Sheffield Doc/Fest 2013, marking the festival's 20th anniversary, opened on June 11 with an extraordinary screening of The Big Melt, a creative collaboration between filmmaker Martin Wallace and musician Jarvis Cocker.
The screening was Martin Wallace's glorious montage created from a century's worth of the British Film Institute's archival footage about the City of Sheffield, accompanied by live musicians under the baton of Jarvis Cocker.
It was a truly grand event, and an inspiring tribute to Doc/Fest's host city -- the City of Steel.
Opening night's second offering was a screening of Nick Ryan's icy The Summit, about the tragic loss of life during a failed mountain climbing expedition on the treacherous K2. The screening of The Summit was in a huge cave on the outskirts of Sheffield. Everyone was advised to wear a warm coat!
And open night's third offering was a sold out screening of Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, a big-buzz documentary about the feminist punk rock band that's been imprisoned in Russia, with huge protests from fans worldwide.
That was for starters!
The program of films, panels and presentations was, in general, extraordinarily innovative and consistently top quality.
One highlight was the appearance of film industry icon Walter Murch, who generously shared his wide range of knowledge about movie making, cinema history and a wide range of other interests in a fascinating lecture, which was followed by an equally engaging Q&A.
This year's festival also offered filmmakers expanded opportunities to pitch projects to broadcasters and other industry decision makers.
After screenings of a record number of films attended by a record number of delegates and the general public, Sheffield Doc/Fest 2013 drew to a close on June 17, 2013, with the presentation of juried awards.
(PHOTO: Sheffield Doc/Fest Logo. Courtesy Sheffield Doc/Fest; Walter Murch at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2013. Credit Jennifer Merin).