Doc/Fest announces line-up

Festival also voices support for Black Lives Matter

by Amber Wilkinson

Welcome to Chechnya
Welcome to Chechnya Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Sheffield Doc/Fest has announced the line-up for this year's festival, which is running partially online, with plans to screen films in the city's cinemas this autumn.

The programme includes 115 films from 50 countries and features 31 world premieres, 15 international premieres, five European premieres and 40 UK premieres. A selection of the films will be available for the public to watch from June 10 on pay-per-view platform Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects, including a free of charge Exchange film programme and Q&As with filmmakers.

Doc/Fest has also partnered with BFI Player, Doc Alliance Films, The Guardian, and MUBI, which will host curated programmes between July and November.

Established filmmakers, including Lynne Ramsay, David France and Lynn Sachs - who will be the subject of a specific focus - join the line-up, which also features 22 first-time feature directors.

The festival also voiced support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In a statement, incoming director director Cíntia Gil said: "We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement. As a team and as individuals, we will always add our voices and actively support this struggle. We demand justice for Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and their families. These horrendous acts present the ongoing trauma in already traumatic times. We also demand justice for Regis Korchinski-Paquest in Canada and all the deaths of black people prior to these moments."

She added: "We acknowledge we are part of the problem, starting by the lack of representation within our own team. Within the film community and industry, access and representation is not fair, not all voices have been heard, not all images have been offered visibility. We acknowledge our responsibility as an institution, and we commit ourselves to do better, and to call on our industry to work with us for this change. It is not enough to show films by Black filmmakers, or to have Black people and communities represented on screen: we need to actively change the rules of the game. We need to work collaboratively: to form coalitions, to resist, and eradicate systemic racism within the film industry."

Speaking about this year's line-up, Gil , who was previously the festival director of Doc Lisboa in Portugal, said: “This year’s programme brings together various cinematic and narrative forms, landscapes, human existences and ways of expression. It reflects on our contemporary world through its present and its past, and a multitude of sensibilities.

"The crisis we are living now points, 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.”

The Official Selection of features is as follows:

Into The World (online from June 10)

  • Aswang (Phil-Fr) Dir: Alyx Ayn Arumpac
  • Bitter Bread (Leb-Iraq) Dir: Abbas Fahdel
  • Flint (UK) Dir: Anthony Baxter
  • Influence (UK) Dirs: Diana Neille, Richard Poplak
  • Oeconomia (Ger) Dir: Carmen Losmann
  • Please Hold The Line (Austria) Dir: Pavel Cuzuioc
  • Seekers (Fr) Dir: Aurore Vullierme
  • The Secret Of Doctor Grinberg (Sp) Dir: Ida Cuellar
  • The Story Of Plastic (US) Dir: Deia Schlosberg
  • The Viewing Booth (Isr-US) Dir: Ra’anan Alexandrowicz
  • To See You Again (Mex) Dir: Carolina Corral
  • Us Kids (US) Dir: Kim A. Snyder
  • Vulnerable Beauty (Ita) Dir: Manuele Mandolesi
  • You Think The Earth Is A Dead Thing (Fr) Dir: Florence Lazar

To be screened in Sheffield in autumn, and online in Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects in parallel

  • Film About A Father Who (US) Dir: Lynne Sachs
  • Memory Is Our Homeland (Can) Dir: Jonathan Kolodziej Durand
  • Remnants Of A Revolution (Phil) Dir: Cha Escala
  • Swimming Out Till The Sea Turns Blue (China) Dir: Jia Zhang-Ke
  • The Kiosk (Fr) Dir: Alexandra Pianelli

Rebellions (online from June 10)

  • Blow It To Bits (Fr) Dir: Lech Kowalski
  • Corporate Accountability (Arg) Dir: Jonathan Perel
  • We Have Boots (US-HK) Dir: Evans Chan
  • We’re Still Here (UK) Dir: Melissa Herman
  • Welcome To Chechnya (US-Rus) Dir: David France
  • Your Mother's Comfort (US-Bra) Dir: Adam Golub
  • Bakoroman (Burk-Fr) Dir: Simplice Herman Ganou
  • The Koro Of Bakoro: The Survivors Of Faso (Burk-Fr) Dir: Simplice Herman Ganou

To be screened in Sheffield in autumn, and online in Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects in parallel

  • Antonio & Piti (Bra) Dirs: Vincent Carelli, Wewito Pyiãki
  • The Art Of Living In Danger (Ger-Iran) Dir: Mina Keshavarez
  • Camagroga (Sp) Dir: Alfonso Amador
  • Constructions (Lat) Dir: Ilona Bruvere
  • Our Land, Our Altar (Por) Dir: André Guiomar
  • The Filmmaker’s House (UK) Dir: Mark Isaacs
  • Where’s Edson? (Bra) Dir: Dacia Ibiapina

Ghosts and Apparitions (online from June 10)

  • Me And The Cult Leader (Jap) Dir: Atsushi Sakahara
  • Yãmīyhex: The Women-Spirit (Bra) Dirs: Sueli Maxakali, Isael Maxakali

To be screened in Sheffield in autumn, and online on Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects in parallel

  • Everything That Is Forgotten In An Instant (Arg) Dir: Richard Shpuntoff
  • Frem (Cze-Slo) Dir: Viera Čákanyová
  • The Metamorphosis Of Birds (Por) Dir: Catarina Vasconcelos (not online)
  • Mon Amour (Fr) Dir: David Teboul
  • Santikhiri Sonata (Thai-Ger) Dir: Thunska Pansittivorakul
  • Truth Or Consequences (US) Dir: Hannah Jayanti

Rhyme & Rhythm (online from June 10

  • Breaking Barriers – The Casteless Collective (Ind-Ger) Dir: Maja Meiners
  • Bring Down The Walls (US-Ger) Dir: Phil Collins
  • Elder’s Corner (Nig-US) Dir: Siji Awoyinka
  • The Go-Go’s (US-Ire-Can) Dir: Alison Ellwood
  • Keith Haring: Street Art Boy (UK) Dir: Ben Anthony
  • Shut Up Sona (Ind) Dir: Deepti Gupta
  • Southern Journey (Revisited) (US-UK) Dirs: Rob Curry, Tim Plester
  • Universe (US) Dirs: Sam Osborn, Nicholas Capezzera
  • The Vasulka Effect (Ice-Cze-Den-Swe) Dir: Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdottir

To be screened in Sheffield in autumn, and online in Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects in parallel:

  • Faith And Branko (UK-Serb) Dir: Catherine Harte
  • King Rocker (UK) Dir: Michael Cumming
  • Medium (Arg) Dir: Edgardo Cozarinsky
  • Retrospective (Fr) Dir: Jérôme Bel
  • Schlingensief – A Voice That Shook The Silence (Ger) Dir: Bettina Böhler
  • Sisters With Transistors (UK) Dir: Lisa Rovner

Retrospective: Reimagining the Land (More titles will be announced for autumn schedule, and for an online programme on Doc Alliance Films)

  • Mother India (Ind) Dir: Mehboob Khan
  • A Japanese Village (Jap) Dir: Shinsuke Ogawa

Exchange (online, for free, from June 10)

  • The Hyperwomen (Bra) Dirs: Carlos Fausto, Leonardo Sette, Brazil
  • Tava, The Stone House (Bra-Arg) Dirs: Vincent Carelli, Patricia Ferreira (Keretxu), Ariel Duarte Ortega, Ernesto Ignacio de Carvalho
  • Corumbiara: They Shoot Indians, Don’t They? (Bra) Dir: Vincent Carelli
  • Martyrdom (Bra) Dir: Vincent Carelli

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