As of 1 October 2019 Sheffield Doc/Fest is an independent registered charity (no.1184849), whose mission is to advance the art of film, education and training in the art of documentary filmmaking. We offer filmmakers and artists a place for inspiration, debate, growth and challenge, providing an international platform to launch works as part of a carefully curated programme that challenges trends, brings diversity and enriches engagement.

Sheffield Doc/Fest is a film festival and marketplace, celebrating, sharing and debating non–fiction arts as a collective form of engagement. It is a space for freedom and for exploration of the ways in which filmmakers, artists and public may reinvent meaning and new possible worlds.
We champion and push forward talent, ideas and interaction for the future of film and the arts. We are an open, inclusive festival, bringing together veteran creatives, new voices and our city to shape and question the world we live in, creating a sense of community and the potential for change.

In 2019, Doc/Fest welcomed 28,000 general public admissions, and 3,489 individual industry delegates from 59 countries to Sheffield.

FILMS– Competitions and retrospective programmes from around the globe, giving multiple views on our times and on contemporary film art.
LIVE EVENTS - interactive and immersive experiences and performances, experimenting with the limits of languages and inspiring different approaches to image and sound.
ALTERNATE REALITIES - A carefully curated group of digital art works, in varied forms and languages, playing with non-fiction boundaries and expanding them.
TALKS – Masterclasses, summits, panels and debates.
MARKETPLACE - Industry, talent, training and pitching.
SOCIAL – Receptions and parties, for work, play, and dance.

Films Programme

The Sheffield Doc/Fest Film programme offers filmmakers a place for inspiration, debate, growth and challenge, being also a relevant international platform to launch their films and art works. It brings to audiences a multitude of forms, ideas, ways of doing and thinking, through World, International, European and UK premieres. The festival screens over 180+ films of all lengths – with the 2019 programme encompassing works from 40 countries around the world, 54% of which were co/directed by women.

Sheffield Doc/Fest looks to question the boundaries of documentary through a carefully curated programme that challenges trends, brings diversity and enriches debate. The festival invites audiences to engage with experiences and stories from different parts of our world and to join the makers in inspiring moments.

Sheffield Doc/Fest's Doc/Player is a fully digitised film library, offering a platform to promote films seeking sales, distribution and screening opportunities. The online library contains over 100+ films, including a selection from the Doc/Fest film programme and a number of other new documentaries from different territories, with different forms and subjects.

The Doc/Player is available online to all Doc/Fest pass holders during the festival and for six weeks thereafter.

Alternate Realities

Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Alternate Realities programme is a space for experimentations on expanded cinema, digital art and other media, bringing a carefully curated group of digital art works, in varied forms and languages, playing with non-fiction boundaries and expanding them. Here, we explore inspiring forms of interactive storytelling through experimenting with technology, renewing the conversations, allowing different modes of interaction, creating other ways of perceiving and thinking life.

Alternate Realities celebrates the diversity of digital arts, the Alternate Realities programme comprises a number of elements at the Festival:

Alternate Realities Exhibition
A carefully curated group of digital art works, in varied forms and languages, playing with non-fiction boundaries and expanding them. A group of works that challenge and expand the film programme, creating a space for innovation, creative thinking and profound experience.

Alternate Realities Summit
A one-day forum bringing together artists and other makers to share insight into the most challenging and compelling areas of digital arts creation, production, showcasing and distribution. These sessions inspire and inform on a wide range of the latest advancements in technology and the future of non-fiction storytelling.

Alternate Realities Talent Market
A place to foster collaborations between creatives and organisations focused on using digital technologies to push storytelling in inspiring new directions. The market is for discussing new projects that are interactive, immersive, virtual reality, augmented reality, web-doc, games, 360-video, live performance, motion comic, room-scale experience and/or installation.


Doc/Fest’s Talks programme gives festival audiences the opportunity to hear from and talk to filmmakers from all over the world non-fiction innovators and Decision Makers, discussing the latest artistic and industry questions.

An agenda-setting and provocative programme of highest profile on-screen talent, filmmaker talks and industry panels deliver moments for collective discussion and reflection, for sharing experiences that enrich the films and to find new ways of thinking, telling and making in our world.


The Sheffield Doc/Fest Marketplace is a major funding, sales and distribution platform designed to unlock UK and international market opportunities, and facilitate creative collaborations.

Marketplace comprises a range of artistic-led and business activity and is open to all, from first-time filmmakers to established talent, from feature-length film projects, to shorts and series. Marketplace also offers a number of mentoring opportunities including Meet the Execs and festival guidance through the Switchboard.

One of the world’s largest non-fiction and factual markets and pitching forums, with the opportunity to meet with over 300 international funders, broadcasters, distributors and exhibitors. Doc/Fest offers a unique way to pitch your projects through match made meetings between pitchers and Decision Makers, for creative and financial discussions. Projects range from long form to short form films, series and formats.

International delegations
Doc/Fest welcomes a number of International Delegations to the festival, creating opportunities to meet international filmmakers, partners and co-producers from around the world. Doc/Fest also facilitates UK Talent groups to introduce new delegates to the festival.

Sheffield Doc/Fest All Year

Sheffield Doc/Fest is open all year, offering a range of activity to inspire audiences and industry with the art of film. From school programmes to year-round screenings, involving local, national and international participants through touring screenings, exhibitions, workshops, and events.

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