Sheffield Doc/Fest: Programme Launch 2016

Plan your Doc/Fest 2016 movements

10-15 June 2016

In a recent article, Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund commented on the role of Virtual Reality in film, stating that documentary filmmakers are the ‘obvious pioneers of VR’. Is this the high sign that we’re in the golden age of the experimental documentary form? Perhaps, but the growing success of Sheffield Doc/Fest, this year in its 23rd edition, is what really cements that idea.


In a packed room at this year's Doc/Fest launch, we heard from Liz McIntyre, CEO and Festival Director, who promises us ‘activists and agitators’ in true Sheffield style, and a festival that will see around 160 features and short films - 52 of which will be UK premieres.


She says: "We’re living through extraordinary, tumultuous and exhilarating times and this year’s Doc/Fest captures this zeitgeist across it’s three programmes: Film, Alternate Realities and Talks and Sessions.”


Aside from the screening of many inspiring ‘traditional’ forms of documentary, the festival will host the latest in ‘Alternate Realities’ - with a world leading programme of interactive media, virtual reality exhibitions and talks.


On Sun 12 June the ‘Alternate Realities Summit’ will showcase the expanding universe of VR storytelling, with a focus on A.I. and what's new in VR, including a closer look at ‘mixed reality’.


Highlights from this strand of the festival include:

  • The UK premiere of ‘Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness - VR Showing’ - with its counterpart ‘Notes on Blindness + Q&A’ (‘Storyscapes’ winner at Tribecca - and originally pitched at Doc/Fest’s MeetMarket);
  • A keynote from A.I. Bina48 - whose ‘mind files’ are based on real human memories. She will be interviewed by Romona Pringle;
  • And ‘New Dimensions in Testimony’ - a hologram holocaust survivor filmed in interview and transformed to hologram so that people can meet him in the future, and learn about what happened in WW2. A booth will be set up so that festival goers can also interact in real time.


All this plus a line up of the very best documentary films that includes: ‘City of Dreams: A Musical’, ‘Serena’, ‘The Charro of Toluquilla’, ‘Maya Angelou and Still I Rise’, ‘Where to Invade Next’ and ‘My Scientology Movie’.


With a new ‘Get up and dance’ strand, focusing on the resurgence of vogueing, the festival will screen ‘Strike a Pose’ as well as the UK premiere of the vibrant and moving ‘Kiki’ about LGBTQ underground vogueing subculture in New York - after which, delegates can pull their own shapes at the ‘Vogue, Strike a Pose Party'.


Special guests and headline speakers across the festival include Michael Moore, Reggie Yates, Joanna Lumley and powerhouse in documentary, Sheila Nevins.


Lots to fit in, in just six days in June. If you can’t make it to Sheffield we’ll be covering some of our favourite bits, published on here during and just after the festival.


Follow @SheffDocFest 








'Alternate Realities' exhibitions and 'Doc/Fest Exchange' on Tudor Square are free and open daily.