Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018 selection

Now in its 25th year, Sheffield Doc/Fest is the UK’s premier documentary festival, screening compelling stories from across the world.
Taking place in Sheffield June 7th – 12th 2018, the festival prides itself in diversity, with the tagline – What’s Your Story?

Here’s our selection of 12 films from the over 200 features you can catch at the festival – which spans Virtual Reality, Q&A’s and special events.


Opening Night Film:


A Northern Soul (UK)

Sean McAllister returns to his Yorkshire hometown of Hull as creative director of the opening ceremony of the City of Culture celebrations: living back with his 90 year-old parents, McAllister reflects on the changes to a city hit by cuts in public spending and divided by Brexit and where more than 1 in 3 children are living in poverty.
Drawn to the fringes of town, McAllister met and started filming with Steve Arnott, a struggling warehouse worker by day and hip-hop performer by night, who harbours his own creative dream.

More info and tickets available here:


Too Beautiful: Our Right to Fight (Cuba, USA)

Cuba is one of the most successful countries in Olympic boxing history, but women are banned from competing.
Maceo Frost’s atmospheric and immersive film follows the fortunes of 39-year-old potential champion Namibia as she trains alongside male athletes at Havana’s legendary El Trejo gym, while hoping for the government to change its stance before she ages out of eligibility.

More info and tickets available here:


The Insufferable Groo (USA)

Having made nearly 200 low-budget movies in just two decades, Utah writer-director Stephen Groo is now seeking production funds and the involvement of celebrity fan Jack Black for a remake of his 2004 fantasy drama ‘The Unexpected Race’.
This hilarious yet sincere portrait depicts this uphill battle, while examining the unusual methods of a determined DIY auteur.

More info and tickets available here:


Turtle Rock (China)

Named after a turtle-shaped rock formation, the eponymous mountain village is where Chinese director Xiao Xiao was raised.
He films multi-generational families across four seasons – shot in black and white with a naturalistic soundtrack, this beautifully composed piece of slow cinema captures the rhythms of the villagers’ chores and prayers, while also conveying the remoteness of their existence.

More info and tickets available here:


Milford Graves Full Mantis (USA)

Celebrating the creativity of legendary American percussionist Milford Graves, this film is itself a kaleidoscope ode to the creative process.
Graves’ protege Jake Meginsky and co-director Neil Young interweave rich performance archive with Graves’ own reflections upon a 50 plus year career, painting a unique homage to the free jazz pioneer and hero to drummers everywhere.

More info and tickets available here:


Bruce Lee & The Outlaw (Netherlands)

Filmed over 6 years, Bruce Lee & The Outlaw follows Nicu, a young homeless boy, who is adopted by “Bruce Lee” the notorious local “King of the Underworld” and goes to live with him in the tunnels underneath Bucharest.
As Nicu grows up, he starts to realise that perhaps this King of the Underworld is not the perfect father, and has to make a choice between staying in Bruce’s gang, or living a ‘normal’ life above ground.

More info and tickets available here:


They Call Her Cleopatra Wong (Phillipines)

They Call Her Cleopatra Wong follows Singapore’s top policewoman as she teams up with her Filipino counterpart to bust a counterfeit currency operation that threatens several Asian countries with bankruptcy.
Their fast, furious, martial arts-packed quest takes them from Singapore to Hong Kong and finally Manila where they locate the counterfeit ring’s Asian headquarters, run by local nuns.

More info and tickets available here:



Threads: Redux (UK)


In 1984, the BBC’s dystopic docudrama Threads depicted the nuclear Apocalypse in Sheffield, terrifying millions of viewers.

Join Richard DeDomenici for the world premiere of his shot-for-shot guerilla recreation of the Sheffield-set dystopian drama, filmed just two days before Doc/Fest with entirely local cast.

More info and tickets available here:


Black Mother (USA, Jamaica)


In this utterly original film, celebrated New York street photographer Khalik Allah (known for working with the Wu-Tang Clan and Beyonce) weaves the voices of Jamaica – the prostitutes, faith healers and old timers – into a mesmerising tapestry.
Shooting through a singular lens, the director creates a wondrous mosaic reflecting the natural, spiritual and cultural fabric of contemporary Jamaica in all its glory.

A feature screening will present the World Premiere of a live soundtrack performed by Gaika – of Sheffield born Warp Records – for an evening of hypnotic live cinema.

More info and tickets available here:


Minding The Gap (USA)


First-time filmmaker Bing Liu’s documentary Minding the Gap is a coming-of-age saga of three skateboarding friends in their Rust Belt hometown hit hard by decades of recession.
In his quest to understand why he and his friends all ran away from home when they were younger, the director follows 23-year-old Zack as he becomes a father, and 17-year-old Keire as he gets his first job.

More info and tickets available here:


Grenfell (UK)


Filmed across the year following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, this documentary features accounts from the people whose lives were irrevocably changed by the most devastating tower block fire in British history.
Grenfell encompasses multiple voices from the community, as well as interviews with those who were in positions of responsibility.

More info and tickets available here:


The Man Who Stole Banksy (Italy)

In 2007 Banksy slips into Palestine to paint on the West Bank Barrier.
Someone takes offence at a piece depicting an Israeli soldier checking a donkey’s ID. A local taxi driver decides to cut it off and sell it on eBay.
What follows is a story of clashing cultures, art, identity, theft and black market.

More info and tickets available here:


See the full public schedule here –


Watch the trailer for Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018 –