Looking to the future of film, the 25th edition of Sheffield Doc/Fest celebrates emerging trends and new cinematic approaches, offering a diverse programme of documentary and non-fiction works. This selection engages with timely ideas about technology, identity and contemporary conflict.
Live Cinema Summit, 8-9 June
This two-day event investigates the growing trajectory of live cinema. Panel sessions, workshops and talks uncover the impact of film screenings accompanied by performances and immersive elements, investigating how site-specific locations, technological intervention and digital participation can enhance the viewing experience.
Black Mother, dir. Khalik Allah, with World Premiere score from GAIKA, 10 June
Created by the American photographer, this film brings together voices from Allah’s mother’s home country of Jamaica. Drawing a striking portrait of the region through a series of conversations with residents, Black Mother weaves together sound and visuals to evoke the region’s shores and streets. A live score provided by GAIKA offers an immersive arena for cultural reflection.
Alternate Realities: The World Unknown To You, 7-12 June
As part of the festival’s Alternate Realities programme, which combines talks, presentations and interactive experiences to explore what is offered by new media, this strand transports attendees to new worlds. Computer generated works and robotics come together to offer viewers the opportunity to explore previously uncharted territories – whether natural or interior.
The Drift (2017), dir. Maeve Brennan, 12 June
Brennan’s film is interested in notions of transformation, exploring how a landscape defined by conflict can rebuild. The Drift is set in Lebanon, and tracks the story of three main characters who each connect to notions of reconstruction: a gatekeeper of an ancient Roman temple, a young mechanic from Britel and an archaeological conservator from the American University of Beirut.
The Eyes of Orson Welles (2018), dir. Mark Cousins, 9-10 June
Delving into the private world of the legendary actor and director, Cousins’ documentary draws an intimate portrait of the artist through drawings and paintings. The timely piece, which combines Welles’ personal history with contemporary themes, reveals the filmmaker’s inspirations, politics and undeniable impact on film.
Sheffield Doc/Fest runs from 7-12 June. Find out more here.
1. Still from Into the Okavango.