Carl Bell Reports Back From Sheffield Doc/Fest 2017

2017 Sheffield International Documentary Festival

Sheffield Doc/Fest is an international documentary festival and Marketplace held annually in Sheffield.

Carl Bell is a the Cinema Coordinator for The Whitaker and attended the festival with a bursary from Film Hub NWC – for more details see here.

I attended Monday/Tuesday 12th and 13th June and managed to see 8 sessions and a couple of Q&A’s.


Highlights for me were ‘The Work’ a powerful observational documentary following a highly unusual 4 day group therapy retreat based in Folsom Prison USA. I am intending to show this during our next season (Sept. 2017 – June 2018), possibly with a specialist showing to a men’s group – the power of this documentary about male aggression and some form of self discovery cannot be underestimated. The opportunity to be involved in the Q&A after the Film was also very useful.


‘Chasing Coral’ was a beautifully shot, if very disturbing, environmental documentary. From the same Director as ‘Chasing Ice’ (2012) the Film investigates why Coral Reefs are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. Shot over 3 years, across some 30 countries it turns the camera onto an underwater world, partly in decay. Using the latest technology it shows the death of large parts of the World’s ‘living reefs’ due to global temperature rises – giving a very clear message that this is a World problem that needs to be addressed.


We are trying to develop a far more ‘Environmentally Friendly’ Museum at the Whitaker (where our Cinema is based) and this Film provides a very useful tool to take this forward, asking some very difficult questions in this cinematically impressive fashion.


I would recommend attending this event in the future and be ready for an emotional roller coaster during most events.