Reflecting on Realities

Get ready for the 31st edition of Sheffield DocFest. This year’s selection invites reflection, dialogue, and empathy, and we are eager to share these powerful stories with Sheffield and our international audiences.

We invite you to explore our diverse programme. From new music documentaries (blur: To the End; Mogwai: If the Stars Had a Sound) to films highlighting the challenges faced by journalists worldwide (State of Silence; Democracy Noir). We also explore the complexities of Artificial Intelligence (Eternal You; The Hexagonal Hive and a Mouse in a Maze) and present compelling narratives from indigenous communities in Canada, Colombia, and Greenland (Yintah; Dreams Travel with the Wind; Life on the Edge).

More than 150 guests will join us in Sheffield, representing 93 of the 109 premiering films, to participate in talks and Q&As with audiences. From the UK we are thrilled to welcome legendary boxer Frank Bruno, actor Idris Elba, satirist Munya Chawawa and founding members of the reggae band The Cimarons.

At our festival heart, the Showroom cinema, you can join us for deep conversations about contemporary issues in our Reflections programme of films and conversations, with filmmakers and protagonists in attendance. These sessions will bring together filmmakers to discuss themes such as Co-Resistance, Freedom of the Press, Ancestral Lands, and Archiving the Present.

On Sunday 16 June, at The Crucible, we will commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Battle of Orgreave, presenting the world premiere of Strike: An Uncivil War, directed by Daniel Gordon (Hillsborough). This powerful documentary revisits one of the darkest days in recent British history. Ex-miners, director Daniel Gordon, journalist Morag Livingstone, and musician Jon McClure (Reverend and the Makers) will be present for a discussion following the screening.

Other special events include musician Hak Baker, the subject of James Topley and Ivo Becket's film Hakeem (world premiere), performing on stage and joining the discussion with the directors after the screening. This documentary offers an unmissable look at his life as an East London independent musician whose fate changed when he won a guitar in a prison raffle.

Acclaimed playwright, screenwriter, novelist, and director Hanif Kureishi will join us for a live and remote conversation with director Nigel Williams following the screening of In My Own Words: Hanif Kureishi (world premiere), a portrait of his career in the arts and public sphere.

These are just a few highlights from our programme. There is much more to discover across all our Sheffield venues from 12-17 June!


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