Sheffield Doc/Fest to host Dziga Vertov retrospective

This year's Sheffield Doc/Fest is to honor Dziga Vertov with a film retrospective, and will feature doc premieres from Julien Temple and Morgan Matthews, alongside festival hits such as Call Me Kuchu and 5 Broken Cameras.
May 10, 2012

This year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest is to honor Dziga Vertov with a film retrospective, and will feature doc premieres from Julien Temple and Morgan Matthews, alongside festival hits such as Call Me Kuchu and 5 Broken Cameras.

The UK festival and market will open next month with Searching for Sugar Man, as previously reported, and will close with Evidently…John Cooper Clarke screening on its last day, with punk poet Clarke in attendance.

Other music docs being lined up include Matt O’Casey’s Quadrophenia: Can You See the Real Me? featuring Pete Townshend revisiting the “last great album The Who ever made,” and on June 16 the festival will welcome the rock doc director Julien Temple for Glastopia.

World premieres include Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope’s Jaywick Escapes, on the former favorite holiday spot on the coast of Essex; Steve Read’s Glory Road, following three Olympic British boxing hopefuls from Liverpool; and Chopin Saved My Life, by UK director James Kent, on how one of Frederic Chopin’s pieces has made an impact on the Internet.

Follow-up docs also feature in the programming line-up, with Phil Agland revisiting the Baka Pygmy family 25 years later in Baka: A Cry from the Rainforest; Michael Grigsby’s We Went to War; and Alan Ereira’s Aluna, a continuation of From the Heart of the Word: The Elder Brothers Warning.

The festival’s Resistance strand of docs includes Not A Carwash by Gentian Koçi on the student revolt against the Albanian government’s destruction of their film school; David France’s How to Survive a Plague; Brian Knappenberger’s We Are Legion: The Story of Hacktivists; and Karim el Hakim and Omar Shagawi’s ½ Revolution.

The resistance theme also bleeds into the sessions, with Tim Poole, who became known around the world when he live streamed the first eviction of protestors in Zuccotti Park in New York City during Occupy Wall Street, speaking at Occupy Wall Street: Livestream This!

Doc/Fest also celebrates the Russian pioneer of documentary filmmaking Dziga Vertov by screening four of his films in a retrospective. They include 1929′s Man With a Movie Camera, 1931′s Enthusiasm (Symphony of the Donbass), 1937′s Lullaby and 1934′s Three Songs About Lenin.

Two art-based highlights include Matthew Akers’ festival hit Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present, a look at the performance artist as she prepares for an exhibition in New York’s MoMa; and Alison Klayman’s Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, which last month opened Hot Docs in Toronto.

Filmmaker Penny Woolcock, who also directed the cross-platform interactive film produced by Sheffield Doc/Fest and Crossover, From the Sea to the Land Beyond, screening on June 13 with a live musical score, will also receive the fest’s inspiration award this year.

Also screening are Morgan Matthews’s Britain in a Day, a snapshot of the UK and inspired by Kevin McDonald’s Life in a Day; and Seven Seven, a testimony based film exploring the 2005 London bombings, as well as other returning festival favorites with their latest, including Yung Chang’s China Heavyweight, Anand Pathwardan’s Jai Bhim Comrade, Eugene Jarecki’s Sundance-winner The House I Live In, and Stacy Peralta’s Bones Brigade: An Autobiography.

The recent Hot Docs winner Call Me Kuchu has also been selected by Sheffield.

Fifteen films that had a helping hand from the fest’s pitching forum MeetMarket will also screen, and include Lost and Sound, 5 Broken Cameras, Planet of Snail, and Looking for Sarkozy.

Finally, sports-themed doc highlights include Oscar-winner Undefeated by Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin; Marius Markevicius’ The Other Dream Team, which looks at the Lithuanian Olympic basketball team’s struggles; and Hugh Hartford’s Ping Pong.

“I’m really excited by the new talent that has emerged this year in documentary, especially from Britain,” said Hussain Currimboy, Doc/Fest film programmer. “And very proud to have such big films about artists. In fact, 2012 feels like it’s definitely the year of the artist inspired documentary.”

In addition to the film programming, the industry networking event, MeetMarket, will see 65 projects from 20 countries pitching to 250 execs, from organizations including the BBC, Channel 4, Sky Arts, ARTE France, National Geographic, PBS, SBS,  ZDF and ABC.

Highlighted projects include 3D and 2D television series Cathedrals of the Culture, led by Wim Wenders and the team behind Pina; Roast Beef’s The Square, about the ongoing Egyptian revolution; and Les Films d’ici’s Super Fungi and Off We Go. Projects from North America, meanwhile, include MIPDoc-winner An Honest Liar, from Being Elmo producer Justin Weinstein and Sons of Perdition co-director Tyler Measom; and Eyesteel Film’s Jingle Bell Rock.

Sheffield Doc/Fest runs from June 13 to 17.

About The Author