Our Work


Sheffield DocFest is the UK’s leading documentary festival and one of the world’s most influential markets for documentary projects. We champion and present the breadth of documentary form – film, television, immersive and art – in the vibrant city of Sheffield each June. We offer makers and audiences a place for inspiration, debate, development, learning and challenge. Our programming represents our core values – creativity, empathy, freedom, inclusivity and internationalism.

In 2021 Sheffield DocFest hosted a hybrid edition, with over 45,000 virtual and in-person attendances and 2056 industry delegates from over 70 countries. 

We intend that Sheffield DocFest’s 29th edition take place predominantly in-person, bringing documentary makers, professionals and audiences back to Sheffield between 23 – 28 June 2022.

Film Programme

Our Film Programme offers filmmakers a place for inspiration, debate and challenge, and a relevant international platform to launch their work. It engages audiences with  a multitude of forms, ideas, ways of doing and thinking, through World, International, European and UK premieres and through curated retrospective programmes. Sheffield DocFest looks to question the boundaries of documentary through a programme that challenges trends, brings diversity and enriches debate. The festival invites audiences to engage with experiences and stories from different parts of the world and to join makers in inspiring moments.

Alternate Realities Programme

Alternate Realities is our showcase exhibition and programme for immersive documentary and non-fiction forms including virtual (VR), augmented (AR) and mixed reality (MR), Artists’ moving image, interactive performance and sound installation from around the world. Also in curatorial scope are formats such as 360° video, artificial intelligence, games, motion comic and video or expanded cinema.

Supported by Arts Council England. 

Industry Programme

The Industry Programme is the space within the festival for supporting the creation of new work, and discussing together the ways in which new work is made. Our flagship pitching forum, the MeetMarket, connects selected teams with a vast network of international industry representatives to present new projects (features and series). The Arts Talent Market runs in parallel to facilitate partnerships for teams presenting non-fiction new-media projects. The Broadcast Production Talent Market connects up and coming talent with execs at the top production companies. We also host several live pitches where filmmakers can gain funding and constructive feedback from industry experts. And alongside all the pitching, every year we’ll host an array of panel discussions on key topics relevant to industry delegates. We welcome delegates from all levels of experience and all territories to engage with our Industry Programme. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any help navigating it. 

Community Programme

Our Community Programme features films from across DocFest’s wider programme alongside workshops, talks and inclusive screenings about stories forged in communities across continents to move the soul and stir the spirit.

It’s about thoughts, ideas and manifestos made possible by people coming together and created in partnership with people from our city.

It’s our world viewed up close and from a distance - from the deepest parts of the ocean to the far reaches of space: community is the bond that sticks us together.  The stories that tell our history, our present, our culture and the places we call home -  our blueprint.  It’s about parallels and perspectives, the things that bring us together, the stuff that binds us. Our roots, our support systems, things that nurture us - solidarity and common ground.

Part of the Community Programme is the DocFest Exchange, a year-long curated programme supported by Wellcome, exploring themes of climate justice and the health of the planet through screenings, discussions, talks, workshops, collaborations and micro-commissions.

Sheffield DocFest is run by International Documentary Festival Sheffield, an independent registered charity (no.1184849), whose purpose is to advance the art of film, education and training in documentary filmmaking. Our core values as a charity centre around empathy, inclusiveness, social engagement, freedom and internationalism.

Our Partners