Sheffield Doc/Fest is an international film and arts festival and marketplace, with a mission to spark imaginations and empower our capacity for change by celebrating, championing and debating documentary film and art as a collective form of engagement.
Through supporting and sharing non-fiction storytelling, Doc/Fest aims to provide a creative space for discovery, challenge and collaboration. As an internationalist and inclusive festival, we embody a commitment to equality and access for all communities, bringing together established creatives, new voices and our host city to shape and question stories of the world we live in.
We provide a space for artistic freedom and exchange, for exploration of the ways in which filmmakers, artists and the public may collectively create a fairer society. We do this through the following programmes:
Film & Arts Programme
Films – Competitions and retrospective programmes from around the globe, giving multiple views on our times and on contemporary film.
Arts – A series of platforms for digital artworks, installations and performances, playing with non-fiction boundaries and expanding them.
Talks – A chance to hear from the talents, filmmakers and artists in the programme.
Market – Marketplace and pitching opportunities.
Talks – Panels and debates discussing challenges and opportunities in the industry.
Talent – Training initiatives and workshops.
Engagement – Grassroots intercultural and intergenerational connections across the Doc/Fest programme.
Doc/Fest Exchange – A year-round platform for discussion, debate and discovery on the themes of climate justice and a healthy planet.
Sheffield Doc/Fest is run by International Documentary Festival Sheffield, an independent registered charity (no.1184849), whose purpose is to advance the art of film, education and training in documentary filmmaking. Our core values as a charity centre around empathy, inclusiveness, social engagement, freedom and internationalism.
In 2019, Doc/Fest welcomed over 28,000 general public admissions and 3,489 individual industry delegates from 59 countries to Sheffield. We invite you to join us for our 28th edition from Friday 4 to Sunday 13 June 2021 - both here in Sheffield and online, as we make plans to deliver a hybrid festival which brings people together physically, where it is possible and safe to do so and virtually where it is not.
The Sheffield Doc/Fest Film programme offers filmmakers a place for inspiration, debate and challenge and a relevant international platform to launch their films and art works. It engages audiences with a multitude of forms, ideas, ways of doing and thinking, through World, International, European and UK premieres and through historical and retrospective programmes. The festival screens 180+ films of all lengths – with the 2020 programme encompassing 115 films of all lengths, spanning 50 countries and representing 49 spoken languages.
Sheffield Doc/Fest looks to question the boundaries of documentary through a programme that challenges trends, brings diversity and enriches debate. The festival invites audiences to engage with experiences and stories from different parts of the world and to join makers in inspiring moments.
Alongside the cinema programme, Doc/Fest runs two online VOD platforms: Selects for films for public audiences in the UK, and Doc/Player for industry, to promote films seeking sales, distribution, screening opportunities and circulation. Both are easily navigable and highly secure platforms.
A space for experimentation in digital art practice, exploring narratives through research and bringing together varied forms and languages. Playing with non-fiction boundaries and expanding them.
The Arts Programme comprises the following components:
1. Ten-day group exhibitions, in person and online, which display artworks via both an internationally renowned gallery showcase and a new virtual platform;
2. Newly-commissioned works, which are shown at the exhibitions alongside other international artists’ works;
3. Curated Talks on a range of topics, centring on non-fiction and digital art practice;
4. Associated events and activities that engage diverse communities in the programme in meaningful ways;
5. After the festival period, a tour of selected works from the Exhibition at multidisciplinary arts venues across the UK and internationally.
The Sheffield Doc/Fest Talks programme gives festival audiences the opportunity to hear from and talk to filmmakers, non-fiction innovators and industry representatives from all over the world, discussing the latest artistic and industry questions.
An agenda-setting and provocative programme of the highest profile on-screen talent; filmmaker talks and industry panels deliver moments for collective discussion and reflection, for sharing experiences that enrich the films and discovering new ways of thinking, telling and making stories.
The Sheffield Doc/Fest Marketplace is a major funding, sales and distribution platform designed to unlock UK and international market opportunities and facilitate creative collaborations.
Marketplace comprises a range of artistic-led and business activity and is open to all, from first-time filmmakers to established talent, from feature-length film projects, to shorts and series. Marketplace offers a number of mentoring opportunities including Meet the Execs and festival guidance through its Switchboard.
One of the world’s largest non-fiction and factual markets and pitching forums, with the opportunity to meet with over 300 international funders, broadcasters, distributors and exhibitors. Doc/Fest offers a unique way to pitch projects through match made meetings between pitchers and industry representatives and for creative and financial discussions. Projects range from long form to short form films, series and formats.
UK Broadcast Production Talent Market
The UK Broadcast Production Talent Market is anew networking market to connect talent from around the UK with production company executives looking to expand their crews for upcoming and future projects.
Arts Talent Market
The market is for discussing new projects and is open to all artistic practices of digital non-fiction narratives, ranging from video art, interactive, immersive, virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, AI, immersive sound technology, games, 360-video, motion comic to live performance, room-scale experience and installation. Selected artists and creative teams will be connected with industry representatives from funding bodies, NGOs, broadcasters, international festivals, galleries, production companies, tech companies and distribution platforms for new media.
Doc/Fest welcomes International Delegations to the festival, creating opportunities to meet international filmmakers, partners and co-producers from around the world. Doc/Fest also facilitates UK Talent groups, students and graduates introducing new delegates to the festival.
Sheffield Doc/Fest Year Round
Sheffield Doc/Fest delivers activity throughout the year, offering events in partnership to inspire audiences and communities with the art of film. From workshops to community screenings, we are open to involving local, regional and national participants in a range of training, exhibition and creative events.
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