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Sheffield Doc/Fest announces its 2019 programme


- This year’s festival, taking place from 6-11 June, will inaugurate a brand-new section called Spotlight

Sheffield Doc/Fest announces its 2019 programme
Diego Maradona by Asif Kapadia

Sheffield Doc/Fest, one of the world’s main documentary film festivals, has finally announced its full competitive programme as well as the addition of a brand-new section, called Spotlight. According to the festival’s organisers, Spotlight is aimed at creating “a forum for discussion, disagreement and learning by framing a series of films with poignant, pressing and prescient conversations on the art and subjects of non-fiction cinema”. Each screening will be followed by a long discussion with the filmmakers, hosted by TV presenter Jon Snow. Titles taking part in this strand include Werner Herzog’s Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce ChatwinAi Weiwei’s The Rest, and Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts’ For Sama.

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This year, Sheffield will host six competitive sections for feature-length movies. The festival will open on 6 June with the British premiere of Diego Maradona, a revealing and immersive archival work directed by Asif Kapadia, who will take part in a conversation following the screening. The full line-up of this 26th edition comprises over 180 films, 28 alternate-reality projects and 33 world premieres.

The features in the running for the Grand Jury Award are A Dog Called Money by Seamus Murphy (Ireland/UK), For Sama by Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts (UK), Midnight Traveler by Hassan Fazili (USA/UK/Canada/Qatar), Mike Wallace Is Here by Avi Belkin (USA), Midnight Family by Luke Lorentzen (Mexico) and Diego Maradona by Asif Kapadia (UK). 

The International Award will be fought over by MOTHER by Kristof Bilsen (Belgium), The Amazing Jonathan Documentary by Ben Berman (USA), BLOCK by Victoria Alvares and Quentin Delaroche (Brazil), The Black Tree by Máximo Ciambella and Damián Coluccio (Argentina), Earth by Nikolaus Geyrhalter (Austria), and Anthropocene: The Human Epoch by Jennifer BaichwalNicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky (Canada).

Set to duke it out for the Tim Hetherington Award are Border South by Raúl O Paz Pastrana (Mexico), Sumercé by Victoria Solano (Colombia), Dark Suns by Julien Elie (Canada), Your Turn by Eliza Capai (Brazil) and One Child Nation by Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang (USA). 

The Art Award is also up for grabs, and will be contested by Mother, I Am Suffocating. This Is My Last Film About You by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese (Lesotho/Qatar), No Data Plan by Miko Revereza (USA), Rushing Green With Horses by Ute Aurand (Germany), The Hottest August by Brett Story (USA/Canada), While We Are Here by Clarissa Campolina and Luiz Pretti (Brazil), and Fordlandia Malaise by Susana de Sousa Dias (Portugal).

Hoping to scoop the New Talent Award are Cool Daddio: The Second Youth of R. Stevie Moore by Imogen Putler and Monika Baran (UK), About Love by Archana Atul Phadke (India), Talking About Adultery by Bara Jichova Tyson (Czech Republic/USA/Germany/Italy/Maldives/Netherlands/Tanzania/Turkey/UK), The Fortress by Andres Torres (Colombia), La Vida En Común by Ezequiel Yanco (Argentina/France) and What We Left Unfinished by Mariam Ghani (Afghanistan/Qatar/USA).

The Youth Jury Award, meanwhile, will be handed to one of the following movies: Baracoa by Pablo Briones and The Moving Picture Boys (Switzerland/USA/Spain), Jawline by Liza Mandelup (USA), Los Reyes by Bettina Perut and Ivan Osnovikoff (Chile/Germany), Romantic Comedy by Elizabeth Sankey (UK), Seahorse by Jeanie Finlay (UK) or Searching Eva by Pia Hellenthal (Germany). 

Furthermore, the gathering will also screen eight projects that will be competing for its Alternate Realities Best Digital Experience Award, as part of the Alternate Realities programme encompassing AR, VR and MR projects. This year’s country of focus is Japan; as part of the initiative, the festival will host the British premieres of Makino Takashi’s Memento StellaKazuhiro Soda’s The Big House and Yuki Kawamura’s Norie.

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