Meet the Team

Melanie Iredale

Interim Director

E: melanie.iredale [at]

Melanie has been part of the Doc/Fest family since 2010: first as Development Consultant, appointed to Deputy Director in 2014, and currently serving as Interim Director. Born and bred in Yorkshire, Melanie’s background is as a film curator and festival producer, having worked for various venues and events across the North. As former Director of Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival on the English-Scottish border, she commissioned new moving image works and installations for heritage sites, which have since gone on to tour to festivals and galleries around the world. As part of her remit, Melanie samples the Doc/Fest pale ale each June to check it’s up to scratch, just for you.

Lena Nitsch

Administrative & Executive Assistant

E: lena.nitsch [at]

Born in a small town in Austria near the Hungarian boarder, Lena moved to Vienna to do her master's degree in theatre, film and media at the University of Vienna. During that time she started to work for the Viennale (Vienna International Film Festival), the Vienna Film Commission and the Diagonale (Festival of the Austrian Film). She also wrote for print and online magazines as a film critic. Later she moved to Munich to work for several German independent film distributors as a marketing manager. Since 2017 Lena is part of the Doc/Fest team and loves discussing her passion for European arthouse movies with little dialogue. From Michael Haneke over Maren Ade to Aki Kaurismäki.

Partnerships & Development
Sylvia Bednarz

Director of Partnerships & Development

E: sylvia.bednarz [at]

Ahead of joining the Doc/Fest team in 2013, Sylvia worked in documentary film and TV production, beginning her career as Production Coordinator on the feature documentary The Age of Stupid. She then joined Current TV as an Associate Producer, working alongside the commissioning editor to manage both single and series documentaries from development through to broadcast. At Doc/Fest Sylvia develops new and existing partnerships across the UK and internationally.


Mita Suri

Film Programme Coordinator

E: mita.suri [at]

Alternate Realities
Joe Cutts

Alternate Realities Programmer & Producer

E: joe.cutts [at]

Joe has nine years experience exhibiting nationally and internationally as a video installation artist, as well as a freelance film programmer since 2013. He joined the Doc/Fest team first volunteering at the Festival in 2010 and has since developed through the organisation. He worked across the Film & Alternate Realities programmes year round, programming new and multidisciplinary artworks for exhibition whilst specialising in set design and display and serving the film team coordinating the main programme and leading on the Free Screen outdoor programme. Joe is Alternate Realities Programmer & Producer, leading on producing the festival and year round national and international Alternate Realities touring activity. Call Joe if you would like to know more about how to get your project considered for Sheffield Doc/Fest.

Talks & Sessions

Nigel Fischer

Head of Talks & Sessions

E: nigel.fischer [at]

Nigel Fischer leads on the curation and production of the public talks and industry sessions strand of the Festival, having previously worked for Doc/Fest as producer of the Crossover Summit (now Alternate Realities Summit). Before joining Sheffield Doc/Fest, Nigel worked as Project Manager for independent arts agency, The Culture Company, where he produced and managed cultural projects, artist support programmes and public art events.

Marketplace & Talent

Karolina Lidin

Marketplace Executive Producer

E: karolina.lidin [at]

Karolina was part of the very first MeetMarket with former CEO Heather Croall in Adelaide, and was part of the project committee for the first few MeetMarkets at Doc/Fest. In 2008 Karolina became the Marketplace Executive Producer.

Patrick Hurley

Director of Marketplace & Talent

E: patrick.hurley [at]

Patrick runs Doc/Fest’s international Marketplace connecting filmmakers with industry Decision Makers to get new documentaries made and seen. He also oversees the Festival’s All Year talent development programmes. Formerly Distribution Manager at Dogwoof from 2012-16, Patrick has worked closely with filmmakers, producers and partners on a diverse slate of over 100 documentary releases including The Act of Killing, Blackfish, Cartel Land, Concerning Violence, The Confession, Dior and I, Dreamcatcher, Leviathan, The Look of Silence, Speed Sisters, Ken Loach’s The Spirit of ‘45 and Michael Moore’s Where to Invade Next. Prior to working on documentaries, Patrick studied Economics and subsequently taught Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. Contact Patrick to discuss new projects.

Manon Euler

Marketplace & Talent Coordinator

E: manon.euler [at]

After completing a Higher School Preparatory Class in Literature and Humanities, Manon graduated with a BA in Cultural Mediation from the Sorbonne. She then moved to Copenhagen to study Films and Media. While doing her MA, Manon worked as an International assistant for Creative Europe Denmark and for the Danish Film Institute’s International co-production office. After graduating, she worked as a Market assistant at Nordisk Panorama, the Nordic Short & Doc Film Festival, and briefly interned for CPH:DOX, before starting working for Sheffield Doc/Fest. In her free time, Manon enjoys arguing about politics and criticising British cuisine.

Press & Marketing
Marta Berto

Marketing Manager
E: marta.berto [at]

Production, Operations, HR & Finance

Mat Steel

Head of Production

E: mat.steel [at]

Since 1998, Mat has worked in both production and artist roles on numerous film, sound, and arts events, at festivals and galleries in the UK and abroad. He became a freelance production manager in 2003, and first contributed to Sheffield Doc/Fest in 2004, working on every Doc/Fest since then in an ever growing capacity. As Head of Production, he delivers all the technical elements of the event, books all venues, and oversees event safety.

Maria Stoneman

Head of Operations & HR

E: maria.stoneman [at]

Originally from a theatre production background, Maria's first taste of Doc/Fest was in 2012, when she was lucky enough to be part of the team to produce the World premiere of the archive film From the Sea To The Land Beyond. She returned as the Doc/Fest Production Assistant in March 2013, and later that year became the Festival Administrator. Maria was appointed Operations Manager in 2015 and oversees all things HR, Volunteers, Delegate Registration, Ticketing and Hospitality.

Alex Lancastle

Operations Assistant
E: alex.lancastle [at]

Coming from a production background, having worked on projects for the BBC, Channel 4’s Random Acts, and Creative England, Alex got his first taste of Doc/Fest back in 2016 where he volunteered as part of the Film Crew. The following year he was part of the Youth Jury and then went on to complete the Festival Assistant internship programme straight after. Since then, Doc/Fest hasn’t really been able to get rid of Alex, where he’s worked as Operations Assistant for the last two festivals.

Fiona Outram

Finance Manager

E: fiona.outram [at]

Fiona has 17 years’ accounting experience in various industries including Real Estate Investment Management, Manufacturing, Reprographics and Brand Management. Before embarking on her career in finance, she worked as a lifeguard and as a kitchen porter, and outside of work her hobbies include herding cats. This CV made her the ideal candidate to lead the finance team at Doc/Fest when the role came up in 2015.

Cassie Fletcher

Assistant Accountant

E: cassie.fletcher [at]

Cassie wanted to be a banker, but she lost interest. So instead she joined the Doc/Fest team. At Doc/Fest Cassie assists with the accounts. Please contact her if you have any exciting questions about VAT.

Hazel McKenna

Assistant Accountant

E: hazel.mckenna [at]