Following the announcement last week of the nine titles in its International Competition section, the Sheffield DocFest has released the full lineup for its 2022 edition, which sports a total of 135 combined feature and short films — including 38 world, 22 international and 11 European premieres — across three competition and six themed sections.
As previously announced, the 2022 Sheffield DocFest will open on June 23 with the “people’s premiere” of Brett Morgen’s Cannes-bowing David Bowie doc Moonage Daydream, and will feature a series of retrospective screenings of classic documentaries programmed by guest curator Asif Kapadia. The other special programs headlining this year’s festival are the cross-program “Password: Palianytsia” initiative— a series of screenings and events mounted in support of and in solidarity with besieged Ukraine — and “Co-Creation: Changing Our World,” which spotlights collective filmmaking practices through screenings of both new projects and landmark works from the past.
The final two days of the festival (June 27 and 28) will coincide with Sheffield’s major industry event, the MeetMarket pitching forum, which this year will feature 35 projects representing 25 countries.
In the festival’s main competition sections, nine films will vie for the best film award in the main International Competition, another nine will be featured in the International First Feature Competition, and 10 will screen in the International Short Film Competition. Additionally, six films will be considered for the Tim Hetherington Award, which recognizes works that best reflect the legacy of the late British photojournalist and documentarian.
The feature films in competition are cross-listed within the festival’s six themed strands: “Rhythms,” which focuses on music documentaries and performances; “Debates,” which spotlights films on urgent contemporary social, political and environmental topics; “People & Community,” which highlights stories about social bonds and border-crossing empathy; “Journeys,” about both inner and outer transformations and explorations; “Memories,” which delves into the past to better understand the present and perhaps find the roots of a better future; and “Rebellions,” which focuses on protest, revolt and fights for all forms of justice.
Films screening in the main sections of the 2022 Sheffield DocFest are included below, featuring loglines supplied by the festival. Many of the features will be accompanied by medium-length and short films at their screenings; the complete list of titles from the festival’s film program can be found on its website.
After the End of the World (Lebanon) — World Premiere
Director: Nadim Mishlawi
Set amidst the constantly changing city of Beirut, this rousing film explores the knowledge and history that spaces can hold, and what happens when those spaces disappear.
A Bunch of Amateurs (UK) — World Premiere
Directors: Margareta Szabo, Kim Hopkins
This affectionate tribute to silver-screen dreamers details a group of cinephiles and their attempts to save their amateur filmmaking club.
Man on Earth (Australia) — World Premiere
Director: Amiel Courtin-Wilson
In this visceral, intensely intimate film, 65-year-old Bob has decided to end his own life after four years of living with Parkinson’s disease, and surrounds himself with family and friends to say goodbye.
The Melt Goes on Forever: The Art & Times of David Hammons (U.S.) — World Premiere
Directors: Harold Crooks, Judd Tully
A striking portrait of an African American artist who has steadfastly remained an outlier in the art world but whose work is an essential commentary on race in the U.S.
My Name is Andrea (U.S.) — International Premiere
Director: Pratibha Parmar
Using archival footage and re-enactments, director Pratibha Parmar brings new light to the work of feminist writer and public intellectual Andrea Dworkin.
One Day in Ukraine (Ukraine/Poland) — World Premiere
Directors: Babylon ’13
Media activist and filmmaking collective Babylon ’13, formed during the Maidan uprisings, focus on the events of March 14, 2022 – the 2,944th day of the Russian-Ukrainian War.
Sansón and Me (Mexico/U.S.) — International Premiere
Director: Rodrigo Reyes
Rodrigo Reyes reconnects with Sansón, a Mexican migrant sentenced to life in prison, who he met when he was the translator at his trial.
Singing on the Rooftops (Spain) — International Premiere
Director: Enric Ribes
The life of octogenarian Gilda, a drag queen in Barcelona, changes dramatically overnight when they are asked to take care of an abandoned three-year-old girl.
Swing and Sway (Brazil) — International Premiere
Directors: Fernanda Pessoa, Chica Barbosa
Two filmmaker girlfriends — one in Brazil, the other in the U.S. — send each other video letters, each inspired by a woman experimental filmmaker, over the course of one tumultuous year of the pandemic.
INTERNATIONAL FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION
Children of Las Brisas (UK/Venezuela/France/U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Marianela Maldonaldo
Marianela Maldonado’s observational documentary charts nine years in the lives of young Venezuelans whose musical talent offer a chance for them to escape poverty.
