Film Festival Preview: Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018

2018 marks the 25th anniversary of Sheffield Doc/Fest, the UK’s leading documentary film festival and one of the biggest in the world. This year’s programme features 37 world premieres, 18 International, 24 European and 70 UK premieres and takes place at various venues across Sheffield between 7-12 June. Along with a great Alternative Realities line-up, talks, special events, exhibitions and much more, it promises to be a fantastic few days.

Of the 200 hundred features and shorts which will screen during the festival, we’ve picked a few to look out for below:

Love Means Zero

Infamous and influential tennis coach Nick Bollettieri has trained generations of champions, from Andre Agassi and Monica Seles to Serena Williams, but that greatness comes at a price.


A personal look at the extraordinary life, career and artistry of Alexander McQueen. Through exclusive interviews with his closest friends and family, recovered archives, exquisite visuals and music, McQueen is an authentic celebration and thrilling portrait of an inspired yet tortured fashion visionary.

A Journey to the Fumigated Towns

A Journey to the Fumigated Towns is the final episode made by Fernando Solanas in a series of 8 films dedicated to the Argentinian’s crisis in the 21st century. Based on testimonies, re-creations, archives and photos, this investigative documentary reveals not only the after-effects of the soya’s model and other GMO’s grain productions with agrochemicals, on the health of the Argentinian people but also the global and environmental consequences.

The Cleaners

When you post something on the web, can you be sure it stays there? Enter a hidden shadow industry of digital cleaning, where the Internet rids itself of what it doesn’t like. Who is controlling what we see… and what we think?

Ex Shaman

Smartphones, electricity, gas tanks, guns, and Facebook replace traditional forms of life. In the midst of this new world, an ex-shaman who was forced into evangelical Christianity struggles to cure the suffering people of his village.

A Woman Captured

Bernadett Tuza-Ritter enters the heart of darkness in Marish’s world. Living as a domestic slave in Hungary for 10 years, she is powerless without police protection or a support system.

Black Mother

Part film, part baptism, director Khalik Allah casts his lens between the prostitutes and churches of Jamaica; creating a visual prayer of indelible portraits and an intimate polyphonic symphony.

Of Fathers and Sons

After his Sundance award-winning documentary Return to Homs, Talal Derki returned to his homeland where he gained the trust of a radical Islamist family, sharing their daily life for over two years. His camera focuses mainly on the children, providing an extremely rare insight into what it means to grow up with a father whose only dream is to establish an Islamic Caliphate.

The Distant Barking of Dogs

A beautiful, powerful film from the frontlines of war-torn Ukraine. The Distant Barking of Dogs is a story of what life is like for a child under the threat of war, told with great poetry and empathy.

Infinite Football

One day, Laurentiu, the brother of a childhood friend of director Corneliu Porumboiu, decided to change the rules of football and tried without much success to promote the new sport. This prompted the director to want to know more about football: after all his father played football and hoped that he would become a professional player.

Three Identical Strangers

New York, 1980: three complete strangers accidentally discover that they are identical triplets, separated at birth.

The 19-year-olds’ joyous reunion catapults them to international fame, but it also unlocks an extraordinary and disturbing secret that goes beyond their own lives – and could transform our understanding of human nature forever.

Hale County This Morning, This Evening

Composed of intimate and unencumbered moments of people in a community, Hale County This Morning, This Evening allows the viewer an emotive impression of the Historic South – trumpeting the beauty of life and consequences of the social construction of race, while simultaneously a testament to dreaming – despite the odds.

The Silence of Others

The Silence of Others captures the first attempt in 77 years to prosecute crimes of Spain’s 40-year dictatorship under General Franco (1939-1975). In a groundbreaking international court case, victims of re-education camps, child abduction, torture, and extra-judicial killings have come together to break their silence and confront perpetrators who, unbeknownst to much of the world, have enjoyed impunity for decades.


In 1992, teenager Sandi Tan shot Singapore’s first road movie with her enigmatic American mentor, Georges—who then absconded with all the footage. The 16mm film is recovered 20 years later, sending Tan, now a novelist in Los Angeles, on a personal odyssey in search of Georges’ vanishing footprints—and her own

Minding the Gap

Three young men bond together to escape volatile families in their Rust Belt hometown. As they face adult responsibilities, unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship.

The Waldheim Waltz

Ruth Beckermann documents the process of uncovering former UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim’s wartime past. It shows the swift succession of new allegations by the World Jewish Congress during his Austrian presidential campaign, the denial by the Austrian political class, the outbreak of anti-Semitism and patriotism, which finally led to his election.

Visit the Sheffield Doc/Fest website to buy festival passes, book tickets and find out more.

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