Forget Cannes... here comes Sheffield DocFest

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Cannes might be the big name in film festivals but all focus is about to turn on Sheffield for the 21st annual Doc/Fest and here Film Programmer Hussain Currimbhoy gives 21 events not to miss.

Around 100 inspirational documentary features and shorts will be shown, including world premieres, with 3,000 delegates and 20,000 members of the public expected along from Saturday, June 7, to Thursday, June 12.

Sheffield Doc Fest Film Programmer Hussain Currimbhoy

Sheffield Doc Fest Film Programmer Hussain Currimbhoy

Legendary film director Martin Scorsese, Sheffield chart stars Pulp and Richard Hawley, TV’s Sue Perkins, and broadcasting greats John Pilger and Jon Snow are among the big names featured this year.

Most will make personal appearances and all have special screenings of their latest work, with the Showroom Cinema playing host, along with outdoor screenings in the Peace Gardens, Howard Street, South Street Amphitheatre, Chatsworth and even a cinema in a cave, at The Devil’s Arse in Castleton.

VIDEO: Press the play button to watch the official trailer for Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014.

To celebrate the festival’s 21 years, Doc/Fest film programmer Hussain Currimbhoy today writes exclusively for us - giving his personal 21 things to see. See below.

Martin Scorsese's documentary The 50 Year Argument will be screened at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014.

Martin Scorsese's documentary The 50 Year Argument will be screened at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014.

But also check out the full programme at www.sheffdocfest.com. Also see The Star’s entertainments and listings guide at www.wow247.co.uk/.

Follow Hussain on Twitter @hcurrimbhoy, Sheffield Doc/Fest @sheffdocfest and like Sheffield Doc/Fest on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sheffdocfest

The Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014 also has its own new app, to plan your schedule and provide you with lists of everyone who’s anyone at this year’s event.

With maps, Twitter feeds and even a weather report, it is designed to work even without an internet connection.

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014 will feature outdoor venues including a screening in a cave - the Devil's Arse, in Castleton.

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014 will feature outdoor venues including a screening in a cave - the Devil's Arse, in Castleton.

It is available to download now via iTunes store, Google Play and Blackberry.

HUSSAIN CURRIMBHOY’S 21 THINGS NOT TO MISS

Freedom is something we’re used to taking for granted, writes Hussain.

When I talk to people in Sheffield about this year’s programme, I hope they get the sense of freedom we’re aiming for - the diversity of the whole world in a handful of films.

Pulp: A Film about Life, Death & Supermarkets will open this year's Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014.

Pulp: A Film about Life, Death & Supermarkets will open this year's Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014.

This film programme features all sorts of filmmakers, plus our biggest-ever collection of live events and once-in-a-lifetime Q&As which we’re inviting everyone in Sheffield to come to, whether they think of themselves as a documentary guru or have never tried a doc before.

To celebrate our 21st year, as one of the largest documentary events in the world, here are 21 events you cannot miss!

1. Sue Perkins - The Making of The Great British Bake Off

Sue will take us through her career, including the secrets of why Bake Off has been such a cultural phenomenon.

Sue’s charisma and wit have made her a star loved across all ages, she’ll delight everyone.

2. The 50 Year Argument

Pulp: A Film about Life, Death & Supermarkets will open this year's Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014.

Pulp: A Film about Life, Death & Supermarkets will open this year's Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014.

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Martin Scorsese and his longtime collaborator David Tedeschi, The 50 Year Argument rides the waves of literary, political, and cultural history as charted by the The New York Review of Books, America’s leading journal of ideas for over 50 years.

The only film to come from Scorsese without any gangsters!

3. Regarding Susan Sontag

As the most controversial American writer of the 20th century, Susan Sontag was also its most captivating. Between her philosophical novels and her love affairs with art world prima donna Lucinda Childs and photographer Annie Leibovitz, Sontag was a powerful figure of intellect and allure, as revealed by acclaimed filmmaker Nancy Kates.

Open your mind to some of the most accessible philosophy of women, war and culture out there.

4. John Pilger Masterclass

A fearless writer and broadcaster, John Pilger has covered conflicts, politics, and social and economic injustice around the world.

Alongside a screening of his latest film on Australia, Utopia, Doc/Fest welcomes John Pilger to discuss his work as one of the most outspoken and uncompromising journalists of his generation.

Always controversial, always compelling, John is a legend of the left wing, never compromising in the face of injustice.

5. Pulp: A Film about Life, Death and Supermarkets

Pulp, whose anthems include Common People and Disco 2000, share their thoughts on fame, love, mortality and car maintenance, in a film that features a career best concert performance weaved together with the band’s personal offerings as well as specially-staged tableaux featuring ordinary people recruited on the streets of Sheffield.

Nothing could be more Sheffield – Pulp coming home to play their final show. Sheffield plays itself in this instant classic as Pulp returns home.

6. The Cave – Cinema in a Cave

They called us crazy – a cinema in a cave.

Returning by popular demand in 2014, now every night. The world’s only festival cave cinema – join us!

7. Life Itself

While fighting the cancer that robbed him of his ability to eat or speak, critic and cultural icon Roger Ebert continued to write about films tirelessly. In this wonderful send-off, acclaimed director Steve James makes us fall in love with cinema through Ebert’s eyes.

Straight from Cannes and Sundance, it’s the definitive life story about the definitive film critic of the world.

8. Beautiful Noise

Between New Wave and Britpop were a few short years in which indie rock was suffused with languid, faraway sounds. Filmmaker Eric Green tracks down Cocteau Twins, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and My Bloody Valentine as well as their fans to examine the extent of their influence on today’s music.

