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Sheffield Doc/Fest announces its Official Selection for 2020

Sheffield Doc/Fest reveals its line-up – 115 films of all lengths, spanning 50 countries around the world and representing 49 spoken languages. 22 UK productions included.


The official selection for 2020 includes 31 World Premieres, 15 International Premieres, 5 European Premieres and 40 UK Premieres.


Festival Director Cíntia Gil said: “This year’s programme brings together various cinematic                   and narrative forms, landscapes, human existences and ways of expression. It reflects on our contemporary world through its present and its past, and a multitude of sensibilities.

The crisis we are living now point, and not for the first time, to the systemic failure of institutions and nations, and their need to be equitable in their capacities to give respect to life, freedom and care.            It has given us an acute sense of what needs to change and a desire for stronger bonds between us.

This programme is our contribution to that: it comes from a collective effort to resist hegemonic views over cinema and its relation to the world and to our lives. It represents multiple conversations we want to continue in the near future, through different programmes and forms.”


Filmmakers and artists include Abbas Fahdel, Alison Ellwood, Andrea Testa, Anthony Baxter, Carmen Losmann, Carol Salter, Dacia Ibiapina, David Teboul, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Florence Lazar, Hanna Jayanti, Ilona Bruvere, Jérôme Bel, Jia Zhang-ke, Jonathan Perel, Kim A. Snyder, Lech Kowalski, Lynne Ramsay, Lynne Sachs, Marc Isaacs, Mike Hoolboom, Nick Jordan, Oreet Ashery,  Phil Collins, Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, Rob Curry, Simplice Ganou, Sofia Bohdanowicz, Viera Čákanyová, Vincent Carelli, and Yael Bartana all feature with their latest works.

Along with new talent – with 22 first-time feature filmmakers - including Catarina Vasconcelos, Deepti Gupta, and Siji Awoyinka - making up 20% of the programme.


Having taken place in Sheffield annually in June, this year the festival will extend its activities throughout the rest of the year – both in Sheffield and virtually:


Film Programme:

1. Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects VOD platform with pay-per-view and subscription options for UK-based public audience launching 10 June, including free of charge Exchange film programme and Q&As with filmmakers; 

2. Doc/Player - film industry-oriented video library available to festival passholders globally from 8 June to 31 August;

3. - Festival weekenders in Sheffield cinemas in October - November (dates to be announced, and subject to safe conditions).


In addition, Doc/Fest has partnered with BFI Player, Doc Alliance Films, The Guardian, and MUBI who will host its curated programmes at various points between July and  November.


Alternate Realities Programme:

Sheffield Doc/Fest has long been playing with, and expanding, the boundaries of non-fiction through its Alternate Realities programme - a curated Ghosts & Apparitions group exhibition of digital artworks at Site Gallery in Sheffield in parallel and in dialogue with the film strand of the same name in the Autumn. Artists and collectives taking part in the show include Keiken/George Jasper Stone (UK), Maria Court/Trinidad Piriz (Chile), Paula Albuquerque (Portugal) and Kitty Clark (UK). The exhibition will take place subject to safe conditions.


Leading into an Autumn exhibition programme at Site Gallery, each artist and collective will share insights into their research and processes, as part of a new Artist Spotlight series on Doc/Fest’s YouTube channel and website, starting on 6 July.


Exchange Programme:


Doc/Fest Exchange lies at the heart of the festival spanning films, talks and digital art projects. The ambition this year is to kickstart a rebellion in the making of new work and, through solidaric exchanges, beginning with the Global South, to find new sustainable, caring and equitable ways of living.


In partnership with Vídeo nas Aldeias, Sheffield Doc/Fest put together a programme of films that hopes to reflect the diversity of the indigenous communities living in Brazilian territories. Whilst the environmental crisis threatens our everyday lives, these communities have an ancestral, peaceful and respectful way of organizing their activities in harmony with their environment. The programme explores ways in which we can learn from their historical experience of resistance to threat - against their societies, their health, their ways of life.


In addition, the festival partnered with activists, researchers, scientists, filmmakers, community leaders, artists and local and international platforms to commission a series of short documentary or digital art works. The programme will include online sessions and community screenings.