Dear Jackie (Canada) — International Premiere
Director: Henri Pardo
This cinematic letter to the first Black man to play major league baseball explores Jackie Robinson’s time in Montreal and testifies to his experience of racism and inequality.
8 Bar: The Evolution of Grime (UK) — World Premiere
Directors: Ewen Spencer, Aleksandra Bilic, David Upshal
The riveting story of grime, told from the inside, taking in the characters, the music, the fashion, the hits that got away and the way the scene won over the world.
Hafreiat (Jordan/Spain/Qatar) — World Premiere
Director: Alex Sardà
Whilst labouring on an archaeological dig in Jordan, a father excavates his troubled past. With another baby on the way, he ponders the possibility of a better future.
Julie on Line (France) — International Premiere
Director: Mia Ma
Shooting over five years, director Mia Ma follows her friend Julie as she tries to reinvent her future and find a way to live with schizophrenia.
Master of Light (U.S./Netherlands) — International Premiere
Director: Rosa Ruth Boesten
After a decade in prison, artist George Anthony Morton returns home to reconcile with his family and grapple with past traumas by painting a series of portraits.
One in a Million (Germany) — World Premiere
Director: Joya Thome
Whitney is a rising star of the U.S. gymnastics scene who has a sizable following on YouTube. Among them is Yara, who lives in Germany and is one of her biggest fans.
Some Women (Singapore) — International Premiere
Director: Zi Qui Low
Drawing on her own experiences to reclaim her transgender identity, Singaporean director Quen Wong disrupts the silence around trans discrimination in their directorial debut.
This is National Wake (South Africa/U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Mirissa Neff
Employing a rich trove of archive film, Mirissa Neff explores the history of South Africa’s outlaw multi-racial rock group, which formed at the height of apartheid.
INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM COMPETITION
Aunt, a Tricycle (China/U.S.) — World Premiere
Director: Siru Wen
Through an intimate journey involving the filmmaker and her aunt, we see what remains and what is transformed with the passing of time.
Calling Cabral (Guinea-Bissau/Portugal/Brazil) — World Premiere
Director: Welket Bungué
Shaped by mysticism, resistance, and the voice of revolutionary leader Amílcar Cabral, the film takes a personal and poetic journey through the anti-colonial past and present of Guinea-Bissau.
The Family Statement (U.S./UK) — European Premiere
Directors: Grace Harper, Kate Stonehill
Using messages drawn from a family WhatsApp group, this film constructs a conversation between the billionaire Sackler family and those afflicted by America’s benzodiazepine crisis.
Fawley (UK) — World Premiere
Directors: Chu-Li Shewring, Adam Gutch
With a multitude of voices, both human and non-human, this sensorial gem explores the environs of the soon-to-be-demolished Fawley Power Station.
Happiness is £4 Million (China/U.S.) — World Premiere
Directors: Weixi Chen, Kai Wei
An idealistic young journalist is tasked with profiling China’s biggest real estate speculator. But how can she write a profile about a man whose money-obsessed worldview she despises?
How to See the Night (Portugal/ Hungary/Belgium) — World Premiere
Director: Maria Casas Castillo
When a mysterious creature stalks the night, a group of rangers employ camera traps and radio frequencies to enter this animal’s secret world.
The Joys and Sorrows of Young Yuguo (U.S./UK) — World Premiere
Director: Ilinca Calugareanu
Sixteen-year-old Yuguo, who has a passion for Eastern European romantic poetry, makes a pilgrimage from his home in China to the foothills of Romania’s Carpathian Mountains.
Leaves of K. (Nicaragua/Costa Rica) — World Premiere
Director: Gloria Carrión
In 2018, the Nicaraguan police brutally repressed anti-government protests organized by high school students. K., a 17-year-old girl who was arrested, recounts the horrors of her time in jail.
Mirrors (UK) — World Premiere
Director: Paul Daly
A cathartic celluloid journey through six unprecedented years in England, from Brexit and the Grenfell fire to Black Lives Matter protests and COVID-19.
1 Kilo, 3 Euros (Germany) — International Premiere
Director: Ani Mrelashvili
A tiny parcel shop in Berlin, which sends packages to faraway loved ones, offers the city’s Georgian community a slice of home.
TIM HETHERINGTON AWARD
Beneath the Surface (Norway/UK) — UK Premiere
Director: Alexander Niakaris Irvine-Cox
Alexander Niakaris Irvine-Cox’s searing investigative documentary explores an overlooked culture of abuse and systemic racism in Norway.
