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FESTIVALS UK

Queerama to open Sheffield Doc/Fest

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- Toby Paton’s Jo Cox: Death of an MP will bring the festival to a close

Queerama to open Sheffield Doc/Fest
Queerama by Daisy Asquith

The 24th Sheffield Doc/Fest (9-14 June) will open and close with a brace of world premieres. Kicking off proceedings will be Daisy Asquith’s Queerama [+see also:
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, and the festival will end with Toby Paton’s Jo Cox: Death of an MP. The films in contention for the Grand Jury Award include Laura Poitras’ Risk [+see also:
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Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles’ DinaMatthew Heineman’s City of GhostsGethin Aldous and Jairus McLeary’s The WorkRaed Andoni’s Ghost Hunting [+see also:
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, and David France’s The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson. In all, the programme features 183 documentary features and shorts from around the world, including 35 world, 21 international, 24 European and 74 UK premieres. 

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Festival director Liz McIntyre said, “This year at Doc/Fest, we’re thrilled to be bringing you the most extraordinary and inspiring stories, born out of this time of seismic change. From remarkable new talents to world-renowned greats, documentary, virtual reality and interactive storytellers are converging on Sheffield to show their work that is both maverick and influential, funny and quirky, heart-stopping and heart-breaking. This year, we shine a light on stories of fighting back and offer a celebration of the human spirit. We have exciting new programme additions, including the Doc/Vision strand for bold new cinematic works, Doc/Dispatch for in-the-moment films and Focus/Industry for works in progress. We’ve also added Docs til Dawn for late-nighters. Whether fresh to the industry or an award-winning filmmaker, and whether local or global, at Doc/Fest we love that everyone has a story to tell.”

The festival has also introduced a new Doc/Fest Craft Summit, supported by Documentary Campus, which is set to include “The Art of Editing and Sound Design” with Walter Murch, plus “The Art of the Story” with Fernanda Rossi (writer and script doctor), “The Art of Cinematography” with Shaul Schwartz and Richard Ladkani, “The Art of Directing” with filmmakers Jihan El-Tahri and Julia Dahr, and “The Art of the Serialised Doc” with Ben Steele and Charlotte Cook.

The festival’s Alternate Realities programme will demonstrate how VR, immersive and augmented-reality technology is changing the way stories are told, and how immersive journeys of discovery can take audiences into the minds and lives of others. Dan Tucker, curator, Alternate Realities, said, “From augmented reality to gaming, virtual reality and interactive installations, the exhibition will be an unearthly garden of factual delights, with a focus on stories of home, heritage, intimacy and identity.”

The winners of Doc/Fest’s second open Alternate Realities commission, worth £10,000, awarded in partnership with FACT and supported by Arts Council England, are Alex Pearson and creative collective Marshmallow Laser Feast. Together they will present the world premiere of the virtual-reality experience Future Aleppo.

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