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Festival Overview

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017 recorded 72,146 attendances from UK and international industry delegates and members of the public experiencing Festival events across the programme, the most inclusive to date. This included 3,397 industry delegates who attended from 54 countries and 36,008 public audiences. Attendances also included virtual audiences experiencing the Festival across a showcase satellite broadcast live cinema event, the Doc/Player platform and those watching the Doc/Fest website programme of Talks & Sessions, for maximum Festival reach. For 38.2% of industry delegates, this year’s Doc/Fest was their first, reflecting the appeal to new audiences. The Festival comprised five programmes: Films, Alternate Realities, Talks & Sessions, Marketplace & Talent, and Networking & Events, with the ambition to inspire, inform and create business opportunities across the Festival. Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017 was proud to offer its most diverse programme to date, with a focus on authentic and relevant voices. Across the Festival’s programme, female representation increased in 2017: 51% of the Film programme credited a female primary producer and 46% had a female director – a Festival record; 48% of speakers in the Talks & Sessions programme were women, along with 48.5% of makers in the Alternate Realities programme. The 2017 Film Programme included a record 250 screenings at 14 screens across the City, with production representation by over 200 filmmakers and producers. The Festival opened with the World Premiere of Queerama, directed by British filmmaker Daisy Asquith, marking 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act. Doc/Fest hosted a record number of premieres including 33 World Premieres, 23 International Premieres, 23 European Premieres, and 72 UK Premieres across six days. This year’s multimedia and live Special Events included a Special Preview of 8 Minutes by Alexander Whitley Dance Company including video artist Tal Rosner’s space images, ahead of its World Premiere at Sadler’s Wells. DOOM ROOM took audiences into the afterlife in a former Sheffield Woolworth’s building. Sheffield’s Art Deco Abbeydale Picturehouse was transformed into an immersive cinema cavern for fear seekers at the European Premiere screening of Spookers. Doc/Fest proudly hosted the UK premiere of Whitney ‘Can I Be Me’, which was broadcast live via satellite from Sheffield’s City Hall to 146 venues around the UK. The Alternate Realities programme, showcasing the best in non-fiction VR and interactive experiences, featured an increased range of exhibition spaces, including two Alternate Realities exhibitions at Millennium Gallery and two bespoke venues in Tudor Square and Upper Chapel, featuring work from 35 project makers. The exhibition included two pop ups – the Virtual Reality Portal on Tudor Square and Virtual Reality Campfire at Upper Chapel.

Festival Overview

81 industry and public Talks & Sessions featured 290 speakers taking place at seven venues with BSL interpretation continuing at some events. In line with the Festival’s strategy of widest industry access for business and creative effectiveness and attracting new Festival goers (public, industry and potential new talent), the Festival significantly increased its discussions and initiatives for unlocking talent from widest BAME, LGBTQ+, disability, socio-economic and geographical backgrounds, including the new BBC Northern Docs Pitch, the new Reggie Yates’ Doc/Dinner, impact of Brexit discussions, Maxine Peake on Northern and class stereotypes, and new UK Talent Delegations for widest Festival access. Highlights from the public talks programme included in-conversation sessions and masterclasses from Sir Lenny Henry CBE, Ian Hislop and Jolyon Rubinstein, Nick Broomfield and Louis Theroux, Stacey Dooley, Elijah Quashie, Olly Alexander, Peter Greenaway CBE, and Walter Murch. Within the Marketplace, 330 executives, distributors, commissioners, funders, advisors and buyers across documentary and digital media attended for business from across the UK, the rest of Europe and the world, creating a highly successful platform for deals and other business. The Festival delegate survey revealed 83% of industry delegates agree that Doc/Fest is a good place to do business. 80% of industry delegates have said that they made new meaningful business contacts at this year’s Festival. According to the Festival delegate survey, 93% of industry delegates will return to the Festival in 2018, taking place 7–12 June 2018.

Film Programme

Sheffield Doc/Fest was proud to include a record number of UK, International and World Premiere film screenings in the 2017 Film Programme. Programming covered a full range of moods and humours, and a full range of subjects from climate change and conflict, to adventure and love, to the political and satirical. Documentaries ranged from long form to short form content, produced for all platforms. The Film programme enjoyed new themed strands for easy navigation of the very best in non-fiction and documentary long-form, to mid-length to short works and included Doc/Dispatch, a prize for fast turnaround journalistic and responsive works for the first time.

2231 Submissions

187 Films

Competition Qualifying Primary Strands: Doc/Adventure Take a ride through thrilling tales, dramatic challenges, sports docs and road trips. Doc/Expose Thrilling investigations exposing corruption, crime and injustice, from frontlines to headlines. Doc/Love Pulsating, intimate stories celebrating the power of love, family and friendship. Doc/Rhythm Move to the rhythm with energetic portraits of dance, music and contemporary culture.