Delikado (Philippines/Australia/U.S./UK/Hong Kong) — European Premiere
Director: Karl Malakunas
Three environmental campaigners are faced with corruption, murder and betrayal as they battle to save an island paradise in the Philippines.
Lyra (UK) — UK Premiere
Director: Alison Millar
An intimate and uncompromising portrait of Lyra McKee, the 29-year-old Northern Irish investigative journalist who was murdered by the New IRA.
Overcoming the Darkness (Ukraine) — World Premiere
This kaleidoscope of stories shines a light on Ukrainians bravely defending their land against the Russian invasion, where millions struggle for their right to exist.
The Territory (Brazil/Denmark/U.S.) — UK Premiere
Director: Alex Pritz
A young indigenous leader and his environmental team fight against farmers involved in the wholescale destruction of vast swathes of the Amazonian rainforest.
1341 Frames of Love and War (Israel) — UK Premiere
Director: Ran Tal
Israeli photographer Micha Bar-Am recalls his journey from Berlin to Palestine, the birth of the state of Israel and its subsequent history.
As Prescribed (U.S.) — International Premiere
Director: Holly Hardman
Detailing multiple cases of the devastating damage wreaked by prescription drugs in the U.S., Holly Hardman’s film offers poignant insight into the opioid crisis.
The Business of Birth Control (U.S.) — UK Premiere
Director: Abby Epstein
Once seen as the drug that revolutionized women’s emancipation, hormonal birth control and the politics of its production have a more troubling history, as this film details.
Fashion Reimagined (UK/U.S.) — European Premiere
Director: Becky Hutner
Trailblazing fashion designer Amy Powney is on a mission to create a sustainable collection and transform the way we engage with fashion.
Garçonnières (Switzerland) — International Premiere
Director: Céline Pernet
A group of men, aged between 30 and 45, talk candidly to Céline Pernet about their relationship to notions of masculinity.
The Happy Worker (Finland) — UK Premiere
Director: John Webster
John Webster explores how the workplace has transformed to the point where the very idea of productive work appears to be the last thing on people’s minds.
Ithaka (Australia) — International Premiere
Director: Ben Lawrence
Julian Assange’s wife and father battle the British establishment on behalf of the WikiLeaks founder, who faces a 175-year prison sentence if extradited to the U.S.
The New Greatness Case (Finland/ Croatia/Norway) — European Premiere
Director: Anna Shishova-Bogolyubova
The story of Anya Pavlikova, found guilty of being a member of a subversive terrorist organization, highlights Russia’s emergence as a state of fear and coercion.
The Oil Machine (UK) — World Premiere
Director: Emma Davie
Emma Davie’s urgent documentary explores our complex relationship with the oil industry, set against the backdrop of the ongoing fight for North Sea reserves.
Rising Sun Blues (Portugal/Brazil) — European Premiere
Directors: Renata Ferraz, Maria Roxo
An actress asks a prostitute to help her create a film in which they share secrets of their professions, and they become both filmmakers and characters.
Adam Ondra: Pushing the Limits (Czech Republic/Italy) — UK Premiere
Directors: Jan Šimánek, Petr Záruba
A thrilling record of the legendary Czech rock climber’s career and his preparations for the debut of the climbing competition at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Beba (U.S.) — UK Premiere
Director: Rebecca Huntt
A raw coming-of-age self-portrait in which the Afro-Latina filmmaker stares down historical, societal and intergenerational trauma with unflinching courage.
Bike Life Extreme (UK) — World Premiere
Director: Martin Read
A different perspective on life in lockdown is presented through Go-Pro and mobile phone footage, detailing how bike culture exploded during the pandemic.
Four Journeys (Netherlands/China) — European Premiere
Director: Louis Hothothot
A second-born child during the height of China’s one-child policy, Louis Hothothot returns home to reconcile decades of guilt and familial discord.
I Didn’t See You There (U.S.) — UK Premiere
Director: Reid Davenport
This unflinching first-person journey, seen from the perspective of disabled filmmaker Reid Davenport, highlights how differently the world appears to him.
Ladies Only (India/Germany) — UK Premiere
Director: Rebana Liz John
In the women-only compartments of Mumbai’s complex local train network, passengers share their anger, aspirations and stories of womanhood.
My Paper Life (Belgium/France) — UK Premiere
Director: Vida Dena
An Iranian filmmaker befriends a Syrian family in Belgium, and they communicate past traumas and future dreams through drawings.
No Simple Way Home (South Africa/Kenya) — UK Premiere
Director: Akuol de Mabior
The daughter of Rebecca and John Garang returns to South Sudan in order to document her mother’s attempts to forge peace on the political stage.
