Daisy preferred

We are delighted to announce the first details of the Festival programme, taking place 9-14 June 2017. See below for the selected announcements, and to buy tickets. Please note that Full Festival Pass Holders do not need to purchase separate tickets for these events.

To mark 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act, our Opening Night film at City Hall Oval Hall, is the world premiere of Daisy Asquith’s documentary Queerama, followed by a live performance from singer-songwriter John Grant. Created from the treasure trove of the BFI National Archive, Queerama captures the relationships, desires, fears and expressions of gay men and women starting in 1919 – weaved with the lyrics and music of John Grant and Hercules & Love Affair. 

Fifty years since the Summer of Love, the Festival will explore rule-breaking and boundary-pushing artists who are creatively and politically forging new movements for Resistance & Change in 2017: in Alternate Realities, emerging British artist Anna Ridler will present the world premiere of WikiLeaks: A Love Story; in Talks & Sessions, we welcome for the first time maverick game-changer Peter Greenaway CBE; in the Film Programme, filmmakers Yance Ford (Strong Island) and Damon Davis and Sabaah Folayan (Whose Streets?), have individually made unflinching examinations of race in America today. And also looking back 50 years, this year’s retrospective will focus on 1967: Summer of Love and Disobedience including the Festival coup of a very rare screening of Silent Revolution / Black Liberation, Edouard (Yves) de Laurot’s lost masterpiece of the civil rights movement featuring Malcolm X and narrated by Ossie Davis. 

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017 First Programme Announcements

Film Programme

Opening Night Film: Queerama with Performance from John Grant

Daisy Asquith / UK / 2017 / 75 mins / World Premiere

We are delighted to open the Festival with the world premiere of Queerama with a performance by the extraordinary singer-songwriter John Grant. 50 years after decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, director Daisy Asquith mines the jewels of the BFI archive to take us into the relationships, desires, fears and expressions of gay men and women in the 20th century.

Fri 09 June / 19:30 start, doors at 19:00 / City Hall Oval Hall

Tickets for our Opening Night Party in City Hall Ballroom will go on sale from 4 May.



Strong Island

Yance Ford / USA, Denmark / 2016 / 107 mins / UK Premiere

Twenty five years after director Yance Ford’s brother was murdered in Long Island NY, the family scars run deep. In this stylish, searing and accomplished film, Ford revisits the painful topic which he has so long avoided. Unflinching testimonials bear witness to decades of grief, exacerbated by the fact the police showed no interest in investigating the murder of a young black male. CN

Sun 11 June / 21:30 / Bertha DocHouse Showroom 4 


Whose Streets?

Damon Davis, Sabaah Folayan / USA / 2017 / 104 mins / European Premiere

An embedded account of protests in Ferguson, Missouri 2014, focusing the story on people who lived through them. Storyteller Sabaah Folayan, together with artist Damon Davis, turn our attention to the young local activists standing on the frontline. The filmmakers capture how a community’s collective indignation towards state-sanctioned racist violence erupts into a new civil rights movement.

Mon 12 June / 21:15 / Bertha DocHouse Showroom 4 


1967: Summer of Love and Disobedience retrospective:

Silent Revolution / Black Liberation

Edouard (Yves) De Laurot / USA / 1967 / 40 mins 

Made with the direct participation of Malcolm X and narrated by Ossie Davis, this work of political cinema offers an intense, incendiary vision of black revolution across America. Doc/Fest brings to light a forgotten masterpiece from radical filmmaker, theorist and founder of ‘Cinema Engagé’ Édouard (Yves) De Laurot.

Sat 10 June / 10:00 / Showroom 2 



Allan King / Canada / 1967 / 100 mins

In a fascinating debut, Allan King ventures into to a home for disturbed young people. With an intimate, insiders’ view, the camera captures 12 fascinating children and the caregivers who provide for them, as they present the full spectrum of human emotion to a sensitive camera. For its significant merits, Warrendale won the Prix d’art et d’essai at Cannes  and a special docu­mentary award from the National Society of Film Critics 

Mon 12 June / 21:00 / Curzon 1 


Far From Vietnam

Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch, Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker, Alain Resnais / France / 1967 / 115 mins 

Initiated and edited by Chris Marker, Far From Vietnam is an epic 1967 collaboration between cinema greats Jean-Luc Godard, Joris Ivens, William Klein, Claude Lelouch and Alain Resnais in protest of American military involvement in Vietnam ­– made, per Marker's narration, "to affirm, by the exercise of their craft, their solidarity with the Vietnamese people in struggle against aggression