33 World Premieres

23 International Premieres


Doc/Think Intriguing new ways of seeing and thinking about the world – from politics to science to philosophy. Doc/Visions Open your eyes to inspiring, radical artists and bold cinematic visions.

European Premieres

Sidebar Strands: Focus/UK Extraordinary new films from UK filmmakers and powerful contemporary UK stories.

72 UK Premieres

Focus/India An insightful and beautiful trip to India through the latest documentary films. Doc/Retro Discover cult and classic documentaries and restored archive treasures.

“Sheffield has been one of my favourite festivals for a long time, but I thought the programme this year was particularly innovative and exciting” - Kate Stonehill, Filmmaker

Film Programme

The Film Programme included the widest range of regional, national and international documentaries, championing diversity and excellence in storytelling. The Festival ensured a strong focus on emerging and under-represented storytellers as well as celebrating established filmmakers, and ensured a focus on authentic and relevant voices both world-renowned and new. The Programme included a collaboration with ICA to host the touring Playback exhibition of films by young artists aged 16–24. Widely marked anniversary events were recognised by film screenings including: the Focus/India strand marking 70 years since Partition; Opening Night Film Queerama, celebrating 50 years since the partial legalisation of homosexuality in the UK; and a retrospective collection of titles portraying 1967 Summer of Love and Disobedience. The Film Programme was representative of a broad cultural and social spectrum of stories and storytellers. This included stories of less represented BAME and refugee minority communities. Examples of this narrative and creative breadth include: Whose Streets?, a first-hand account of the Ferguson, Missouri uprising; For Akheem and Quest, warm, nuanced observational stories of African American families; The Oweds, an experimental performance film about Afro-futurism; and 69 Minutes of 86 Days following a young Syrian refugee girl’s journey through Europe.

Top 10 Films Rated by the Doc/Fest Audience 1. The Work (dirs. Jairus McLeary, Gethin Aldous) 2. Unrest (dir. Jennifer Brea) 3. Long Strange Trip (dir. Amir Bar-Lev) 4. Jaha’s Promise (dir. Kate O'Callaghan, Patrick Farrelly) 5. Chasing Coral (dir. Jeff Orlowski)

6. Ask the Sexpert (dir. Vaishali Sinha) 7. Icarus (dir. Bryan Fogel) 8. Thank You for the Rain (dirs. Julia Dahr, Kisilu Musya) 9. Quest (dir. Jonathan Olshefski) 10. City of Ghosts (dir. Matthew Heineman)

“Bravo on a brilliant Festival and I’m looking forward to returning!” - Brenda Coughlin, Bertha Foundation & Producer of Risk

Film Programme

LGBTQ+ titles offered a full range of themes and narratives including the Opening Night Film Queerama by Daisy Asquith, Dreamboat, The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson, Bayard and Me, Chavela, Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution, and Forbidden Games. Elsewhere, the 1967 Retrospective strand marked the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love including LGBTQ+ and civil rights narratives such as Portrait of Jason and the premiere of a new scan of lost cinema engagé film Silent Revolution/Black Liberation. Films included positive representation of female lead characters globally including Jaha’s Promise (Gambia), Mama Colonel (DRC), La Chana (Spain), Chavela (Mexico), Geek Girls (Canada/Japan), Step (USA), Strike a Rock (South Africa) Ouaga Girls (Burkina Faso) and many more. The programme also actively addressed the screen presence of political minorities including stories from right wing viewpoints such as Wilders and Brexitannia to the radical left in Rage, An Insignificant Man and Accidental Anarchist.

46% Films with a Female Director or Co-Director

68% Films with Female Director or Producer or Both

51% Films with a Female Primary Producer

Rest of World UK 10% 21% Europe 28%

Asia 11%

US 30%

Film Country of Production

“The country's biggest documentary festival returns with a fresh slate of talking point films” - Guardian Guide

Alternate Realities

Alternate Realities is Doc/Fest’s world leading programme of interactive, augmented reality and virtual reality experiences. For 2017, the Exhibition expanded the number of venues to four. In a 360-degree projection dome and a tipi, positioned in and around Tudor Square, the Festival hub, VR was brought to the streets of Sheffield for the first time. In two rooms in the Millennium Gallery, incredible multi-sensory experiences and installations were showcased. Across all sites, the Exhibition was free and open to all, engaging audiences of all ages, particularly attracting young people. Audiences were able to feel, watch, listen, touch, speak and smell their way through a myriad of highest impact projects that are re-inventing the documentary storytelling form, from a hair-raising ascent into the treetop canopy of the Amazon, to seeing through the eyes of a baby, to witnessing the reconstruction of Aleppo in a teenager’s dream. The Alternate Realities Programme included pieces that complemented the Film primary and sidebar strands, to ensure a coherent cross-programme experience, for example, Focus/India, and immersive experience companion pieces to long-form documentaries. This year Doc/Fest commissioned a new VR project, in partnership with FACT, with support from Arts Council England. The project, Future Aleppo by Alex Pearson and Marshmallow Laser Feast, had its World Premiere at the Festival.

