Sheffield Doc/Fest is one of the biggest documentary festivals on the planet, attracting over 30,000 visitors from across the world every year. 2018 sees the festival return for its 25th edition from 7 to 12 June. A number of locations in the city, including The Light Cinema, Showroom Cinema and Sheffield City Hall, will be taken over in celebration of non-fiction filmmaking.
The programme features over 200 documentaries and documentary shorts, as well as a host of Q&As, talks, masterclasses and interactive activities. We’ve waded through the packed schedule to figure out the best of what Doc/Fest has to offer this year.
Monday 11 June sees the headline talks all take place. At midday legend of the documentary world, Sir Trevor McDonald, will go over his incredible career at the Netflix Crucible Studio, focusing on the ‘Death Row’ series’ and the impact it has had on him.
At 6pm Sheffield City Hall Ballroom will host Guy Martin to discuss his love for speed, engineering and building. Martin, who has undertaken a number of insane challenges and records for TV, rarely makes public appearances like this, so this is a unique opportunity to see the adrenaline-junkie talk about his work and tell TVs Suzi Perry, who moderates, some great anecdotes.
Meanwhile at 7pm, back at the Netflix Crucible Studio, star of This is England and Line of Duty Vicky McClure talks about her move towards documentaries as she talks us through the making of her new BBC series, Vicky McClure: My Dementia Choir.
Other talks worth keeping an eye on include Youtube sensation Jamal Edwards, critic and filmmaker Mark Cousins, and the BAFTA Masterclass given by Matthew Heineman, director of Oscar-nominated Cartel Land and BAFTA-nominated City of Ghosts.
With over 200 films, 37 World premiere screenings, plus 18 International, 24 European, and 70 UK premieres, it would be easy to get lost sifting through the mass of films screening at the festival.
The nominees for the 2018 Grand Jury Award are:
The Silence of Others – a six year project documenting the struggles of victims who suffered under the 40-year Spanish dictatorship of General Franco.
What Is Democracy? – takes a microscopic look at democracy, its philosophies and its practice; from Plato’s Republic to Trump’s USA.
Of Fathers and Sons – Syrian filmmaker Talal Derki goes undercover as a sympathetic war photographer, entering the world of a minesweeper raising his young sons to be Jihadi fighters.
Hale County This Morning, This Evening – an intimate five year project portrays the lives of African Americans in Hale County, Alabama.
A Woman Captured – showcases a Hungarian woman proud of keeping domestic slaves. Fed up of the violence and abuse, one slave builds a relationship with the filmmaker and begins to prepare for a dangerous escape.
Other films worth keeping an eye out for:
Grenfell – reflects on the one year anniversary of potentially the worst tragedy in recent British history.
When Lambs Become Lions – follows a small-time ivory dealer whose trade is being destroyed by local forces. He turns to his cousin, a wildlife ranger, but can he find a lifeline?
The Eyes of Orson Welles – directed by Mark Cousins, this film takes an in-depth look at the life of the legendary artist, exploring his passions, politics and genius.
Tranny Fag – follows the life of Brazilian popstar Linn da Quebrada, a black trans woman giving a voice to the marginalized favelas of Sao Paulo.
A Northern Soul – Sean McAllister returns to his hometown of Hull and, living with his 90-year-old parents, takes a look at a city hit by austerity and divided by Brexit.
McQueen – an intimate portrayal of ‘Lee’ Alexander McQueen, the working class East London boy who became a fashion icon.
For the full schedule, tickets and any other information, click here.
Images from Sheffield Doc/Fest