The Look of Silence (2014) by Joshua Oppenheimer

Don't miss Sheffield Doc/Fest

Sheffield Doc/Fest, the UK’s biggest documentary and digital media festival, returns this June for its 22nd year, bringing together the international documentary family for another stimulating programme of films, special events and retrospectives, curated by Claire Aguilar, the festival’s newly appointed director of programming. With the full programme now announced, the events will take place from 5 to 10 June 2015, featuring 150 screenings of short and feature-length documentaries.

Joshua Oppenheimer, Michael Palin, Sigur Rós and Michael Nyman are just some of the names included in this year’s line-up, with the opening night boasting two events. The first, the UK premiere of The Look of Silenceis Joshua Oppenheimer’s companion piece to MEDIA-funded landmark documentary The Act of Killing,  in which a family that survives the genocide in Indonesia confronts the men who killed one of their brothers. 

Icelandic director Benedikt Erlingsson’s The Greatest Shows on Earth: A Century of Funfairs, Circuses and Carnivals will also see its world premiere at the festival's opening night. A rich visual archive, the film was created with exclusive access to The University of Sheffield’s National Fairground Archive and will be accompanied by a new score by Georg Hólm and Orri Páll Dýrason of Sigur Rós. With a live circus show to precede the film and a Q&A from the director and the band members, we are pegging this as an evening not to be missed!

The 2015 festival pays tribute to documentary cameraman Albert Maysles, who died in March this year, with a retrospective of his work and the UK premiere of his last film, Iris. There’s also a retrospective of the remarkable and influential 30-year career of Black Audio Film Collective founder John Akomfrah, including screenings of his influential 1986 film Handsworth Songs, the BAFTA-nominated TV documentary Martin Luther King and his essay film about one of UK’s leading intellectual and cultural theorists, The Stuart Hall Project

Akomfrah also returns to Sheffield to sit on the grand jury and pitch his new project about Miles Davis in the festival’s MeetMarket, which is funded by the Creative Europe - MEDIA sub-programme. A key pitching and networking opportunity at the festival, MeetMarket sets up individual meetings for projects based on the pre-signified choices of decision-makers and commissioning editors. 

The UK's biggest documentary festival and the third largest in the world, Sheffield has become a leading showcase for the genre, but is also one known as one of the top places for people from the documentary and digital industries to get together - to meet, share knowledge, do business, make new contacts and discuss the innovations and challenges they are facing in the ever-changing media landscape. Over the years Sheffield Doc/Fest has expanded its marketplace activity extensively, as well as its cross-platform, interactive and digital programme. Hundreds of executives, distributors, commissioners, funders, advisors and buyers from the documentary and interactive and digital industries will attend alongside thousands of members of the general public.

This year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest will close on 10 June 2015 with the European premiere of Monty Python: The Meaning of Live - a behind the scenes look at the seminal comedy troupe’s final performances at the O2 last year. It will be followed by a conversation with Sheffield-born Python member Michael Palin and directors Roger Graef and James Rogan, hosted by comedian Josie Long.

Whether you are visiting Sheffield as a filmmaker to pitch your project, a journalist, a programmer, or simply film enthusiast, the line-up is as enticing as ever. Free outdoor screenings are also open to all, with the city’s Botanical Gardens this year hosting a European premiere screening of Jessica Edwards’ Mavis!, which recounts the inspiring life of R&B legend Mavis Staples.

Register for your pass through the Sheffield Doc/Fest website.

Pictured: The Look of Silence (2014), by Joshua Oppenheimer, will screen at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2015's opening night. The film was also selected for the 2013 edition of MeetMarket.