“This unique exhibit showcases how people are getting to grips with making VR content that audiences can relate to like never before” - VR Upload

“This year’s crop of virtual and augmented reality experiences at Sheffield Doc/Fest is an impressive showcase of works that push the boundaries of the still fledgling medium“ - Screen Daily

Alternate Realities Exhibitions



Projects Exhibited

Countries Represented

48.5% Projects Created by a Female Artist




World Premieres

European Premieres

UK Premieres

Alternate Realities Summit

The Alternate Realities Summit, with public as well as industry access, presented a world leading programme of keynote talks, panel discussion and demonstrations. Hosted by Anagram’s May Abdalla and Amy Rose, with artists and experts from virtual reality, documentary film, theatre, journalism, activism and the arts, the full day explored the power of new forms of storytelling. With a focus on individualism and identity in the morning and community and unity in the afternoon, it was an enlightening and engaging day of idea sharing and debate. From analysing the work of Marshmallow Laser Feast (including Festival Commission Future Aleppo) and their array of light cameras, haptic suits and VR headsets, to the unveiling of Voyager from Google’s Jessica Brillhart, to the role that games now play in education, the event was considered a great success. There were discoveries, there were debates, there were disagreements and there were resolutions. Importantly there was also a steady flow of question and answer between the speakers and participants in the audience. “The question arose across the Alternate Realities Summit, what is the impact of VR and AR, and how will such content make its way to viewers?” - Tiffany Pritchard, Filmmaker Magazine

Festival Awards

Grand Jury Award supported by Screen International & Broadcast City of Ghosts (dir. Matthew Heineman) Environmental Award supported by Discovery Communications A River Below (dir. Mark Grieco) Doc Audience Award supported by Curzon Home Cinema The Work (dirs. Jairus McLeary, Gethin Aldous) Alternate Realities VR Award Unrest VR (creators Jennifer Brea, Amaury La Burthe) Alternate Realities Interactive Award My Grandmother’s Lingo (creators Angelina Joshua, Gina McKeon, Boris Etingof) Alternate Realities Audience Award Munduruku: The Fight to Defend the Heart of the Amazon (creators Grace Boyle, James Manisty, Pete Speller) Tim Hetherington Award supported by Dogwoof Strong Island (dir. Yance Ford) Illuminate Award developed with Wellcome Unrest (dir. Jennifer Brea) Youth Jury Award 69 Minutes of 86 Days (dir. Egil Håskjold Larsen) Art Doc Award City of the Sun (dir. Rati Oneli) New Talent Award Artemio (dir. Sandra Luz López Barroso) Short Doc Award supported by Virgin Media Lounge Sheffield The Rabbit Hunt (dir. Patrick Bresnan) Doc/Dispatch Prize supported by Deutsche Welle The Fight (dirs. Violeta Ayala, Daniel Fallshaw)

Talks & Sessions

The 2017 agenda-setting Talks & Sessions Programme covered a rich, varied and full spectrum of industry topics for all durations and all platforms, from long form films to series to online shorts, with insights from over 200 leading directors, producers, commissioners, distributors and on-screen talent. The Talks & Sessions Programme is designed in part to draw upon the talent and topics represented in and inspired by the Films and Alternate Realities Programmes. Over 80 talks and sessions explored topics such as the latest models for funding and financing, the making of crime, health and environmental documentaries, the art and craft of the epic feature documentary, how to make responsive online content and the future of VR storytelling. The brand new Craft Summit, presented by Documentary Campus, offered a day of curated sessions revealing the methods and magic behind story development, directing, shooting, editing and composing. Countries represented in the Talks & Sessions Programme included UK, USA, Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, India, South Africa, Iran, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Norway, Denmark, Turkey, France and Singapore; speakers were from a full range of diverse backgrounds. Further to this, two talks were British Sign Language interpreted for d/Deaf audiences. Top 10 Sessions rated by Industry Delegates: 1. Commissioner Question Time: Documentary for Broadcast 2. Commissioner Question Time: Arts Documentary for All Platforms 3. Commissioner Question Time: Specialist Factual for All Platforms 4. Craft Summit: The Art of Editing & Sound Design 5. Commissioner Question Time: Factual Entertainment for All Platforms 6. Chicken & Egg Accelerator Lab Live Pitch 7. Craft Summit: The Art of Cinematography 8. Craft Summit: The Art of Directing 9. BBC Northern Docs Pitch 10. Channel 4 First Cut Pitch

