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DocGeeks » Festivals, News » First events announced for UK’s biggest documentary festival

First events announced for UK’s biggest documentary festival

Sheffield doc fest logo largeNot only has Sheffield Doc/Fest bagged documentarian Michael Moore for its 23rd edition, the 2016 programme so far is already indicating that June’s event will be as exciting as last year’s, with famous names, exclusive talks and top notch screenings.

Once again the festival will host a spectacular list of filmmakers and artists in Sheffield. Last year, Joshua Oppenheimer stole the show with his Oscar-nominated feature The Look of Silence. The filmmaker wowed the audience with his intellect during the film’s Q&A.

This year filmmaker Michael Moore will open the festival with the UK premiere of Where to Invade Next. The director, returning to the festival for the first time since 1998, will also take part in an on-stage interview.

Sheffield Doc/Fest will also feature an ‘in conversation’ event with actress and activist Joanna Lumley this year, who will recall her career in film and television at the city’s famous Crucible Theatre. Lumley is mostly known for her role as Patsy in comedy series Absolutely Fabulous but more importantly for the festival attendees is also a seasoned documentary presenter. She has fronted films on subjects ranging from the Northern Lights to the Trans-Siberian railway line, mainly for the BBC.

Another UK premiere taking place will be that of hybrid-documentary Notes On Blindness. When John Hull’s sight finally vanished completely after decades of deterioration, the British academic decided to document his new world on audio cassettes. This innovative doc uses actors to lip sync the diaries, telling the story of Hull’s complex and articulate engagement with his condition.

The film will be accompanied by Notes on Blindness & Into Darkness: A Film and VR Autopsy, a panel discussion at ITV Town Hall chaired by Ingrid Kopp, director of Interactive at the Tribeca Film Institute. The event will celebrate the first time a film and VR project are being exhibited together while, as Sheffield Doc/Fest says, “both stand alone as works of art in their own right”.

The virtual reality project Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness will also be presented as part of the VR exhibition at Site Gallery as the European premiere of the complete six-chapter experience.

The full programme for Sheffield Doc/Fest will be revealed in May.


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Alexandra Zeevalkink is a Dutch-born journalist living in London who founded DocGeeks in August 2011 in order to have a legitimate excuse to watch every documentary under the sun. She freelances for various publications and writes mainly about documentaries and the film production industry. When she is not blogging or watching films, she enjoys theater, photography and reading loads of books. She is always on the look out for potential partnerships with other creative minds.

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