Firmly established as one of the most important documentary film festivals in the global calendar, Sheffield Doc/Fest returns for another six days of world class films, alternative reality programming, talks, exhibitions, events and parties. Taking place in Sheffield between 6-11 June, the festival brings together film-makers and films from around the world to celebrate documentaries in all shapes and sizes.
With so much on offer it can feel slightly overwhelming, so we’ve selected a few highlights we think you’ll enjoy.
Crafted from a newly discovered trove of 65mm footage, and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, Apollo 11 takes us straight to the hear t of NASA’s most celebrated mission—the one that first put men on the moon, and forever made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin into household names. Immersed in the perspectives of the astronauts, the team in Mission Control, and the millions of spectators on the ground, we vividly experience those momentous days and hours in 1969 when humankind took a giant leap into the future.
When the Taliban puts a bounty on Afghan director Hassan Fazili’s head, he is forced to flee with his wife and two young daughters. Capturing their uncertain journey, Fazili shows first-hand the dangers facing refugees seeking asylum and the love shared between a family on the run.
Nestled in an isolated mountain region deep within the Balkans, Hatidze Muratova lives with her ailing mother in a village without roads, electricity or running water. She’s the last in a long line of Macedonian wild beekeepers, eking out a living farming honey in small batches to be sold in the closest city – a mere four hours’ walk away. Hatidze’s peaceful existence is thrown into upheaval by the arrival of an itinerant family, with their roaring engines, seven rambunctious children and herd of cattle. Hatidze optimistically meets the promise of change with an open heart, offering up her affections, her brandy and her tried-and-true beekeeping advice.
What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?
What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? is the story of a community of black people in the American South during the summer 2017, when a string of brutal killings of young African American men sent shockwaves throughout the country. A meditation on the state of race in America, this film is an intimate portrait into the lives of those who struggle for justice, dignity, and survival in a country not on their side.
Marianne & Leonard
Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love is a beautiful yet tragic love story between Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse Marianne Ihlen. Their love began on the idyllic Greek island of Hydra in 1960 as part of a bohemian community of foreign artists, writers and musicians. The film follows their relationship from the early days on Hydra, a humble time of ‘free love’ and open marriage, to how their love evolved when Leonard became a successful musician.
An epic investigation into countless murders in Mexico. Presented in chapters, the film unfolds methodically through unsettling testimonials, sketching a portrait of an entire country transformed into a gigantic mass grave thanks to a climate of impunity established by both criminal gangs and state authorities.
La Vida En Común
A puma stalks Pueblo Nación Ranquel. Hunting is a rite of passage, and the older boys want to kill it. But Uriel decides to take another path.
Push is a new documentary from award-winning director Fredrik Gertten, investigating why we can’t afford to live in our own cities anymore. Housing is a fundamental human right, a precondition to a safe and healthy life. But in cities all around the world, having a place to live is becoming more and more difficult. Who are the players and what are the factors that make housing one of today’s most pressing world issues?
One Child Nation
One Child Nation is a stunning, nuanced indictment of the mindset that prioritizes national agenda over human life, and serves as a first-of-its-kind oral history of this collective tragedy – bearing witness to the truth as China has already begun to erase the horrors of its “population war” from public record and memory.
is both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her.
The Revenge of the Diva
Siv Wennberg is the opera diva who came from nowhere and made an acclaimed debut with Birgit Nilsson at the Royal Swedish Opera. She had a meteoric career but was opposed by the establishment and the narrow norms of how a female genius should be. She is now 72, has no family, not many know who she is and to those who do, she is an outcast.
In 2014, a Chinese billionaire opened a Fuyao factory in a shuttered General Motors plant in Dayton, Ohio. For thousands of locals, the arrival of this multinational car-glass manufacturer meant regaining their jobs—and dignity—after the recession left them high and dry. American Factory takes us inside the facility to observe what happens when workers from profoundly different cultures collide.
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Third in a trilogy that includes Manufactured Landscapes (2006) and Watermark (2013), the film follows the research of an international body of scientists, the Anthropocene Working Group who, after nearly 10 years of research, are arguing that the Holocene Epoch gave way to the Anthropocene Epoch in the mid-twentieth century, because of profound and lasting human changes to the Earth.
One trans man’s pioneering quest to fulfil an age-old desire: to start his own family. The is the story of the dad who gave birth.
To find out more and to book tickets for films or events, visit the Sheffield Doc/Fest website.