Sheffield Doc/Fest is to honor former director and CEO Heather Croall (pictured) with this year’s Inspiration Award.
The award has been distributed since 2009 to a figure who has championed causes in the documentary world, and will this year pay tribute to Croall, who exited the festival in January after nine years in the role. The award was last year presented to Citizenfour director Laura Poitras.
The exec left the UK festival to return to Australia and serve as CEO and festival director of the Adelaide Fringe Festival. During her time with Sheffield Doc/Fest, Croall pioneered the digital media-focused CrossoverLabs as well as the MeetMarket, which generates funding for new projects. She also created the Mini MeetMarket to partner young filmmakers with established mentors, and also formed the Youth Jury Awards.
According to organizers, under Croall’s directorship, industry delegate attendance grew from 500 to more than 3,200, and public audiences expanded from 2,000 to more than 26,000.