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Established 1995 filmfestivals.com serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.

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Sheffield Doc/Fest tackles film community’s challenges in its virtual programme

“Seismic shifts for the media landscape” - Sheffield Doc/Fest tackles film community’s challenges in its virtual programme. Live Q&As with directors from the 2020 film programme spotlight the art of filmmaking.

 

This year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest programme of industry talks and sessions continues to explore a range of topics relevant to the film community. With its panel A Time To Breathe: Addressing Racism in the Film and TV Industry, Doc/Fest aims to create space for Black filmmakers and follows up on its recent Black Lives Matter statement and pledge to address inequality in the resourcing, expression and distribution of Black British films.

 

Says Nigel Fischer, Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Head of Talks & Sessions, “The Coronavirus outbreak has seen a worldwide lockdown, many industries including film and TV put on hold, and arts and cultural events and institutions cancelled and closed. Yet, we have also seen extraordinary resilience, community spirit and support from all parts of our industry. There is no doubt that the global pandemic will bring about seismic shifts for the media landscape, but how these will manifest themselves or what this may mean for the future of film as an artform is, as yet, unknown. We’re aiming to explore these questions and more throughout our series of virtual panels and group discussions.”

 

The virtual programme spanning across summer months welcomes speakers from across the globe to discuss the current state of the filmmaking community and what the future may hold. Subjects include mental health and wellbeing, fostering new and radical methods of collaboration and film production, challenges in both programming and reception of film, rebuilding the industry post-pandemic or opportunities for making new work in the current climate.

 

A moment to reflect on how the future can feel more equal than the present

 

Coming up live on Friday 25 June at 11 am, with recording available to all Digital Industry Passholders, is the panel discussion A Time To Breathe: Addressing Racism in the Film and TV Industry with filmmakers George Amponsah, Adeyemi Michael, Dionne Walker, Cherish Oteka, Cassie Quarless and  BFI Talent Executive Mathieu Ajan, chaired by Derren Lawford.

 

Says Derren Lawford, Creative Director of Woodcut Media and Sheffield Doc/Fest Trustee, ”It’s only been a month since George Floyd’s life was taken by a US police officer, but the ripples and responses have been rapid. YouTube has pledged $100m to support black creators; Sky created a £30m racial injustice fund; Channel 4 declared themselves an anti-racist organisation and the BBC has committed £100m to making its content more diverse and inclusive. There have been a slew of open letters signed by thousands of Black people in the film and TV industry and their allies from other communities demanding meaningful, substantive change. All this against the backdrop of a global pandemic that is still disproportionately affecting Black and Asian people and other minorities across the globe. This timely session gives Black filmmakers, producers and execs in the industry a moment to reflect on how all of this is affecting them, their peers and their community and how the future can feel more equal than the present.”

 

Details of the Virtual Sessions programme can be found on Sheffield Doc/Fest’s website. All virtual sessions are available to Digital Industry pass holders to watch live on Zoom or recorded on the festival’s Doc/Player platform until 31 August. Doc/Fest will follow these events with a programme of streamed talks with filmmakers and on-screen talent and industry panel sessions, which will take place in Sheffield venues from October - November 2020, details to be announced at a later date, subject to safe conditions.

 

Live Q&As with directors from the 2020 film programme spotlight the art of filmmaking

 

The programme of live Q&As with directors from the 2020 film programme of Doc/Fest is shedding light and another perspective on the art of filmmaking. All films are available to watch on Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects until 10 July and on Doc/Player until 31 August, and the Q&As are free and open to all.

 

On Thursday 25 June Ra'anan Alexandrowicz, director of The Viewing Booth will discuss his film and take questions from the audience for a live Q&A, joined by the festival director Cíntia Gil. Director, screenwriter and editor, Ra'anan Alexandrowicz is known for the documentary The Law in These Parts (2011), which received the Grand Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival, a Peabody award, and numerous other prizes and screened at Doc/Fest in 2012. The Viewing Booth explores the relationship between viewer, documentary footage, and filmmaker and reflects on how we look at images. Unique in its form and structure, the film turns its camera away from the world and towards the protagonist’s eyes — allowing us to follow her experience as she negotiates images that challenge her worldview. Live Q&A registration link here.

 

Second in the live Q&A programme, taking place on 30 June is a conversation with Melissa Herman, director of We’re Still Here, world-premiering at Doc/Fest and filmed over four years as developers - hand in glove with councils and housing associations - knocked down estates to build housing that ordinary people can’t afford. Melissa Herman is a documentary and participatory filmmaker who made films for Save the Children, schools and other organisations working for change, about overcrowded housing, living as a young refugee, air pollution and a magical story tree. We're Still Here is her second feature documentary.

 

 

A third live Q&A will take place on Thursday 2 July. Filmmaker Lynne Sachs, in conversation with Festival Director Cíntia Gil, will discuss 6 films that form her Director’s Focus within the Ghosts & Apparitions strand and her upcoming international premiere of Film About A Father Who, screened as part of Doc/Fest in October. Lynne Sachs’ films explore the notion of translation as a poetic and political tool for widening the world. Together with the focus, Doc/Fest presents Sachs’ video lecture My Body, Your Body, Our Bodies: Somatic Cinema at Home and in the World, a fascinating journey through her themes and work.

