Director of Sheffield's Sensoria festival discusses highlights from this year's line-up

The director of the acclaimed Sensoria festival of film, music and digital is ‘looking forward’ to welcoming attendees back to Sheffield when it returns next month.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 5:14 pm

Next month’s Sensoria, which takes place between October 1 and 9, will see a return to mostly in-person events, as part of the varied programme of live music, film screenings, events, performances and talks.

Sensoria director, Jo Wingate, said: “We’re really looking forward to going back to real life, and to seeing our audiences’ smiling faces.”

The festival is the UK’s festival of film and music, but this year, over 75 per cent of the artists involved overall are based in Sheffield, and at least half are female.

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Jo Wingate, who is the director and one of the founders of the Sensoria festival which is set to return this October.

Jo explained: "We had a lot of submissions from local artists, which we were pleased with. We thought if ever there was a time to showcase the amazing talent in South Yorkshire this was it. We thought: ‘We’ve got to give them a platform,’ and that’s why we chose what we did. We’re very happy with the line-up.”

This year’s festival received around 200 submissions, which Jo says is a ‘slight increase’ on previous years.

When asked about the highlights from this year’s festival, Jo said it was hard to choose, but among those she selected is a a mash-up of sinister folk-horror and fantastical mythical imagery from animator Noriko Okaku, called ‘That Long Moonless Chase’.

"It’s quite dark and gothic folk horror that’s going to use animation which is being live edited and will feature live music. It’s a mash-up of Sheffield folklore with Kyoto (water-weeping ginkgo tree). It’s something completely new, so it’s a world first and will probably be toured, so I’m pleased to have been involved,” said Jo, adding that it came about as a result of the Film, Archive and Music Lab (FAMLAB) online workshop.

The FAMLAB workshop is a collaboration between Sensoria the British Council and British Film Institute, and brought together 12 musicians to spend a week immersed in exploration of the challenges and rich potential for collaborative film archive and music projects.

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Another of Jo’s highlights is the Talking About Jaime session referring to the Sheffield-set Everybody’s Talking About Jamie movie released this month.

The session is part of the Sensoria Pro part of the festival, which is an unique, ‘informal gathering of composers, filmmakers, music publishers, music supervisors, games developers and festivals’.

Jo said they will discuss the challenges and opportunities’ in the transition of a theatre musical to the big screen.

She is also looking forward to a Sensoria Pro session from composer Paul Farrer who is set to talk about his prolific career composing music for television and film, from numerous

television and quiz shows including The Wheel Weakest Link; Krypton Factor and Dancing On Ice as well as recent film scores such as Red Dwarf — The Promised Land.

Jo said organisers are taking a ‘measured’ and what she hoped would be regarded as a ‘well managed’ approach to Covid safety, with ‘short format events’ to avoid festival-goers being in the same room for too long and said attendees will be asked to wear masks.

The festival will be held at a number of Sheffield sites including S1 Artspace; Site Gallery and The University of Sheffield Drama Studio.

Visit for Sensoria’s full line-up.