“Northern Soul,” “McQueen” highlight Sheffield Doc/Fest 25th edition

The Sheffield Doc/Fest celebrates its 25th year in 2018 with a six-day line-up of 200 documentary features and shorts, and 27 interactive and immersive projects that celebrate the art and ...
May 3, 2018

The Sheffield Doc/Fest celebrates its 25th year in 2018 with a six-day line-up of 200 documentary features and shorts, and 27 interactive and immersive projects that celebrate the art and business of documentary and non-fiction film.

“A quarter of a century on, stories abound at Doc/Fest that question anew what power we each hold or lack politically, socially and in our personal and professional relationships,” said Elizabeth McIntyre, festival director & CEO of Sheffield Doc/Fest, in a statement.

When the festival opens on June 7, it will world premiere the previously announced A Northern Soul from filmmaker Sean McAllister, who returns to his native town of Hull where he captures Steve Arnott, a struggling warehouse worker by day and hip-hop performer by night who desires his own creative dreams.

The opening evening of the UK festival will also screen a special preview of Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui’s McQueen, an intimate portrait of the working-class boy Alexander McQueen (pictured) who rose to fame as a global fashion brand.  

The 2018 Sheffield Doc/Fest film program includes more than 200 projects with 37 world, 18 international, 24 European and 70 UK film premieres.

Films will compete in seven award categories, and include the Grand Jury, Art Doc, Illuminate, Tim Hetherington, Youth Jury, New Talent award, and Short Doc. The Doc/Dispatch Prize is voted by the audience and will be given to the winner of this year’s showcase for short documentary journalism from citizen reporters, investigative filmmakers and news units.

All award winners will be announced at the Sheffield Doc/Fest Awards Ceremony on June 12th.

For the full festival line-up, click here. Films screening in competition are listed below, with descriptions provided by Sheffield Doc/Fest.


A Woman Captured
UK premiere; Hungary, 2017, 89 min
Dir. Bernadett Tuza-Ritter, prod. Julianna Ugrin, Viki Réka Kiss

Slavery is a European invention, and still exists. Filmmaker Bernadett Tuza-Ritter encounters Eta in Hungary, a woman proud of keeping domestic slaves. Violent, abusive, and manipulative, Eta has stripped 53-year-old Marish of her belongings, her family and her identity. As trust builds between Marish and the filmmaker, Marish begins to mentally prepare for a dangerous bid for freedom.

Hale County This Morning, This Evening
UK premiere; USA, 2018, 76 min
Dir. RaMell Ross, prod. RaMell Ross, Joslyn Barnes, Su Kim

From church services to basketball training, family gatherings and children’s play, photographer and filmmaker RaMell Ross observes the lives of African Americans in Hale County, Alabama, through luminous poetic cinematography. Shot over five years Ross eschews traditional storytelling in favour of a series of intimate associative moments, illuminating a fresh vision of daily life in the American South.

Of Fathers and Sons
UK premiere; Germany/Lebanon/Qatar/Syria, 2017, 98 min
Dir. Talal Derki, prod. Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, Tobias N. Siebert, Hans Robert Eisenhauer

Posing as a sympathetic war photographer, Syrian director Talal Derki (Return to Homs) gains access to the world of minesweeper Abu Osama, who is raising his many young sons to be Jihadi fighters. Shot over two years amongst a Northern Syrian militia fighting for an Islamic caliphate, this is an intimate and unforgettable foray into extremist religious indoctrination.

What Is Democracy?
World premiere; Canada, 2018, 117 min
Dir. Astra Taylor

With democracy under threat globally, Astra Taylor’s timely essay probes the meaning of the institution itself. Featuring a wide range of big thinkers from Cornel West to Silvia Federici, Taylor interweaves discussions about democracy’s philosophical underpinnings with evidence of its all too flawed implementation, traveling from Athens, the birthplace of Plato’s Republic, to Trump’s unsettled America.

The Silence of Others
UK premiere; Spain/USA, 2018, 96 min
Dir. Almudena Carracedo, Robert Bahar, prod. Robert Bahar, Almudena Carracedo

The Silence of Others reveals the epic struggle of victims of Spain’s 40-year dictatorship under General Franco, who continue to seek justice to this day. Filmed over six years, the film follows victims and survivors as they organize the ground-breaking “Argentine Lawsuit” and fight a state-imposed amnesia of crimes against humanity, in a country still divided four decades into democracy.

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