Meet our Leadership Team

Composite of three headshots. Left is Annabel Grundy, a white woman with reddish hair swept to the side of her face. Centre is Raul a man with dark curly hair and facial hair. Right is Paul, a white man with greying facial hair, he's wearing a hat.
Image Left-Right: Annabel Grundy (credit Mark Howe), Raul Niño Zambrano and Paul Steele.


As we move into the 30th Edition of Sheffield DocFest, meet our renewed leadership team who are taking the festival forward: Annabel Grundy - Managing Director; Raul Niño Zambrano - Acting Creative Director; and Paul Steele - Director of Partnerships and Community.

Annabel Grundy - Managing Director

Annabel joins Sheffield DocFest from her previous role project-managing the BFI’s UK Global Screen Fund, a new £7m pa fund from the UK Government designed to support international growth opportunities for the UK Screen Sector. Her role for the last two years included establishing and launching the fund in 2021 as well as financial oversight of international co-production, business development and film sales awards.

Annabel is a Sheffield local with over twenty years of experience working with UK and international film organisations. She has produced large scale, public-facing festivals and film industry events in Sydney, London and Edinburgh and has worked with, among others, British Council, Riverside Studios, Edinburgh International Film Festival and latterly BFI Film Audience Network where she delivered UK-wide film programmes, growing young and diverse audiences for specialised film and developing new voices in film curation. Annabel is also a current Global MBA candidate at AMBS Manchester. 

Raul Niño Zambrano - Acting Creative Director

Raul Niño Zambrano, joined Sheffield DocFest as Head of Film Programmes in 2022 and has recently been appointed Acting Creative Director, in a new joint leadership model alongside Managing Director, Annabel Grundy.

Raul Niño Zambrano was previously Senior Programmer at IDFA (International Documentary Festival Amsterdam) where he started as a programmer in 2008. During his tenure at IDFA, Raul conducted a ground-breaking study on the position of women within the documentary world The Female Gaze (2014) and initiated the IDFA Queer Day (2013, ongoing). In addition to being a lead programmer on the overall selection, he curated such programmes as Emerging Voices from Southeast Asia, and Cinema do Brasil. He has participated in many international festivals as a juror (Hot Docs, DocPoint, Guanajuato International Film Festival) and as an expert/tutor (DocMontevideo, FESPACO, Brasil CineMundi, If/Then Shorts Global Pitch, Guadalajara Doculab). Raul followed his true passion for documentary film, studying Media and Culture at the University of Amsterdam, after working in the Netherlands as an engineer specialising in wind energy.

Paul Steele - Director of Partnerships and Community

Paul joins Sheffield DocFest in February after a successful decade as the Managing Director of Junction Arts, an ambitious charity and social change organisation in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Paul was instrumental in developing a new vision for Junction Arts and growing its engagement and reach from a hyper local community arts charity to having an international presence, developing work in the Netherlands and Brazil. During his time there, Paul developed the Festivals and Events programme comprising two annual outdoor arts festivals including the Bright Winter Nights Festival (now in its 30th year) and significantly grew the partnerships portfolio.

Paul has over 18 years’ experience in the cultural and charity sector, is experienced in delivering strategic organisational growth and has developed strong relationships with public, private and community partners. He has been a representative on the national Radio Skills and Development Forum and the TV Skills Committee and represented the community sector on the All-Party Parliamentary Media Literacy Group.


Click here to see the full Sheffield DocFest team.

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