Sheffield DocFest reveals full industry programme

Sheffield DocFest has revealed its full industry program for the 31stSt edition, completing the full program of the festival – following the public announcement of the program.

The Festival’s Industry Market and Program runs in conjunction with the Festival – 22 industry sessions for industry delegates, five market sessions, three live pitch sessions, the Filmmakers’ Challenge, the Alternate Reality Summit, five Rough Cuts and Craft Markets Summit one day of five panels. and master classes – as well as the previously announced MeetMarket pitch forum.

The Industry program dives into the field of documentary, exploring the skills and techniques behind many of this year’s films, with a focus on production, editing, cinematography, accessibility and ethics. The festival will feature a range of funding opportunities including collaborations with Channel 4, The Whickers and Podcast Pitch powered by The Whickers.

Alex Cooke, Chair of Sheffield DocFest Trustees said “This year’s festival celebrates world-class documentaries, the program is full of exciting and extraordinary films, an exciting series of talks and debates and some brilliant initiatives: the Filmmakers’ Challenge, showcase opportunities and the marketplace to support new projects and new talent. . We are well aware that times are tough, globally for many and also in our industry as we face numerous challenges. The risk is to withdraw, to isolate ourselves. So we encourage you to join us to reconnect and energize each other in person. Our hope, as always, is that you leave DocFest feeling creatively challenged, inspired by what you see, and uplifted by your peers in this diverse community that is so special.”

Back for the third consecutive year, supported by Prime Video, Sheffield DocFest presents the Filmmaker Challenge 2024. Six early-career British filmmakers from marginalized genres have been selected to take on the challenge of making a film on the go, with a budget and micro equipment. support as well as mentorship from Oscar and BAFTA nominated director Julie Cohen(RGB, Everyone, My name is Pauli Murray). The filmmakers will respond to the festival’s theme of ‘Reflection on Realities’ with only the deadline as a constraint to commission, filming undertaken in a single day in and around Sheffield.

Oscar and BAFTA nominated filmmaker Julie Cohen says: “I look forward to working with this year’s cohort of Filmmaker Challenge participants. I had the fun task of reviewing the applications and I’m happy to report that we selected a super talented group with wildly different approaches to documentaries. It’s a tough challenge, but these six are up to it!”

Participating filmmakers are: Asena Nour Oyzoyn, Hannah Blackwell, Hannah Ava Dahl, Julia Mervis, Marta Miskaryan and Tanicha Toro-Oloto.

A total of 22 sessions for industry delegates will include discussions and panels in collaboration with industry partners Al Jazeera, BBC, BFI, BAFTA, Channel 4, Channel 5, Documentary Film Council, EBU, Eurodoc, ITV, Kingston University, National Geographic, Netflix, Sky Documentaries.

Events will cover industry topics such as navigating violence in documentaries, representation of women in crime, class and disability, inclusion, sustainability for BIPOC producers, and the power of co-productions. Networking at the festival will be supported by 20 drinks receptions and film-themed parties, with guest DJs and entertainment.

Vanessa Lobon, Senior Producer of Talks & Sessions says: “In our industry sessions at this year’s Sheffield DocFest, we delve into crucial topics shaping the world of documentary. From the power of co-productions to navigating shocking content and the influence of investigative journalism, our range of sessions aim to inspire, inform and guide filmmakers through the ever-evolving industry landscape. I am excited to bring together industry leaders and experts to explore the latest trends and challenges in our field.”

A day of panel sessions dedicated to the techniques that go into making non-fiction films, from shorts to feature films. Featuring the creative minds behind many of the films in this year’s program, they explore how they developed their craft, the creative choices they make and the tools they use to achieve their vision. It takes place on Saturday 15 June at The Crucible Playhouse, The Crucible Adelfi and Sheffield Town Hall.

Craft Summit is sponsored by Warner Bros. Discovery.

Sessions include a masterclass on film marketing with speakers Paul Sng (TISH), Sarah Mosses (Together Films), Christelle Randall (Christelle PR); the future of AI in documentary making with director and producer Cassie Quarless; and a discussion on psychological safety in filmmaking with Rebecca Day (Film In Mind), Juliana Ruhfus (Dart Centre); and film financing with speakers Julia Nottingham (Dorothy Street), Soleta Rogan (Co-Founder, Executive Producer, Rogan Productions), Alessandro Carroli (Producer at Eie Film).

Emily Copley and Steve Presence, Joint Interim CEO, Documentary Film Council, said “We are delighted to be returning to DocFest for DFC’s second annual gathering, following the launch in Sheffield in 2023. Despite the shared challenges in our sector, there is a real energy and enthusiasm for change and belief in what we can achieve when we work together collective and it’s hard. let’s think of a better place to bring everyone on the Council in person. We look forward to introducing our newly elected board and welcoming new members as we begin building regional DFC chapters. See you there!

Sheffield DocFest will host three live sessions for emerging filmmakers selected to pitch their non-fiction projects to juries – The Whicker’s Pitch vying for the coveted £100,000 film and TV funding prize; Channel 4 First Cut Pitch to secure a commission for a 60 minute film and a month of fully paid development and mentoring with an indie; and Podcast Pitch – an independent panel of judges awards two prizes of £5,000 and £2,000, supported by The Whickers. The winners will be announced at the festival’s awards ceremony on Sunday, June 16.

The Sheffield DocFest MeetMarket runs in conjunction with the festival, offering networking opportunities and practical sessions and round tables. Switchboard offers tips on who to meet at this year’s market, Snap Chats is the networking mixer, while DocFest Roundtables are intimate sessions with experts in series, festivals, distribution and creative fields. Two Marketplace breakfasts return in 2024, this year supported by Al Jazeera, the first inviting delegates interested in co-production and international collaboration, and the second introducing directors and projects from the Palestine Film Institute to the festival.

Patrizia Mancini, Head of Industry says: “Following an exciting selection of 50 projects in development, production and general execution previously announced on 25 April, we are delighted to once again feature in the Marketplace activities our talent schemes, designed to promote and promote emerging voices in the industry, as well as industry roundtables with experts from various fields and networking breakfasts. The purpose of all these sessions is to promote and facilitate creative collaborations, empower new storytellers looking for opportunities, and above all, share the love of documentary.”

The festival features two selective schemes for new talent: Amplify Production Talent supports eight early career professionals working in TV production to connect with executives and is supported by the BBC and Channel 4. Alternate Realities Meetings, supported by Arts Council England, brings eight new media artists connect with collaborators, curators and production partners to advance their projects and careers.

Amplify Production Talents participants: Esme Hedley, Klaudia Slowik, Lauren May Dawkins, Louis Allen, Nathalie Mayer, Reannon Licorish, Siobhan Bahl and Tamar Mankassarian

Alternate Reality Talent Contestants: Amparo Soria Fortuny, Debbie Harman, Estela Oliva, Nicholas Carn, Patricia Lalla, Ruth Mariner, Tatiana Collet Apraxine and Yasmin Khan.

Alternate Realities Talents is also participating in the Alternate Realities Summit previously announced here.

Staff reporter

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