The festival’s industry strand - the MeetMarket - will feature 65 projects from 20 countries, hoping to capitalise on the success of last year when £5.5m worth of funding was raised.
Sheffield Doc/Fest has unveiled the full line-up for its 19th edition, which will include 11 world premieres, 9 of which are British features.
They include Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope’s Jaywick Escapes, Steve Read’s Glory Road and James Kent’s Chopin Saved My Life.
The programme for the 2012 edition - its second in its new June slot - includes 83 feature docs, 10 outdoor screenings, 27 shorts and 4 cross platform films.
The line-up has an art focus this year, with Matthew Aker’s Sundance hit and Berlinale award winner Marina Abramoviv: The Artist Is Present and Alison Klayman’s Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.
It also includes 15 films which came out of the festival’s MeetMarket, including the opening film, Searching for Sugar Man.
This year’s MeetMarket will feature 65 projects from 20 countries, chosen from a record 571 applications. There will be a record seven projects pitched from France and 8 cross platform projects.
Over 250 funders and buyers are expected to attend the market, including all the major UK broadcasters, UK theatrical distributors as well as international companies including ARTE France, National Geographic, ZDF, RAI and TV 2 Denmark.
Last year, the MeetMarket raised a record £5.5m worth of funding, with over 67% of participants completing deals by October 1. There will be 8 major pitching competitions at the festival this year including the UK TV innovation pitch which will offer £10K to a populist and fantastical TV project.
Speaking at the festival’s launch in London this morning, festival director Heather Croall said that while it had been a “tough year in fund raising”, she and new festival chair Alex Graham had been “pitching their heads off” and as a result the festival was benefitting from a record number of partnerships, including with the East End Film Festival (who will be running a daily bar during the festival), Germany based Documentary Campus and the BFI, which is hosting a panel on the subject of what makes a theatrical documentary, chaired by Lizzie Francke.
The BFI is also handling world rights including theatrical, non-theatrical and DVD in the UK on documentary, From The Sea To The Land Beyond, directed by Penny Woolcock, produced by Sheffield Doc/Fest and commissioned by The Space, a new on-demand digital arts service developed by the Arts Council and the BBC. It will also screen on the opening night of the festival.
Croall said she had been working closely with the BFI’s new head of exhibition and head of the London Film Festival, Clare Stewart to “work out how they could make a deeper partnership between the BFI and Sheffield.”
The festival’s new chair, Wall To Wall Productions CEO Alex Graham, who has taken over from Steve Hewlett, told Screen that it was his aim to forge longer lasting partnerships and firm up funding for the future of the festival.
Referring to the quality of this year’s line -up - which was whittled down from 1500 submissions - Hussain Currimboy, Doc/Fest’s programmer said that there was “no better time to be a programmer in documentaries”
The programme will include a retrospective of Russian documentary film-maker Dziga Vertov, with screenings of his films Man With A Movie Camera, Enthusiasm, Lullaby and Three Songs About Lenin.
Penny Woolcock will be the recipient of the festival’s Inspiration Award.
The festival runs June 13-17.