Sheffield Doc/Fest Unveils 2020 Selection with 31 World Premieres

Samuel Ashaninka (PiÒanko); Antonio (PiÒangiri), marido
© Arno Vogel

Sheffield Doc/Fest, the U.K.’s leading documentary festival, has unveiled its 2020 selection, with a line-up of 115 films, including 31 world premieres.

Among the world premieres of U.K. films are Melissa Herman’s “We’re Still Here,” Mark Isaacs’ “The Filmmaker’s House,” Ben Anthony’s “Keith Haring: Street Art Boy,” Michael Cumming’s “King Rocker,” and Lisa Rovner’s “Sisters With Transistors.”

Other world premiere’s include U.S. and Brazilian documentary “Your Mother’s Comfort” by Adam Golub. Also from the U.S., Sam Osborn and Nicholas Capezzera’s “Universe” world premieres, as does Japanese director Atsushi Sakahara’s “Me And The Cult Leader.”

Due to coronavirus, this year’s festival is largely taking place online. The June event is also extending its activities throughout the rest of the year both in Sheffield and virtually.

The festival is launching a VOD platform, Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects, on June 10 with pay-per-view and subscription options for U.K.-based public audiences including Q&As with filmmakers.

The Doc/Player, a film industry-oriented video library, is also being made available to festival passholders globally from today to August 31.

The festival is also organising weekend screenings in Sheffield cinemas in October – November.

In addition, Doc/Fest has partnered with BFI Player, Doc Alliance Films, The Guardian, and MUBI which will host its curated programmes at various points between July and  November.

As announced previously, Sheffield Doc/Fest’s industry-oriented Meetmarket and Alternate Realities Talent Market pitching forums and other Marketplace activities are taking place June 8-10.

Filmmakers and artists shortlisted this year include Abbas Fahdel, Alison Ellwood, Andrea Testa, Anthony Baxter, Carmen Losmann, Carol Salter, Dacia Ibiapina, David Teboul, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Florence Lazar, Hanna Jayanti, Ilona Bruvere, Jérôme Bel, Jia Zhang-ke, Jonathan Perel, Kim A. Snyder, Lech Kowalski, Lynne Ramsay, Lynne Sachs, Marc Isaacs, Mike Hoolboom, Nick Jordan, Oreet Ashery,  Phil Collins, Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, Rob Curry, Simplice Ganou, Sofia Bohdanowicz, Viera Čákanyová, Vincent Carelli, and Yael Bartana all feature with their latest works.

New talent – with 22 first-time feature filmmakers including Catarina Vasconcelos, Deepti Gupta, and Siji Awoyinka – make up 20% of the programme.

Festival director Cíntia Gil said: “The crisis we are living now point, and not for the first time, to the systemic failure of institutions and nations, and their need to be equitable in their capacities to give respect to life, freedom and care. It has given us an acute sense of what needs to change and a desire for stronger bonds between us.

“This programme is our contribution to that: it comes from a collective effort to resist hegemonic views over cinema and its relation to the world and to our lives. It represents multiple conversations we want to continue in the near future, through different programmes and forms.”