Thanks to the generous support of Site Gallery and Arts Council England, we are delighted to launch an open call for entries to our Alternate Realities Commission programme and welcome applications for digital projects in development to receive completion funding of £15,000 and to be included in Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Alternate Realities exhibition programme.

The programme, just like the festival, is open to all artistic practices of digital non-fiction narratives. We encourage applications from debut, emerging and established, multi-platform and digital artists and artist collectives from both UK and international territories.

Commissioned projects will be displayed as part of our Alternate Realities exhibition during Sheffield Doc/Fest’s 27th edition taking place 4 – 9 June 2020.

This is the seventh Alternate Realities Commission of  Sheffield Doc/Fest. Previous commissioned artists include:
- Oscar Raby (Assent, 2015)
- Heather Phillipson (FINAL DAYS, 2015)
- Darren Emerson (Indefinite, 2016)
- Alex Pearson/Marshmallow Laser Feast (Future Aleppo, 2017)
- Michaela Holland & Michelle Gabel (Face to Face, 2018)
- Bill Posters & Daniel Howe (Spectre, 2019)

Who can we support?

Artists and collectives from anywhere in the world are invited to submit proposals.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate a strong commitment to innovation in digital narrative in the field of non-fiction. Evidence of a strong body of artistic work, including a proven track record of recent work, projects, exhibitions, publishing, and/or commissions is desirable, but not essential as this is completion funding. We are looking to commission the projects that have already been started or developed or are in production, providing they meet the guidelines and we are made aware of any other partners or funding bodies involved in the project and their contribution.


How can we support you?

The selected proposal will be awarded £15,000 to cover artist fees, production costs and expenses needed for completion. Travel (including international flights) and accommodation for the selected artist(s) to install their work and participate in the Alternate Realities programme at Sheffield Doc/Fest should come from this fund.

The selected winner can not use the funding entirely to build a marketing campaign.  

We will secure the venue, basic AV equipment (subject to technical requirements) and technical support needed to exhibit the work as part of the festival.  Sheffield Doc/Fest will act as Executive Producer and we will offer curatorial and production support in the delivery, communication, and touring of the commission.

How to apply?

- The deadline for submitting proposals for the commission open call has now closed.


If you have any enquiries regarding the Alternate Realities commission, please email


About Alternate Realities

Alternate Realities Programme

Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Alternate Realities programme is a space for experimentation in contemporary digital art, playing with non-fiction boundaries and expanding them. The Alternate Realities Exhibition aims to discover and engage the audience in a multiplicity of artistic works, researches and practices in non-fiction from around the world, advocating for public engagement as a critical and reflective space.

Alternate Realities Exhibition Tour

Since 2017, Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Alternate Realities exhibition has toured in the UK and internationally. Venues and events that hosted the tour include:

- Barbican
- National Science & Media Museum
- HOME Manchester
- Lighthouse
- DocMontevideo 
- DocSP (Say Paulo)
- Noviembre Electrónico (Buenos Aires)
- Phi Centre (Montreal)

Sheffield Doc/Fest will tour Alternate Realities exhibition again in Autumn 2020. The commission may be curated by some of the tour venues.

Belongings (Still)

Belongings, 2018, Noviembre Electrónico, Buenos Aires

About Site Gallery

Led by Co-Directors Judith Harry and Sharna Jackson, Site Gallery is Sheffield’s contemporary art space specialising in new media, moving image and performance. Pioneering emerging art practices and ideas, Site works in partnership with local, regional and international collaborators to nurture artistic talent and supports the development of contemporary art.

It is an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation with revenue funding from Sheffield City Council. Over the last few years it has presented solo projects by artists including established artists such as Mike Kelley (USA), Jeremy Deller (UK), Sophie Calle (Fr) and UK first with Eva and Franco Mattes (It) and Pilvi Takala (FN). The Paul Hamlyn Foundation funded Society of Explorers runs throughout the year supporting young people in the city to make unique connections with artists and gain new skills and learning. In 2015, Site Gallery presented its new commissioned work in over 40 cities in 20 countries including Sydney, Beijing, Thessaloniki and Basel. In 2020 Site will present a solo show by Welsh artist Phoebe Davies.


Closing Date and Selection Process

Deadline: Wednesday 15th January 2020, 23:59 (GMT)  

This year's panel will be comprised of curators from Sheffield Doc/Fest and Site Gallery.

Selection will be made on the basis of the application submitted.

Selection criteria includes artistic merit of the concept and project development, how well they relate to our aim to support artists in the emerging field of non-fiction, feasibility of production as well as the commission’s projected benefit to the applicant’s practice.

Shortlisted artists will be invited for an informal Skype chat to discuss project details (dates TBC). The primary contact listed in your proposal form will be contacted about the status of your entry in early February 2020. Due to the volume of entries received, Sheffield Doc/Fest and Site Gallery cannot offer feedback or individual comments for proposals not selected for the commission.

 Site Gallery ACE Logo 2020