A free programme launching on 10 June on Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects, it will culminate in a 3-day celebration of new work, conversations and workshops to share discoveries from the Exchange commissions. Open and free to all, the public celebration is presented and run in parallel and in dialogue with the Rebellions film strand as part of Doc/Fest’s Autumn programme in Sheffield.




Q&As with the filmmakers in the programme, both live and pre-recorded, will take place on Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects platform from July-November, and in Sheffield in the Autumn.


Marketplace and Talent:


As announced previously, Sheffield Doc/Fest’s industry-oriented Meetmarket and Alternate Realities Talent Market pitching forums and other Marketplace activities are taking place 8-10 June. On Thursday 11 and Friday 12 June, Doc Society will host drop-in afternoons, virtually. 








Into the World


Into the World is about all of us—the distant, the close, the intimate, the political—our worlds and their infinite appearances, challenges and dangers. Films by essential directors with essential themes that take varied approaches to exploring our past, present and collective future.


Online from 10 June:


ASWANG, Alyx Ayn Arumpac, Philippines / France, 2019, 84’ - UK Premiere

BITTER BREAD, Abbas Fahdel, Lebanon / Iraq, 2019, 86’ - UK Premiere

BREADLINE, Carol Slater, United Kingdom, 2020, 11’ - World Premiere

Szarość Życia / EVERYDAY GREYNESS, Clara Kleininger, Poland, United Kingdom, 2020, 33’ - World Premiere

FLINT, Anthony Baxter, United Kingdom, 2020, 119’

گالین / GALENA Ezzatollah  Parvazeh, Iran, 2020 , 27’ - World Premiere

INFLUENCE, Diana Neille, Richard Poplak, United Kingdom, 2020, 107’ - European Premiere

ISLE OF US, Laura Wadha, United Kingdom, 2020, 18’ - World Premiere

Lupita Que Retiemble la Tierra / LUPITA, Monica Wise, Mexico /  USA, 2019, 21’ - International Premiere

Niña Mamá / MOTHER CHILD, Andrea Testa, Argentina, 2019, 66’ - UK Premiere

OECONOMIA, Carmen Losmann, Germany, 2020, 80’ - UK Premiere

OUR MOTHER THE MOUNTAIN, Tamar Lando, United States, 2019, 40’ - European Premiere

PLEASE HOLD THE LINE, Pavel Cuzuioc, Austria, 2020, 86’ - World Premiere

SEEKERS, Aurore Vullierme, 2019, France, 77’ - UK Premiere

El Viaje Espacial / SPACE JOURNEY, Carlos Araya Diaz, Chile, 62’ - UK Premiere

STOLEN FISH, Gosia Juszczak, Poland / United Kingdom,  2020, 30’ - WORLD PREMIERE

STOP NINETEEN, Danielle Swindells, Ireland, United Kingdom, 2019, 8’

El Secreto del Doctor Grinberg / THE SECRET OF DOCTOR GRINBERG, Ida Cuellar, Spain, 2020, 92’ - International Premiere

THE STORY OF PLASTIC, Deia Schlosberg, US, 2019, 95’ - International Premiere

THE VIEWING BOOTH, Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, Israël, US, 2019, 70’ - UK Premiere

To See You Again / VOLVERTE A VER, Carolina Corral, Mexico, 2020, 88’ - World Premiere

UNTOLD CHAOS, Giovanni Buccomino, Libya, Italy, UK, 2020, 39’ - World Premiere

US KIDS, Kim A. Snyder, United States, 2020,  98’ - UK Premiere

Vulnerabile Bellezza, VULNERABLE BEAUTY, Manuele Mandolesi, Italy, 2019, 74’ - UK Premiere

WELLSPRING, Fergus Haughton, United Kingdom, 13’ - World Premiere

Tu Crois que la Terre est Chose Morte / YOU THINK THE EARTH IS A DEAD THING, Florence Lazar, France, 2019, 70’ - UK Premiere


To be screened in Sheffield in Autumn, and online in Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects in parallel:


ไกลบ้าน / AWAY, Teeraphan Ngowjeenanan, Thailand, 2019, 36’ - International Premiere

