Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017 – Film Highlights

Sheffield Doc/Fest has wrapped another edition and Blueberry was in attendance once again. What a fun and inspirational 6-day marathon of amazing documentaries, talks, events, panels and so much more! Check out our favourite Films below and find all our other events highlights here.

Chasing Coral
dir. Jeff Orlowski
Release:  Netflix – July 14

Winner of the Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival, this thrilling ocean adventure investigates why coral reefs are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A brilliant example of activism in film, this is a must-see documentary with beautiful imagery that urges and empowers people to create change. | Watch the Trailer

dir. Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini
Release: Dogwoof

Dina and her fiancé Scott, both neurodivergent, have moved in together to ready for their upcoming wedding, and have set about the messy business of forging lives. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival, this groundbreaking observational documentary is a moving insight into the life of a unique woman and captures the poetry of humanity which binds us all. | Watch a Clip

Love and Hate Crime
dir. Ben Steele
Release: BBC Three

A young man is led into a Mississippi court and sentenced to life for the savage murder of the woman he loved. Cut by Alex Fry, one of Blueberry’s favourite editors, it’s an observational film without commentary and scored to create quite a cinematic feel. Brilliant, distinctive storytelling. Alex is also editing the other two films in the series, which are all about hate crime cases in the US. | More 

Whitney “Can I Be Me”
dir. Nick Broomfield and Rudi Dolezal
Release: Dogwoof – From June 16

Made with largely never-seen before footage and exclusive live recordings, the new documentary from acclaimed and award-winning filmmaker Nick Broomfield tells Whitney Houston’s incredible and poignant life story with insights from those closest to her. | Watch the Trailer

Roundtable Films did the post production on the film. | More

Nobody speak: Trials of a free press
dir. Brian Knappenberger
Release: Netflix – From June 23

A compelling documentary which examines the perils and duties of the free press in an age of inequality. The trial of wrestler Hulk Hogan vs Gawker Media pitted privacy rights against freedom of the press, but ended up as a case study in how big money can silence media through legal means. | Watch the Trailer

You have no idea how much I love you
dir. Paweł Łoziński
Release: Cat & Docs

In this intense three-hander, mother Ewa and daughter Hania haltingly explore their difficult relationship over a series of sessions with a gently probing psychotherapist.

Composed entirely of tight shots of the three protagonists, this is an incisive exploration of familial love and an often moving portrait of grief. | Watch the Trailer 

dir. Laura Poitras
Release: Dogwoof – June 30th

Filmed over 6 years, the new documentary by Oscar-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras, director of “Citizenfour”, is a volatile character study that captures Julian Assange’s story with unprecedented access and collides with a high stakes election year and its controversial aftermath. A portrait of power, betrayal, truth, and sacrifice. | Watch the Trailer

A Suitable Girl
dir. Smriti Mundhra and Sarita Khurana
Release: N/A

Three young women in India struggle to maintain their identities and follow their dreams amid intense pressure to get married. Winner of Albert Maysles Award for First Documentary Feature at Tribeca Film Festival, with incredible access, heartfelt scenes and its strong verité style, this is a film that helps you rethink the dynamics of love through a moving portrayal of a cultural tradition. | Watch a Clip

Forbidden Games
dir. Adam Darke and Jon Carey
Release: N/A

Rich archive and emotional interviews are at the core of this telling of the turbulent life of British footballer Justin Fashanu. His coming out in an age of widespread homophobia not only damaged his football career, but led to the demise of his relationship with the brother with whom he shared a painful early history and a lifelong rivalry. | Watch the Trailer

Jaha’s Promise
dir. Kate O’Callaghan, Patrick Farrelly
Release: N/A

Female genital mutilation activist Jaha Dukureh is on a mission to bring awareness to – and ultimately stop – this millennia old practice. Now living in America, the native Gambian has already brought the issue to the attention of former president Barack Obama and, despite widespread conservatism, is taking her message back to her home country. | Watch the Trailer

Thank You For The Rain
dir. Julia Jahr
Release: N/A

Norwegian filmmaker Julia Dahr set out to make a film that would foreground the human dimension of global warming. She found an eager collaborator in Kisilu Musya, a farmer from Kenya, a husband, and father of seven. As he takes his community’s story to the 2012 Globalisation Conference in Norway, he also confronts the hypocrisy of international power politics. | Watch The Trailer

Catching a Killer: The wind in the Willows Murder
dir. Jazz Neumann
Release: Channel 4 – July 10th

In April last year, 42-year-old antiquarian book dealer Adrian Greenwood was found dead in his home, stabbed more than 30 times in a frenzied and brutal attack with no suspects, no witnesses and no sign of forced entry. This documentary follows the Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit’s investigation into the murder and what happened to the victim’s early edition of The Wind in the Willows, worth £50,000. | More

Mama Coronel
dir. Dieudo Hamid
Release: N/A

This observational documentary follows the work of ‘Mama Colonel’ in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Celebrated for her fierce protection of children and abuse survivors, she sets out to admonish and inspire her new community to look after each other but the scars from a horrific 15-year-old war run deep. | Watch the Trailer

Death in the Terminal
dir. Asaf Sudry, Tali Shemesh
Release: N/A

On October 18, 2015, a gunman opened fire in an Israeli bus terminal, causing it to erupt in chaos. Swift reprisals are soon taken, with devastating consequences. Interweaving CCTV footage and powerful firsthand testimonials, Death in the Terminal forensically pieces together a modern terrorism attack and how the tragedy continues to haunt those caught up in it. | More

The Cage Fighter
dir. Jeff Unnas
Release: N/A

This powerful vérité documentary tells the story of American Joe Carman. The 40-year-old blue collar worker gave up cage fighting years ago, but claims it’s the only arena where he feels confident. When he returns to fighting without the blessing of his wife and four daughters, his dangerous hobby soon threatens to tear the family apart. “The film evokes The Wrestler and The Fighter but with real-life stakes.” | More

A Modern Man
dir. Eve Mulvad
Release: N/A

Life seems good for Charlie Siem. One of Europe’s most accomplished classical violinists, he travels the globe playing to swooning audiences, and fronts glamourous ad campaigns for the likes of Boss and Armani. But beneath his smiling demeanour is a more troubled countenance, as he admits that outward trappings still have not brought him inner peace. | Watch the Trailer

Lindy Lou, Juror Number 2
dir. Florent Dassault
Release: N/A

Looking like 12 ANGRY MEN, Lindy’s story is all but fictional. For 20 years, she lived with an unbearable feeling of guilt and no one in the Republican and Protestant community understood her distress. Finding her 11 fellow jurors since they sentenced a man to death, this compelling documentary questions the profound impact this experience had on their lives. | Watch the Trailer

Geek Girls
dir. Gina Hara
Release: N/A

A geek girl herself, filmmaker Gina Hara is keen to celebrate the world of anime songs, fictional characters, and escapist games. But while a few geek girls are willing to share their journeys, Hara finds that most are unwilling to be identified. A nuanced exploration of the dark side of a subculture all too often dominated by misogyny, online harassment, and ostracisation, including the filmmaker’s own struggles with her geek identity. | Watch the Trailer

On The Edge Of Freedom
dir. Jens Lengerke and Anita Mathal Hopland
Release: N/A

Through urban exploring, many young Russians and Ukrainians have found a way to find their own identity through death defying stunts. By confronting fear, they seem to be taking control over their own lives. But the realities of the conflict-ridden post-Soviet era don’t go away just because you are 300 feet up above the city. | Watch the Trailer