Sheffield Docfest gears up for its 30th edition

– Annual documentary festival in the north of England providing a rich offering for both the public and the industry

This article is available in English.

The latest edition of Sheffield Docfest, which will see the event held in the north of England this year, celebrates its 30th anniversary from 14-19 June, once again bringing together a packed film program featuring many of the industry’s big hitters , including BBC, Netflix, Prime Video and Disney.

The Sheffield Docfest film program will screen over 120 films, and includes 37 world, 20 international and ten European premieres. Titles will appear in three competition categories (International Competition, International First Feature Competition and International Short Film Competition) as well as a number of special events.

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The festival will start from tish (UK), Director Paul Sngphotographer’s portrait tish moorthaWho recorded the hopes, dreams and struggles of working class communities in the industrial North East of England.

Other film highlights include world premieres if only night wouldn’t fall By mark schmidt (Netherlands/Norway/USA), a unique perspective on three Western countries’ efforts to combat anxiety, depression and psychosis; a year in a field By Christopher Morris (UK), which reflects human existence, its relationship to the environment, and the urgent need for compassion and change; And Hotel Metallurg By George Versimashvili And Jean Nouchi (France/Georgia), in which survivors of the Abkhaz-Georgian War find themselves forced to leave the derelict luxury hotel where they have lived for more than 30 years.

Public talks and events will include actors, directors, writers and activists david harwood discuss his documentary work; To chris smith master class after the world premiere of his new documentary, Abode!, And sara mardiniThe Syrian swimmer who pulled the boat carrying her and 18 other refugees to Greece talks about how she faces the consequences of becoming a well-known activist.

The industry program and market of the festival will have 21 industry sessions. These will include discussions and panels that will cover topics such as disability inclusion, ten ways to win commissions, avenues for new talent, neurodiversity inclusion, social mobility, journalistic integrity and creative delivery and exhibition.

Sheffield DocFest 2023 will also introduce the Filmmaker Challenge, in which six early career UK directors will face the challenge of making a film on the fly, with a micro budget and equipment support, making a short documentary in and around Sheffield during the festival. Plus advice from the Oscar- and BAFTA-winning filmmaker kevin macdonald,

There will be four sessions for selected budding directors to present their non-fiction projects to a panel of judges: The Whicker’s Pitch, where candidates vying for a £100,000 film and TV funding award; Channel 4 First Cut pitch, awarding a commission for a 60-minute film, as well as a month for fully paid development and mentorship with the indie; the BBC Storyville development pitch, following which the selected project(s) will receive up to £3,000; and Podcast Pitch, which is the first time the festival will host a podcast-only pitching format, and will be followed by an independent jury supported by The Whiskers who will award two prizes of £5,000 and £2,000.

Sheffield Dockfest runs in conjunction with the Meatmarket Festival, providing networking opportunities and practical sessions as well as round tables. Switchboard advises people to meet at this year’s market, Snap Chats is a networking mixer, while the DocFest Round Tables series are intimate sessions with experts in the fields of festivals, distribution and manufacturing.

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