FILM ABOUT A FATHER WHO, Lynne Sachs, USA, 2020, 74’ - International Premiere

JUDY VERSUS CAPITALISM, Mike Hoolboom, Canada, 2020, 62’ - UK Premiere

MEMORY IS OUR HOMELAND, Jonathan Kolodziej Durand, Canada, 2019, 90’ - UK Premiere

Playback. Ensayo de una Despedida / PLAYBACK, Agustina Comedi, Argentina, 2019, 14’ - UK Premiere

REMNANTS OF A REVOLUTION, Cha Escala, Philippines, 2019, 74’ - World Premiere

Yi zhi you dao hai shui bian lan, SWIMMING OUT TILL THE SEA TURNS BLUE, Jia Zhang-Ke, China, 2020, 112’  - UK Premiere

Le Kiosque, THE KIOSK, Alexandra Pianelli, France, 2019, 78’ - International Premiere

THIS MEANS MORE, Nicolas Gourault, France, 2019, 22’ - UK Premiere


Tribute to Sarah Maldoror (already announced):

Monangambée / MONANGAMBEE, Sarah Maldoror,  Algeria, 1969, 18’


The Sarah Maldoror screening will include other titles yet to be announced.





Films that try to decipher the world while being an agent of change: either through the promise of revolution by  both collective and individual beings, as an act of resistance and protection, or as a refusal to forget. A certain idea of hospitality, how to live together, is a question raised across the strand - almost like a call for thought and change.


Rebellions film strand is supported by Bertha Foundation.


Online from 10 June:


On Va Tout Peter / BLOW IT TO BITS, Lech Kowalski, 2019, France, 110’ - UK Premiere

Responsabilidad Empresarial / CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY, Jonathan Perel, Argentina, 2020, 68’ - UK Premiere

THE UNDERTAKER, Yael Bartana, Netherlands / Israel, 2020, 13’ - UK Premiere

UNITED VOICES, Hazel Falck, United Kingdom, 2019, 25’ - World Premiere

WE HAVE BOOTS, Evans Chan, US, Hong Kong, 2019, 130’ - UK Premiere

WE’RE STILL HERE, Melissa Herman, United Kingdom, 2020, 68’ - World Premiere

WELCOME TO CHECHNYA, David France, USA / Russia, 2020, 107’ - UK Premiere

YOUR MOTHERS COMFORT, Adam Golub, USA / Brazil, 2020, 75’ - World Premiere

Focus Simplice Ganou (already announced):

BAKOROMAN, Simplice Herman Ganou, Burkina-Faso / France, 2011, 62’, First Feature - UK Premiere

Le Koro du Bakoro: Naufragés du Faso / THE KORO OF BAKORO: THE SURVIVORS OF FASO, Simplice Herman Ganou, Burkina-Faso / France, 2017, 78’ - UK Premiere


To be screened in Sheffield in Autumn, and online in Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects in parallel:


ANTONIO & PITI, Vincent Carelli, Wewito Pyiãki, Brazil, 2019, 78’ - European Premiere

THE ART OF LIVING IN DANGER, Mina Keshavarez, Germany / Iran, 2019, 85’ - World Premiere

BACK YARD, Arlin Golden, USA, 2019, 7’ - World Premiere

CAMAGROGA, Alfonso Amador, Spain, 2020, 111’ - World Premiere

KONSTRUKCIJAS / CONSTRUCTIONS, Ilona Bruvere, Latvia, 2019, 95’ - International Premiere

A Nossa Terra, O Nosso Altar / OUR LAND, OUR ALTAR , André Guiomar, Portugal, 2020, 77’ - World Premiere

OUTSIDE, Danielle Arbid, France, 2020, 5’

THE FILMMAKER’S HOUSE, Mark Isaacs, United Kingdom, 2020, 76’ - World Premiere

L’Inconnu / THE UNKNOWN, Simplice Herman Ganou, Switzerland, 2020, 12’ - UK Premiere

Cadê Edson? / WHERE’S EDSON?, Dacia Ibiapina, Brazil, 2020, 72’ - International Premiere


Online only:

Les Épisodes - Printemps 2018 / EPISODES - SPRING 2019, Mathilde Girard, France, 2020, International Premiere (only online)



Ghosts & Apparitions


Since the first glimpses of the moving image, ghosts were haunting our imaginations, including those yet to be. A ghost from then meets a ghost from now - histories and collective memory are born. And cinema: the dismantling of frontiers.


