of 86 Days (UK Premiere) is a remarkable birds-eye view of migration as seen through the eyes of a three year old Lean as she travels with her family from Sweden to Syria; in Jaha's Promise (UK Premiere) Kate O'Callaghan and Patrick Farrelly follow a courageous young woman who, despite being subjected to both FGM at birth and forced marriage at fifteen, feels compelled to return to her native Gambia and save other young girls from the same grisly fate. The precarity of modern motoring comes swerving into view via Dmitrii Kalashnikov’s The Road Movie (UK Premiere), an extraordinary collection of dashboard-cam footage and an eccentric portrait of contemporary Russia through the front windscreen. In a clever twist on a look back at historically racist urban planning, director Theo Anthony uses the rat - and the humans that love and loathe them - to explore the history of Baltimore in a new feature simply entitled Rat Film (UK Premiere); and in a documentary that could hardly be more worryingly topical, The Bomb (UK Premiere) from filmmakers Kevin Ford, Smriti Keshari and Fast Food Nation writer Eric Schlosser, shows the dark history of nuclear weapons as a montage played out against a throbbing electronic soundtrack by The Acid.

The Awards Ceremony will take place on the evening of 13 June at the Crucible Theatre.

 

Alternate Realities:

Alternate Realities: Immersive VR and Interactive Exhibitions at Millennium Gallery

Visitors will have the chance to experience eight immersive virtual reality and nine interactive installations from eight different countries in the Alternate Realities Exhibition at The Millennium Gallery.

Five of the VR projects are World Premieres including Greenpeace’s Munduruku: The Fight to Defend the Heart of the Amazon  (Grace Boyle, James Manisty) which combines cutting edge and multisensory storytelling to immerse us in the lives and struggle of the Munduruku indigenous people deep in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Using the latest research in infant neural development and colour vision, First Impressions (Francesca Panetta, Nicole Jackson) from The Guardian VR team, allows the user to experience and interact with the world from a baby’s point of view. Alex Pearson and Marshmallow Laser Feast’s Future Aleppo VR experience is an original commission from Sheffield Doc/Fest in partnership with FACT with support from Arts Council England, encouraging users to explore Mohammed Kteish’s vision for the reconstruction of his fallen city. Following on from her previous works, Jane Gauntlett returns with In My Shoes: Intimacy, a 360 degree experience for two which explores human connection – participants must put aside inhibitions and be guided by strangers through their impromptu, unconventional, and intense moments of intimacy. In Ink Stories’ Blindfold (Navid Khonsari, Vassiliki Khonsari) the user must navigate moral choices in Iran’s Evin Prison in a visceral interactive experience that unveils the all too frequent human rights violations against journalists.

The International Premiere from the team behind Notes on Blindness Unrest VR is an immersive journey into director Jen Brea’s experience of an invisible illness, ME, contrasting the solitary confinement of a bedroom world with the kinetic freedom of an inner dreamscape - the documentary Unrest is in the film programme, competing for the Illuminate Award.  Trafficked (Owain Rich, Charlie Newland – UK Premiere) is an animated virtual reality documentary that follows those who have experienced trafficking and forced prostitution in Mexico.

DeathTolls Experience (Ali Eslami) is a virtual journey from the refugee crisis in Europe to the bloodbath in Syria, bringing the dry ‘data reality’ of the news into an emotional perspective.

In the interactive displays there are eight exhibits where audiences can play ‘real life story’ games via computers, tablets, and phones. Artists and digital technologists are increasingly using augmented reality to enrich the real world with digital information, creating a previously-unseen ‘mixed reality’ - mining WikiLeaks to find an unlikely story of love in the workplace, Anna Ridler’s Wikileaks: A Love Story is the World Premiere of her installation using data from real emails to construct a romance from start to finish. The International Premiere of Marty Flanagan’s Lawren Harris: Where the Universe Sings uses augmented reality to peel back the layers of the Canadian artist’s paintings to reveal the places and processes that led to the creation of his most prominent artwork.

Gonzalo Alvarez’s retro video game with meaning Borders (World Premiere) is a political art game simulating the dangers Mexican immigrants face crossing the border.

Two artists use the interactive graphic novel as their storytelling medium: describing a desperate scientific mission during WWII which started Britain’s enduring alliance with the USA today, the BBC’s Michael Orwell will present the World Premiere of Tell Me Your Secrets imagining the consequences had the meetings ended differently. These Memories Won’t Last (Stu Campbell) tells the true story of an aging grandfather suffering from dementia.

