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Sheffield DocFest 2024

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Sheffield DocFest 2024

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Events to look forward to at 2024’s Sheffield DocFest…

Sheffield DocFest announces Reflections on Realities as its 2024 theme for the 31st edition of the festival taking place 12-17 June, and a special programme of films and conversations titled ‘Days of Reflection’ on the themes of Co-Resistance, Freedom of the Press, Ancestral Lands and Archiving the Present, with premieres of No Other Land, State of Silence, Yintah, and Witnesses: Captivity That Kills.

“Sheffield DocFest firmly believes in the transformative power of documentaries to spark curiosity, engage audiences, and foster meaningful discussions. As a film festival committed to upholding freedom of expression, we actively facilitate activities that support filmmakers in their creative endeavours and aid in connecting their finished works with diverse audiences.”Sheffield DocFest

This year, ‘recognising the interconnected challenges of rising polarisation, freedom of the press, attacks on independent journalism and the many violent conflicts around the world, the festival has thought deeply about its position and responsibility as a charity committed to advancing the art of documentary they state’, adding, that they ‘are proud of our history as a platform where diverse perspectives can flourish. Therefore, in alignment with our values of empathy, creativity, freedom, and inclusivity, we will centre this year’s festival on a deep reflection of the realities depicted in our film selection. Films will serve as the heart of our conversations, and we will hold space following the screenings, for meaningful discussions to unfold.’

As part of the Days of Reflection, and throughout their full 2024 programme, the event will present a daily reflection screening and moderated conversation, bringing together filmmakers across the programme to reflect on themes of: Co-Resistance, Freedom of the Press, Ancestral Lands and Archiving the Present.

“As an organisation, we denounce all forms of violence and discrimination worldwide. In light of the attacks in Israel on October 7th and the war in Palestine, and the escalation of conflict in the Middle East, we support the call for a ceasefire and the release of all hostages.

“We condemn this war and all the wars affecting millions worldwide and thank the courageous filmmakers from the Middle East, Ukraine and Sudan who bring their stories to us this year. We mourn the loss of all lives in these and all conflicts, and the unacceptable erasure of journalists, visual artists, and film workers. As an anti-racist organisation we stand firmly against the rise of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and all forms of racism and hate speech.”Sheffield DocFest

In other DocFest news, The Whickers and Sheffield DocFest have announced the finalists for the second edition of our joint initiative, the Podcast Pitch Award. The award is designed to celebrate the global trend towards solo and episodic listening to factual audio. In 2024, 90 applications for the second year of the pitch were received, leaving the selection panel to deliberate over a range of original, educational and entertaining entries and cementing Sheffield DocFest’s expansion of programme to support a vibrant market for the very best creative factual audio.

Six finalists will present their projects to an esteemed panel of judges and a live audience on Saturday, June 15th during Sheffield DocFest 2024. A grand first prize of £5,000 will be awarded, with £2,000 going to the runner up.

Jane Ray, Artistic Director at The Whickers:

“We were thrilled and moved by the quality and variety of the projects submitted to this year’s podcasting pitch awards. It was a joy to tune in to such wondrous new stories from around the world. From the heart-breaking to the hilarious, incisively investigative to the fabulously whimsical. We encountered a dictator’s underpants and alien tin foil and loved the way complex ideas were being expressed through the everyday, such as the history of the world told through pickling vegetables and the tragedy of modern slavery through a punnet of strawberries.

“Themes did emerge. I think we expected several projects around the environment, queer politics, healing and mental health but were surprised that boxing popped up so much. We would like to thank everyone all who applied and congratulate those shortlisted. I cannot wait to meet the finalists on stage at the Sheffield Crucible and am so grateful that I don’t have to decide on the winners.”

The six finalists can be seen on the next page…

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