 

Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Selects VOD platform also features almost 20 pre recorded conversations with filmmakers, free to watch in the bonus content section.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

 

Images for the press release:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1zOiqMOpAp_HAHoIC0h4TiqxNnmmxrJxs?usp=sharing

2020 Official Selection press assets:

https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1B15Zfah8vyvXhYgz1MoQa_7ed0bjAFPt

 

Details of upcoming confirmed virtual sessions:

Doc Society Film Quiz

Wednesday 24 June 20:00 (BST)

Sharpen up your non-fiction know-how, rally your doc-aficionado online crew because the infamous Mighty, Mighty Pub Quiz is BACK at Sheffield Doc/Fest...virtually. Led by quiz master of ceremonies and Doc/Fest native James Mullighan. Answer questions correctly and points are awarded. And what do points mean? Prizes!

Brought to you by team Doc Society. Register here

Documentary Utopias: Rebuilding the UK Feature Doc Landscape Post-pandemic

Thursday 25 June 11:00 (BST)

Keeping it Real: Towards A Nonfiction Film Policy for the UK, the biggest ever survey of feature documentary producers and directors,  was published on 11 June 2020. The report has evidenced the dire state of the sector – under-funded, under-representative and often poorly understood by policymakers. The data in the report was collected before the advent of coronavirus, but the problems it identifies remain. In this session, filmmakers and researchers from the UK Feature Docs project invite us to imagine what a radically different industry could look like and how we might get there.

A Time To Breathe: Addressing Racism in the Film and TV Industry

Friday 26 June 11:00 (BST)

In the wake of the death of George Floyd, we have seen a groundswell of outrage and protests. The Black Lives Matter movement in the US has provided the catalyst for demonstrations, direct actions and remorseful proclamations from many spheres of society around the world, keen to denounce systemic racism. Every industry has had to take a long hard look at itself and its contribution and the world of TV and film has been no different. It’s only been a month since George Floyd’s life was taken by a US police officer, but the ripples and responses have been rapid. YouTube has pledged $100m to support Black creators; Sky created a £30m racial injustice fund; Channel 4 declared themselves an anti-racist organisation and the BBC has committed £100m to making its content more diverse and inclusive. There have been a slew of open letters signed by thousands of Black people in the film and TV industry and their allies from other communities demanding meaningful, substantive change. All this against the backdrop of a global pandemic that is still disproportionately affecting Black and Asian people and other minorities across the globe.

This timely session gives Black filmmakers, producers and execs in the industry a moment to reflect on how all of this is affecting them, their peers and their community and how the future can feel more equal than the present.

Producer and chair: Derren Lawford (Woodcut Media / Sheffield Doc/Fest Trustee)

Panelists:

George Amponsah (Writer/director The Hard Stop)

Dionne Walker (Writer/producer The Hard Stop)

Cherish Oteka (director - Edinburgh Television Festival's One's to Watch, Sheffield Doc/Fest Doc Next and Grierson Trust's Doc Lab alumni)

Adeyemi Michael (Grierson award winning director)

Mathieu Ajan (BFI / Bounce Cinema)

Cassie Quarless (co-director Generation Revolution)

 

Factual Television in Times of Economic Crisis

Thursday 9 July 11:00 (BST)

Factual commissioners for the major UK broadcasters discuss the challenges and opportunities of making new work in the current climate. What are the opportunities for filmmakers? What do audiences want to watch? What kind of budgets are really on offer? And what is the role of broadcasters in a period of real hardship?

Chair
Alex Cooke (Renegade Pictures, Sheffield Doc/Fest)

Speakers
Danny Horan (Channel 4)
Guy Davies (Channel 5)
Jo Clinton Davies (ITV)
Clare Sillery (BBC)

A Call for Radical Collaboration: New Approaches to Co-production

Thursday 23 July 11:00 (BST)

2020 is the year that brings unprecedented change to our world, and documentary production is no exception. Between Brexit and COVID-19, no funding source or regular networking event connecting you to financiers and co-producers remains the same. New fledgling networks have emerged in this period, with a desire to foster new and radical methods of collaboration and to reimagine how we finance and distribute our films. This will be a discussion between producers looking beyond the system as we know it for alternatives in the years to come.

Producer & Chair
Brigid O’Shea (Documentary Association of Europe)

Speakers to be confirmed, please check the website for full details.

 

Feature Documentary: A View from the Funds

Thursday 6 August 11:00 (BST)

What is on the horizon for feature documentary? The interest in documentary had been steadily growing amongst funders, platforms and audiences. In light of COVID-19, it is documentary that is expected to get back on its feet fastest. Bringing together international funders to reflect on their current priorities and remits, this panel aims to bring the process of production into focus from the perspective of its financial enablers. Reflecting on the changing landscape of commissioning, distribution and audience, this will be an opportunity to reflect on the future of cinematic documentary.

Speakers to be confirmed, please check the website for full details.

Filmmakers' and Contributors' Mental Health: How Can We Do Better?

Thursday 20 August 11:00 (BST)

According to recent research in the UK, 9 out of 10 film and television workers have experienced a mental health issue - and that was before the COVID-19 Crisis. A panel of filmmakers, commissioning editors, trauma experts and policy makers discuss ways to handle difficult content for documentary film and factual TV makers. The session aims to raise awareness of practices that encourage good mental health, while focusing attention on the ethical and emotional challenges of working with vulnerable contributors, filming in hostile environments and navigating these uncertain times.

Speakers to be confirmed, please check the website for full details.

 

 

For further information please contact:

 

Head of Communications & Press:

Marta Berto - Marta.Berto@sheffdocfest.com

 

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.

 

https://www.sheffdocfest.com

https://www.facebook.com/sheffdocfest

https://www.instagram.com/sheffdocfest

https://twitter.com/sheffdocfest

 

Follow online with #sheffdocfest

 

 

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About Editor

Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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