Interactive web based documentaries include: The Space We Hold (Patricia Lee, Chris Kang, Tiffany Hsiung – World Premiere), a direct provocation to bear witness to the testimonies of three so called ‘comfort women’, who are among the oldest living survivors of militarized sexual violence in the world today; My Grandmother’s Lingo (Gina McKeon, Boris Etingof, Angelina Joshua – European Premiere) is an online interactive film using voice-activated technology, animation, and gaming to tell the story of a young Aboriginal woman from  North East Arnhem Land. The World in Ten Blocks (Robinder Uppal, Marc Serpa Francoeu – International Premiere) explores the diversity of Toronto’s Bloorcourt neighbourhood through the stories of its immigrant small business owners. White Spots (Jacqueline Hassink, Richard Vijgen – UK premiere) helps audiences visualise the invisible electromagnetic cloud that we live in and to find a way out to places off the grid.

Alternate Realities: Virtual Reality Portal on Tudor Square

New for 2017, the Virtual Reality Portal is a transportative 360° projection dome on Tudor Square which will include four Alternate Realities projects for audiences to enjoy as a powerful communal experience with friends, families and strangers. A special preview of Google’s VOYAGER includes two highly anticipated chapters celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the Golden Record - which, forty years ago, attempted to communicate the story of the human race and Planet Earth to life beyond our solar system.

The first is the World Premiere of Beethoven’s Fifth a journey into interstellar space with a performance of Beethoven’s ‘Fifth Symphony: First Movement’ by the London Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen; the second is Navajo Nation (Jessica Brillhart/Google) will feature four vignettes of Navajo life, each extending from a sunrise over Monument Valley.

VR creators are also looking at the environmental and ecological issues our planet faces: Chasing Coral: The VR Experience (Jeff Orlowski) USA European premiere (documentary Chasing Choral is in the film programme, competing for the Environment Award) documents the 2016 coral bleaching event at the Great Barrier Reef.  The World Premiere of Planet 360 (Momoko Seto) looks at a world in ruins, where only fungi and mould grow in the middle of gigantic dried insect bodies and the fascinating effects of flooding on a previously arid plant.

Alternate Realities Virtual Reality Campfire Dome

The VR Campfire Dome is an intimate space filled with touching personal stories from around the world: In Yeh Ballet (Sooni Taraporevala – World Premiere) two boys from Mumbai follow their dreams of being the principal ballet dancers in companies which take them from the slums of India to the USA. The chance to explore Asia’s largest desert with the legendary explorer Roy Chapman Andrews, Fossil Hunting in the Gobi (Erin Chapman, Jason Drakeford) transports viewers back to the 1920s through the unique use of archival material. Shot entirely on location in maximum security prisons, Step to the Line (Ricardo Laganaro – European Premiere) aims to provoke a transformation in the spectator towards prisoners, the prison system and even themselves. Filmed in Sierra Leone, Mary Matheson’s Mamie’s Dream (UK Premiere) is the protagonist’s struggle against forced Female Genital Mutilation. Spirit Robot (Jonathan Dotse – UK Premiere) captures the dynamism and ambition of the Chale Wote Street Art Festival in Accra, Ghana, which is driving an art renaissance in the city’s public spaces.

Alternate Realities Summit

The Alternate Realities Summit, supported by Arts Council, England, curated by Dan Tucker and co-hosted by May Abdalla and Amy Rose from creative collective Anagram on Sunday 11 June presents a day of intriguing talks and demonstrations from the world’s best gaming, interactive and virtual reality makers.

The theme of the morning is ‘Reflections’. Interactive and immersive storytellers will talk about how they use the latest digital technology to create experiences that examine who we are. The Opening keynote, Play Like You Mean It is from Phil Stuart, Creative Director of Preloaded and leader of Games with Purpose who will talk about the new generation of mesmerising, meaningful games for grown ups, and explains how games are changing the way we think about ourselves and others. It’s A Family Affair: Small Stories Big Meaning chaired by Verity McKintosh (Pervasive Media Studio) with panellists Stu Campbell (Sutu Eats Flies), Gonzalo Alvarez (Gonzzink), Alex Pearson (Red Thread Media) and Jennifer Brea (director) looks at family history through digital innovation, preservation and play and consider how do digital storytellers use technology to preserve stories of heritage and home? Choose Your Own Misadventure chaired by Holly Nielsen (journalist), with speakers Mike Orwell (BBC) and Vassiliki (INK Stories) will examine the role of the audience as co-storyteller and the impact of agency on our understanding and investment in factual stories.

