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Sheffield DocFest & IDA To Join Forces For Alternate Realities Event

Sheffield DocFest, the U.K.’s leading nonfiction film festival, and the International Documentary Association are set to combine forces for the Alternate Realities Exhibition and Summit at the upcoming 31st edition of Sheffield DocFest, running from June 12-17.

The Alternate Realities program, launched in 2013, showcases “innovative non-fiction and immersive documentaries in all forms, breaking the boundaries of traditional documentary practice and using cutting edge technology – including virtual reality, use of artificial intelligence, video gaming platforms, augmented reality, and interactive web documentaries.”

The Crucible Theatre, one of the principal venues for Sheffield DocFest.

Matthew Carey

Selected artists and industry speakers will participate in the Alternate Realities Summit on site at Sheffield DocFest on Sunday, June 16, connecting media makers with “industry including curators, international festivals, galleries, media institutions, educational institutions, production companies, tech companies, broadcasters and distribution platforms for new media.” In addition, Sheffield DocFest will present a free exhibition of works at Site Gallery that will be open to industry delegates and the public.

The Alternate Realities Exhibition will be curated by Sheffield DocFest Creative Director Raul Niño Zambrano, alongside the IDA’s Director of Funds Keisha Knight, and Director of Artist Programs Abby Sun, supported by Alternate Realities Program Producer Jack Rutherford.

“We are very excited to join forces with IDA, an organization we have always felt close to and that shares our passion for works at the intersection of technology, arts and documentary,” said Zambrano, Sheffield DocFest creative director. “Our conversations and explorations around the future of immersive work have allowed us to gather an incredible group of pieces and artists that will connect with our audiences during the festival and beyond.”

The news was released as the IDA wrapped its biennial Getting Real conference in Los Angeles, which gathered leaders in the documentary field from around the world.

IDA Executive Director Dominic Asmall Willsdon said, “On the close of Getting Real ’24, we are thrilled to announce this collaboration with Sheffield DocFest’s Alternate Realities. On their decennial anniversary, Getting Real and Alternate Realities are two essential events where non-fiction makers from around the globe connect in meaningful ways. We are looking forward to the showcase of international immersive nonfiction work at Sheffield in June.”

The exhibition and summit are supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

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