• Commissioning: Specialist Factual

    In a world where ratings are king, how do you make specialist factual popular? How can the genre appeal to the biggest audience with content that on first impression may seem niche? Key commissioning editors reveal how they’ve done it and what they are looking for. Topics include: supersizing specialist factual with talent, appealing to global audience and creating a cross-over with factual entertainment.

  • Jenn Nkiru talks Film, Art and Cosmic Archeology

    Filmmaker and ‘cosmic archaeologist’, Jenn Nkiru, is one of the UK’s most exciting rising directors, with a unique and distinctive visual style. Her films are powerful explorations of black identity including commissions for Nowness, Frieze, Gucci and Channel 4. She has also collaborated on projects with Beyonce, Jay-Z and Kamasi Washington, and was a founding curator of Boiler Room’s video platform 4:3, alongside Elijah Wood, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Peaches. Jenn will discuss her work and upcoming projects, including new archive-based short BLACK TO TECHNO, which explores the origins and impact of the Detroit techno scene.

    Black to Techno directed by Jenn Nkiru, is screening at the festival.

    Please contact us if you have any questions about access at this event:
    E: access [at] sheffdocfest.com
    T: +44 (0)114 276 5141

  • BBC Interview: Stacey Dooley

    We are delighted to welcome back Stacey Dooley, for this year’s BBC Interview. Stacey’s television career began a decade ago when she brought to BBC3 insightful documentaries exploring domestic violence, drug abuse and child migration. Her first book, On the Front Line with the Women Who Fight Back (2018), draws on her encounters with the brave women featured in her films, and she continues to stare down some of the world’s toughest topics with upcoming films exploring the arms trade and American vigilantism. Stacey will discuss her remarkable career so far, the global themes that her films tackle, and what it feels like to become a household name following her Strictly Come Dancing win.

    Supported by BBC

    Tickets for this talk are also available from Sheffield Theatres

    Please contact us if you have any questions about access at this event:
    E: access [at] sheffdocfest.com
    T: +44 (0)114 276 5141

  • Paul Greengrass in Conversation

    We welcome the hugely respected director Paul Greengrass to this years’ Sheffield Doc/Fest. Having cut his teeth on the investigative documentary strand World in Action, known for its forceful and unorthodox journalistic approach, Paul Greengrass has become one of the world’s most popular filmmakers. His films, which often explore real-world anxieties and confront both social and political issues, include 22 July, three of the Jason Bourne franchise, Captain Phillips, United 93 and Bloody Sunday.

    In conversation with journalist, broadcaster and BFI Senior curator Danny Leigh, Paul will discuss 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.

    TICKETS ON SALE NOW - £12/10

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    E: access [at] sheffdocfest.com
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  • Rodney P talks Bass, Beats and Docs

    Since forming the seminal hip-hop group London Posse in 1987, Rodney P has been widely regarded as the Godfather of British hip-hop, and has collaborated with a diverse range of artists including Omar, Roni Size, Nitin Sawhney and Björk.

    More recently Rodney has authored a number of documentaries exploring both British and global music culture, including The Hip Hop World News, The Last Pirates – Britain’s Rebel DJs and Bass, Beats and Bars - The Story of Grime, offering an alternative historical perspective to recent music phenomena.

    In conversation with music journalist Chantelle Fiddy, Rodney, along with Creative Director Jaimie D'Cruz (Acme Films), will discuss his musical and documentary career and future plans.

    EARLY BIRD TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR A LIMITED PERIOD - £8 (discount will be applied at checkout)

    Please contact us if you have any questions about access at this event:
    E: access [at] sheffdocfest.com
    T: +44 (0)114 276 5141

  • Desert Island Docs: Nick Hornby

    Nick Hornby, bestselling author and screenwriter, continues to be a feature of cinemas and bookshelves after 25 years. His most recent work, the comedy mini-episodic State of the Union directed by Stephen Frears, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, and recent screenwriting credits, including An Education, Wild and Brooklyn have won him multiple Academy Award nominations. Best known for the novels Fever Pitch, High Fidelity and About a Boy, which have all been adapted into hugely popular films, Nick will discuss his own work and the documentaries that have inspired his writing.

    Supported by Off the Shelf

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    E: access [at] sheffdocfest.com
    T: +44 (0)114 276 5141

  • Alternate Realities Summit: Incomputable Sensibilities

    This years Alternate Realities Summit aims to challenge preconceptions and disrupt narratives to deliver a new vision of documentary making. A day-long event of provocative and artistic debate, with talks, presentations, panel discussions and performances from the world’s leading immersive and interactive storytellers. This year it will focus on the colonialism of the connected world, examine the evolution of query-based narrative and encourage an awakening in relation to personal data and unconscious bias.

