Unforgettable live, interactive and immersive storytelling experiences. From our Opening Night celebration to musical performances, this is a roundup of your Doc/Fest highlights.
Gain access to all of these events with a Festival Pass. Click here to purchase.
Opening Night Film: A Northern Soul
Thu 07 June // 18:00 // Sheffield City Hall // £11 (£8 concession)
Sean McAllister returns to his Yorkshire hometown of Hull as creative director of the opening ceremony of the City of Culture celebrations: living back with his 90 year-old parents, McAllister reflects on the changes to a city hit by cuts in public spending and divided by Brexit and where more than 1 in 3 children are living in poverty. Drawn to the fringes of town, McAllister met and started filming with Steve Arnott, a struggling warehouse worker by day and hip-hop performer by night, who harbours his own creative dream.
Tickets available with the Festival Pass subject to capacity – look out for your RSVP email. Click here for Public Tickets.
Opening Night Drinks
Thu 07 June // 20:45 - 01:00 // City Hall Ballroom // £5
Help us kick off the Festival in style, with drinks and dancing as we celebrate our 25th Edition.
Desolation Center with live performance from Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth)
Fri 08 June // 18:00 // Abbeydale Picture House // £15 (£13 concession)
To open a vibrant weekend of cinema events at Abbeydale Picturehouse, Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) will be performing live following the UK Premiere of Desolation Center. The film vividly portrays the untold story of a series of guerrilla desert gatherings now recognised as the inspiration for Burning Man and Coachella, with performances by Sonic Youth, Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Swans, and more.
Reeps One: We Speak Music, Live
Fri 08 June // 21:30 // Abbeydale Picture House // £15 (£13 concession)
World class beatboxer and vocal artist Reeps One presents the World Premiere of his new live show, blending the latest technology, stunning visuals, and unbelievable vocal performances. Featuring footage from the forthcoming docu-series collaboration with Nokia Bell Labs We Speak Music, Reeps will be joined for an AI duet with the ‘Reepsbot’ and will create mind-blowing visual and sonic spectacles through the power of the voice
Sat 09 June // 16:00 // The Leadmill // £10 (£8 concession)
Experience the nature documentary, but as you’ve never seen or heard it before. Inspired by an abandoned idea of Walt Disney's to build natural history cinemas in zoos, experimental composers, musicians and a sci-fi writer join filmmaker and Doctor of GeoHumanities Amy Cutler to re-invent the heroes, villains, sounds and spaces of nature broadcasts. We’ll travel through submerged volcanoes, bio-luminescence, flocking birds and swarming insects, accompanied by new performances, from live drone laments to the conducting of “feral singing” by the audience.
Sat 09 June // 18:30 // The Leadmill // £5
In 1984, the BBC’s dystopic docudrama Threads depicted the nuclear Apocalypse in Sheffield, terrifying millions of viewers. The day before Sheffield Doc/Fest’s 25th Edition begins, artist Richard DeDomenici will remake several minutes of Threads in the very locations that the original show was shot, and he wants your help! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be part of Threads: Redux, and join us for the World Premiere event of DeDomenici’s guerilla recreation on Saturday 9 June, featuring behind-the-scenes footage, the Redux screening itself, and all the unique absurdity and general hilarity that comes with DeDomenici’s live shows.
The Dark Room
Sat 09 June // 20:00 // Trafalgar Warehouse - First Floor // £10 (£8 concession)
Comedian John Robertson’s smash-hit live-action adventure game is coming to Sheffield for a one-off Doc/Fest special at Trafalgar Warehouse. Look out for bespoke documentary and Sheffield references, as you awake to find yourself in a Dark Room. Stuck inside with your fellow audience members you must work together to escape. You, the audience, must choose-your-own adventure and select an option. Will you: A) Find the light switch? B) Go North? C) Cry for help?
Shirkers with live performance from Weish
Sat 09 June // 21:00 // Bertha DocHouse Showroom Cinema 4 // £13 (£11 concession)
In the Sundance award-winning Shirkers, filmmaker Sandi Tan sets out on a playful and revealing personal odyssey to solve the mystery behind her long lost first movie. This UK Premiere screening will be accompanied by a mesmerising live performance of music from the film’s soundtrack by Singaporean vocal loop artist Weish and a Q&A with director Sandi Tan in person.
Tranny Fag with live performance from Linn da Quebrada
Sat 09 June // 21:15 // Abbeydale Picture House // £13 (£11 concession)
A vibrant night of queer cinema and contemporary Brazilian electro-funk. São Paulo pop star Linn da Quebrada is a Black trans woman whose explicit anthems give voice to marginalised communities from the favelas, while also confronting the Brazilian music scene’s macho, heteronormative prejudices. Kiko Goifman and Claudia Priscilla’s candid profile of this radical performer will be followed by a special live performance from Linn and friends at Abbeydale Picturehouse.
Tanzania Transit with uSiSTA live pop-up
Sun 10 June // 18:00 // Abbeydale Picture House // £10 (£8 concession)
The European Premiere of Tanzania Transit will take you aboard a rolling microcosm of East African society. Three characters join on us in transit - Rukia, Isaya, and Peter, each individual tells a story of overcoming hardship, and resilient momentum. This special screening will be accompanied by an immersive celebration of music and food from East Africa.
Black Mother with live score from GAIKA
Sun 10 June // 18:00 // Abbeydale Picture House // £15 (£13 concession)
Sheffield Doc/Fest, in partnership with Warp Records, is proud to present GAIKA’s newly commissioned hypnotic live score, performed for the first time, responding to Khalik Allah’s latest documentary Black Mother. Part film, part rhythmic baptism, this evening of beautiful live cinema will transport audiences to the shores and streets of Jamaica through a poetic tapestry of words, sounds, images and fervent energies.
The Incredible Playable Show
Mon 11 June // 20:00 // Trafalgar Warehouse - First Floor // £10 (£8 concession)
An award-winning live video game show where you, the audience, take to the stage. Become human buttons, zap each other with barcode scanners, and play Pac-Man using inflatable toys. Or sit back, and watch your friends literally become cogs in a hilarious machine. Interactive ringmaster Alistair Aitcheson brings the madcap hilarity of his theatrical gaming mashup to Sheffield for a special performance at Doc/Fest. Referencing iconic Sheffield landmarks, themes from the Alternate Realities programme like memory and data and lampooning the documentary world in its own unique idiom. The Sheffield chapter of Incredible Playable can only be experienced as part of Doc/Fest’s Alternate Realities programme in Trafalgar Warehouse.
Sheffield Doc/Fest Awards Ceremony
Tue 12 June // 20:00 // Sheffield City Hall Ballroom // £5
As Doc/Fest’s 25th Edition draws to a close, we honour the very best of the Festival, including the reveal of our Audience Award winner as chosen by you. This year we’re thrilled to welcome back BBC Radio Sheffield’s Paulette Edwards as our host.