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Sheffield Doc/Fest is thrilled to welcome the Youth Jury programme for its 12th year in 2018. Five young film enthusiasts will be offered the opportunity to meet key figures within the industry, curate a selection of films for the Festival, and select the winner of the Youth Jury Award announced at the Sheffield Doc/Fest Awards Ceremony. 


Sheffield Doc/Fest welcomes applicants from a variety of backgrounds, with no special qualifications or experience needed. If you are aged 18-22, based in the UK, and have a passion for documentary and the media industry, this is the programme for you.

This free programme believes in offering equal opportunities for young people wishing to enter the film industry from production to distribution, curation, film marketing and criticism. It is a tremendous way to see how an international film festival and jury work, and will allow you to have your say about the best documentary films being made today. Previous Youth Jury Award Winners have included 69 Minutes of 86 Days (2017), Sonita (2016), 3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets (2015) and The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz (2014).

Past jurors have gone on to work with broadcasters including the BBC, Channel 4 and ITN; made shorts and feature length documentaries for commissioners including BBC Three; programmed films, produced panels for festivals and gone on to write for Sight & Sound magazine.


- Successful applicants will attend a two-day Youth Jury Lab in London on February 15 and 16.

- During the Lab you will meet leading organisations from across the industry of production, distribution, curation and exhibition of film.

- You will also have the opportunity to watch and discuss new films and attend a session at BFI Future Film Festival

- Jurors will attend a further one day lab on April 6 in Sheffield to finalise their programme nominations and festival preparation

- Youth Jurors will also receive a Full Festival Pass to attend Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018.

- You will attend screenings of the selected Youth Jury films and a deliberation during the Festival, selecting the winner of the Youth Jury Award 2018.

- Travel and accommodation costs will be covered for both the London Lab and Sheffield events.

- Each Youth Juror will receive a personal mentorship session at the beginning and end of the programme with the Doc/Fest team


Jurors need to be available for the following activity:

- January 15-16, Interviews

- February 15-16, Workshop

- April 6, Programming

- June 7-12, Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018 


- Applications are only open to individuals aged 18-22 based in the UK

- The application deadline is Monday January 8 12:00 (Midday GMT)

- Interviews will be held at the Sheffield office or via Skype on January 15 and 16 2018. Unfortunately we cannot cover travel for this, but please do get in touch to discuss further.



For further enquiries about the programme or on how to apply, please contact Hannah McHaffie, Programme Coordinator: hannah.mchaffie@sidf.co.uk

Meet some previous Youth Jurors:

Simran Hans

Simran Hans now writes for publications including Sight & Sound, Dazed, Little White Lies and is a film critic for Observer New Review

“From meeting Michael Palin to the David Bowie-themed roller disco, my experience at Sheffield Doc/Fest was a whirlwind. The one event that stands out in my memory though, is listening to Ira Glass (the host of 'This American Life') discuss the nuances of radio documentary as part of the Festival's cutting-edge industry programme, in a chapel no less.”

Parmida Mahalli

Parmida Mahalli is one of our latest Youth Jury Alumni from 2017

“Being part of the Youth Jury was one of the best experiences of my life. I made friends that had diverse interests and was able to meet industry professionals and make great contacts. The festival itself is great fun, but the time you spend with other jurors beforehand is very helpful, and you get to visit several production companies and watch stunning documentaries.”

Alex Lancastle

Alex Lancastle is one of our latest Youth Jury Alumni from 2017, after the festival he’s continued to work with Doc/Fest undertaking an internship

“Sitting on the Youth Jury at Doc/Fest was simply one of the best experiences of my early career. The team really went above and beyond in providing us with the most valuable and insightful experience as possible. We had masterclasses with industry professionals, chances to network and meet new people, whilst watching and debating as many films as possible! I since went on to complete a 3-month internship at Doc/Fest, and have the team to thank for equipping me with the knowledge and experience for a career in film.”

Alice Carder

Alice Carder since gained the confidence to pitch her first documentary, which was commissioned by BBC Three.

“Sheffield Doc/Fest is my home from home and always will be. It's where I feel happiest, most stimulated intellectually and inspired by the like-minded people around me, the collaborative, friendly vibe and the mind-blowing films which never fail to bring a tear to my eye and an openness to my heart.”


Chadwick Jackson

Chadwick Jackson has since curated a short film programme at Flat Pack Film Festival, and is currently a Junior Digital Producer, as well as a director of an interactive documentary.

“In a World that often forget that young people are the next generation, the Sheffield Doc/Fest family makes sure the younger people of the Documentary family are looked after. My stand-out moment was when I met Walter Murch and although I did not have the vaguest clue who this man was, I started talking to a stranger who turns out to be his wife. She then introduced me and we had a very spontaneous conversation. Everyone at Doc/Fest was incredible, they went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure I was a part of the group and stayed fully engaged in the process of being a jury member.”