DocFest: Sheffield documentary festival opens for 29th year

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Michael Moore, Ronnie, O'Sullivan, Joanna Lumley and Sir David AttenboroughImage source, Doc/Fest
Image caption,
Previous DocFests have included talks by Michael Moore, Joanna Lumley, Ronnie O'Sullivan and Sir David Attenborough

Sheffield's world-renowned documentary film festival, DocFest, opens on Thursday for its 29th year.

The first DocFest was held in the city in 1994, showing 42 films over two days to an audience of about 2,000.

Organisers said they are "thrilled" DocFest is back and are "undeterred" by potential rail strike issues.

The "dynamic" festival will be at venues across the city until 28 June, DocFest said.

As well as the usual documentary film, television, technology and art, this year's festival also sees the launch of the British Council and Ukrainian Institute's Season of Culture launch.

The event will be held in Sheffield's Winter Garden from 1830-2000 BST on Friday and will include Ukrainian documentary films and artworks, events and activities.

Image source, Doc/Fest
Image caption,
The 2018 festival had films about an Australian artist, the Spanish Civil War, Skid Row in LA, and late fashion designer Alexander McQueen

Tourist body Welcome to Sheffield said DocFest is "widely recognised as one of the top three documentary festivals in the world".

It offers makers and audiences a place for inspiration, debate, development, learning and challenge, the body said.

"DocFest is the UK's leading documentary festival and one of the world's most influential markets for documentary projects," it said, "championing and presenting the breadth of documentary form across film, television, immersive technology and art with film screenings, virtual reality exhibitions, an industry marketplace, unmissable live events, and its own awards."

Despite rail strikes from 23 to 25 June DocFest organisers said the festival would go ahead.

People should be patient as alternative arrangements are made because of the "significant disruption" to hospitality and events caused by rail strikes.

"Undeterred, we are moving forward with a dynamic festival and looking forward to being back together at venues across Sheffield," DocFest said.

A full list of venues, events and times is here.

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