Big names in the Sheffield Doc

Paul The Movie , having its UK premiere at Sheffield Docfest, 2012
Paul The Movie , having its UK premiere at Sheffield Docfest, 2012

SOME big names are beating a path to the city for the 19th Sheffield Doc/Fest running over five days this week with 120 films and wall-to-wall sessions debating the issues of the day in the industry.

Following the two Opening Night events on Wednesday when British Sea Power performed live to From The Sea To The Land Beyond made by filmmaker Penny Woolcock, plus later that same evening the appearance of singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez at the Searching For Sugar Man premiere, more musical luminaries will be appearing.

On Saturday director Julien Temple of The Great Rock And Roll Swindle, Absolute Beginners fame will be at the festival for his new doc Glastopia about the Glastonbury Festival, and later that night Finnish punk band Pertti Kurikka’s Name Day will play following the screening of their film, The Punk Syndrome.

On Sunday punk poet John Cooper Clarke will be there for the film about him, Essentially John Cooper Clarke.

On Sunday afternoon at the HUBS, Turner prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller will talk about how music has played a major role in his films, followed by a sneak preview of The Bruce Lacey Experience directed by Deller and Nick Abrahams. It’s an intimate portrait of the truly irrepressible Bruce Lacey - an artist, musician, robot maker, shaman and eccentric — who, at the age of 85, is still living the bohemian dream, creating art and magic in a farmhouse near Norwich.

Deller’s work is also part of a multi-artist exhibition: A Peculiar Form of Fiction at the Site Gallery and S1 Artspace.

Also within the sessions programme, the festival welcomes BAFTA award winner Gareth Malone, last seen conducting the Military Wives at the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Concert, and Michael Apted, renowned director of the 7 Up TV series.

Making a rare trip from their isolated mountain home in Colombia, members of the Kogi - the last indigenous tribe of the Sierra Nevada, and the subject of the Alan Eriera’s doc Aluna – are in Sheffield over the weekend to show us how to reconnect with the world we’ve been over-exploiting.

Activist Tim Pool became an overnight online phenomenon the night Occupy Wall Street was first evicted from Zuccotti Park in New York City when his live stream marathon drew more than 20,000 simultaneous viewers and 250,000 unique visitors thoughtout the course of the day. He will be talking to journalist Emily Bell on Saturday at the Occupy Wall Street: Livestream This! session.

Fingers are being crossed about the weather as Doc/Fest expands its outdoor screening programme presenting four days of short films, classic docs, gems from the archive, Oscar winners and some highlights of the 2012 programme.

The free screenings will run from this morning (Thursday June 14) to Sunday evening projected on to the back wall of the Howard Hotel on Howard Street – just over the road from the Showroom Cinema.

It opens with Roll Out the Barrel - The British Pub on Film, shorts from the BFI archive, and finishes with Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera, documenting 24 hours in the life of a Russian city dating from 1929.

It includes classics that have been talked about and written about for years such as Martin Scorsese’s The Last Waltz, Heima, the classic music doc about Sigur Rós, Buena Vista Social Club and Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

From this year’s programme are Jesse Owen, China Heavyweight and The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus.

The intersection of art and documentary practice finds a platform at the Sheffield Fringe event running alongside the festival at the Void Cinema, Sheffield Hallam University and S1 Artspace

Under the title Chemistry of Incidence, Esther Johnson curates film and video works by artists connected to Yorkshire. Adam Hyman presents a Los Angeles Filmforum programme, Urban Observations – Los Angeles uncovering alternate visions of the city forged by generations of experimental filmmakers between 1963 and 2011.

In Regardless of the Questions Asked, Minou Norouzi groups a selection of films to melodramatic effect with a declared intention to capture, arrest and move. Finally LUX’s Gil Leung presents a strand moodily titled All Smiles and Sadness, featuring Duncan Campbell, Anne McGuire and Philip Hoffman.

Artists include Sarah Beddington, Phillip Hoffman, Duncan Campbell, The House of O’Dwyer, Jayne Wilson, Pascual Sisto, Steve Hawley, Laura Kraning, Erin Newell, Alice Bradshaw, Martijn Hendriks, Julie Westerman, Miles Umney, Fred Lindberg, Simon Warner, William Hale, Christiane Thalmann, John Vicario, Gabrielle Le Bayon, Valentina Ferrandes, Bruno Ramos, Alexandra Cuesta, Gary Beydler, and Anne McGuire will be participating.

For full programme and venue locations see