thu 24/10/2019

Sheffield Doc/Fest: the wrap | reviews, news & interviews

Sheffield Doc/Fest: the wrap

Sheffield Doc/Fest: the wrap

Hot docs and hustle in South Yorkshire

Upon emerging from Sheffield railway station, one of the first things you clap eyes on is Andrew Motion’s 2007 poem What If? unfurling down the side of one of the university tower blocks and gleaming faintly in the last of the autumn sun. With its exhortation to “greet and understand what lies ahead... The lives which wait as yet unseen, unread,” it’s not a bad incidental epigram for a festival of documentary film-making whose trailer was inspired by the city’s cosmopolitan identity. Doc/Fest opened on Wednesday with Mat Whitecross’s Moving to Mars (pictured below), about a family of Burmese refugees transposed to Sheffield, and, by the time it drew to an end last night, had included 120 films from around the world. But there is a second, almost entirely separate Sheffield Film Festival, running alongside the traditional one of screenings, prizes and audience Q&As, a much more inward-looking one.
One session, run by a craft workshop, supplied participants with wool to knit a scarf whilst pitching projects, a literal case of spinning a yarn.

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