Black mother still

Sheffield Doc/Fest is proud to announce their first live performance festival highlights from international filmmakers and artists, premiering at the 25th edition from 7-12 June. These three events reflect Sheffield’s vital and collaborative arts and music scene, and celebrate Doc/Fest’s reputation for bold new forms of storytelling. From the World Premiere of Warp Records artist GAIKA’s live score responding to Khalik Allah’s Black Mother; to world class beatboxer and vocal artist Reeps One presenting the World Premiere of his innovative collaboration with Nokia Bell Labs and director Simon Waldron We Speak Music: Live; to Singapore vocal loop artist Weish performing live at the UK Premiere of Sandi Tan’s award-winning Shirkers.


New live cinema trends will be discussed at the Live Cinema Summit at Doc/Fest on 8-9 June; full Summit programme to be announced.

Says Liz McIntyre, CEO & Festival Director, Sheffield Doc/Fest, “I am thrilled that Doc/Fest is presenting these exceptional live events for the Festival’s 25th edition. Powerful artistic partnerships fuel explosions in creativity, for new ways of storytelling and seeing the world. Collaboration is at the heart of Doc/Fest: this year, it feels more important than ever that we celebrate connections between global artists”.


Black Mother with World Premiere of live score from GAIKA

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 feature 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.


World Premiere We Speak Music: Live, by Reeps One

International world class beatboxer and vocal artist Reeps One presents the World Premiere of his new live show We Speak Music: Live. Using latest technology, Reeps One will be joined for an A.I. duet with the ‘Reepsbot’ to create visual and sonic spectacles through the power of the voice, featuring footage from the forthcoming We Speak Music docu-series collaboration with Nokia Bell Labs.


Shirkers with live performance from Weish

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.


The full line-up for the Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018 programme will be announced on Thursday 3 May.



Black Mother with World Premiere of live score from GAIKA

Venue: City Hall Ballroom

Date: Sunday 10 June 2018

Time: 21:00

Event Strand: Special Events / Films

Ticket Price (including booking fee): £15/£13 concession


World Premiere We Speak Music: Live

Commissioned by West Yorkshire’s Live Cinema UK as part of the Live Cinema Talent Pool, supported by Arts Council England.

Venue:  Abbeydale Picturehouse

Date: Friday 8 June 2018

Time: 21:30 – 22:15

Event Strand: Special Events / Alternate Realities

Ticket Price (including booking fee): £15/13 concession


Shirkers with live performance from Weish

Venue: Bertha DocHouse Showroom 4

Date: Saturday 9 June 2018

Time: 21:15

Event Strand: Special Events / Film Programme

Ticket Price (including booking fee): £13/11 concession


Live Cinema Summit
Venue: Crucible Studio
Date: 8-9 June 2018
Time: 10:00
Event Strand: Talks & Sessions
Ticket Price (including booking fee): £88/77 concession

All tickets go on sale 10am, Wednesday 14 March.

Events are individually ticketed, or included in the Festival Pass.

Festival Pass: comprises one full registration, giving access to Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018: 7–12 June. Your Festival Pass includes access to the Film programme, Alternate Realities programme, Talks & Sessions, Marketplace & Talent, Special Events, Doc/Player and all social events and networking.


For further information contact:

Sarah Harvey Publicity

Sarah Harvey

Oli Gots

+44 (0) 207 732 7790


About the Artists:


Black Mother
Khalik Allah – Director

Khalik Allah is a self taught filmmaker and photographer. His profoundly personal work has been described as visceral, hauntingly beautiful, inventive and honest. Khalik's first book of photographs, Souls Against the Concrete, was published by University of Texas Press in 2017. His eye for daring portraiture and bold aesthetics have distinguished him as a new visionary in the field. With his award-winning film Field Niggas, Khalik garnered the attention of The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vice, and The Guardian. His recent film Black Mother is a continuation of his original style and unique film language.


GAIKA isn’t the type to be boxed in. Since Machine, his debut mixtape appeared in 2015, critics have struggled to stick a tidy name onto his music and art. His darkly magnetic sound evolved through follow–up mixtape Security and EPs SPAGHETTO and The Spectacular Empire on Warp Records, building expectations for what is to come in 2018. 


GAIKA shape-shifts across not only musical markers but disciplines. He settles on the term ‘ghetto-futurism’ to encompass what he does. It’s easier than waiting for the latest “dancehall–meets–rave” label and allows him to build on afro-futurism to make art steeped in blackness that “harks back. It’s like the ghost in the machine. If you listen to grime, trap, dancehall, hip-hop, reggae, there’s this glory in the face of death, a celebration of the impermanence of life.” That kernel of emotion, played out by artists using the latest technology to self–produce, underpins ghetto–futurism. “Ghetto’ isn’t just to do with black people,” he says, “but it’s all the people who live under the boot, the 99%, and how we end up reveling in what other people deem the shadow.”


Warp Records

For 29 years Warp Records has been a synonym for adventures in sound and vision, consistently furthering their position as one of the most creative independent record labels in the world. With a rich legacy and consistently groundbreaking vision of the future, Warp and its artists traverse mediums to explore new spaces. Aphex Twin, Kelela, Danny Brown, Flying Lotus, GAIKA, Brian Eno and Hudson Mohawke are just a few who represent the label.


We Speak Music: Live

Reeps One

Reeps One's work is the product of a highly intimate, lifelong relationship with the human voice.


The London-born musician and artist Reeps One (Harry Yeff) has been obsessively experimenting with innovative vocal practices alongside the creative representation of physics and sound since the age of 18. Yeff’s unique skills have seen him uncover new keys to cognitive efficiency and expand his phonetic vocabulary to new boundaries. Dedicated to depicting his findings in an explicit and tangible way, Yeff’s vocal performances are increasingly accompanied by potent, aesthetically arresting visual displays.



Sandi Tan – Director

Born in Singapore, Sandi published a cult zine “The Exploding Cat” at 16 and at 22, after reading Film Studies at the University of Kent, she became the film critic at The Straits Times, Singapore’s largest newspaper. She threw all that away to run off to film school at Columbia University. Her short films (like Gourmet Baby) have played at over 100 film festivals including NYFF and Clermont-Ferrand, and broadcast on RAI, SBS, ZDF/arte.  She is also the author of The Black Isle, an epic ghost-story novel that has been described by some as an “ambitious” (Los Angeles Times) “psychosexual odyssey.” (Vogue).


A former Sundance Documentary Fellow, her film Shirkers made its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival where she took a Directing award and earned praise from The Guardian, The New Yorker and Film Comment. She lives in Pasadena, California, plotting her next move.


Weish is a Singaporean artist whose primary medium is live loops, creating a multi-layered landscape of sounds with a mixture of singing, vocal percussion and occasional instrumentation. In the span of one year, she has opened for Canadian indie rock band Tegan and Sara, played at the Singapore F1 Grand Prix, as well as performed at numerous venues such as the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre and Concert Hall, the Fred Perry Subsessions, The Substation, Zouk, TEDx Singapore, Home Club, Blu Jaz, Timbre, and The Arts House. She is also part of progressive rock band sub:shaman who played at Baybeats 2013, as well as electronic duo .gif, who just made their debut release, "saudade EP”.