Sheffield Doc/Fest is delighted to announce that one of the world’s most popular filmmakers, director Paul Greengrass, will join journalist, broadcaster and curator Danny Leigh for an on-stage discussion at The Crucible, Sheffield on Friday 7 June.

The hugely respected director, who cut his teeth on the investigative documentary strand World in Action, will talk about his journey from TV documentaries in the UK to feature films in Hollywood, the evolution of his signature vérité-style, and his thoughts on the need to open up the film industry to less privileged and working class talent and ensure future creative diversity.


Says Melanie Iredale, Interim Director, Sheffield Doc/Fest, “It is such an honour to be welcoming the hugely talented Paul Greengrass to Sheffield in June. The focus of his discussion, with Danny, and with our audiences, lies close to the heart of Doc/Fest’s ethos, to celebrate and create opportunities for all filmmaking talent, including those from less privileged backgrounds; a conversation that will continue throughout this year’s festival.

Says Danny Leigh, film journalist, broadcaster and curator, “Paul Greengrass is an inspiration – a giant of British film. I’ve always been fascinated by how he has stayed true to research and realism whether working in documentary journalism or the most spectacular blockbuster movies. His belief in people from all social backgrounds being able to play their part in the film and TV industries is yet another reason to admire him. I’m thrilled to be talking to Paul at Doc/Fest, one of the most essential film and TV festivals anywhere.”


The 2019 Festival, which takes place from 6-11 June, will also include a debate chaired by Danny Leigh about how the film and broadcast industries are responding to the pressing need for greater inclusion and more support for emerging talent working without industry connections, financial support or an educational head start. Details to be announced.


Paul Greengrass biography:

Award-winning filmmaker Paul Greengrass most recently wrote and directed 22 JULY. His previous work as director, writer, and producer of critically-acclaimed box office successes include, Oscar® Best Picture nominee CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (2013), GREEN ZONE (2010), BLOODY SUNDAY (2002), and UNITED 93 (2006) for which he garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Director. He is also the director of several films in the world-wide blockbuster “Bourne” franchise: JASON BOURNE (2016), THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM (2007), and THE BOURNE SUPREMACY. (2004).

Greengrass has also had a long and distinguished career in British television.  He has written and directed television films concerned with social and political issues, including THE MURDER OF STEPHEN LAWRENCE (BAFTA winner for Best Single Drama Award in 2000 and the Special Jury Prize at the Banff World Television Festival), as well as THE FIX, THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY AND OPEN FIRE.

In 2004, Greengrass produced and co-wrote the television film OMAGH which won BAFTA’s Best Single Drama Award in 2005 and was named Best Irish Film at the Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) in 2004.  The film was also nominated for the IFTA’s Best Script award.

Greengrass spent the first decade of his career covering global conflict for the ITV current affairs program WORLD IN ACTION.  He has written and directed many documentaries, including the Live Aid documentary FOOD, TRUCKS AND ROCK AND ROLL.  He is also an author and co-wrote the controversial bestseller “Spycatcher” with Peter Wright, former assistant director of Britain’s MI5.

Greengrass was born 13 August 1955 in Cheam, Surrey, England and studied at Queens’ College, Cambridge University. 

He was awarded a BFI Fellowship in 2017 for his outstanding contribution to film and television.


Danny Leigh biography:

Danny Leigh is a journalist, broadcaster and curator. He has written since the 1990s for The Guardian and also writes frequently for the Financial Times. He has written and presented documentaries for BBC4 and Radio 4 on subjects as varied as boxing movies, David Lynch and class identity. He co-presented BBC One’s long running Film programme from 2010 until 2017, before joining the BFI as a curator. In 2018, he helped organise Working Class Heroes, a BFI supported project designed to celebrate working class screen talent. He has written two novels and is working on a third.


Event Listing:

Paul Greengrass in Conversation with Danny Leigh

Venue: Netflix Crucible Studio 

Date: Friday 7 June

Time: 15:30

£12/£10 concession


Delegate pass information and purchase:


For further information contact:

Sarah Harvey Publicity

+44 (0) 7958 597426


About Doc/Fest

Sheffield Doc/Fest is a world leading festival celebrating the art and business of documentary and non-fiction storytelling across all forms. Each year the festival welcomes over 25,000 festival goers, including around 3,500 industry delegates from 55 countries.

Doc/Fest is a creative space for discovery, debate, collaboration and inspiration. We champion and push forward new talent, ideas and interaction for the future of the industry. We are an open, inclusive festival, bringing together veteran creatives, new voices and our city to share, shape and question stories of the world we live in.

The six-day festival and all-year activity consists of events across five programme areas:

FILM – New cinema, film and artist’s moving image, performance and live events

ALTERNATE REALITIES – immersive, interactive digital art

TALKS – Masterclasses, summits and panels

MARKETPLACE - Industry, talent, training and pitching

SOCIAL – Parties and networking

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