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Sheffield Doc/Fest wrap facts for its 27th edition

2020 is almost over, and Sheffield Doc/Fest closed its 27th edition as a success. Together we produced and experienced a six-month programme (usually six days!) of screenings and discussions that offered a window to the world - from the cinema in Sheffield, and online from homes across the world.


As part of the Artistic Programme:

  • 115 titles from 50 countries around the world and representing 49 spoken languages made up our official selection this year, including the Retrospective “Reimagining The Land”, and a Lynne Sachs, Sarah Maldoror and Simplice Ganou Filmmaker Focus.
  • A 5 month online programme and 24 physical film screenings (All 60 Q&As conducted can be seen here on Selects in the UK).
  • Online programmes in partnership with Doc Alliance Films and Mubi, and with BFI Player in the New Year.
  • An online Arts Programme, “Ghosts & Apparitions”, featuring Maria Court & Trinidad Pilz, Kitty Clark, Paula Albuquerque, and Keiken whose Metaverse Messenger performance is available to view on our Youtube page.  


“Thank you very much for all your care and the collaboration. It has been really great to navigate these surreal times together and to have my work included in an impressive selection of artists with such relevant works”

Paula Albuquerque, Overhead 21 (Netherlands)


“The breadth, length, and adventurous spirit of the titles you included are remarkable and the attention on the festival has been enormous.”

Lynne Sachs,  Filmmaker in Focus, A Film About A Father Who (USA)


It’s been a real privilege to be part of [the festival], and also to be part of the other filmmakers of the Ghosts & Apparitions strand which is an extraordinary curation.”

Hannah Jayanti, Truth or Consequences (USA)


As part of the Industry Programme:

  • Talks and Sessions featuring 100+ filmmakers, artists, funders, programmers and critics (programme available to watch for free on our Youtube page from January).
  • Over 1,000 meetings in our online MeetMarket programme for feature documentaries and around 500 meetings in the Alternate Realities Talent Market for non-fiction new-media creatives.


“Keep on with fantastic industry sessions and programmes! I think a real strength is the industry focus and the quality of content for those in the industry at any stage of their experience”

Delegate (anonymous via survey)


"I would really recommend the MeetMarket, it's definitely one of the key events for documentary filmmakers and producers in the world and the online experience was no exception".

Felipe Garrido & Nicolas Tabilo, Project: Drifting Images (Chile)


The MeetMarket is always very well-programmed, balancing a wide array of industry delegates with a meaningfully tailored approach to pairing them with projects. Even with the necessary switch to an online edition in 2020, the quality of the meetings remained high and the experience was warm, collegial and supportive”

Kellen Quinn, Producer (USA)


Since our first screenings in June, the films that had their World, International and European Premieres at Sheffield Doc/Fest have had 140+ selections in Film Festivals and Programmes across the globe, including at Art of The Real, Busan, Centre Georges Pompidou, Doclisboa, Doc NYC, Dok Leipzig, Edinburgh IFF, IDFA, Jihlava IDFF, Museum of Moving Image, RIDM and Zinebi, among many others. Some were also nominated for awards, including the Critics Choice Award, IDA Awards and BAFTA.


For more information, please click here.


From our 2020 Audiences:


“Amazing range of docs. Absolutely loved it and learned and discovered so much.”


“It was wonderful to still be able to experience such a culturally rich and interesting event despite the circumstances. Proud of Sheffield, Showroom and Doc/Fest!”


“Outstanding thematic programming.”


Lots of variety in film programme: several shorts & full features added a lot to my experience. This year's programme also felt really international.”


We look forward to seeing everyone in Sheffield and online as we work towards a hybrid, and for next year extended, festival: Thursday 4 - Sunday 13 June 2021.


We’ll be back with news in January and in the meantime remain open for entries for our Film & Arts programme and our Marketplace.


From all the team at Sheffield Doc/Fest, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday.

Bring on 2021!




For further information please contact:


Melanie Iredale

Deputy Director

Follow online with #sheffdocfest


International Documentary Festival Sheffield (Sheffield Doc/Fest) is a charitable incorporated organisation registered in England & Wales, charity number: 1184849.


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