Sheffield Doc/Fest has revealed the 115 films screening as part the 2020 event, which will extend throughout the year, both locally and virtually as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The official selection includes 31 world premieres, 15 international premieres, five European premieres and 40 UK premieres. Films span 50 countries and represent 49 spoken languages, with 22 UK productions.
New talent comprises 20% of the program with 22 first-time feature filmmakers.
World premiering films screening online from June 10 as part of the Into the World strand — which spotlights films that explore the past, present and collective future — include Carol Slater’s Breadline; Clara Kleininger’s Everyday Greyness; Ezzatollah Parvazeh’s Galena; and Laura Wadha’s Isle of Us, to name a few.
A number of other films will be screened in Sheffield in the fall and online as part of Sheffield Doc/Selects, the event’s VOD platform, including the world premiere of Cha Escala’s Remnants of a Revolution.
The event’s Rebellions strand, supported by the Bertha Foundation, spotlights films “that try to decipher the world while being an agent of change.”
World premieres screening online from June 10 as part of the strand include Hazel Falck’s United Voices; Melissa Herman’s We’re Still Here; and Adam Golub’s Your Mothers Comfort.
The world premieres of Mina Keshavarez’s The Art of Living in Danger, Arlin Golden’s Back Yard, Alfonso Amador’s Camagroga and Mark Isaacs’ The Filmmakers House will screen in Sheffield in the fall and online in Doc/Selects as part of the Rebellions strand.
Elsewhere, Doc/Fest’s Rhyme & Rhythm section, which celebrates cinema that mixes other art forms, will spotlight six world premieres beginning June 10. Films include Sierra Pettengill’s The Business of Thought: A Recorded History of Artists Space; Ben Anthony’s Keith Haring: Street Art Boy; Dorothy Allen-Pickard’s Material Bodies; Rob Curry and Tim Plester’s Southern Journey (Revisited); Sam Osborn and Nicholas Capezzera’s Universe (pictured); and Moe Najati’s Uproar.
An additional three world premieres will screen in Sheffield this autumn, and online via Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects in parallel. They include Catherine Harte’s Faith and Branko; Michael Cumming’s King Rocker; and Lisa Rovner’s Sisters with Transistors.
The Ghosts & Apparitions section, meanwhile, focuses on “the dismantling of frontiers” and will present the world premieres to three films on June 10 and an additional three films this fall.
Beginning June 10, audiences will be able to watch Che Applewhaite’s A New England Document (16 minutes); Charlie Usher’s Ascending Ballard Down; and Atsushi Sakahara’s Me And The Cult Leader.
Fall screenings include Xacio Baño’s Deep Waters; Oreet Ashery’s Dying Under Your Eyes; and Richard Shpuntoff’s Everything That Is Forgotten In A Instant.
Q&As with the filmmakers in the program, both live and pre-recorded, will take place on the Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects platform from July-November, and in Sheffield in the autumn. Other virtual initiatives include Doc/Player, a film industry-oriented video library available to festival passholders from June 8 to Aug. 31.
Festival weekenders in venues across Sheffield are set to take place from October to November, depending on public gathering restrictions. Organizers have also partnered with BFI Player, Doc Alliance Films, The Guardian, and MUBI to host its curated programs at various points between July and November.
Festival director Cíntia Gil said in a statement: “The crisis we are living now point, and not for the first time, to the systemic failure of institutions and nations, and their need to be equitable in their capacities to give respect to life, freedom and care. It has given us an acute sense of what needs to change and a desire for stronger bonds between us. This program is our contribution to that: it comes from a collective effort to resist hegemonic views over cinema and its relation to the world and to our lives. It represents multiple conversations we want to continue in the near future, through different program and forms.”
With files from Daniele Alcinii