290 Speakers

81 Sessions

48% Percentage of Female Speakers

20% Percentage of BAME Speakers

16 Countries Represented

“It is not difficult to see why Sheffield Doc/Fest is now an important place for filmmakers from across the globe to gather to discuss their craft� - The New European

Talks & Sessions

Talks highlights included filmmaker Nick Broomfield talking to Louis Theroux with a sold-out Crucible Theatre audience, and celebrated actress Maxine Peake talking about her favourite documentaries that have inspired her life and work. The Programme also featured Stacey Dooley and Olly Alexander discussing their BBC Three documentaries, Sir Lenny Henry CBE discussing his career and the continued need for the industry to tackle diversity with June Sarpong MBE, Peter Greenaway CBE exploring the future of storytelling, Ian Hislop discussing satire in a post-truth world with Jolyon Rubinstein and explorer Bruce Parry talking to Katie Puckrik about his new feature documentary. This year’s public debate featured distinguished panels including Sir Trevor Philips OBE exploring whether the media reflects the real opinions of the people, and highlights of the free talks programme in the Doc/Fest Exchange included editor Walter Murch, director Francis Lee about his Yorkshire film, God’s Own Country and YouTube sensation ‘The Chicken Connoisseur’. Top 10 Talks rated by Industry Delegates: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The BBC Interview: Louis Theroux meets Nick Broomfield Ian Hislop & Jolyon Rubinstein: Post-truth & Satire Maxine Peake: My Desert Island Docs Peter Greenaway CBE: Where Next for Storytelling? Stacey Dooley Talks...

6. Sir Lenny Henry CBE in Conversation with June Sarpong MBE 7. The Real Full Monty... with Alexander Armstrong & Ashley Banjo 8. Bruce Parry: From the Forests of Borneo to the Isle of Skye 9. Charles Hazlewood: Exploring my Own Beatles Black Album 10. Olly Alexander talks Documentary

Sir Lenny Henry CBE

Nick Broomfield

Maxine Peake

Stacey Dooley

Louis Theroux

Olly Alexander

Peter Greenaway CBE

Ashley Banjo & Alexander Armstrong

Ian Hislop

Doc/Fest Exchange Developed with Wellcome

For the second year running, Doc/Fest partnered with Wellcome to present the Doc/Fest Exchange on Tudor Square – a hub at the heart of the Festival, where both industry delegates and public audiences could be inspired, exchange ideas and discuss the films and projects showing at the Festival. The Exchange featured a series of free and open-to-all daily talks with filmmakers, academics, scientists and artists, inspired by ground-breaking Doc/Fest films and interactive and immersive storytelling, in addition to a bar and selection of street food vendors curated by Sheffield's Peddler, a free breakfast reception each day and evening activity including a Bruk Out! dance class, a live storytelling event from Tales of Whatever and the Doc/Pub Quiz. Films in focus at the Exchange included Out of Thin Air, Icarus, Strong Island, The Departure, Brimstone & Glory, Motherland, Freedom for the Wolf and Queerama. The programme also featured Google’s Jessica Brillhart, who discussed the making of the ambitious virtual reality projects Beethoven’s Fifth and Navajo Nation and the World Premiere of Love+Radio’s latest podcast The Land of the Ghostly Schemata. Guests also included legendary film editor Walter Murch (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now), awardwinning filmmakers Daisy Asquith and Yorkshire-born documentary maker, Francis Lee and YouTube sensation Elijah Quashie aka ‘The Chicken Connoisseur’. The talks culminated in ‘The Great Get Together’ occasion ahead of the Closing Night Film Jo Cox: Death of an MP to mark the anniversary of Jo Cox’s death.