Tues 13 June / 09:30 / Showroom 1 


Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London

Peter Whitehead / UK / 1967 / 70 mins 

Named after an Allen Ginsberg poem, Peter Whitehead's psychedelic “pop concerto" is propelled by the sounds of Pink Floyd's Interstellar Overdrive, and presents meditations on Swinging London nightlife – from revolution to sex – by such iconic figures as Mick Jagger, Julie Christie, Michael Caine, Lee Marvin, and includes footage of rioting audiences interrupting a 1966 Rolling Stones concert in the Royal Albert Hall.

Sat 10 June / 21:00 / Curzon 1 



Alternate Realities Exhibition

WikiLeaks: A Love Story

Anna Ridler / UK / 2016 / World Premiere  

Scraping WikiLeaks to find an unlikely story of love in the workplace, this installation uses data from real emails between two people to construct a romance from being in love to it falling apart.

Alternate Realities: Interactive Exhibition at Millennium Gallery

Entry free to all.

Fri 09 June / 12:00 – 17:00

Sat 10 June / 10:00 – 17:00

Sun 11 June / 11:00 – 16:00

Mon 10 June & Tue 11 June / 10:00 – 17:00

Wed 12 June / 10:00 – 20:00


Talks Programme

Peter Greenaway CBE: Where Next for Storytelling?

Acclaimed director and artist Peter Greenaway is widely regarded as one of the most important innovators of our time. His work stretches back to the 1960s and includes the feature The Cook the Thief his Wife her Lover and the multimedia project The Tulse Luper Suitcases. Peter comes to Doc/Fest to discuss his work – including his documentary about the life of the German theologian Martin Luther – and explore the forms that art takes when responding to social and political change. 

Sun 11 June / 18:30 / Crucible Studio



You can buy tickets to further announced events below


Film Programme

Even When I Fall

Sky Neal, Kate McLarnon / UK / 2017 / 90 mins / World Premiere

The incredible story of 13 young circus artists as they reclaim skills that once came at a high cost: they were slaves in Indian circuses – sold as children. Now freed, together they form Nepal's first circus. An intimate, beautiful film that harnesses the visual power of circus to give a unique perspective into the complex world of human trafficking.

Sun 11 June / 21:15 / PBS America Showroom 3


Mr Gay Syria

Ayşe Toprak / France, Germany, Turkey / 2017 / 85 mins / World Premiere

In focusing his attention on the competitors of Mr Gay Syria, director Ayşe Toprak shatters the one-dimensional meaning of 'refugee'. Using the pageant as a means of escape from political persecution, the organiser Mahmoud – already given asylum in Berlin – hopes to offer the winner a chance to travel as well as bring international attention to the life-threatening situations faced by LGBT+ Syrians.

Tue 13 June / 15:15 / Bertha DocHouse Showroom 4



Jonathan Olshefski / United States / 2017 / 105 mins / European Premiere

Filmmaker and photographer Jonathan Olshefski sensitively documents the daily lives of eponymous hip hop producer Quest and his family, who reside within the African-American enclave of North Philadelphia. Over a decade that coincides with the entirety of the Obama administration, the tight unit of four must overcome obstacles that are increasingly defined along fault lines of race and class.

Sun 11 June / 15:15 / PBS America Showroom 3


The Work

Director Jairus McLeary and Co-director Gethin Aldous / United States / 2017 / 87 mins / International Premiere

Set inside a single room in Folsom Prison, The Work follows a four-day group therapy retreat. The raw and revealing process transcends what we think of as rehabilitation.

Sun 11 June / 18:30 / PBS America Showroom 3



Talks Programme


Ian Hislop & Jolyon Rubinstein: Post-truth & Satire

Ian Hislop, the editor of the satirical news magazine Private Eye and team captain on Have I Got News for You, comes to Sheffield Doc/Fest for the first time. In conversation with the BAFTA-winning actor and satirist Jolyon Rubinstein (The Revolution Will be Televised, Revolting), Ian will explore the role that satire plays in documenting our world and getting to the truth, as well as how the medium reflects a political landscape that includes living, breathing caricatures.

Tue 13 June / 17:30 / Crucible Theatre

Tickets available from 04 May