2024 Festival sees an abundance of filmmaking talent attending

A composite image of attending talent featuring Top Row Left to right: Michael Sheen, Anna Hall, Walter Murch, Hak Baker. Bottom Row Left to right: Lhakpa Sherpa, The Cimarons, Waad Al Kateab

(Top Row L-R: Michael Sheen, Anna Hall, Walter Murch, Hak Baker. Bottom Row L-R: Lhakpa Sherpa, The Cimarons, Waad Al Kateab.)

In addition to announcing the jury members for the competition strands, the festival reveals some of the attending filmmakers, protagonists and special guests for the films within the main programme. Over 150 guests will attend representing 93 films out of the 109 films premiering to participate in insightful and fascinating Q&As. These will include:

Kevin Macdonald will attend the opening night, world premiere of his film Klitschko: More Than a Fight; Idris Elba the executive producer and narrator of Erased: WW2’s Heroes of Colour joins the creative team to discuss the new series; Michael Sheen joins hosts Dan Ashby and Lucy Taylor to discuss the upcoming podcast series Buried: The Last Witness; Boxer Frank Bruno and the creators of Four Kings attend to discuss the new series about the golden era of British boxing in the early 1990s; and acclaimed playwright, novelist and director Hanif Kureishi will join for a virtual in conversation with director Nigel Williams following In My Own Words.

Musician Hak Baker will perform following the screening of Hakeem attended by directors DEADHORSES (James Topley and Ivo Beckett); The Cimarons join director Mark Warmington for a conversation following a screening of Harder Than The Rock hosted by musician and DJ Don Letts, and The Cimarons will perform in Sheffield at the Migration Matters Festival; Scottish musician Stuart Braithwaite joins director Antony Crook for a conversation following the screening of Mogwai: If the Stars Had a Sound; while director Toby L. presents blur. To The End. his riveting portrait of the acclaimed British band. 

Lhakpa Sherpa joins Oscar nominated and Emmy winning director Lucy Walker to present Mountain Queen: The Summits of Lhakpa Sherpa; Oscar winning director Waad Al Kateab (For Sama) presents her new feature Death Without Mercy; director Alessandra Celesia presents her CPH:DOX winning film The Flats; SXSW Special Jury Award winners Alex Simmons and Carina Mia Wong present We Can Be Heroes.

BAFTA nominated director Daniel Gordon (Hillsborough) presents Strike: An Uncivil War on the 40th anniversary of The Battle of Orgreave and is joined for a conversation with journalist Morag Livingstone and musician Jon Mclure, frontman of Reverend and The Makers. Director Julie Lunde Lillesæter attends to discuss her film An Army of Women alongside protagonists Jennifer Ecklund, Elizabeth Myers and Hanna Senko; artist Sam Cox aka Mr Doodle and the filmmakers, Jaimie D'Cruz, Ed Perkins and Alex Nott, present The Trouble with Mr Doodle. The subjects of State of Silence, the Mexican journalists Jesús Medina and Juan de Dios García join producer Abril López Carrillo in a talk about social impact documentaries and the dangers faced by journalists. 

Renowned artist, designer and technologist Jiabao Li is a leading voice in the way we perceive reality. This year as part of the Alternate Realities program Jiabao Li is presenting Nocturnal Fugue and EchoVision in the AR exhibition at Site Gallery, inviting audiences to morph into a  bat and nestle into the vocalisations of bat society. Jiabao will also be presenting the keynote session at the Alternate Realities Summit on Sunday 16 June.

Multidisciplinary artist Laura A Dima invites audiences to explore cultural norms surrounding intimacy, touch, and privacy, with The Finger Rub Rug a sculptural tactile experience that allows participants to give and receive affective touch from inanimate objects. 

Resurrecting Goliatus & Carabida’s contraption attempting to create a telepathic cinema, The Distant Feeler, Berlin-based artist duo Anja Dornieden and Juan David González Monroy exploring the intersection of myth, history, and technology. Using a replica device, with the original slides, audiences at DocFest are offered a rare opportunity to bear witness to this archaic futurist experiment. 


Explore the full Sheffield DocFest 2024 programme and make the most of your time at the festival with the ticket and passes we have on offer this year.


Sheffield DocFest is made possible thanks to the support of our partners, funders and sponsors, including Principal Funders BFI, Sheffield City Council and Arts Council England.


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