Online from 10 June:


A NEW ENGLAND DOCUMENT, Che Applewhaite, USA, 2020, 16’ - World Premiere

ASCENDING BALLARD DOWN, Charlie Usher, United Kingdom, 2020, 14’ - World Premiere

CONCRETE FORMS OF RESISTANCE, Nick Jordan, United Kingdom / Lebanon, 2019, 27’- UK Premiere

Карабаш / KARABASH, Ilya Komarov, Russia, 2019, 29’ - International Premiere

Aganai / ME AND THE CULT LEADER, Atsushi Sakahara, Japan, 2020, 96’ - World Premiere

ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE THE REVOLUTION FROM HERE, Emma Charles, Ben Evans James, Kazakhstan / United Kingdom, 2020, 65’ - UK Premiere

La Educación Sentimental / SENTIMENTAL EDUCATION, Jorge Juárez Lopez, Spain, 2019, 65’ - International Premiere

THEY WHISPER BUT SOMETIMES SCREAM, Lala Alyieva, Azerbaijan / United Kingdom, 2019, 21’ - UK Premiere

El trabajo o a quien le pertenece el mundo / WORK OR TO WHOM DOES THE WORLD BELONG, Elisa Cepedal, Spain / United Kingdom, 2019, 65’ - International Premiere

Yãmīhex: As Mulheres Espírito / YÃMĪYHEX: THE WOMEN-SPIRIT, Sueli Maxakali, Isael Maxakali, Brazil, 2019, 76’ - International Premiere


Lynne Sachs Focus (already announced):


THE LAST HAPPY DAY, Lynne Sachs, USA, 2009, 37’- UK Premiere

WHICH WAY IS EAST: NOTEBOOKS FROM VIETNAM, Lynne Sachs (in collaboration with Dana Sachs), USA, 1994, 33’ - UK Premiere

YOUR DAY IS MY NIGHT, Lynne Sachs, USA, 2013, 64’- UK Premiere

THE WASHING SOCIETY, Lynne Sachs and Lizzie Olesker, USA, 2018, 44’ - UK Premiere

A MONTH OF SINGLE FRAMES, Lynne Sachs, made with and for Barbara Hammer, USA, 2019, 14’ - UK Premiere


To be screened in Sheffield in Autumn, and online on Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects in parallel:


Augas Abisais / DEEP WATERS, Xacio Baño, Spain, 2020, 25’ - World Premiere

DYING UNDER YOUR EYES, Oreet Ashery, Israel / United Kingdom, 2019, 27min

Todo lo que se olvida en un instante / EVERYTHING THAT IS FORGOTTEN IN A INSTANT, Richard Shpuntoff,  Argentina, 2020, 71’ - World Premiere

FREM, Viera Čákanyová, Czech Republic, Slovakia, 2019, 73’ - UK Premiere

A Metamorfose dos Pássaros / THE METAMORPHOSIS OF BIRDS, Catarina Vasconcelos, Portugal, 2020, 101 min - UK Premiere (not available online, screening in Sheffield only)

MON AMOUR, David Teboul, France, 2019, 172’ - UK Premiere

POINT AND LINE TO PLANE, Sofia Bohdanowicz, Canada, 2020, 18’ - UK Premiere

SANTIKHIRI SONATA, Thunska Pansittivorakul, Thailand, Germany, 2019, 75’ - UK Premiere

地洞 / THE TUNNEL, Hui-ju Hsu, Taiwan, 2020, 30’ - International Premiere

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, Hannah Jayanti, USA, 2020, 103’ - UK Premiere


Rhyme & Rhythm


Rhyme & Rhythm is where cinema and other art forms meet, whether through performance - traditional and contemporary dance, and theatre; visual art - portrait photography, painting, sculpture, street art, and video art or music - from afrobeat to jazz, via Bollywood, blues, classical, electronic, gypsy folk, pop, punk, post-punk, and rumba. Each film offers encounters and inspirations to a different beat.



