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SHEFFIELD DOC FEST 2021

A strong European showing in competition at the 28th Sheffield Doc/Fest

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- The line-up includes 55 world, 22 international, 15 European and 59 UK premieres from 57 countries, with 63 languages represented in total

A strong European showing in competition at the 28th Sheffield Doc/Fest
Factory to the Workers by Srđan Kovačević

Six European films will feature in the International Competition at this year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest (4-13 June 2021). These are Factory to the Workers [+see also:
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by Srđan Kovačević (Croatia), portraying the struggle for survival of ITAS, the only factory in Croatia that was taken over and defended by its workers during post-war privatisation; Equatorial Constellations by Silas Tiny (São Tomé and Príncipe/Portugal), detailing the Biafran airlift in São Tomé in the 1970s; From the 84 Days by Philipp Hartmann, a German-Bolivian co-production that follows 25 young musicians from the Bolivian Experimental Orchestra for Indigenous Instruments (OEIN), stuck in Germany for 84 days during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic; White on White [+see also:
film review
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by Viera Čákanyová (Czech Republic/Slovakia), which relays the video diary the director kept while staying at the Polish Antarctic Station, where in 2017 she shot the film FREM [+see also:
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interview: Viera Čakányová
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, the main character of which was an artificial neural network; My Dear Spies [+see also:
film review
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by Vladimir Léon (France), in which two grandsons try to decipher their family’s suspicious Cold War past; and the Russian entry Summer by Vadim Kostrov.

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The other pictures in this competition are Charm Circle by Nira Burstein (USA), Rancho by Pedro Speroni (Argentina), This Stained Dawn by Anam Abbas (Pakistan), Nũhũ Yãg Mũ Yõg Hãm: This Land Is Our Land! by Isael Maxakali, Sueli Maxakali, Carolina Canguçu and Roberto Romero (Brazil), and Double Layered Town / Making a Song to Replace Our Positions by Komori Haruka and Seo Natsumi (Japan).

The UK Competition comprises a selection of independent films that offer a range of unique perspectives. Filmmakers here include Allan Melia, Ben Reed, Charlotte Ginsborg, Christine Saab, Daisy Ifama, Daniel Draper, Eriberto Gualinga, Frank Martin, Isla Badenoch, Makeda Matheson, Maythem Ridha, Nicola Mai, Pamela Breda, Rhea Storr, Rob Curry and Tim Plester.

Being presented as Special Screenings this year are five world premieres. They include Steve McQueen and James Rogan’s new series Uprising, and Clive Patterson’s Sing, Freetown, with television reporter Sorious Samura and Sierra Leone-based theatre director Charlie Haffner. Working with poet laureate Simon Armitage, Brian Hill presents Where Did the World Go. Additionally, three films will screen that offer a multitude of perspectives on 9/11 and its consequences: My Childhood, My Country – 20 Years in Afghanistan by Phil Grabsky and Shoaib Sharifi; Surviving 9/11 (Working Title) by Arthur Cary; and 9/11: One Day in America by Daniel Bogado.

Other strands at the festival this year include Into the World, Rebellions, Ghosts & Apparitions, Rhyme & Rhythm, Arts Programme and Docfest Exchange: Beyond Our Own Eyes. This year's retrospective is a celebration of black British screen culture sculpted by a list of guest curators, who have already been announced. Karen Alexander is an additional curator. Films of all lengths will be presented as part of the retrospective, including titles such as Burning an Illusion by Menelik Shebazz, It Ain’t Half Racist, Mum by Stuart Hall, Looking for Langston by Isaac Julien, Second Coming [+see also:
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by Debbie Tucker Green, The Black Safari by Colin Luke and Franco Rosso’s The Mangrove Nine, to name a few.

The festival will run both in cinemas in Sheffield and online. The full programme can be viewed here.

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