Access: Sheffield Doc/Fest

How to be a documentary filmmaker in the UK? It’s all about what hotel bar you know, video-essays Charlie Lyne.

Charlie Lyne

Now in its 25th year, Sheffield Doc/Fest can lay a solid claim to the title of the UK’s best film festival. But as the cost of accreditation and accommodation has risen, the question of who gets to attend – and what it costs them – has become a pressing one for an event that positions itself as an annual homecoming for the British documentary community.

Last month, I took my camera, microphone and generally lacklustre interview technique to Sheffield to get a read on the festival’s accessibility at ground level, and look at how the organisers are adapting to their role, willing or otherwise, as industry gatekeepers.

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