November 5 - 9, 2008
Sheffield Doc/Fest brings the international documentary family together to celebrate the art and business of documentary making for five intense days in November. Doc/Fest is a film festival, industry session programme and market place, offering pitching opportunities, controversial discussion panels and in-depth filmmaker masterclasses, as well as a wealth of inspirational documentary films from across the globe.
Director: Boris Despodov
Producer: Martichka Bozhilova
With much fanfare and little follow-up, in 1997 the EU launched Corridor # 8 – a massive project to build a road connecting the Black Sea to the Adriatic and the people of Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania to each other for the first time. Ten years on, not much has happened, and the residents along the proposed route are not sure what to make of it – after all, who said they wanted to be connected up in the first place? In this remarkable, funny, multiaward-winning road movie about a road that doesn’t exist, director Boris Despodov paints a memorable mosaic of life inside “unified” Europe, where gravediggers don’t trust Albanians, and abandoned tunnels are used for growing mushrooms
Director: Miloslav Novák
Emanuele Coppola is a seal nut. He's simply crazy about them. Unfortunately there aren't as many around as there used to be. In fact after surviving for millions of years in the Mediterranean, seals are one of the most endangered species in Europe. Tourism has forced them from their natural habitat, and sun worshipers now crowd the beaches formerly occupied by seals. So Coppola and director Miloslav Novak set out in search of the elusive creature, whose fate, they learn, is another sad byproduct of human arrogance. Along the way in this creative documentary there are some good seal tales – including the legendary.
Director: Helena Třeštíková
Producer: Kateřina Černá, Pavel Strnad
A petty crime as a teenager earned Rene a prison sentence, and set him off on life of crime. Misanthropic, intelligent and introspective, he spends his life in and out of prison, struggling to fit in anywhere in the quickly changing Czech Republic. Veteran film maker Helena Trestikova began filming Rene in 1989, and kept up with him over the next two decades, even after he robbed her flat. Their collaboration, and his brief fame as a documentary star, spur him to writing, and he becomes a published author. Yet the demons driving him remain. This engrossing film takes us on a journey of a life lived outside of society.
Director: Edyta Wróblewska
Few people know that the Polish city of Cracow has another face – a district called Nowa Huta , a model for a communist city. Tourists bored with the usual historical attractions, can choose an alternate trip into the absurdities of communist times. Poland is undergoing a quiet flux before our eyes. Let’s just hope tourists get it.
Director: Alexandru Solomon
Producer: Ada Solomon
It might not seem a subversive act, but radio listening in Ceausescu’s Romania was a risky undertaking. Founded by the CIA, Radio Free Europe broadcast its music and pro-democracy propaganda across the Iron Curtain. As millions of listeners tuned in Ceausescu’s strong men worked to bring about its demise. Employing Carlos the Jackal to help bring about RFE’s despise, Ceausecu’s secret war included bombs and radiation attacks. Romanian director Alexandru Solomon, who grew up listening to the station, uses a combination of wide-ranging interviews, archive and evocative re-enactment to relate the often unbelievable dramas taking place off-air.