En­tries open for Doc/fest event

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - FILM -

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.

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