Wednesday 13 June 2012

Sheffield DocFest 2012 - Preview

Kicking off today in Sheffield is the annual documentary festival better known as DocFest. I'll be covering the festival in person from Friday, but here's a look ahead to what's on in the next couple of days. If you're unfamiliar with what DocFest aims to offer, this snazzy little trailer may or may not explain more.

Spread across a number of cinemas but with its base at the Showroom cinema in the centre of the city, the opening day kicks off with a screening of Stacey Peralta's Bones Brigade: An Autobiography. Peralta's Dogtown and Z-boys was a great doc, so I'm intrigued to see if this matches up.

The biggest event of the day is the premiere of Searching for Sugar Man, a documentary on South African musician Sixto Rodriguez. As you may have guessed from the mention of South Africa, this is not just a music biography but a look at the apartheid era and the social and economic divides that separated the country.

One of my most highly anticipated films showing at the festival is the game developers doc, Indie Game: The MovieIt's screening today but like a lot of the in demand films will be getting an encore screening on Saturday night too, so I will get a chance to see it once I arrive in Sheffield.

Not completely comprised of yet to be released films, Thursday starts with a screening of The Island President, a film I saw a month or so ago on its original release. On this day the festival will also be screening other modern classic docs An Inconvenient Truth and In the Shadow of the Moon, all at the Howard Street screen they have set up for the festival that will be free of charge for the whole event. Another intriguing looking doc for Thursday is We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, telling the story of the hacker anarchists, Anonymous.

There's plenty to look forward to in the days after; in a bold move, the organisers have decided to close off the festival for those brave enough with a screening of Mark Cousins' The Story of Film: An Odyssey documentary series; all nine hundred and five minutes of it. Personally, I'm not crazy enough to attempt that, so I've packed my schedule with doc delights such as Being Elmo: A Puppeteers Journey and Evidently, the new John Cooper Clarke documentary that will hopefully be attended by the elusive poet himself.

I covered DocFest last year whilst I was living in Sheffield, so I'm looking forward to returning to the city to see how the old dear is doing, as well as catching up with festival buddies Adam from, Alex Rowland from and Joe Gastineau from The Wooden Kimono who I'm sure will all be providing great coverage too. I'll be covering the festival from Friday, deftly skipping from screen to screen to put my tired eyes under as much strain as I can, so keep an eye out for what will hopefully be daily coverage, depending on whether I can get access to the internet or not.

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