We're off to Sheffield DocFest to see international connections happen

We've supported Sheffield DocFest for many years - it's been a great marriage due to the festival's commitment to internationalism, cultural exchange, and co-pro opportunities. Alongside that theirs is a programme spanning non-fiction film and immersive art, coming from from a range of global perspectives. We're excited to see what's on offer this year!

A film crew in a field interview a man in a suit

Our Land, Our Freedom co-director Zippy Kimundu joins us in Sheffield

Support for international guests

This year we're helping bring a range of international guests to take part.

There are five filmmakers joining from the East and West Africa regions:

Mohamed Ouma from Documentary Africa will attend as part of the International Competition Jury.

Moustapha Sawadogo, an EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs) graduate producer based in Burkina Faso (West Africa) also joins the jury. Moustapha is Head of the Yennenga Workshops at the Pan-African Film Festival of Ouagadougou – FESPACO.

Zippy Kimundu, co-director of Our Land, Our Freedom which premieres as part of the main selection, will also take part in the MeetMarket with a new project Widow Champion which she will produce and direct.

Toni Kamau, producer of The Battle for Laikipia will travel from Kenya to present their film uncovering the high stakes in a generations-old conflict between indigenous farmers and white landowners in Laikipia, Kenya, a wildlife conservation haven.

A man holding a ceremonial stick stands on top of a vast mountain range

The Battle For Laikipia

From West Africa, director and creative industries social impact leader Ike Nnaebue will attend. Ike is a leading voice in Nigeria, looking to develop the next generation of Nigerian and West African talent and platform these new voices.

All our guests will join the industry programme, including a dedicated Meet-up event for visiting delegations to meet one to one with industry representatives and fellow filmmakers on Thursday 13 June.

Through a travel grants partnership with Doc Society and the DISCO network, we have also supported the attendance of Blanmi Nuñez, Programme Coordinator at Documental Ambulante in Mexico. Alongside Shandia Scotland from Doc Society and the Documentary Film Council (DFC), Blanmi will be co-hosting Our Declaration of Independence, about a field-wide endeavour articulating the unique importance of independent documentary to culture, society and democracy.

British Council Thailand is supporting the attendance of the team for the European Premiere of Breaking The Cycle nominated for the festival's Tim Hetherington Award. Directors Aekaphong Saransate and Thanakrit Duanmaneeporn, together with producer Komtouch Napattaloong will all be in Sheffield to unveil their film.

Two me wearing white shirts smile and hug

The team from Breaking the Cycle are heading for Sheffield

Our team in Occupied Palestinian Territories have supported Aida Ka’adan to attend the festival’s Marketplace - she'll be the only Palestinian filmmaker to be participating in the Meetmarket this year where she will pitch her project Another Day Shall Come in one-to-one meetings with international and UK industry representatives and experts.

Our team in Malaysia are supporting the attendance of Yih Wen Chen who has been selected to pitch her film Queer As Punk at Sheffield DocFest’s MeetMarket Rough Cut section.

From Nepal, British Council is also supporting the participation of writer/filmmaker Aishwarya Baidar as an industry delegate.

Finally, as an extension to a collaboration first explored during British Council's UK/Ukraine Season of Culture which kicked off at DocFest in 2022, we're helping the festival continue its collaboration with Docudays (UA). Looking at themes of culture amidst conflict, the partnership will stage a special screening event Archiving the Present: Witnesses. Captivity that Kills, followed by a conversation with a group of experts discussing the reliance on eyewitness testimonies, the ethical considerations of archival storage, and the potential of AI in authenticating history. Contrinbutors will include Tetiana Symon (Co-Director, Witnesses. Captivity that Kills), Rita Burkovska (Co-Director, Witnesses. Captivity that Kills), Maria Tsypiashchuk and Maksym Demydenko (Ukraine War Archive) and Shane O'Sullivan (Associate Professor and Head of Department, Film and Photography). The conversation will be moderated by Aarif Abraham (Barrister, writer and speaker, specialised in International Criminal Law and Public International Law). The event is supported by the UK/UA Creative Partnerships programme, designed by the British Council and the Ukrainian Institute, aiming to continue and strengthen collaborations between UK and Ukrainian cultural organisations.

a composite image of five photos of war tor buildingsn

Witnesses. Captivity That Kills

Team British Council will be out and about in Sheffield

With Digital Innovation and Creative Technology now part of the British Council's arts programmes, some of our new team members will be in Sheffield to explore partnerships. Lisa Brook, Creative Technology Relationship Manager, will participate in the Alternate Realties Talent Market, and will moderate a panel of artists presenting new creative technology prototypes at the Alternate Realties Summit. Lisa will be in Sheffield from 12-17 June.

Alongside Lisa, our Film Relationship Manager Fiona Fletcher will be in Sheffield from 12-15 June to connect with filmmakers and international partner organisations. Fiona will also be attending the Annual General Meeting for the Documentary Film Council for which she has recently been appointed as a Trustee.

Colleagues from our Music and Digital innovation teams will also be dropping into Festival screenings and events.

Please come and say hello to us all!

See you in Sheffield

Have a look at the whole Sheffield Doc Fest programme at www.sheffdocfest.com

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