Sheffield Doc/Fest, which wrapped its first June edition earlier this month, has named Wall To Wall Productions CEO Alex Graham as its new chairman, taking over from Steve Hewlett.
Hewlett will continue to serve on the UK festival’s board of governors. Since taking over as chair in 2004, Doc/Fest has grown from a festival attended by 500 UK-based delegates to an event which this year attracted more than 2,310 international attendees.
In 2006, Hewlett poached Heather Croall (pictured above, with Graham on the right) from the Australian International Documentary Conference to become Sheffield Doc/Fest’s director.
“Steve Hewlett and director Heather Croall have built Doc/Fest into what is acknowledged to be one of the most important documentary festivals in Europe,” said Graham. “The festival has grown exponentially in size and reputation in the past few years and the team put together by Heather is world class. The move to June looks like it has been an unqualified success.
“My job is to take those achievements and build on them. My ambition is to make Doc/Fest one of the leading film festivals in the world. With the backing of our many stakeholders including Sheffield City Council, the BFI, Documentary Campus, and the European Broadcasting Union, we are well on our way to achieving that.”
Croall added: “Steve has been a huge support for me in implementing change at the festival. Some of the new elements – like embracing the digital world and engaging with the international industry – took some time to deliver benefits, but they have all paid off and I could only have done it with the strong chairmanship of Steve Hewlett.”