Sheffield Doc/Fest, with National Lottery funding and support from the BFI, today announces Doc/Circuit, a new initiative which aims to develop regional audiences for independent documentary films. Launching on 29 August Doc/Circuit will  feature Q&A tours of four non-fiction cinema titles starting with Jake Meginsky’s critically acclaimed Milford Graves Full Mantis, followed by Doc/Fest 2018 opening night film, Sean McAllister’s A Northern Soul, touring in late September to Doc/Fest’s home region of Yorkshire, in October Bernadett Tuza-Ritter’s A Woman Captured and finally Leilah Weinraub’s Shakedown.

Doc/Circuit, which expands the Festival’s year-round programme, is intended to develop regional screening networks for independent documentaries in the UK and culminate in a case study report offering detailed insight into UK theatrical exhibition options for independent filmmakers without the backing of a major distributor.

The programme will work with titles that have not been picked up for distribution, but have a potential for new regional audience engagement in the UK. The programme which will tour to major cities including Leeds, Manchester, Bristol, Dundee, Newcastle, Glasgow, and Bradford will focus on developing highly tailored audience engagement and marketing strategies to reach underrepresented audiences with specialised films.

Says Luke W Moody, Doc/Fest’s Director of Film Programming,  “Each year we discover incredible documentaries from around the world that we want to share with regional audiences beyond the festival. The vision is  to create new opportunities for filmmakers and audiences , to connect with titles that haven’t been supported by traditional theatrical distributors, and we believe will find a community in regions across the UK“.

Milford Graves Full Mantis

Jake Meginsky, 91 minutes, English, USA

Celebrating the creativity of legendary American percussionist Milford Graves, this film is itself a kaleidoscope ode to the creative process, and a unique homage to the free jazz pioneer.

Doc/Circuit details:

Bertha DocHouse, London - Wednesday 29 August

Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds - Thursday 30 August

Dundee Contemporary Arts - Friday 31 August

Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle - Saturday 1 September

Glasgow Film Theatre - Sunday 2 September

A Northern Soul

Sean McAllister, 80 minutes, English, UK

Sean McAllister returned to his hometown, Hull, as curator of its’ UK City of Culture opening. Living with his elderly parents and reflecting on changes to a city hit by austerity and divided by Brexit.

Doc/Circuit details:Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds - Tuesday 18 September

National  Media Museum, Bradford - Thursday 20 September

Square Chapel, Halifax - Saturday 29 September

Cast, Doncaster - Sunday 30 September

A Woman Captured

Bernadett Tuza-Ritter, 89 minutes, Hungarian, Hungary

Bernadett Tuza-Ritter enters the heart of darkness in Marish’s world. Living as a domestic slave in Hungary for 10 years, she is powerless without police protection or a support system.

Doc/Circuit details:

- 27 October 2018


Leilah Weinraub, 72 mins, English, USA

Step into the world of Shakedown; Los Angeles’ African-American queer strip club. An erotic playground in the ‘90s and early 2000s, the club was a hub for the queer community.

Doc/Circuit details:


Link to film stills/artwork/press:

For further information contact:

Sarah Harvey Publicity

+44 (0) 207 732 7790

About Doc/Fest

Sheffield Doc/Fest is a world leading and the UK’s premier documentary festival. Doc/Fest celebrates the art and business of documentary and all non-fiction storytelling across all platforms, from short film to feature length, series, audio, interactive, augmented reality, virtual reality and special events.

The Festival comprises:

  •   Film programme for the very best in international documentary screenings;
  •   Alternate Realities for interactive and immersive storyworlds;
  •   Special Events including live performance;
  •   Talks & Sessions with world-renowned filmmakers, to inspire, inform and debate;
  •   Marketplace & Talent for international business, delegations, pitching and training;
  •   Social events and networking;
  •   All Year Film Screenings, Alternate Realities Tours, Talks and Training.

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2019 will take place from 6-11 June

About the BFI Audience Award

The BFI Audience Fund supports a broad range of film culture across the UK and aims to grow audience appetite, expanding access and encouraging greater enjoyment of a wide range of cinema, particularly where access is more limited.

Annually investing £5.6m of National Lottery funding, the Fund supports audience-facing activities which seek to reach new audiences, boost inclusivity and diversity and rebalance under-representation on screen.

We support the exhibition and distribution of a wide range of independent films (including foreign language films), working with exhibitors, distributors, festivals, national and touring programmes, multi-year projects and strategic partners to connect great films with their broadest possible audience, in cinemas, at events and online.

The fund takes a flexible approach to help build audiences for commercially risky projects regardless of the partner and the platform, with a particular focus on strategies to develop the 16-30 year-old audience.

About the BFI

The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:

  •               Connecting audiences to the widest choice of UK and World cinema
  •               Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
  •               Championing emerging and world class filmmakers in the UK – investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
  •               Promoting UK film and talent to the world
  •               Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences

The BFI is a Government arm’s-length body and distributor of Lottery funds for film. The BFI serves a public role which covers the cultural, creative and economic aspects of film in the UK. It delivers this role:

  •               As the UK-wide organisation for film, a charity core funded by Government
  •               By providing Lottery and Government funds for film across the UK
  •               By working with partners to advance the position of film in the UK

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter.

The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger CBE.