• The Vasulka Effect
    The Vasulka Effect

    Artists Steina and Woody Vasulka met in Prague in the early sixties, before moving to New York where they discovered video and later founded the legendary gallery, Kitchen. In the film, the couple are now reaching retirement age, living in Santa Fe. Their entire life has been dedicated to art, as pioneers in music, waves, collage, and landscapes. As lifetime hackers and known as the “grandparents of video art”, their experiments can now be seen as having had a huge impact on a generation of digital artists. With Woody having sadly passed away in December 2019, now more than ever their work deserves to be rediscovered.

  • The Go-Go's
    The Go-Go's

    Formed by Belinda Carlisle and Jane Wiedlin, The Go-Go’s started out in the 1980s LA punk scene. Talent, ambition, and the coinciding birth of MTV and the music video catapulted The Go-Go’s ascent. They made history as the first all-female band to write their own songs, play their own instruments, and release a No. 1 album. As the pressure of fame grew, hard drugs, alcohol, and infighting start to take its toll. Through a combination of candid interviews and great footage, Alison Ellwood’s spirited tribute shines a light on the band’s success – as musicians, ground-breakers and survivors.

  • The Filmmaker's House
    The Filmmaker's House

    When the Filmmaker is told his next film must be about crime, sex or celebrity to get funded, he takes matters into his own hands and begins shooting in his home with a cast of characters connected to his own life.

    We first meet two English builders, employed to replace the garden fence, temporarily removing the barrier between the house and a Pakistani neighbour.
    This introduces the film’s central theme of hospitality which ultimately finds its expression when a homeless Slovakian man charms the Filmmaker’s Colombian cleaner to let him in and tests everyone's ideas of the expectations and boundaries between host and guests.

    Available to watch in the cinema or Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects in the Autumn.

  • The Viewing Booth
    The Viewing Booth

    In a laboratory-like set up, The Viewing Booth, the filmmaker chooses an American student—enthusiastic supporter of Israel—Maia, and invites her to watch and comment on the videos made by a Palestinian activist collective who are filming the daily life of inhabitants of the occupied territories and the behaviour of the Israeli army. The film explores the relationship between viewer, documentary footage, and filmmaker; the way one builds one’s own fiction and analyses sounds and images through pre-established opinions.
    Building a unique relationship between viewer and filmmaker, the film is a deep and essential reflection on how we look at images.

    The Viewing Booth Official Website

  • Corporate Accountability / Responsabilidad Empresarial
    Corporate Accountability / Responsabilidad Empresarial

    During the Argentinian military regime, from 1976 to 1983, local and international companies had an active role in preparing lists of workers to be abducted, supplying information for the military forces and settling clandestine detention centers inside their premises. Perel reads out excerpts of a report never published before, and collects still shots of the company’s buildings, accomplices of the dictatorship, and their logos—filmed from his car’s window—in a trip around Argentina. The simple and precise cinematic gesture shows that evidence of the crimes are still there.

  • Wellspring
    Wellspring

    A double portrait of two women whose lives have been shaped by a shared passion for homemaking and hospitality. Over the course of the film we see Rosemary and Nancy in their cottage in Yorkshire, where they have settled in retirement. We hear them speak about the project they embarked on together, which saw them shelter and re-house over five hundred families in Massachusetts over a thirty year period, as well as providing a personal and historical context to their story.

  • The Tunnel / 地洞
    The Tunnel / 地洞

    “Yong-Hong, the main character in this film, usually assists film crews with location scouting and occasionally plays characters on film. While filming this documentary, Yong-Hong was also an extra in a film shot in an old military site, the tunnel. He once wrote a script about himself and his terrible family. His script is the origin of this film…

    A poet once wrote that family was "the first roof, the first torture platform, the sweetest place, the most painful thorn." This short film perhaps is a description of this complex combination, about family, about people.” - Hsu Hui-ju

    Available to watch in the cinema or Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects in the Autumn.

  • The Last Happy Day
    The Last Happy Day

    A portrait of Sandor (Alexander) Lenard, a Hungarian medical doctor and a distant cousin of Sachs. In 1938 Lenard, a writer with a Jewish background, fled the Nazis to Rome. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Army Graves Registration Service hired him to reconstruct the bones of dead American soldiers. Eventually he found himself in Brazil where he translated “Winnie the Pooh” into Latin, an eccentric task that catapulted him to brief world-wide fame. Personal letters, abstracted war imagery, home movies, interviews, and a children’s performance create an intimate meditation on the destructive power of war.

  • Please Hold The Line
    Please Hold The Line

    This film follows cable technicians in Moldavia, Romania, Ukraine and Bulgaria as they visit their customers, entering each time in their own individual universe. It catches our eye with its skillful editing, colourful glimpses of local stories, and fierce view of a so-called connected society in a region that has been torn apart by nationalism. It also demonstrates in a humorous way our dependence on communication technologies.

