“The Look of Silence” to open Sheffield Doc/Fest

Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence (pictured), Benedikt Erlingsson's The Greatest Shows on Earth and Roger Graef and James Rogan's Monty Python: the Meaning of Live are the opening and closing night films at the annual UK fest.
May 7, 2015

Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence and a documentary about comedy troupe Monty Python will bookend this year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest.

The annual festival, which runs from June 5 to 10, will feature 150 feature and short film screenings—including 31 world premieres—in addition to keynote speakers, industry panels and an interactive doc program.

Oppenheimer’s companion film to his polarizing 2012 doc The Act of Killing follows a man as he confronts the men responsible for killing his brother during the Indonesian genocide 50 years ago. It will make its UK premiere at Sheffield and is one of two opening films.

The other is Icelandic filmmaker Benedikt Erlingsson’s archival doc The Greatest Shows on Earth: A Century of Funfairs, Circuses and Carnivals, which will make its world premiere at the festival and features a score by two members of the band Sigur Rós. The film celebrates the lives of traveling showpeople.

The closing night film is directors Roger Graef and James Rogan’s Monty Python: The Meaning of Live, which recently screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Following the film, Monty Python member Michael Palin will participate in a conversation with the filmmakers and comedian Josie Long.

Other docs set to screen this year are Kirby Dick’s The Hunting Ground, Parvez Sharma’s A Sinner in Mecca, Marc Silver‘s 3 ½ Minutes, and Stanley Nelson‘s The Black Panthers: Vanguards of the Revolution, Matthew Heineman’s Cartel Land and Chad Gracia’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner The Russian Woodpecker.

The festival is also paying tribute to the late Albert Maysles with a film retrospective that will include his latest doc, Iris.

Organizers are expecting 250 decision makers from networks, film festivals and film financing bodies such as Channel 4, ABC, Al Jazeera, PBS, Chicken and Egg, National Geographic, Canada’s NFB, SXSW and Cinereach. Nine delegations will also attend.

Sheffield’s industry programming will feature 280 events, panels, films and projects in addition to several networking events and parties. Highlights include talks by filmmakers Joshua Oppenheimer, Jeanie Finlay, Brett Morgen, Nino Kirtadze and John Akomfrah, who is also the subject of a retrospective this year.

BBC1 controller Charlotte Moore, director Dan Reed, Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell from ITV’s Long Lost Family, BBC host Lucy Worsley and the creators of BBC3′s The Revolution Will Be Televised will represent documentary and factual TV in the sessions.

There will be panels with documentary, arts, specialist factual, factual entertainment and alternative platforms commissioners, and BBC Newsnight editor Ian Katz will speak with ‘Storyville’ editor Nick Fraser about the relationship between current affairs, short-form content and documentaries.

On June 6 and 7, the session and marketplace will focus on interactive projects with the Crossover Labs, Crossover Market, Crossover Summit and Interactive Exhibition, which will showcase 16 projects, including nine virtual reality pieces and nine artistic and factual works.

For complete details on the festival schedule and marketplace, visit the Sheffield Doc/Fest website.

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