Doc/Next training offers tailored one-to-one support, work experience, and networking to help emerging talent move up to the next stage in their career.

The year-long training initiative is for non-fiction directors, producers, line producers, editors and DOPs across all platforms looking to take the next step in their careers. Applications for the programme open each summer.

You can meet our trainees at the occasion of Sheffield Doc/Fest every June - for more information or to get in touch, contact marketplace@sidf.co.uk.

Doc/Fest 2016/2017 trainees


Cherish Oteka

Cherish Oteka is a London-based filmmaker whose passion for storytelling began in photography. Having studied Psychology with Neuroscience, Cherish’s interest in human behavior is an underlying influence in her productions. Although she is primarily a visual artist, she is also passionate about music, poetry and cinematography, all of which marry up together in her films.

Cherish is passionate about human interest stories that tackle social issues and force us to view the world through a fresh pair of eyes. Through film she aims to explore themes of identity, civil unrest, and create a platform for marginalized communities to take ownership of how their experiences are portrayed in the media.

Having worked in film festivals, online video platforms and for broadcasters, Cherish uses her trained editorial eye when filmmaking and understands the conventions of broadcast storytelling whilst still using her own unique style.

Cherish’s short creative documentary A Man Called Dad was commissioned in 2014. It has since been screened at a number of reputable film festivals and venues including BFI and BAFTA. On Father’s Day 2016, A Man Called Dad was broadcast on London Live. 



Ellie Hunt

Ellie is an award winning filmmaker with an MA in archaeology and documentary. With a background as an archaeologist working in America, Africa and UK she has
 a passion for discovery and unearthing stories and voices from the past. Ellie has a sound knowledge of historical records, philosophical ideas, arts and cultures with key skills that encompass concept through to delivery in script development, documentary film direction, camera and and post-production.

As a specialist factual television associate/assistant producer Ellie has created programs such as BBC’s Sacred Wonders of Britain and Ch4’s Secret Histories’, travelling the world in a quest to bring the past alive through digital story telling.

Ellie is currently working as a producer with Centre Screen, and is the director of a successful short film company Shortform, which creates social media and digitally platformed films and documentaries.



Jane Renton

Based in Nottingham, Jane Renton is a freelance writer, journalist and mother-of-three, working towards making her first long-form documentary over three years. 

Writing for the Guardian and the Independent, she raised the issues faced by parents who care for children with disabilities and the additional expectations they and their children face.  She is a former teacher and has direct personal experience of disability.  Both her daughters are registered blind.

When she is not preparing documents for special education tribunals or acting as a mum-taxi, Jane is a singer/songwriter, who is learning to do justice to her Telecaster.  Unlike her, the rest of the band is resting.

Jane completed her MA in Newspaper Journalism in 2013, and since then has been lucky enough to work with 104 Films, based in Sheffield.  She writes reviews and interviews for the Nottingham Post. Jane has Asperger syndrome.


Makez Rikweda

Makez is a filmmaker and producer based in London. She made her first short documentary exploring what it means to British as part of the National Film and Television School's 'Summerdocs' programme - she was the youngest person ever to be awarded a place on the course at the age of nineteen. 

Since then, she has gone onto work for various international broadcasters and media companies including France 24, Associated Press Television News, ITN productions and Al Jazeera English. She was a staff producer at Al Jazeera for three years during which she wrote and edited news and current affairs shows broadcast to 35 million people around the world. She has also directed a documentary on young Afghan students in Kabul, in conjunction with ORTV International. 

In 2016, she was one of the filmmakers selected for the Guardian pitch at Sheffield Doc/Fest alongside her brother, Sol, for their documentary on young MMA fighters who are using the medium to achieve a success denied to them by wider society. The project was one of the official selections at the Raindance Film Festival and is competing for the 'Best UK Series' prize. 


Mark Gee

Mark Gee first cut his teeth as a camera operator under the direction of Jamie Roberts and Will Hanke on the Blackbox Sessions. Mark has since continued to work alongside them on numerous commercials, promos and documentaries.

The most significant of these projects include Ghost Town, The Darkest Universe (the latest feature from BAFTA nominated directors Tom Kingsley and Will Sharpe) and a recent collaboration with David Bailey on his Valentino campaigns.

Mark’s attention has since shifted towards documentary. This led him to focus pull for seasoned Director of Photography Gerry Floyd on critically acclaimed Notes on Blindness, which debuted at Sundance Film Festival. In recent months, Mark has shot a pair of select documentary projects; a short for Street Child United in partnership with The Guardian, and Learn to Fly as part of the AMIRA challenge at Doc/Fest 2016. 

Mark is currently looking to gain more experience operating, and to also DP the right projects.

About The Programme - Trainees selected for the programme receive:

  • group training in Sheffield
  • bespoke training and development
  • business development
  • peer-to-peer learning and action learning sets
  • networking
  • individual mentoring
  • coaching
  • work placements and shadowing
  • admissions and navigation to festivals
  • market preparation
  • building to showcase screening at Sheffield
  • free admission to Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017

This year-long training programme is a key strand in the Yorkshire Screen Hub project, led by Screen Yorkshire, with funding from regional partners and the BFI’s Creative  Cluster Challenge Fund. Doc/Fest is a key partner in this fund, which will identify the investment required for skills, training, infrastructure and knowledge sharing, to enable the Yorkshire and Humber region to compete globally.


If you have any queries about the Doc/Next please email the Marketplace team at marketplace@sidf.co.uk


The programme is supported by Sheffield City Council and by the Yorkshire Screen Industries Consortium, delivered in partnership with Screen Yorkshire & Sheffield Doc/Fest, with support from the BFI’s Creative Clusters Fund.