What’s up Doc/Fest?

Local hero: Jarvis Cocker pops up in Evidently about John Cooper Clarke
Local hero: Jarvis Cocker pops up in Evidently about John Cooper Clarke
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WHAT’S got 82 feature films, 27 shorts, four cross-platform films, 10 outdoor films and one rather brilliant art installation?

It can only be Doc/Fest 2012, Sheffield’s massive Documentary Film Festival that attracts film-makers and audiences from all over the world.

“The films come in many styles,” said Doc/Fest Film Programmer Hussain Currimbhoy,

“What did really strike me was despite how digital everyone is going, the films were really more cinematic then ever this year. Filmmakers are imagining their films playing in cinemas again.

“Documentaries are playing in cinemas more than ever before in the UK and I hope this year even more doc/fest films get into cinemas after the festival.

“Last year I was over the moon to see so many titles like ‘The Interrupters’, ‘Calvet’, ‘Sound it Out’, ‘Senna’ and the like go into distribution after the festival and find their audiences.

“There is always that strange voodoo that happens when you see a film at a festival and the buzz and energy around it is so huge you feel like you are drunk on it.

“That can play into the hands of a distributor, but not always. What links the above-mentioned films are great stories and a good director’s aesthetic. I hope the audience sees the same qualities in this year’s programme.”

Back for a 19th year in Sheffield, Doc/Fest will again take over the city’s cinemas, theatres and art galleries – with four days of free outdoor screenings at the Howard Street screen.

The festival opens with two extraordinary musically-connected events.

From The Sea To The Land Beyond (Crucible Theatre, Wednesday, June 13, 6.15pm), made by British filmmaker Penny Woolcock and produced by Sheffield Doc/Fest and Crossover, gets its world premiere.

It features over 100 years of BFI National Archive footage of Britain and its coastline, with a live musical score composed and performed by British Sea Power.

It was commissioned by The Space, the new on-demand digital arts service developed by the Arts Council in partnership with the BBC, and Doc/Fest fans will be able to edit favourite coastal clips and British Sea Power tracks on-line to create a personalised video postcard.

Searching for Sugar Man (Showroom Cinema, Wednesday, June 13, 8.30pm, then June 14, 6.15pm) wowed audiences at the Sundance Film Festival in January. The opening night film is the uplifting story of the rediscovery of Sixto Rodriguez – an American-Mexican musical genius from the early 1970s who mysteriously disappeared into oblivion.

He will attend this European premiere with film-maker Malik Bendjelloul.

Other names to look out for at this year’s Doc/Fest include Julien Temple (Showroom, Saturday, June 16, 7.45pm), the director of Glastopia, and a look at punk poet legend John Cooper Clarke (Showroom, Sunday, June 17, 6.15pm) in Evidently, which includes vintage footage of The Leadmill along with an interview with Jarvis Cocker.

Tim Poole, who became an overnight online phenomenon, will be in conversation with filmmaker Emily Bell for Occupy Wall Street: Livestream This! (Crucible Studio, Saturday, June 16, 2.15pm) where he will talk about his live stream which drew more than 20,000 simultaneous viewers and 250,000 unique visitors throughout the course of the day.

Full programme details are available at www.sheffdocfest.com