The theme of the afternoon is ‘Togetherness’. Interactive and immersive storytellers explore how reality-bending media is uniting us in both the virtual and real world. From tree hugging in VR, to finding secrets in augmented reality, the afternoon summit sessions celebrate the makers and experiences that bring us closer together. Sharing Our Imagination, Robin McNicholas describes how Marshmallow Laser Feast use tech such as light cameras, artificial intelligence and haptics to build virtual worlds that encourage us to connect as a collective. In Join the Resistance - chaired by Charlotte Mikkelborg (VR director and journalist), and panellists Ali Eslami (Artist), Anna Ridler (Artist), Ché Ramsden (Amnesty International UK and Darren Emerson (VR City/East City Films) will look at how new technology empowers us to express our opinions and protest the injustices we see around us. Of Worlds and Visitors Jessica Brillhart (Google) presents the beginnings of an ambitious new project – VOYAGER – which aims to re-imagine the content of the Golden Record – a message from the Human race to life beyond our solar system, originally created by Carl Sagan and his team and commissioned by NASA In 1977.

 

Ends

 

For further information contact:

Sarah Harvey Publicity

Sarah Harvey sarah@sarahharveypublicity.co.uk

Hayley Willis hayley@sarahharveypublicity.co.uk

Katy Driscoll katy@sarahharveypublicity.co.uk

+44 (0) 207 732 7790

 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE WORLD PREMIERES

American Valhalla          

Antúnez House

Armed with Faith             

Around India with a Movie Camera

Brasilia, Life after Design             

Bruk Out!             

Daughters of Destiny - Episodes 1 & 2                                       

Even When I Fall              

Freedom for the Wolf    

Geek Girls           

Insha'Allah Democracy                  

Leonora Carrington - The Lost Surrealist              

Lost in Vagueness           

Love and Hate Crime     

Mr Gay Syria                       

Oink       

Queerama          

Queercore: How To Punk a Revolution

The Oweds          

The Rise and Fall of Geoffrey Matthews                

Wilders                 

 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE INTERNATIONAL PREMIERES

A Modern Man

A Suitable Girl 

Artemio                

Bending the Arc                

Mada Underground        

My Mother is Pink            

On the Edge of Freedom                

Strike a Rock

The Cage Fighter              

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson            

The Work             

Wasted! The Story of Food Waste            

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE EUROPEAN PREMIERES

A River Below    

Ask the Sexpert                

Brimstone & Glory          

Elián      

Forbidden Games            

Lindy Lou, Juror Number 2           

Out of Thin Air   

Quest   

Spettacolo          

Spookers              

Step       

The Departure

The Last Animals              

Whose Streets?                

Winnie

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE UK PREMIERES

69 Minutes of 86 Days 

Accidental Anarchist     

Almost Heaven                  

Beuys   

Brexitannia        

Chavela                

City of Ghosts   

City of the Sun

Dead Donkeys Fear No Hyenas

Death in the Terminal 

Dina      

Do Donkeys Act?              

Dream Boat       

DRIB      

Dries                       

For Ahkeem        

Ghost Hunting 

Give Me Future                  

In Time to Come                

Jaha's Promise ...

Joe Cocker: Mad Dog with Soul

La Chana              

Long Strange Trip             

Mama Colonel

Motherland       

Nobody Speak: Trials of a Free Press

Ouaga Girls        

Politics, An Instruction Manual                

Radio Kobani    

Rage

Railway Sleepers             

Risk        

School Life          

Singing with Angry Bird

Soldier

Still Tomorrow

Stranger in Paradise      

Strong Island     

Thank You for the Rain 

The Bomb            

The Force             

The Gaze Of The Sea       

The Road Movie                

The Third Option              

The Trial - The State of Russia vs. Oleg Sentsov

The Workers Cup              

Trophy

Ulysses in the Subway

Undo     

Unrest

Unseen Enemy

Venus   

When You Look Away    

Whitney: Can I Be Me    

You Have No Idea How Much I Love You                

SHEFFIELD DOC/FEST MEETMARKET FILMS

Accidental Anarchist

Even When I Fall

Out of Thin Air   

Thank You for the Rain

Unrest

Winnie

 

About Sheffield Doc/Fest

Sheffield Doc/Fest is a world leading and the UK’s premier documentary festival, celebrating the art and business of documentary and all non-fiction visual storytelling.

Operating in the heart of the UK, Sheffield Doc/Fest is a hub for all documentary and non-fiction content across all platforms, from feature length to shorts, and including interactive and virtual reality projects.

The Festival comprises:

- Film programme for the very best international screenings;

- Alternate Realities for digital and interactive innovation;

- Talks & Sessions to inspire, inform and for debate;

- Marketplace & Talent for international business and training;

- Social, live events and networking;

- All Year screenings, talks and training for outside the festival period.

Sheffield Doc/Fest takes place 9-14 June 2017.

 

https://sheffdocfest.com