Make Yourself at Home with Doc/Fest

Make Yourself at Home with Doc/Fest

07 July 2020

Sheffield Doc/Fest is the city’s international film festival and marketplace, for celebrating, sharing and debating non–fiction arts.

This year’s edition of Sheffield Doc/Fest has been taking place a little differently though and for the first time in 27 years they have presented their Official Selection as an online programme, to stay connected with audiences and give visibility to as many films as possible.

The festival is also extending its activities throughout the rest of the year, both physically in Sheffield and virtually, to create moments with audiences in different ways.

The Sheffield Doc/Fest Selects VOD platform offers an exclusive programme of films from all over the world, for audiences to enjoy in the comfort of their own home. Curated from the festival’s Official Selection 2020, films can be viewed on a pay-per-view basis or subscription options are also available for UK audiences until 10 July. There’s also a free of charge Exchange film programme and over 30 Q&As with filmmakers (available beyond 10 July).

Doc/Player is the festival’s film industry-oriented video library available to festival passholders globally from 8 June through to 31 August, with a programme of films and industry talks, panels and recordings of filmmaker pitching events and awards.

Subject to safe conditions in cinemas, Doc/Fest is set to host a series of Festival Weekenders later this year. Taking place in venues across Sheffield in October - November 2020, full details for the weekenders are to be announced soon, but the programme will no doubt feature some exclusive screenings, Q&As and talks.

In addition to all this, Doc/Fest has also partnered with BFI Player, Doc Alliance Films, The Guardian and MUBI, who will all host some of the Festival’s curated programmes over coming months and help reach even more audiences.

With such an extensive online programme to choose from, Doc/Fest have selected their Top 5 Must-See films for public audiences to access on their Selects VOD platform before 10 July. See the selection below and if these pique your interest, click on the links to 'Make Yourself at Home with Doc/Fest'…

The Story of Plastic by Deia Schlosberg
United States, India, China, Indonesia, Philippines, Belgium / English, Hindi, Chinese, Tagalog, Indonesian / 2019 / 95' / International Premiere 

The Story of Plastic unearths the real causes of our growing plastic pollution problem and the twisted narratives we have been fed by industry to distract us and displace blame. Striking footage, original animations, and archival material combine to point to the disastrous impact of the plastics industry, shedding new light on a pressing global challenge that threatens the life and health of animals, humans, and civilization on Earth. Watch on Doc/Fest Selects.

Oeconomia by Carmen Losmann
Germany / German / 2020 / 89' / UK Premiere

Revealing the rules of the game of capitalism, this film makes visible the essential paradox that the economy only grows, and profits are only possible, when we are in debt. Using office devices, computer screens, and meeting rooms in a playful and ironic way, the filmmaker leads a brilliant inquiry into a hidden world. Watch on Doc/Fest Selects.

Bring Down The Walls by Phil Collins
United States, Germany / English / 2020 / 88' / UK Premiere

With a prison population of more than 2 million, the USA is the world's biggest jailer. Coinciding with the escalation of mass incarceration in the 1980s, house music emerged from Black, Latinx and queer communities embattled by oppressive law enforcement policies. Bring Down The Walls explores the prison industrial complex through the lens of house music and nightlife, proposing the dance floor as a space of personal and collective liberation, and new ways in which we could come together as a society. Watch on Doc/Fest Selects.

The Go-Go's by Alison Ellwood
United States, Ireland, Canada / English / 2020 / 98' / International Premiere

Formed by Belinda Carlisle and Jane Wiedlin, The Go-Go’s started out in the 1980s LA punk scene. Talent, ambition, and the coinciding birth of MTV and the music video catapulted The Go-Go’s ascent. Through a combination of candid interviews and great footage, Alison Ellwood’s spirited tribute shines a light on the band’s success – as musicians, ground-breakers and survivors. Watch on Doc/Fest Selects.

The Viewing Booth by Ra’anan Alexandrowicz
Israel, USA / English, Hebrew, Arabic / 2019 / 71' / UK Premiere

In a laboratory-like set up, The Viewing Booth, the filmmaker chooses an American student—enthusiastic supporter of Israel—Maia, and invites her to watch and comment on the videos made by a Palestinian activist collective who are filming the daily life of inhabitants of the occupied territories and the behaviour of the Israeli army. A deep and essential reflection on how we look at images, the film explores the relationship between viewer, documentary footage, and filmmaker. Watch on Doc/Fest Selects.

Learn more about this year’s festival on Sheffield Doc/Fest website and follow online with @sheffdocfest.