Announcing our Alternate Realities Collaboration with the IDA

Sheffield DocFest and IDA logos

We are pleased to announce our collaboration with the International Documentary Association (IDA) for the Alternate Realities Exhibition and Summit during our 31st edition of Sheffield DocFest taking place 12 - 17 June 2024.

An international collaboration supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

The Alternate Realities Exhibition will be curated by our Creative Director Raul Niño Zambrano alongside the IDA’s Keisha Knight, Director of Funds, and Abby Sun, Director of Artist Programmes, supported by our Alternate Realities Programme Producer Jack Rutherford.

Raul Niño Zambrano, Sheffield DocFest Creative Director, says: “We are very excited to join forces with IDA, an organisation we have always felt close to and that shares our passion for works at the intersection of technology, arts and documentary. Our conversations and explorations around the future of immersive work have allowed us to gather an incredible group of pieces and artists that will connect with our audiences during the festival and beyond.”

Dominic Asmall Willsdon, IDA Executive Director, says: "On the close of Getting Real '24, we are thrilled to announce this collaboration with Sheffield DocFest’s Alternate Realities. On their decennial anniversary, Getting Real and Alternate Realities are two essential events where non-fiction makers from around the globe connect in meaningful ways. We are looking forward to the showcase of international immersive nonfiction work at Sheffield in June.”

Our Alternate Realities programme was initiated in 2013 and developed into a full programme and exhibition in 2014. For over ten years the exhibition has celebrated innovative non-fiction and immersive documentaries in all forms, breaking the boundaries of traditional documentary practice and using cutting edge technology – including virtual reality, use of artificial intelligence, video gaming platforms, augmented reality, and interactive web documentaries.

Selected artists and industry speakers will participate in the onsite Alternate Realities Summit on Sunday 16 June as an opportunity to connect with industry including curators, international festivals, galleries, media institutions, educational institutions, production companies, tech companies, broadcasters and distribution platforms for new media.

We will present a free exhibition of works at Site Gallery that are open to industry delegates and to the public, with selected works retained and exhibited in a partnership that extends post-festival for local audiences to enjoy.

This programme is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

The Sheffield DocFest public programme including Alternate Realities will be launched on 8 May.

Find out more about the International Documentary Association (IDA) at:

Sheffield DocFest is made possible thanks to the support of our partners, funders and sponsors, including Principal Funders BFI, Sheffield City Council and Arts Council England.

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