No U-Turn (Nigeria/South Africa/ France/Germany) — UK Premiere
Director: Ike Nnaebue
In his documentary feature debut, acclaimed filmmaker Ike Nnaebue retraces a journey he attempted as a young man.
Off the Rails (UK) — UK Premiere
Director: Peter Day
Two urbex- and parkour-obsessed teenagers face up to reality following the death of their friend.
All Man: The International Male Story (U.S.) — European Premiere
Directors: Bryan Darling, Jesse Finley Reed, Bryan Darling, Jesse Finley Reed
For three decades, one fashion catalog helped define masculinity and male fashions in the U.S. This entertaining film charts the story of International Male.
Exposing Muybridge (U.S.) — International Premiere
Director: Marc Shaffer
Eadweard Muybridge, pioneering photographer and early filmmaker, was a man of many lives, as this engaging and thrillingly told documentary reveals.
The Fire Within: Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft (France) — World Premiere
Director: Werner Herzog
Drawing from the personal film archive of two ill-fated volcanologists, Werner Herzog explores humanity’s fascination with one of our planet’s most elemental forces.
Fragile Memory (Ukraine/Slovakia) — UK Premiere
Director: Igor Ivanko
Ihor Ivanko sheds light on the life of his grandfather Leonid Burlaka, a cinematographer from the glory days of Odesa Film Studio, who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Goodbye, Captain (Brazil) — International Premiere
Directors: Vincent Carelli, Tita (Tatiana Soares de Almeida)
The story of “Captain” Krohokrenhum, leader of the Gavião indigenous people in the Pará state in northern Brazil, who died in 2016.
Director: Brett Morgen
Brett Morgen employs unseen archive personal footage and an intimate recent interview to tell the extraordinary story of renowned British primatologist Jane Goodall.
Love, Deutschmarks and Death (Germany) — UK Premiere
Director: Cem Kaya
This vibrant film details the vast body of music produced by and for the Turkish diaspora in Germany from the 1960s to the 1980s, and its influence on subsequent generations.
Mutzenbacher (Austria) — UK Premiere
Director: Ruth Beckermann
Responding to a casting call ad, one hundred men are confronted with and respond to excerpts from a notorious pornographic text.
Nelly & Nadine (Sweden/Belgium/Norway) — UK Premiere
Director: Magnus Gertten
An extraordinary story of two women who fell in love whilst imprisoned in Ravensbrück concentration camp, and whose relationship continued for decades.
A Story of Bones (UK) — UK Premiere
Directors: Joseph Curran, Dominic Aubrey de Vere
What begins as a simple formality in the construction of an airport transforms into a campaign to pay honor to thousands lost through the transatlantic slave trade.
TS Eliot: Into the Waste Land (UK) — World Premiere
Director: Susanna White
The hidden history behind a landmark in modernism and one of the most acclaimed 20th-century poems details a correspondence that was to prove inspirational to TS Eliot.
PEOPLE & COMMUNITY
Alis (Colombia/Romania/Chile) — UK Premiere
Directors: Nicolas van Hemelryck, Clare Weiskopf
Teenagers in Colombia conjure up a classmate named Alis, who manifests their concerns and desire to break the cultural cycle of violence and hope for a brighter future.
Beauty of the Beast (Hungary) — World Premiere
Director: Anna Nemes
A fascinating journey into the world of the female bodybuilder, with Hungarian artist-filmmaker Anna Nemes casting her eye over four driven competitors.
Eat Your Catfish (U.S./Spain/Turkey) — UK Premiere
Directors: Adam Isenberg, Noah Amir Arjomand, Senem Tüzen
This uncompromising portrait of co-director Noah Amir Arjomand’s mother, who has ALS, shows a woman who has chosen to live a challenging life on her terms.
Electric Malady (UK) — UK Premiere
Director: Marie Liden
From within a cocoon of layered blankets, William copes with a life consumed by electrosensitivity in this touching experiential portrait of isolation and survival.
McEnroe (UK/U.S.) — International Premiere
Director: Barney Douglas
An intimate portrait of one of the most explosive and compelling sporting icons of all time.
Midwives (Myanmar/Germany/Canada) — UK Premiere
Director: Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing
Against the backdrop of the Myanmar conflict, midwives Hla and Nyo Nyo’s relationship is both caring and playful, bridging the divide between Buddhists and Muslims.
