Sheffield Doc/Fest has revealed a selection of early highlights for this year’s edition, including 16 world premieres.
The line-up includes first screenings of Jawed Taiman and Sharon Ward’s Addicted In Afghanistan, about two young heroin addicts in Kabul, I’m Dangerous With Love by Michel Negroponte, which follows a former addict who was cured using an experimental treatment, and Erasing David, from UK director David Bond, about privacy in a 21st century database state.
The festival, which runs November 4 - 8, has also unveiled two new strands for this year; Comedy Docs, which will feature European premieres of Ben Steinbauer’s Winnebago Man, about a recluse who becomes a internet superstar, and Best Worst Movie, directed by Michael Paul Stephenson, about a 1989 cinematic failure, meanwhile the Cross Platform Docs will showcase films using multi-platform distribution. It will include Jeni Lee and Sieh Mchawala’s innovative online project Big Stories, Small Towns, which tells the story of life in small Australian town Port Augusta and was originally shown only through a dedicated website.
There will also be a special focus on Russian documentaries to tie in with the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union, with UK premieres of Pink Taxi, about Moscow’s first taxi company exclusively for women, by German director Uli Gaulke, and Until The Next Resurrection, directed by Oleg Morozov, and telling the story of the inhabitants of the Russian city of Kaliningrad.
Doc/Fest bills itself as a carbon neutral event and films showing in the festival’s returning Green strand include the world premieres of Gregory Kallenberg’s Haynesville: The Relentless Hunt for an Energy Tomorrow, and Shelter In Place, by UK director Zed Nelson, about the Texan petro-chemical industry’s “accidental” chemical releases.
The Music section of the festival will include UK premieres of The Beat Is The Law, by UK director Eve Wood, about a group of musicians living in Sheffield during the 1980s, and US director Gabriel Noble’s P-Star Rising, about a hip hop artist whose daughter becomes a rapper.
Film programmer Hussain Currimbhoy said: “The appetite for documentary is still voracious and changing viewing habits are proof of this with new online platforms for watching docs. Financial crises or not it seems like documentary is the one genre in film that is constantly adapting to its audience.”
The full programme will be announced in early October.