Online from 10 June:

Macka je uvijek zenska / A CAT IS ALWAYS FEMALE, Martina Mestrovic, Tanja Vujasinovic, Croatia, 2019, 15’ - UK Premiere

ALL THE POSSIBILITIES… REFLECTIONS ON A PAINTING BY VERNON PRATT, Marsha Gordon, Louis Cherry, USA, 2019, 16’ - European Premiere

BREAKING BARRIERS – THE CASTELESS COLLECTIVE, Maja Meiners, India / Germany, 2019, 70’ - International Premiere

BRING DOWN THE WALLS, Phil Collins, USA / Germany, 2020, 88’ - UK Premiere


ELDER’S CORNER, Siji Awoyinka, Nigeria / United States, 2020, 97’ - Online Premiere

THE GO-GO’S, Alison Ellwood, United States / Ireland / Canada, 2020, 98’ - International Premiere

KEITH HARING: STREET ART BOY, Ben Anthony, UK, 2020, 89’ - World Premiere

MATERIAL BODIES, Dorothy Allen-Pickard, UK, 2020, 4’ - World Premiere

SHUT UP SONA, Deepti Gupta, India, 2019, 85’ - UK Premiere

SOUTHERN JOURNEY (REVISITED), Rob Curry, Tim Plester, USA / United Kingdom, 2020, 75’ - World Premiere

UNIVERSE, Sam Osborn, Nicholas Capezzera, USA, 2019, 75’ - World Premiere

UPROAR, Moe Najati, Cuba, 2020, 20’ - World Premiere (pitched in MeetMarket)

THE VASULKA EFFECT, Hrafnhildur Gunnarsdottir, Iceland / Czech Republic / Denmark / Sweden, 2019, 85’ - UK Premiere


To be screened in Sheffield in Autumn, and online in Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects in parallel:


BRIGITTE, Lynne Ramsay, United Kingdom, 2019, 30’

Faith i Branko / FAITH AND BRANKO, Catherine Harte, United Kingdom / Serbia, 2020, 82’ - World Premiere

Khoraman / GRACEFULLY, Arash Eshaghi, Iran, 2019, 62’ - UK Premiere

KING ROCKER, Michael Cumming, United Kingdom, 2020, 90’ - World Premiere

MEDIUM, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Argentina, 2020, 71’ - UK Premiere

Rétrospective / RETROSPECTIVE, Jérôme Bel, France, 2019, 92’ - UK Premiere

Schlingensief – In das Schweigen hineinschreien / SCHLINGENSIEF – A VOICE THAT SHOOK THE SILENCE, Bettina Böhler, Germany, 2020, 124’ - UK Premiere

SISTERS WITH TRANSISTORS, Lisa Rovner, United Kingdom, 2020, 82’ - World Premiere

WELCOME TO A BRIGHT WHITE LIMBO, Cara Holmes, Ireland, 2019, 11’ - International Premiere


Retrospective: Reimagining the Land


Doc/Fest’s annual retrospective this year, as already announced, is entitled Reimagining the Land. This programme reasserts the primacy of the land as a critical way of thinking about the world and about its various crises - confronting historical images of land, agriculture, rural life, and proletarian struggle. Reimagining the Land has been curated by Christopher Small.


(More titles will soon be announced for the Sheffield screenings in Autumn, and for an online programme on Doc Alliance Films)


Bharat Mata / MOTHER INDIA, Mehboob Khan, India, 1957, 172’

Nippon-Koku Furuyashiki-Mura / A JAPANESE VILLAGE, Ogawa Productions, Japan, 1982, 213’



Alternate Realities: Ghosts & Apparitions


The Ghosts & Apparitions exhibition programme reflects on societal movements, sonic warfare and planetary health, through alternate and ghostly channels of communication and interaction. The artworks in this programme are presented in a variety of mediums that transfix and transform their spatial surrounding, through narrative or form.