Marketplace & Talent

The Marketplace & Talent Programme at Sheffield Doc/Fest offers extensive opportunities for filmmakers and producers – both established and emerging – to unlock funding for new projects, forge industry partnerships, obtain mentoring and advice and catch up on the latest trends and developments facing documentary makers today. The glorious Cutlers’ Hall was again the industry hub in Sheffield for the Marketplace. In the Main Ballroom, careful match-making culminated in the MeetMarket and Alternate Realities Market, where 87 projects in development took over 1,500 pre-arranged meetings with 330 industry Decision Makers over two days. Meanwhile the Marketplace Café doubled in size this year for extra informal business opportunities, and was abuzz with hundreds more meetings taking place between industry and filmmaker delegates. Executives from international sales and distribution companies took centre stage on the Sunday for Sales & Distribution Day, presenting themselves to filmmakers followed by networking sessions open to all delegates. For the second year running, academics and subject-specialists pitched to agents and commissioners in the On-Screen Talent Market. As always, the Marketplace also hosted a variety of live pitches for filmmakers to obtain funding and commissions. Numerous talent development initiatives were offered, that were integrated into industry gatherings. Future Producer School culminated its programme with match-made meetings during the Festival. Market Mentors, run in partnership with EDN, provided pitch-training and workshops with executive producers. Industry experts were available for impromptu drop-in consultation and advice via the Switchboard in the Marketplace Café. All delegates can access the international industry via the Marketplace Roundtables and 10-Minute-Meets, which this year included sessions on making audio documentaries and podcasts as well as budgeting for VR. This year also saw a special new initiative, Doc/Dinner hosted by Reggie Yates, where emerging filmmakers from diverse backgrounds and regions connected with industry executives from the BBC, Channel 4, The Guardian, Pulse Films and VICE. Sharing knowledge for mutual business and creative benefit was crucial, rather than one-sided listening.

330 Decision Makers

1000 Marketplace Participants

£10.2M Value of New Business Deals Anticipated by Festival Delegates

“It was incredibly well organised - an impressive feat! Thanks for thinking of us. I hope we can contribute again next year.” - Andrea Kurland, HUCK

Marketplace & Talent: MeetMarket

MeetMarket, Sheffield Doc/Fest’s flagship pitching opportunity, connected 63 new documentary projects from 22 countries with industry Decision Makers from around the world. The array of stories and subjects was impressive and wide-ranging and saw highly experienced production teams pitch alongside new and emerging talent. Already Doc/Fest is hearing positive reports of new deals and collaborations being forged in Sheffield 2017; the Marketplace & Talent team will track and support the projects through their fundraising and production stages. This year, six finished films selected for the Film Programme had previously taken part in MeetMarket. “MeetMarket was very impressive and was like a well oiled machine for all of us on the floor.” - Paul Thomas, Keys of Pluto (UK) “I thought the MeetMarket projects were incredibly strong. I feel there are at least 4 or 5 I can see Submarine getting involved with down the line - so overall was really valuable being there.” - Ben Braun, Submarine (USA) “You have built a wonderful community of people who are clearly dedicated to documentary filmmaking - this really helped us be at ease and helped us focus on our projects.” - Sushmit Ghosh, Writing with Fire (India)

63 MeetMarket Projects

1197 Matchmade Meetings

Marketplace & Talent: Alternate Realities Market As new forms of documentary storytelling emerge and evolve with the development of digital technologies, Doc/Fest’s Alternate Realities Market continues to offer an unrivalled opportunity for creatives to find supporters and collaborators for digital, interactive and virtual reality projects. 24 teams pitched to a wide range of industry Decision Makers from organisations offering funding, distribution, partnerships and exhibition to new types of documentaries. Companies that participated in this year’s Alternate Realities Market included Google, United Nations, The Guardian, ARTE, BBC, Channel 4, The National Film Board of Canada, The National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, SXSW, INK Stories and Submarine. Two completed projects from previous Alternate Realities Markets were showcased for public audiences in this year’s Alternate Realities Exhibition.

24 Alternate Realities Market Projects

451 Matchmade Meetings

“I really enjoyed the Market and thank you so much for organising it all! Everything ran very smoothly and I had lots of great meetings.” - Ant Adeane, Sundowning VR “Absolutely loved Alternate Realities Market! And we are so excited that already one of the pitches is developing into further talks.” - Amanda Farrant, Christian Aid

Marketplace & Talent: Live Pitches Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017 featured a coherent and wide ranging programme of pitch events, designed for the widest range of opportunities at all levels, offering hundreds of thousands of pounds in funding and in-kind support for development, production and placements. The key intention is to be part of the creation and showcase of a pipeline of new and emerging, as well as established, talent, for a sustainable industry and exhibition.

The IBT Pitch in association with The Guardian Winner: ‘Born Into The Whale’ by Maia Krall Fry

BFI Film Fund Pitch Winner: To be announced

The Channel 4 First Cut Pitch Winner: ‘This is My Place’ by Tom Green

The BBC Northern Docs Pitch Winner: ‘Schizo’ by Ryan Lee

The Mix Boomer Pitch Winners: ‘Creative Joy’ by Natasha Hawthornthwaite & ‘Golden Girls House’ by Alice Rhodes

The Whicker's World Foundation Funding Award Winner: ‘Hope Frozen’ by Pailin Wedel

