Sheffield Doc/Fest 2020

Telegraph – 28/09/2020

By Cíntia Gil -Festival Director, Sheffield Doc/Fest

The team at Sheffield Doc/Fest have been working hard to bring to its city four weekenders with screenings, talks, and an exhibition. Delivery of an online festival has not replaced what is core to our mission, the physical experience for artists in our programme and live engagement with audiences in our community.

We believe our community cannot fully exist without art and access to culture – a fundamental pillar on which true democracies are built, and from which change may emerge. Doc/Fest wants to be part of the conversation in reshaping this important dimension of our social, cultural, and spiritual lives.

We also want to support the community of Sheffield and our partners who have been hugely affected by the pandemic, including Showroom Cinema, and the filmmakers and artists who have also seen their works subject to unprecedented conditions for their exhibition.

On 2 October, we will start our first Weekender, a 3-day programme that will bring highlights of one of our main strands: INTO THE WORLD to the Showroom Cinema. We will present films from different parts of the globe, all generous and moving experiences, bringing to us the richness of our world.

Films about long journeys, like the incredible journey of Polish refugees from WWII across many countries and ending in Montreal and Sheffield in Memory is Our Homeland (which we will co-present with Migration Matters); Films about uncovering family secrets: the lavish life of a father in Film About A Father Who; Films about courageous people who inspire and empower us: the struggle for women’s reproductive rights in Canada in the 70’s in Judy vs Capitalism (which we co-present with SheFest); Films that prove that cinema can be a playful, touching and universal place where everyone is welcome, like in The Kiosk; Films dealing with social justice and trauma, like This Means More: an analysis of the Hillsborough disaster and its consequences on the architecture of football grounds.

We will also pay tribute to a pioneer of African cinema, a fighter for liberation and emancipation, Sarah Maldoror, who passed away this year of Covid-19.

We recognise that not everyone may be comfortable or in a position to return to the cinema or travel to events. Bearing this in mind the majority of the programme will also be available online, on Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects, in parallel to contributing to rebuilding the conditions for people to safely enjoy events in our partner venues. 

For more details on the different weekenders and the documentaries screening click here. Or visit for details of the full festival programme.

This article first featured in the Sheffield Telegraph on 1 October 2020.

Photo: The Kiosk by Alexandra Pianelli.


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