Entries open for Doc/fest event
to McQueen’s debut film, Hunger, which marked an impressive debut.
The festival, however, is not about the big films with impressive names. It is about movies that, as Fell says, “audiences won’t see at the local multiplex”.
He adds: “The reason we have been successful is because we have been able to build a loyal audience that comes back every year.
“We listen to our audiences and we also carry out research with people who don’t come to the festival, to find out how we can get them here. Our audiences trust is. For most of them, the only place they will be able to see the films we screen are at the festival – they won’t make their way into mainstream cinemas. It means there has to be a real trust between us who are programming the festival and the audiences who are coming because they trust our choice.”
As with every year there are different strands to the festival, with the Official Selection standing alongside Fanomenon featuring ‘genre’ films, Cinema Versa, featuring documentaries, Short Film City and Cherry Kino, where audiences can see the best – and strangest – in experimental films.
A budget of £220,000 helps make the festival a success year on year, which last year attracted an audience of 30,000 and this year expects close to 40,000.
Fell says: “Over 25 years the audiences have steadily built which means, while we do receive funding from the council and we used to receive money from Screen Yorkshire, we rely on ticket sales to fund the festival and, because we attract such a large audience, we are able to bring in sponsors.”
Dog Altogether, Tyrannosaur demands an iron constitution as it veers between violence and tenderness, courtesy of its central odd couple played by Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman. Mullan (reprising his role from the earlier short) is Joseph, a twitchy, two-fisted, fiftysomething widower with a hair-trigger temper. Colman is Hannah, whose service behind the counter in a charity shop masks her domestic unhappiness.
To say more is to undermine what is surely the most important indie of the year. This is an uncompromising look at violence and its various effects. It is bold, brutal and brilliant – a testament to actor-turned-writer/director Considine who never flinches from his subject and who presents a terrible glimpse into the abyss.
Mullan has been seen before as a man of anger and self-destruction. When he collides with Colman – a comic actress giving a revelatory performance as a woman of faith whose belief is tested – the scene is set for a confrontation.
Mullan gives a performance of incredible power. A sequence where Joseph reduces Hannah to tears of anger and self-loathing is immensely disturbing; a later scene in which Hannah again dissolves into wracking sobs as Joseph bears witness will surely place her among the front-runners come
NYT journalist David Carr speaks for many when he describes Twitter as “a cacophony of short-burst communications”. But he accepts the global reach of this 21st century concept. Like many in the traditional world of print journalism he is witnessing the slow death rattle of the old newspaper industry.
The New York Times is a bastion of great journalism. Given its history and status, many within the paper believe it shouldn’t fail and therefore cannot fail. But as Carr and his colleagues witness the collapse of several contemporaries in big cities across America they can only wonder when the downturn is going to affect the Big Apple’s premier journalistic outlet.
Page One: Inside the New York Times is a portrait of a once-powerful machine in a much changed world. At times Andrew Rossi’s film seems to be on a death watch. Happily, it doesn’t turn out that way but for Carr and Co – and for several colleagues made redundant – it is a lesson in how to survive in the face of rapid progress. Key figures like Carl Bernstein (one half of the team that exposed the Watergate scandal) speak bluntly of the changing media landscape. Much more than a documentary about a fading institution, this is a glimpse into the mindset of modern investigative journalism and where the future may take it. SUBMISSIONS for the annual Sheffield Doc/Fest are now officially open.
Next year’s festival will take place on June 13 to 17 and with an impressive pedigree, film-makers better make sure their entry is top notch, if they want it to appear in the festival brochure. Doc/Fest is the biggest documentary film festival in the UK, attracting delegates from all around the world. A record 2,310 industry execs attended this year. Feature-length and short films are welcome for submission. Details at www. sheffdocfest.com
FEARLESS FILMMAKER: Director Paddy Considine with actor Peter Mullan on the set of Tyrannosaur, released today.