To be exhibited in Autumn:


FEEL MY METAVERSE, Keiken, George Jasper Stone / United Kingdom / 2019 / Film Installation with AR filters / 36’

THE BURST OF THINGS: OBJECTS ARE ALIVE AND HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY, Maria Court, Trinidad Piriz / Chile / 2020 / Audiovisual Installation / 28’

OVERHEAD 21, Paula Albuquerque / Netherlands / 2020 / Sound Installation / 4’33’’

THE EXPERIMENT, Kitty Clark / United Kingdom / 2019 / Audio Installation / 5’





In partnership with Vídeo nas Aldeias, we present a programme of films that reflect the diversity of the indigenous communities living in Brazilian territories. This programme is a provocation and a challenge to all of us. Made of films created by and within the context of a very specific project and quest: how can cinema, in the making of new work, be a tool to remember, imagine and build on these histories? How can we collectively, share responsibility, to learn and pass on, from one generation to the next, the idea that we are the land?


Online (and free of charge) from 10 June:

Eu já fui seu irmão / WE GATHER AS A FAMILY, Vincent Carelli, Brazil, 1993, 32’

As hiper mulheres / THE HYPERWOMEN, Carlos Fausto, Leonardo Sette, Brazil, 2011, 80’

Bicicletas de Nhanderú / BICYCLES OF NHANDERU, Patricia Ferreira (Keretxu), Ariel Duarte Ortega, Brazil, 2011, 48’

O Espírito da TV / THE SPIRIT OF TV, Vincent Carelli, Brazil, 1990, 18’

Tava, a casa de pedra / TAVA, THE STONE HOUSE, Vincent Carelli, Patricia Ferreira (Keretxu), Ariel Duarte Ortega, Ernesto Ignacio de Carvalho, Brazil / Argentina, 2012, 78’

Já me transformei em imagem / I’VE ALREADY BECOME AN IMAGE, Zezinho Yube, Brazil, 2008, 32’

Corumbiara / CORUMBIARA: THEY SHOOT INDIANS, DON’T THEY?, Vincent Carelli, Brazil, 2009, 117’

Martírio / MARTYRDOM, Vincent Carelli, Brazil, 2016, 162’


Exchange commissioning partnerships:

Tori Tsui (Sail for Climate Action), Naomi Mwasambili (Chanua/ Neurolove) in partnership with Hope Dickson Leach (Raising Films), Asma Kabedeh (Israac), Farzana Khan (Healing Justice London) and Jo Verrent (Unlimited).


Sheffield Doc/Fest would like to express its deep gratitude for the solidarity shown by the filmmakers and artists and producers involved in this programme - and the overwhelming support and trust of its funders, sponsors and partners - in what has been an especially challenging time. Thanks to core grant funding from British Film Institute, Sheffield City Council, Arts Council England and Wellcome - and the support of these partners - that have each helped Doc/Fest go ahead in a digital and Autumn format.



Editor’s Notes:


For public, the online programme Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects VOD platform with pay-per-view and subscription options for UK-based public audience launching 10 June, including free of charge Exchange film programme and Q&As with filmmakers. Tickets and access-all-films subscriptions will be available on from 10 June.


For Digital Industry Passholders, films will be available globally via Doc/Player from  8 June 2020 . Industry Digital Passes are available on Sheffield Doc/Fest website.


A number of films from the official selection will screen in Sheffield once cinemas reopen in the Autumn and will be available online in parallel.


Press kit:


Film stills:


Alternate Realities project stills:


Digital Industry Catalogue:


Official selection laurels:


Festival logo:


For further information please contact:


Head of Communications & Press:

Marta Berto -


About Sheffield Doc/Fest

Sheffield Doc/Fest is a film festival and marketplace, celebrating, sharing and debating non–fiction arts as a collective form of engagement. It is a space for freedom and for exploration of the ways in which filmmakers, artists and the public may reinvent meaning and new possible worlds.

Doc/Fest is a creative space for discovery, collaboration and inspiration. The festival champions and pushes forward talent, ideas and interaction for the future of film and the arts. It’s an open, inclusive festival, bringing together veteran creatives, new voices and our city to shape and question the world we live in, creating a sense of community and the potential for change.

Sheffield Doc/Fest is an independent registered charity (no.1184849), whose mission is to advance the art of film, education and training in the art of documentary filmmaking.

Follow online with #sheffdocfest


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