Korean Delegation Pitch

Chicken & Egg Accelerator Lab Pitch


Marketplace & Talent: Delegations Every year Sheffield Doc/Fest welcomes delegations of talented and aspiring filmmakers, content creators, and those with a passion for documentary, to attend the Festival and be able to take full advantage of what it offers. Delegations come from both within the UK and 12 countries across the world, coordinated by a variety of film and cultural bodies. Doc/Fest maintains these relationships each year with UK and international partners to help support new, emerging and established talent at the Festival by providing them with support through one-to-one mentoring and help with access to market and networking opportunities. In 2017, delegations were welcomed from Abu Dhabi, Chile, Jordan, Ireland, the Nordic countries, Palestine, South Korea, USA and Canada. UK talent delegation groups were also welcomed to Sheffield for the first time in 2017 supported by Mama Youth Project, Wellcome, FLAMIN, and BBC’s Listen to Britain.

Canadian Celebration Brunch

Scottish Delegation Drinks

Korean Pitching Day

Chicken & Egg Accelerator Lab Live Pitch

The New Leaders: Developing an

Image Nation Abu Dhabi Celebrates the

Equal & Inclusive Industry

UK/UAE Year of Culture

Special Events

Opening Night Film: Queerama Doc/Fest 2017 opened with Queerama, a film which looks into the relationships, desires, fears and expressions of gay men and women in the 20th century.

Whitney ‘Can I Be Me’ Doc/Fest hosted the UK Premiere of Nick Broomfield’s Whitney ‘Can I Be Me’ at Sheffield City Hall, which was broadcast live to over 146 cinemas across the UK and Ireland.

Special Preview: 8 Minutes Monday saw a special work-in-progress preview of multimedia event 8 Minutes by Alexander Whitley Dance Company, including film images from space by video artist Tal Rosner, ahead of its World Premiere at Sadler's Wells.

Spookers: Fright Night Fright Night came to Doc/Fest bringing an interactive, immersive cinema experience to coincide with the European Premiere of Spookers which follows a group of performers in the southern hemisphere’s largest ‘scream park’.


The Great Get Together Inspired by Jo Cox

DOOM ROOM is a boundary-defying VR experience and live performance. In the depths of an abandoned department store, audiences were invited to put on a blindfold and begin a guided meditation where they were transported to the afterlife.

Celebrating the life of Jo Cox MP on the Closing Night of the Festival, delegates and public came together for refreshments and a performance by the Sheffield Socialist Choir in Tudor Square.

Networking & Social Events

BFI Film Fund Drinks

Meet the Filmmakers Drinks supported by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

British Council Drinks Reception

Grierson Trust New Talent Drinks

Irish Delegation Drinks

Reggie Yates’ Doc/Dinner

Resisdance Party

Guilty Pleasures Party

Volunteer Programme


This year Doc/Fest received over 500 applications for the Doc/Crew Volunteer Programme. The programme continued to strengthen and build on growing partnerships with local and national organisations and institutions including Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Sheffield, Artworks, Newcastle University, Longley College and Derby University.


For the 2017 edition of the Doc/Crew Volunteer programme, 48% of volunteers were from Sheffield, and over 64% were female. Not only was there an increase in the number of female volunteers, but also a 7% increase in the number of BAME volunteers since 2016, with a total of 25% of volunteers being from minority ethnic groups. The Doc/Crew volunteer programme also welcomed a record number of disabled volunteers, representing 14% of the total.

60% of volunteers are students


of volunteers are from Sheffield

Social media volunteers covering the Festival for official Doc/Fest Facebook & Twitter channels

Volunteers enjoying the Volunteers Party on the Closing Night of the Festival

Alternate Realities volunteers helping audiences experience VR projects featured in the Exhibition

Marketplace volunteers working across MeetMarket, Alternate Realities Market and Round Tables