Now acknowledged as some of the most influential music ever made, a dark and strange sub-genre of classic ’80s and 90s music comes to life.

9. An Evening with Grayson Perry

Artist Grayson Perry won the Turner Prize in 2003 for his beautiful and often vividly satirical pots. Since then, he has also won acclaim for his documentaries, where he combines a sharp line in social commentary and an artist’s eye for the telling details of modern British life. Here at Doc/Fest he will talk about his passion for documentary and offer some revealing insights into his creative process.

The least likely candidate ever for ‘national treasure status’, he makes audiences love him.

10. Choose Your Own Documentary

A forgotten diary falls out of an old Choose Your Own Adventure book. What would you do? Join Nathan Penlington and a team of filmmakers as they embark on an epic and emotional quest to find the author of the diary and unravel the mystery of its pages. A true story of obsession, childhood sweethearts, friendship, loss and adventure. But there is a twist. You, the audience, decide Nathan’s fate by using remote controls. With over 1,500 paths and multiple endings, his destiny is in your hands.

Somewhere between theatre, documentary, books, games and outright fun lies this. No two shows are the same!

11. Finding Fela

Fela Kuti was the rock star revolutionary of Nigeria with Afrobeat as his weapon. His packed performances at The Shrine playing to Stevie Wonder and James Brown are now the stuff of legend. This film pays tribute to a larger-than-life figure using rare footage, musical adaptations, and star-studded interviews, an Afrobeat legend who took over the world and then radicalised it.

You’ll dance and then you’ll channel some power.

12. A Total Disruption

An online network which documents the top thought-leaders and doers who are using technology to disrupt all aspects of how we live during the greatest shift in the history of humankind, brought about by the advent of the internet.

Filmmaker Ondi Timoner’s short film trilogy on everyday rebellion with some very special guests.

13. Beyond Clueless

In this stylish and confident feature debut, British film critic Charlie Lyne takes us deep into the psyche of the teenage soul, exploring themes of alienation and loss of self, and scouring the often amusing emotional tempests that dominate the teenage years.

Featuring an exclusive first time live performance from pop favourites Summer Camp.

14. The Search for Weng Weng

The Search for Weng Weng is a seven-year labour of love by filmmaker Andrew Leavold, whose obsession with the 2ft 9ins Filipino action star whisks him into a detective story of his own. A fun and insightful look at an underrepresented cinema history.

15. Jon Snow in Conversation

Join legendary journalist and presenter Jon Snow for this In Conversation session. Jon will discuss his extensive career in television and share some highlights with the audience - everyone’s favourite tie-wearer gives Sheffield his state of the nation address.

16. Love Is All: 100 Years of Love and Courtship

Love is All - showing on a giant outdoor screen - takes us on a journey through the 20th century, exploring love and courtship on screen in a century of unprecedented social upheaval.

From the very first kisses ever caught on film, through the disruption of war to the birth of youth culture, gay liberation and free love, we follow courting couples flirting at tea dances, kissing in the back of the movies, shacking up and fighting for the right to love - set to a stunning soundtrack by Sheffield’s own Richard Hawley.

17. How We Used to Live

Join much-loved electro pop trio Saint Etienne for an enthralling celebration of post-war London created through a compelling use of rare colour footage and original music with a spellbinding narration by Ian McShane.

Premiered to great acclaim last October at the London Film Festival, it was named one of the best films of 2013. The screening and performance will be followed by a Q&A with Saint Etienne, director Paul Kelly and co-writer Travis Elborough.

Nostalgia never looked and sounded so good.

18. He Who Gets Slapped

For the first time since 2008, Will Gregory, the male half of electro-poppers Goldfrapp, will reunite with his collaborator from The Gas Giants, Tony Orrell, to recreate the sound of 60 musicians and play live in the theatre to the 1924 silent classic He Who Gets Slapped.

Silent movies and electro pop – the perfect combination!

19. Man of Aran

British Sea Power will perform their much loved soundtrack live to Robert Flaherty’s documentary, Man of Aran. In a series of startling black-and-white sequences the film presents daily life on the inhospitable Aran islands on the west coast of Ireland.

This timeless classic comes to life with an unforgettable live score.

20. From The Sea to the Land Beyond

A beautiful film made entirely of stunning images of the British coast over the past century with a newly-commissioned soundtrack by Brighton-based band British Sea Power. Made from over 100 years of archive footage, it is a portrait of the British coastline and the role it plays in our lives.

21. Adam Buxton presents A BUG Special: David Bowie

Adam Buxton returns to Sheffield to present a very special show celebrating some of David Bowie’s music video and film output.

Returning for a second year, back by popular demand, Buxton takes on his hero Bowie with a silly and loving dedication.

Remember, this is only a handful of the treasures at Doc/Fest. All the links to fin out more are here.

See The Star’s entertainments and listings guide at www.wow247.co.uk/.

Check out the full programme at www.sheffdocfest.com.

Follow Hussain on Twitter @hcurrimbhoy, Sheffield Doc/Fest @sheffdocfest and like Sheffield Doc/Fest on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sheffdocfest

The Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014 also has its own new app, to plan your schedule and provide you with lists of everyone who’s anyone at this year’s event.

With maps, Twitter feeds and even a weather report, it is designed to work even without an internet connection.

It is available to download now via iTunes store, Google Play and Blackberry.

John Pilger featured at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014.

John Pilger featured at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014.

RV's Sue Perkins featured at this year's Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014. Photo: Steve Ullathorne.

RV's Sue Perkins featured at this year's Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014. Photo: Steve Ullathorne.

Jon Snow featured at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014.

Jon Snow featured at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014.