  • Welcome to Chechnya
    Welcome to Chechnya

    Since 2017, Chechnya’s tyrannical leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has waged a depraved operation to “cleanse the blood” of LGBTQI+ Chechens, overseeing a government-directed campaign to detain, torture and execute them. With no help from the Kremlin and only faint global condemnation, activists take matters into their own hands. In his new documentary, David France uses a remarkable approach to anonymity to expose this atrocity and to tell the story of an extraordinary group of people confronting evil.

    This film is available until 28 June

  • The Kiosk / Le Kiosque
    The Kiosk / Le Kiosque

    Alexandra came to help her mother, a newspaper saleswoman, in a kiosk located in a wealthy area of Paris. From the discovery of the job to the intimacy built with the customers, the film deals playfully and generously with a number of issues, not least the media’s publishing crisis. A whole world enters this little space.

    Available to watch in the cinema or Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects in the Autumn.

  • The Story of Plastic
    The Story of Plastic

    The Story of Plastic unearths the real causes of our growing plastic pollution problem and the twisted narratives we have been fed by industry to distract us and displace blame. Depicting a world rapidly becoming overrun with toxic material, The Story of Plastic brings into focus this alarming, man-made crisis. Striking footage, original animations, and archival material combine to point to the disastrous impact of the plastics industry, shedding new light on a pressing global challenge that threatens the life and health of animals, humans, and civilization on Earth.

  • Bring Down The Walls
    Bring Down The Walls

    With a prison population of more than 2 million, the USA is the world's biggest jailer. Coinciding with the escalation of mass incarceration in the 1980s, house music emerged from Black, Latinx and queer communities embattled by oppressive law enforcement policies. Bring Down The Walls explores the prison industrial complex through the lens of house music and nightlife, proposing the dance floor as a space of personal and collective liberation, and new ways in which we could come together as a society.

  • Work or to Whom Does The World Belong // El Trabajo o a Quien le Pertenece el Mundo
    Work or to Whom Does The World Belong // El Trabajo o a Quien le Pertenece el Mundo

    Work or To Whom Does The World Belong observes a mining community through the prism of ethno-fiction, as it negotiates the decline of the same industry that enabled its emergence. A long period of deindustrialisation affecting the whole region gives way to a decaying landscape of pit-heads and slag heaps.

    A housing estate once more becomes a battlefield as strikers and police clash. After the failure of the last strike, workers are faced between the choice of action or apathy.

  • Galena / گالین
    Galena / گالین

    Aunt Esma is an old Iranian woman living alone in a remote isolated ancient village in the desert where a lead mine is still active. Workers are talking about “cutting mountains” and discuss their health conditions. Aunt Esma does not want to go away and live with her daughter. She prefers collecting dry wood and talking to her teddy bear. A dung beetle rolls its dung ball.

  • Your Mother's Comfort / Aconchego da tua Mãe
    Your Mother's Comfort / Aconchego da tua Mãe

    “We transgender are the revolution!” Indianara Siqueira, trans activist and politician, admonishes her political party for ousting her days before the 2018 Brazilian national elections. In the same election cycle extreme-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro is a forerunner for President of the Republic. Indianara is the ‘mother’ at the head of a homeless shelter and community center for trans sex workers called Casa Nem in Rio de Janeiro. Casa Nem is a squat, and facing the threat of eviction, Indianara occupies a colonial palace nearby to bargain with the city to save the house.

  • Lupita / Lupita Que retiemble la tierra
    Lupita / Lupita Que retiemble la tierra

    In a country where indigenous people are increasingly displaced, their land stolen, where students disappear without trace following police arrest, and journalists are murdered at an alarming rate, a courageous new voice emerges. Lupita, a Tsostil Maya massacre survivor, at the forefront of a new movement of indigenous women. If anyone can change the conscience of Mexico, it is Lupita, confronting corrupt militares, mobilizing her pueblo’s resistance, and cultivating a new generation of organized and vocal Maya activists.

  • Me and the Cult Leader / Aganai
    Me and the Cult Leader / Aganai

    Atsushi Sakahara, a victim of the 1995 sarin gas attack in Tokyo's subway system, travels with Hiroshi Araki, an executive of Aleph (formerly Aum Shinrikyo), the attack's perpetrators, visiting their respective hometowns and the university they both attended. Conversations unfold, building intimacy: we learn why Araki joined the infamous organization led by Shoko Asahara and why, still, Araki remains an executive member of the cult, even though he was not directly involved in any of the crimes.
    The beginning of a friendship, a trip for redemption, or the confirmation that each human has to go their own way.

  • Isle of Us
    Isle of Us

    In 2015, Syrians were being relocated by the UN across Scotland.
    After hearing that some families were homed on the remote Isle of Bute, filmmaker Laura Wadha decided to make a film about Mounzer, a Syrian barber who settled in a little Scottish village with his family.
    Haunted by the ghost of war, he is trying to build a home for himself and his children. The barber shop welcomes locals and soon the community adopts them.

  • Which Way is The East: Notebooks From Vietnam
    Which Way is The East: Notebooks From Vietnam

    "A frog that sits at the bottom of a well thinks that the whole sky is only as big as the lid of a pot."

