Live recreation of Threads, talk by Sir Trevor McDonald and Alexander McQueen film lead 2018 Sheffield Doc/Fest programme

Sir Trevor McDonald will speak at the Sheffield Doc/Fest
Sir Trevor McDonald will speak at the Sheffield Doc/Fest

Nearly 35 years ago, the television drama Threads offered an unforgettably nightmarish vision of the carnage a nuclear strike on Sheffield would have wreaked.

Now scriptwriter Barry Hines' documentary-style scenes are to be revived when parts of the 1984 film are recreated, live, at original locations on the city's streets next month.

The 'guerrilla' event, involving passers-by who will be invited to become actors, is part of this year's Sheffield Doc/Fest, which returns for its 25th outing from June 7 to 12.

Several minutes of Threads will be restaged on June 6, the day before opening night, and will form part of a show at the Leadmill by performance artist Richard DeDomenici, who previously reshot The Matrix and once made an igloo out of Kendal mint cake.

The 2018 edition of Doc/Fest is billed as a 'birthday festival' - in 1994, when the first series of screenings was held in Sheffield, the Cold War that inspired Hines' drama had only just ended.

Two-and-a-half decades later, the festival has become the biggest of its kind in the UK, and its size and scope means it has few rivals globally. It brings in more than £1.2 million to Sheffield annually and is the city's biggest conference, attended by more than 32,700 people, from casual enthusiasts to media figures and film-makers eager to pitch their ideas and win coveted commissions.

A still from McQueen, the new documentary about the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen

A still from McQueen, the new documentary about the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen

This year's programme features 200 full-length documentaries and shorts. Highlights include the world premiere of A Northern Soul, made by Hull-born Sean McAllister, which opens the festival at City Hall. It follows Sean as he returns to his home city, where he meets and starts filming Steve Arnott, a struggling warehouse worker who moonlights as a hip-hop singer.

A portrait of the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who transcended his working-class upbringing to become a one-man worldwide brand before taking his own life in 2010, will also be screened on the opening evening. McQueen, by Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui, uses archival footage of the couturier as well as interviews with those who knew him.

The programme brings contemporary UK stories to the fore - Ben Anthony's Grenfell reflects on the one-year anniversary of the tower block fire in North Kensington that killed 71 people, and Roxy Rezvany's Little Pyongyang looks at the London suburb of New Malden, home to the largest community of North Koreans outside the country itself.

Meanwhile, newsreader and journalist Sir Trevor McDonald is making another visit to the festival for a talk about his work making crime documentaries for TV. Mary Beard, the classicist and presenter of BBC Two's Front Row Late, will be in conversation with Charlotte Moore, the BBC's director of content, and Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark leads a discussion titled Art 50: A Post Brexit Britain, involving playwright John Godber and artist Caroline McFarland.

Looters are held back in a scene from Threads, the 1984 TV play

Looters are held back in a scene from Threads, the 1984 TV play

Transgender model Munroe Bergdorf will speak about her upcoming Channel 4 film What Makes a Woman, Guy Martin - the TV adventurer, motorbike racer and lorry mechanic - appears to talk about his passion for engineering, and actor Vicky McClure, star of This Is England and Broadchurch, will speak about the making of her new television series, My Dementia Choir. BAFTA and Oscar-nominated director Matthew Heineman is also giving a masterclass.

Two floors of Trafalgar Warehouse in the city centre will be given over to Alternate Realities, a celebration of virtual reality, interactive art and gaming. Three commissions have been made for the 25th Doc/Fest, among them Doublethink, an installation by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, who made 20,000 Days on Earth, the 2014 film starring Nick Cave.

Live music is planned, too - Thurston Moore, former guitarist with Sonic Youth, will play at the Abbeydale Picturehouse after the British premiere of Desolation Center, a documentary about the impromptu desert gatherings that inspired America's Burning Man and Coachella festivals.

In Tudor Square, the Head Space area will host talks, films and activities about mental health, supported by medical research charity Wellcome. Films are to be shown for free at The Light cinema's pop-up screen on Howard Street.

A still from A Northern Soul

A still from A Northern Soul

Festival director Liz McIntyre said: “In 1994, the world was ushering in a remarkable era of new power and influence: the world wide web, President Mandela and the end of the Cold War. It was also the year that Sheffield Doc/Fest was born, telling these stories of change. A quarter of a century on, the city of Sheffield is proud to welcome thousands of Doc/Fest documentary story lovers from all over Yorkshire, the UK and all points of the globe, to our world-famous festival."

Tickets for screenings are on sale today from 10am. Visit https://sheffdocfest.com to book.