Doc/Fest has come to a close for another year, after a
fantastic festival programme of unique and eye-opening stories. This year’s
highly reactive programme did an amazing job at making poignant observations
around the state of global politics: key documentaries in the selection naturally
took on the complex and timely topic of global migration: packed with Q&A’s
and discussions, much of the content took on the subject from varied and
Stand out documentaries for us included 69 Minutes and 86
Days (if you saw this, it’s part of our film selection for this month’s Film
Discussion group, so come along and share your opinions on Tuesday 20th
June). The film follows the daunting journey from Syria to Sweden, from the
perspective of a three year old, making the 86 day trip with her family. Watching
such an epic journey from the perspective of someone so innocent and optimistic
is haunting, poetic and triumphant in equal measure. It was no surprise that
the Youth Jury awarded this film their top prize.
Next month we’ll be screening City of Ghosts – winner of the
Grand Jury Prize. Underground journalists disseminating the real-life horrors
of life under ISIS: a stark documentary revealing the workings at the core of
the refugee crisis. You’ll have a chance to watch that with us from 21st
If you didn’t get a chance to engage with the films at the
festival (or if you just still want more) we have three outstanding, urgent,
timely documentaries, and one fiction feature showing as part of Migration
Matters festival next week. Crossings: Stories of Migration is a collection put
together in collaboration with the Institute of Contemporary Arts, and all four
films will be showing during refugee-week.
We’ve been working with Assist, City of Sanctuary and the
British Red Cross to create open platforms around the films for people to discuss
the issues at hand and share their own experiences. Hoping to take the ideas
within the documentaries out of the cinema and into wider circulation, each of
our screenings will be accompanied by a Q&A or panel discussion, we’ll also
have stalls from Early Asylum Support and Assist in the Café bar.
Tickets for all of the films showing as part of Migration
Matters can be purchased on a pay-what-you-can basis, and will be available in
person or over the phone from our box office!
What Will We Be
Between Fences – Wednesday
21st June 18.00
Avi Mograbi and Chen Alon meet African asylum-seekers in a
detention facility in the middle of the Negev desert where they are confined by
the state of Israel. Together, they question the status of the refugees in
Israel using ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ techniques.
Alambrista! – Friday 23rd
The story of a young Mexican father, Roberto, who crosses
the border illegally to California in search of work to support his family back
home. Winner of the Cannes Film Festivals Inaugural Camera d’Or in 1978, it
remains one of the best films ever made on this perennially relevant topic.
Fire at Sea – Saturday
24th June 15.00
A powerful, sobering and masterful look at the refugee
crisis through the lens of the small Italian island of Lampedusa. A young boy
plays with a slingshot, a family doctor becomes inundated, a boat arrives in a
storm. Breath-taking, devastating, human filmmaking.
Those Who Jump – Saturday
24th June 18.00
In northern Morocco lies the Spanish enclave of Melilla; a
small piece of Europe on African land. To many African men, this is a symbol of
hope but standing between the two territories is a brutal militarized fence
system. Shot entirely by Abou Bakar Sidibé, one of the hopeful men attempting
to cross the border, this unique documentary uncovers a perilous quest for
This special screening will be followed by live skype
Q&A with the three directors: Avi Mograbi and Chen Alon, and Abou Bakar Sidibé
– the refugee at the centre of the film.
festival a five-day theatre and arts festival taking place in Sheffield during
Refugee Week (20-24 June). Its aim is to celebrate diversity and recognise
the positive impact migration has on the city of Sheffield.