    Two American sisters travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, followed by their own ghosts and those of local memories. On their way, they meet a country and its richness - strangers, translations, parables and stories, in a complex landscape. History is put into perspective as each conversation becomes a true encounter: uncountable possible words to translate what we see and what we hear. The Vietnam they knew from TV is only a tiny part of this world to which they now decide to pay attention.

  • Breadline
    Breadline

    In a forgotten seaside town in the north of England, seventy eight year old Dave hands out food and kindness to those in need. After ten years of austerity, this nuanced portrait of a volunteer-run food bank penetrates the harsh reality of contemporary Britain.

  • On A Clear Day You Can See the Revolution From Here
    On A Clear Day You Can See the Revolution From Here

    The film brings into focus Kazakhstan’s search for a post-Soviet identity and a state-sponsored programme of cultural production that, on the one hand connects back to the ancient folklore and belief systems of the Silk Road, while on the other, seeks to embrace the values of Western capitalism.
    On A Clear Day You Can See The Revolution From Here provides a meditative faux-observational film about the continual process of construction involved in nationhood and national identity.

  • The Spirit of TV / O Espírito da TV
    The Spirit of TV / O Espírito da TV

    Beginning with the arrival by canoe of a TV and VCR in their village, The Spirit of TV documents the emotions and thoughts of the Waiãpi as they first encounter their own TV images and those of others. They view a tape from their chief’s first trip to Brasilia to speak to the government, news broadcasts, and videos on other Brazilian native peoples. The tape translates the opinions of individual Waiãpi on the power of images, the diversity of native peoples, and native peoples’ common struggles with federal agents, gold miners, trappers and loggers.

  • Yãmīyhex: The Women-Spirit // Yãmīyhex: Mulheres Espírito
    Yãmīyhex: The Women-Spirit // Yãmīyhex: Mulheres Espírito

    After some months in the Verde village, in Ladainha (Minas Gerais), the yãmiyhex (women-spirit) are getting ready to leave. The filmmakers Sueli and Isael Maxakali record the preparations and the big farewell party. During those festive days, a crowd of spirits cross the village. The yãmiyhex leave but they will always return, missing their fathers and mothers.

    A film haunted by a myth, inhabited by the careful construction of rituals and celebration, moved by the force of a spiritual bond with every manifestation of life.

  • Untold Chaos
    Untold Chaos

    At the end of his presidency, Obama said his worst mistake was failing to plan for the day after the intervention in Libya. Filmed over seven years, this is a unique window into life in a country now in the hands of warlords, with no clear political path, a proxy war and a failing international peace process. An observational untold mosaic of besieged cities and vast deserts, ancient languages, diversities and divisions.

    Yet amongst the chaos we glimpse a quest for democracy and a thirst for reconciliation, from those who are often unseen and unrepresented.

  • The Art of Living in Danger
    The Art of Living in Danger

    It all begins in the past: with Mina Keshavarz’s grandmother. She was a victim of domestic violence and her death was shrouded in mystery. In Mina’s present, a group of Iranian feminists founded a campaign called "Stop Domestic Violence Against Women". They collect testimonies of domestic violence around Iran and, in collaboration with a group of female lawyers, use it to write a new law. We sit with these brave women’s fight against the state, their journey around Iran and their uphill battle against all odds for a very basic human right, the right for women to be safe in their homes. The battle between intelligence and freedom against obscurity and oppression.

    Available to watch in the cinema or Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects in the Autumn.

  • Stolen Fish
    Stolen Fish

    In the smallest country of continental Africa, Gambia, fish are now being powdered by Chinese corporations and exported to Europe and China to feed animals in industrial farming. As a result, Gambians are being deprived of their primary source of protein while overfishing is depleting marine ecosystems. The film follows three Gambians who share intimate stories of daily struggle, anger, hope and longing for their loved ones in the midst of difficult migration routes. A good example of how the global fishmeal industry impacts the lives of local people of one of the poorest countries in the western coast of Africa.

  • You Think The Earth Is A Dead Thing / Tu Crois Que La Terre Est Chose Morte
    You Think The Earth Is A Dead Thing / Tu Crois Que La Terre Est Chose Morte

    Just one of the many far-reaching impacts of the slave trade on human history is on agriculture and horticulture. While the French plantation owners on the Caribbean island of Martinique had their gardens laid out, Versailles-style, their enslaved workers continued their tradition of using medicinal wild herbs.
    Nowadays these herbs represent one of several resources through which the people of Martinique counter the health and ecological ravage caused by the use of pesticides on the banana plantations. Farmers are reclaiming uncultivated lands to grow indigenous vegetables, without any industrial pesticides; they fight boldly for simple biodiversity.

  • All the Possibilities…Reflections on a Painting by Vernon Pratt
    All the Possibilities…Reflections on a Painting by Vernon Pratt

    Exploring the intersection between art and math, All the Possibilities… offers an inventive approach to representing artist Vernon Pratt’s most ambitious work - on screen. The 1,450 square foot systematic abstract painting, All the Possibilities of Filling in Sixteenths (65,536), was completed in 1982, though only recently exhibited for the first time, posthumously, when all 256 panels were hung floor to ceiling on three walls in a single gallery space.