Press & PR

Press noise for the 2017 edition of Sheffield Doc/Fest successfully amplified and championed the Festival narrative of Resistance and Change. The programme created multiple opportunities for press to talk about BAME, LGBTQ+, disability, socio-economic and geographical backgrounds and other inclusion, including knowledge-share for mutual creative and business benefit at Reggie Yates’ Doc/Dinner. Through the strategic communication of programme content beginning in early April and continuing beyond close of Festival, Doc/Fest 2017 has attracted coverage from an impressive range and scale of press, resulting so far in a record breaking AVE figure of £1,255,918 with a circulation reach of 149,124,337. The placement of interview features with CEO & Festival Director Liz McIntyre, Director of Film Programming Luke Moody, Curator of Alternate Realities Dan Tucker and Head of Marketplace & Talent Patrick Hurley elevated the Festival’s position as a world leading documentary festival and centre of expertise and excellence. The announcement of the Marketplace & Talent activity, including MeetMarket projects plus new initiatives and partnerships, followed by the Programme Launch in London and Sheffield in May, successfully created a buzz and excitement from industry, specialist, national and local press and stakeholders. The Festival enjoyed excellent coverage in the form of interviews, news, previews, Doc/Fest expert comment, reviews and features for its Film, Alternate Realities, Talks & Sessions, Marketplace & Talent and Live Event Programmes, from international, national and local press. Local love for the Festival came from, among others, media partner Now Then magazine, Sheffield Telegraph, The Star, Yorkshire Post, Big Issue in the North, BBC Radio Sheffield, ITV North and BBC regional TV. A series of Facebook Live interviews by The Star achieved a combined reach of 36,400 views. International and UK industry coverage appeared in, for example, Screen International, Broadcast, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Realscreen, Filmmaker Magazine, C21, Televisual, WFTV and Prolific North. For the second year, Doc/Fest teamed with sister publications Broadcast and Screen International to create three daily newsletters for Festival news, reviews and features. National newspaper press coverage appeared in The Observer, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, I-News, The Independent online, Mail Online and Sunday Express. Francine Stock from BBC Radio 4 Film Programme reported extensively. The Alternate Realities Exhibition was featured on BBC Click and reviewed at length by Filmmaker Magazine, Sight & Sound online, Upload VR, VR Focus and Kino-eye. Writers from gal-dem and The F Word focussed on the particularly strong line-up of films and Alternate Realities projects made by and about women whilst the new Doc/Visions strand, celebrating bold cinematic filmmaking and the 1967: Summer of Love & Disobedience retrospective were both reviewed in depth by Sight & Sound online. Little White Lies looked at Festival titles that focussed on Syria and politics, and Dazed Digital, i-D, VICE Creators and DIVA wrote about LGBTQ+ titles.

£1,273,369 AVE Figure

154,475,202 Circulation Reach

125 Press in Attendance

Industry Delegate Survey

This year Doc/Fest welcomed 3,397 industry delegate from 54 countries. The Festival delegate survey revealed that for 39% of delegates, 2017 was their first Festival, whilst 21% had been to the Festival five or more times previously. At 39%, independent filmmakers and producers were the largest sector in attendance at the Festival. 83% of Festival industry delegates found Doc/Fest a good place to do business. 93% say that they will return in 2018. 96% of Festival industry delegates were very satisfied or fairly satisfied with their overall experience at Sheffield Doc/Fest this year.

What was your Festival Highlight?

Where did you come to Doc/Fest from? Local 6% International 29%

National 65%

Public Audience Survey

The Sheffield Doc/Fest public audience was surveyed to get a better idea of who they are, where they come from and their perception of the Festival. A number of outreach initiatives this year resulted in reaching new diverse audiences, including those from areas of low engagement and with 8% self-identifying as d/Deaf or having a disability.

What was your Festival Highlight?

Where did you come to Doc/Fest from?

70+ 0-15 60-69 4% 7% 10%

International 8% Rest of UK 20%

What age are you?

Sheffield 43%

London 22% Rest of Yorkshire 6%

16-24 16%

45-59 21% 35-44 18%

25-34 24%

Economic Impact on the City of Sheffield As Doc/Fest becomes one of the biggest documentary festivals in the world, it is important to continue to measure the Festival’s economic impact on the City of Sheffield. The data below shows that the Festival is a major contributor to the City’s cultural economy. For every £1 raised in Sheffield (via the Sheffield City Council, other partner contributions and local ticket sales) Doc/Fest as an organisation re-invests £3.79 back into the City.

Money Raised

Money Raised Outside Sheffield £1,460,473

Money Raised in Sheffield £240,762

Money Spent

Money Spent Outside Sheffield £786,210 Money Spent in Sheffield £913,298

Economic Impact on the City of Sheffield A large injection of local spend comes from Festival delegates visiting Sheffield to attend Doc/Fest. Based on a survey sent to 3,397 delegates that attended this year’s Festival, the economic impact on the City from delegates was calculated, below. For every £1 Sheffield invests into Doc/Fest, Festival delegates spend £7.75 within the City.

