Every since its humble beginnings back in 1994, Sheffield International Documentary Festival (or Doc/Fest for short) has been steadily growing in size, depth and stature, and is the UK’s premier documentary and digital media festival. Between June 13-17th June Sheffield will be host to a glittering array of films from the cinema, television and online arena, along with workshops, Q&As and related events.
Some of the highlights of this year’s showcase are:
From the Sea to the Land Beyond – Crucible – 13th June
British Sea Power provide a live soundtrack to Penny Woolcock’s portrait of the British coastline. Made from over 100 years of BFI footage, the award-winning director provides a fitting testimony to the role our coast has played in this nation’s history.
Searching for Sugar Man – Showroom 3&4 – 13th June
In 1970s South Africa, rock and roll musician Rodriguez was a household name. However, the Mexican immigrant from Detroit was never aware of this success. Two hardcore fans set out to discover what happened to the singer whose songs tackled the social problems of the day, and had a particular resonance in the African state. Searching for Sugar Man scooped two awards at Sundance.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diDZt4uC88c
Call me Kuchu – Library Theatre – 13th/14th June
In Uganda, homosexuality is outlawed, but a witch hunt is on to out the “kuchu”. Call me Kuchu follows the country’s first openly gay man, David Kato, who is leading a small band of activists in fighting for their right to exist.
The Other Dream Team – Library Theatre/Showroom – 15ht/16th June
The Other Dream Team follows five Lithuanian from the USSR gold winning basketball team at the 1988 Olympics. Four years later at the Barcelona Olympics, they rose up to defeat their oppressors and their victory became symbolic for their newly liberated Lithuania.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIfs3E6Hf44
Indie Game: The Movie – Library Theatre – 13th & 16th June
Fresh from Sundance, Indie Game: The Movie follows a group of Indie game developers who spend their lives, often on their own and living on a pittance, trying to make the breakthrough that will bring them fame and fortune.
Town of Runners – Odeon – 14th June
After two of Ethiopia’s Olympic medal winning runners hailed from the same small rural town Bekoji at the Beijing Olympics, a generation of young villagers are determined to follow their heroes and escape a life of poverty.
The Punk Syndrome – Showroom/Article X – 14th & 16th June
Each of the four members of Pertti Kurikka’s Name Day have learning difficulties and have grown up only tool aware of their differences. Now they belt out their emotions in heartfelt, full pelt punk songs; building up a huge, affectionate fan base in their native Finland.
Whilst Doc/Fest is an industry event, the screenings are open to the general public and it’s a fantastic festival of film. Many people seem reluctant to watch factual films on the big screen, but documentaries are often the most upsetting, heart warming and inspiring cinema you will ever watch.
This year, there is going to big a big screen up on Howard Street featuring some amazing free films for all to see. The highlights include: Naqoyqatsi, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, The Last Waltz, Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey & Koyaanisqatsi.
For further details on these, and the full festival programme, visit http://sheffdocfest.com/