Sheffield DocFest has announced  its full Film programme, Alternate Realities exhibitions, Industry Programme and Talks & Sessions, which includes over 40 premieres.

The 29th edition of the Festival invites audiences and industry to ReConnect with documentary – and each other – in Sheffield, 23-28 June.

Sheffield DocFest opens with the UK premiere of Brett Morgen’s Moonage Daydream (pictured), 50 years after Bowie first played the historic Sheffield music venue in June 1972. Morgen will participate in an In Conversation as part of the Talks programme and give a Masterclass as part of the Craft Summit.

Three collaborations have shaped this year’s Festival programme: firstly with guest curator Asif Kapadia; then, an urgent and important collaboration with respected colleagues at Ukraine’s Docudays UA, who started working with Sheffield DocFest when their own Festival could not go ahead due to the Russian invasion; and finally, with Kat Cizek at MIT’s Open Documentary Lab, who worked with the Festival’s creative leads on a programme that illuminates the philosophies and practices of Co-Creation, filmmaking that cares – like so many great documentaries do – about changing our world, for the better.

Alex Cooke, chair of the board of trustees, says: “There has never been a more important time for documentaries. They take us into worlds and lives and help us understand, they let us empathise, and they hold those in power to account. This special Festival affords us a community, one to find real comfort in. I hope you forge new friendships; I hope you feel welcome, I hope you leave feeling re-energised and mostly, I hope you have some much-needed fun.”

The three Special Programmes that headline this year’s selection:

Ukraine. Password: Palianytsia

In solidarity with Ukraine, Sheffield DocFest collaborated with Docudays UA – the Ukraine’s leading international human rights documentary festival – to present Password: Palianytsia. This programme. will launch the British Council and Ukrainian Institute’s UK/Ukraine Season of Culture with the World Premiere of One Day in Ukraine, by media activist and filmmaking collective Babylon’13. It includes nine new documentaries alongside VR and artwork, as well as five projects in MeetMarket, the Festival’s pitching forum, and three Work-in-Progress presentations.. It provides a powerful encounter with contemporary Ukrainian life – including the horrific reality of the Russian invasion and the current war.

A Documentary Journey with Asif Kapadia

Sheffield DocFest’s 2022 Guest Curator, award-winning filmmaker Asif Kapadia, selects documentaries that had significant impact for him, inspiring his own style and creative choices. Highlights include Martin Scorsese’s Italianamerican, Jean Bach’s A Great Day in Harlem, and When We Were Kings – about the boxing match between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali. Kapadia says: “Without this film, there would be no Amy. There would be no Senna. There would be no Diego Maradona”. Kapadia will also appear in conversation with his long-time collaborator in Cutting the Fame trilogy: Asif Kapadia and Chris King.

Co-Creation: Changing our World

While selecting films and immersive projects for this year’s Sheffield DocFest – from over 2200 entries – the Festival team witnessed an increase in collective filmmaking and more works emerging that demonstrate the practices and philosophies of Co-Creation. Curated with Katerina Cizek at MIT’s Open Documentary Lab’s Co-Creation Studio, this programme illuminates the practice of making documentary work from within communities and making films with people, rather than for, or about, them. The programme pairs new projects with emblematic works from the past with highlights including Overcoming Darkness (Ukraine war) paired with America aka Amerika (Vietnam war) showing different grassroots collectives approach to news reporting; and Sound Voice Project (2021) paired with Songbirds (2006), projects where both directors worked with communities to portray their stories in song. Katerina Cizek will lead a keynote address Co-Creation: Collective Dreams,​​ outlining the practices and philosophies of co-creation according to MIT’s Open Documentary Lab’s Co-Creation manifesto, and will be joined by some of the artists whose works feature in this strand.

The full programme can be found at


Pippa Considine

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