    For further information on this programme, please click here

  • Sheffield Doc/Fest Awards

    As this year’s festival edition draws to a close, we honour the very best of the fest, including the reveal of our Audience Award winner as chosen by you. Come along to celebrate some of the talent we’ve been proud to host this year.

  • Commissioning: Factual Entertainment

    Factual Entertainment sits at the heart of the TV schedule but with budgets, ratings and platforms more challenging than ever, how does terrestrial fact ent punch through? We ask our panel of commissioners whether the big plays are only for the big players or whether a small indie can still have a shot at the main prize?

  • A Conversation with Werner Herzog

    Arguably one of the greatest living filmmakers, who battled Klaus Kinski on the set of Aguirre, Wrath of God, dragged a ship over a hill for Fitzcarraldo and famously ate his own shoe on film after a losing bet, joins us to discuss his acclaimed career. His body of work includes over 60 films, on subjects as diverse as death row, Antarctica, the internet, volcanoes and bears, and his latest doc, Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin, explores the life of the famous travel writer and is screening at the festival.

    Supported by BBC Arts

    Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin directed by Werner Herzog, is screening at the festival.

    Tickets for this talk are also available from Sheffield Theatres

    Please contact us if you have any questions about access at this event:
    E: access [at] sheffdocfest.com
    T: +44 (0)114 276 5141

  • My Big Break

    Pursuing a career in Film or TV can be a daunting experience, and in the early stages of doing so it’s easy to feel that those around us find success with impossible ease. A panel of Film and TV professionals will discuss the highs and lows of their own journeys into the industry, offering insights from their experiences. This year, an inspiring group of women look back on overcoming the obstacles and creating the opportunities that brought them to where they are today.

    Supported by BAFTA

    Your Turn, directed by Eliza Capai, is screening at the festival.

  • Commissioning: Documentary for Broadcast

    Highlighting their priorities, leading commissioners talk about forthcoming commissioning opportunities as they take part in our own version of Question Time. Commenting on recent successes, they discuss the changing landscape, the renewed focus on diversity and how producers can keep innovating for their channels. With a spotlight on relationships and with audience questions throughout, this is your chance to really get to know some of the UK’s most prolific commissioners.

  • Channel 4 Interview: Sir Bradley Wiggins

    Sir Bradley Wiggins is Britain’s most decorated Olympians and the first British cyclist to win The Tour de France. He retired from cycling in 2016 and is now tackling an audacious record attempt, involving flying a pedal powered plane across the English Channel, for a major feature length Channel 4 documentary. He will be talking about sport, obsession and his love of a challenge. This will be a rare opportunity to hear first hand what drives one of Britain’s most successful athletes.

    Supported by Channel 4

    Tickets for this talk are also available from Sheffield Theatres

    Please contact us if you have any questions about access at this event:
    E: access [at] sheffdocfest.com
    T: +44 (0)114 276 5141

  • BAFTA Masterclass: Asif Kapadia

    The Academy Award and multi BAFTA-winning filmmaker, Asif Kapadia, elevated the art of archive documentaries with Amy and Senna, films which were both critically acclaimed and box office hits. His latest film Diego Maradona, explores the life of one of the world’s most iconic sportsmen. Asif will discuss his own career and inspirations, his filmmaking practise, and his personal connection to his work.

    Supported by BAFTA

    Diego Maradona directed by Asif Kapadia, is opening the festival.

    Please contact us if you have any questions about access at this event:
    E: access [at] sheffdocfest.com
    T: +44 (0)114 276 5141

    Tickets for this talk are also available from Sheffield Theatres

  • Funding and Commissioning: Feature Documentary

    With everything solid melting into air, and the documentary landscape never more varied and complex, this panel asks leading commissioners, funders & distributors: how do independent filmmakers get creative feature length documentary work made and seen today? We'll hear what they are looking for, why they love the films they fund, and the advice they can offer to both emerging & established talent taking on the challenges of making feature length work.

  • Channel 4 First Cut Pitch

    The Channel 4 First Cut Pitch is back! Once again Channel 4 will be offering five new directors the chance to pitch in front of some of Channel 4’s factual commissioning team and a live audience. One winner will walk away with a commission from Channel 4 for their first 60’ film and one months fully-paid development and mentorship with an indie to support the development of their idea.

  • Famous Faces in New Spaces

    Transitioning from a well-known personality to a factual presenter is a difficult and delicate path to tread. In this session, presenters and producers alike discuss their experiences of creating some of the most entertaining television of the past twelve months. With a trend for ‘repurposing’ famous faces, this session will give you a first-hand insight in to the pitfalls and potential of such a move.

    Supported by BBC