New Pigs on the Block (Belgium) — International Premiere
Director: Jimmy Kets
Three pigs live a seemingly carefree life as part of an urban community project, unaware of what lies ahead.
No Place for You in Our Town (Bulgaria) — UK Premiere
Director: Nikolay Stefanov
Nikolay Stefanov’s debut feature offers unfiltered access to the football hooligan community in one of Bulgaria’s roughest cities.
One Day at a Time (UK) — World Premiere
Director: Paul Chambers
Paul Chambers’ uncompromising yet uplifting film looks at the work of a Liverpool-based recovery living centre that uses art and sport to combat addiction.
North Circular (Ireland) — International Premiere
Director: Luke McManus
Luke McManus’ documentary musical journeys along Dublin’s North Circular Road, encountering its inhabitants and hearing their stories and songs.
Breaking the Brick (Chile) — World Premiere
Directors: Carola Fuentes, Rafael Valdeavellano
Two Chileans, on opposing sides of the political spectrum, experience a year of turmoil as protests give way to transformation.
Marwan – Tomorrow’s Freedom (UK/ Palestine/Israel) — World Premiere
Directors: Sophia Scott, Georgia Scott
Marwan Barghouti, often described as the “Palestinian Nelson Mandela,” is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison. This is his story.
Nothing Compares (Ireland/UK) — UK Premiere
Director: Kathryn Ferguson
Kathryn Ferguson’s riveting portrait of Sinéad O’Connor charts the iconic singer’s phenomenal rise and subsequent exile from the pop mainstream.
Our Bodies are Your Battlefields (France/ Argentina) — UK Premiere
Director: Isabelle Solas
Isabelle Solas’ film is a powerful, moving and urgent spotlight on the fight for trans rights across Argentina’s polarized political landscape.
Outside (Ukraine/Netherlands/Denmark) — UK Premiere
Director: Olha Zhurba
Ukrainian filmmaker Olha Zhurba’s debut feature tells the story of Roma, who at the age of 13 became the poster child of the 2014 revolution.
Pongo Calling (Czech Republic/Slovakia/UK) — World Premiere
Director: Tomáš Kratochvíl
From his truck, rising online star Štefan Pongo streams his political rants and creates social media movements that go viral, in support of Romani people across Europe.
Age of Rage: The Australian Punk Revolution (Australia) — World Premiere
Director: Jennifer Ross
A playful journey through the early days of the punk scene in Australia, as told by former band members and fans.
And Still I Sing (Canada) — European Premiere
Director: Fazila Amiri
Two singers competing for the winning spot on talent TV show Afghan Star come to terms with what life will be like with the return of the Taliban.
Before We Move (Belgium) — World Premiere
Director: Aleksandr M. Vinogradov
The story of queer Tango dancers in St. Petersburg, dancing in the face of prejudice and towards the hope of greater acceptance for LGBTQIA+ people.
Cesária Évora (Portugal) — UK Premiere
Director: Ana Sofia Fonseca
An intimate portrait of world-renowned Morna singer Cesária Évora, whose talent took her from abject poverty to stardom and the concert halls of the world.
Dancing Pina (Germany) — International Premiere
Director: Florian Heinzen-Ziob
Two of Pina Bausch’s most famous works are rehearsed in Germany and Senegal, championing the choreographer’s legacy through a younger generation of dancers.
Dust & Metal (Vietnam/UK) — World Premiere
Director: Esther Johnson
Esther Johnson’s film brings together a trove of archive and contemporary footage, set to a live score by Xo Xinh, for a thrilling, unorthodox portrait of Vietnam.
El Arena (Lebanon/UAE) — World Premiere
Director: Jay B. Jammal
Against the backdrop of a turbulent political climate, the finest rappers in the Arab-speaking world gather in Beirut, hoping to be crowned King of the Battle.
A Film About Studio Electrophonique (UK) — World Premiere
Director: James Taylor
A euphoric record of Sheffield-based Studio Electrophonique, which nurtured a generation of nascent superstars such as ABC, The Human League, Heaven 17, Clock DVA and Pulp.
In the Court of the Crimson King (UK) — European Premiere
Director: Toby Amies
Robert Fripp and the members of prog-rock giants King Crimson look back on 50 years of art, discipline and transcendence in this fascinating, funny and moving film.
Karaoke Paradise (Finland) — UK Premiere
Director: Einari Paakkanen
From the land that introduced us to a screaming male voice choir comes Einari Paakkanen’s feel-good film about Finland’s passion for karaoke.
Pictured, top: A Story of Bones (Joseph Curran, Dominic Aubrey de Vere)