Sheffield Doc/Fest

We’re here at the Sheffield/Doc fest, UK’s annual doc-meetup showing some of our films. Oddly enough, yesterday EyeSteelFilm had three docs playing all at the same time. Which led to some running around indeed. We showed Rip! a Remix Manifesto with a great extended Q and A with Cory Doctorow; the ran to director Laura Bari presentation of Antoine; and Omar Majeed’s International premiere of Taqwacore: the birth of Punk Islam. The Taqwacore screening had a particularly great Q and A session, including an appreciative young woman who wants to take the film back home to Saudi Arabia (hmm…) and documentary legends D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus. Great quote from Pennebaker after the movie: “The first 20 minutes I was asking myself what am I doing here, I’m a jazz fan. But then, all of a sudden I got it. The film’s brilliant. All of a sudden Islam isn’t scary.”

The never-ending debate about how to make proper “documentaries-for-the-Web” continued here, with Finland’s Iikka Vehkalahti vowing to end the debate once and for all with his round table discussion on laying down the principles for a web-doc manifesto. Brett Gaylor delivered a great presentation for our web platform OpenSourceCinema (“a great American-style presentation”, said the Frenchman, who gave a very French-style presentation of his web project) and everyone decided to resume the conversation again in December in Helsinki. Peter Wintonick reports that he has been having the web-doc debate at film festivals since 1992.

Sheffield has great film programming, but also a great, whimsical streak leading to oddball social affairs, like last night’s Roller Rink Disco Party. A great cap to the evening were the announcements of the Cinema Eye Award nominations, in which Rip: A Reminx Manifesto was nominated for Best Graphic Design and Animation! Congrats to Brett Gaylor, Francis Hanneman, Darren Pesemko, Omar Majeed, and the cast of thousands of open source cinema enthusiasts who contributed to animate the wacky world of copyright infringement!

Up today: Screenings of Taqwacore and Antoine, and Yung Chang arrives for his screenings of Ali Shan this weekend. Oi!