Heading a disparate list of big names beating a path to Sheffield in June are Melvyn Bragg, Michael Palin, Jarvis Cocker, Sue Perkins, Trevor McDonald and Uri Geller.
They are among the celebrity guests at Sheffield Doc/Fest which is celebrating its 20th year with a bumper line-up of films and events over five days from June 12-16.
Director Heather Croall says: “Sheffield is the place to be in June! This year not only do we have a triple-bill opening night, 120 amazing docs, celebrity guest speakers, live music and film events nearly every day but we’re also bringing the first-ever food street market to Tudor Square, a David Bowie inspired Roller Disco, comedian Hardeep Singh Kohli and a Spirit of 45 Day at Queens Social Club.”
On the opening night in the Crucible Theatre will be the world premiere, of The Big Melt, a celebration of A Century of Steel with soundtrack from Jarvis Cocker,
The Doc/Fest 20 Opening Night Film is the UK premiere of Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer, about the feminist collective who were jailed after they staged a satirical performance in a Moscow cathedral. The screening will be followed by a Skype interview with Yekaterina Samutsevich who was released in October.
The third event on opening night will see delegates bussed out into the Peak District for a screening in the Devil’s Arse cave of Nick Ryan’sThe Summit about the quest to conquer K2
In addition to The Big Melt, Doc/Fest there are four other live music and film events. involving classical pianist James Rhodes, folk group The Unthanks playing a live score to Richard Fenwick’s Songs from the Shipyards; the up-and-coming corduroy-clad duo Public Service Broadcasting performing in the East End Bar to a back-drop of BFI archive footage, and British Sea Power reprising their accompaniment to From The Sea To The Land Beyond.
There will be four days of free open air screenings at the Howard Street Screen which this year includes Ken Loach’s documentary, The Spirit of ’45, the Sundance hit The Moo Man and Steel - A Celebration.
Among the programmes of sessions and masterclasses, legendary This American Life presenter Ira Glass will make his first ever UK appearance to talk about his award-winning radio documentary programme while Melvyn Bragg will talk on the role of arts on television.
The controller of BBC Two, Janice Hadlow will be in conversation with Sue Perkins, Sheffield’s Michael Palin will join Miranda Sawyer to discuss his documentary journeys and Alan Yentob will talk with Nick Fraser about his career.
To celebrate ten years of the award-winning genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?, Alex Graham will be joined by some of the series’ celebrities including actor Larry Lamb.
And finally, everyone’s favourite newsreader Sir Trevor McDonald will chair the ITV Panel – The Art of Access – From Palace’s to Prisons.
This year’s film programme taps into the zeitgeist, telling many of the compelling, entertaining and divisive stories of our times, from nuclear insecurity, dope testing among athletes, late-term abortion and fracking to UFOs, Scottish rappers, a cow whisperer, how Google wants to become the world’s brain - and Uri Geller.
In The Secret Life of Uri Geller – Psychic Spy? Vikram Jayanti investigates the many hints dropped by the controversial spoon-bender about his secret life working for intelligence agencies on three continents over 40 years.
Both film-maker and his subject will be attending.