£1,865,701 Total Delegate Spend in Sheffield June 2017

Festival Delegates Spend in Sheffield 2017 £730,898





Food & Drink


Other Items

“The stonking talks bill, meanwhile, features Peter Greenaway; Louis Theroux v Nick Broomfield; and, obviously, YouTube chicken-shop reviewer Elijah Quashie” - Guardian Guide

Festival Team

Board of Directors Alex Graham, Chair Peter Armstrong (Harbottle & Lewis) Mary Burke (British Film Institute) Jo Clinton-Davis (ITV) Patrick Holland (BBC) Derren Lawford (Woodcut Media)

Ralph Lee (Channel 4) Siobhan Mulholland (Sky) Shirani Sabaratnam (Freelance) Helen Scott (Clear Focus Productions) Ian Wild (Sheffield Media & Exhibition Centre) Brian Woods (True Vision Productions)

Advisory Committee May Abdalla (Anagram) Taghi Amirani (Amirani Films) Sam Anthony (Sun Dog Pictures) Lucy Baxter (Mandrake Films) Jan Bednarz (Buzz Films) Christina Burnett (Wide Eye Pictures) Simon Chinn (Red Box Films/Light Box) Cat Cooper (Elfin Productions) Nick Crossland (Joi Polloi) Liesel Evans (Century Films) Pegah Farahmand (Freelance) Jeanie Finlay (Glimmer Films)

Sheffield Doc/Fest Staff

Dick Fontaine (National Film & Television School) Adam Gee (Freelance) Andy Glynne (Mosaic Films) Roger Graef (Roger Graef Productions) Oli Harbottle (Dogwoof) Danny Horan (BBC) Iyare Igiehon (S.O.U.L.) Catherine McCarthy (Medical Aid Films) Liz Mermin (Freelance) Carol Nahra (Freelance) Victoria Noble (Discovery Networks International) Carolyn Payne (National Geographic International)

Samantha Armstrong (Assistant Accountant) Sylvia Bednarz (Director of Partnerships & Development) Amy Benjamin (Assistant Accountant) Joe Cutts (Film & Alternate Realities Programme Coordinator) River Ferris (Marketing Coordinator) Nigel Fischer (Head of Talks & Sessions) Cassie Fletcher (Assistant Accountant) Patrick Hurley (Head of Marketplace & Talent) Melanie Iredale (Deputy Director)

Charlie Phillips (TheGuardian) Ashok Prasad (Freelance) Lina Prestwood (Freelance) James Quinn (Maverick) Emily Renshaw-Smith (Freelance) Martin Rosenbaum (Lone Star Productions) Jolyon Rubinstein (Freelance) Andre Singer (Spring Films) Sue Sudbury (Sequoia Films) Rajesh Thind (Open Circuit) Rachel Wexler (Bungalow Town Productions) Elizabeth Wood (DocHouse)

Hannah McHaffie (Administrative & Executive Assistant) Elizabeth McIntyre (CEO & Festival Director) Luke W Moody (Director of Film Programming) Fiona Outram (Finance Manager) Ellie Robinson (Alternate Realities Manager) Becky Sliwa Webb (Marketplace & Talent Coordinator) Mat Steel (Head of Production) Maria Stoneman (Operations & HR Manager)

Contractors & Consultants Jay Arnold (Marketing & Events Consultant, Live Cinema UK) Lisa Brook (Head of Marketing & Events, Live Cinema UK) Sarah Harvey (Head of Press) Andrea Horakh (Film Programme Consultant)

Karolina Lidin (Marketplace Executive Producer) James Lowe (Publications Layout Designer) Donna Taberer (Skills & Training Consultant) Dan Tucker (Curator, Alternate Realities)

Festival Team Maeve Armstrong (Box Office Manager) Jacqui Bellamy (Photographer) Francis Chan (Registration Assistant, Trainee) David Chang (Photographer) Emily Charlton (Talks & Sessions Assistant) Nia Childs (Events Producer) Sarah Dawson (Film Programme Manager) Alex Downie (Events Assistant) Katy Driscoll (Festival Publicist) David Edgar (Alternate Realities Summit Producer) Ailsa Ferrier (Doc/Player Coordinator) Alastair Hastie (Alternate Realities Programme Assistant, Trainee) Paul Hayes (Showroom Production Coordinator) Hayley Holden (Hospitality Assistant) Saul Holmes (Operations Assistant)

Owen Jones (Film Programme Assistant, Trainee) Harry Løvstrøm (Publications & Marketing Assistant) Corrigan Lowe (Delegate Centre Assistant) Gerry Maguire (Tudor Square Site Manager) Bianca Manu (Assistant Exchange Producer) Lena Moss (Marketing & Press Assistant) Joe Newberry (Volunteer Assistant, Trainee) Kate Nicholson (Hospitality Coordinator) Erinma Ochu (Wellcome Trust Producer) Lauren Parker (Production Coordinator) Alice Smith (Delegations Assistant, Trainee) Matt Sturdy (Video Coordinator & Editor) Jenni Tuovinen (Marketplace Sessions Coordinator) Vicki Wildbore (Ticketing & Registration Coordinator) Hayley Willis (Festival Publicist) Elaine Wong (Alternate Realities Market Coordinator) Serena Williamson (Volunteer Coordinator)




Sheffield Doc/Fest Festival Report 2017  
Sheffield Doc/Fest Festival Report 2017