I’m unashamed about my love for Sheffield DocFest. Sheffield is a relatively sleepy old town when it comes to cinema, but for one week in June it rivals the greatest cinephile hubs of the world. The programme for DocFest 2013, the twentieth anniversary event, was announced earlier today, and, in keeping with tradition, this year’s bill looks to have built on the last by some considerable margin, at least in terms of scale and scope.
Where last year’s opening night consisted of two big events, this years is made up of three. Sheffield icon Jarvis Cocker is the musical director for a project entitled The Big Melt, while the Pussy Riot film A Punk Prayer is screening with a Q&A that can’t help but promise to be something special. The third event involves climbing film The Summit being screened in a bona-fide cave…
The highlight of the event for this hardened Francis Ford Coppola fanboy is the presence of Coppola’s longtime cohort, and legend in his own right, Walter Murch. Best known for his work on The Godfather Part 2, Apocalypse Now (which he’ll be introducing at DocFest) and The Conversation, the latter of which is a candidate for best in it’s field, Murch’s presence is a sign of just how far the festival has come over the last two decades.
An eclectic line-up of guests fill out the top tier of the programme, from television anchorman Trevor McDonald and Michael Palin through to This American Life co-creator Ira Glass, who here makes his first ever UK appearance. We’ve already mentioned that Adam Buxton is bringing his BUG tour to the city. The film programme is going to take some going through, but early highlights include an Imamura retrospective and Emptying The Skies, which sees novelist Jonathan Franzen in attendance.
The full line-up can be seen here. Roll on June.