Our call for entries for the 2021 programme are now OPEN.

Sheffield Doc/Fest is an international film and arts festival and marketplace, with a mission to spark imaginations and empower our collective capacity for change through celebrating, championing and debating documentary film and art as a collective form of engagement. 

Through supporting and sharing non-fiction storytelling, Doc/Fest aims to provide a creative space for discovery, challenge and collaboration. As an internationalist and inclusive festival, we embody a commitment to equality and access for all our communities, bringing together established creatives, new voices, and our host city to shape and question stories of the world we live in. 

The Sheffield Doc/Fest Film programme offers filmmakers a place for inspiration, debate, growth and challenge and a relevant international platform to launch their films and art works. It engages audiences with  a multitude of forms, ideas, ways of doing and thinking, through World, International, European and UK premieres, and through its historical and retrospective programmes. The festival screens over 180+ films of all lengths – with the 2020 programme encompassing works from 50 countries around the world, with 49 spoken languages represented.

Sheffield Doc/Fest looks to question the boundaries of documentary through a programme that challenges trends, brings diversity and enriches debate. The festival invites audiences to engage with experiences and stories from different parts of our world and to join the makers in inspiring moments.


What are we looking for?

We welcome documentary and non-fiction films of all lengths and from all around the world, that wish to be considered for launching or premiering as part of our 2021 official selection.

In considering the entries we receive for the festival, we ask ourselves: Does the filmmaker/creator and the work show authenticity in voice, in questioning, in sharing the images they produce and the stories they represent? Is there something new about this work? Does it offer a perspective of a known subject that we haven’t seen before? Does it offer an aesthetic approach to reality we have not engaged with? Is the socio-political narrative of the work relevant to the now?

We see this as one of the primary roles of a festival with an open entries format: to be ravenous in the search for works that are not already on our radar, to ensure we are a festival of equal opportunity, a truly international and pluralistic festival. Where there is a strong film in our submissions we will find it and discuss it.

How To Enter: 

Please first read our entry guidelines below which will give you further information about our eligibility criteria, selection process and notification dates.

Film Entry Guidelines 2021

You will also be required to create an Eventival account and can then log in and enter your film through our online entry form HERE.

Film Programme Online Entry Form

Deadlines and Entry Fees:

Early Entry Deadline: 6 November 2020, 23:59 GMT
Mid-Length and Feature Films (over 40 minutes) - £30 + VAT
Short Films (between 7 and 40 minutes) - £20 + VAT
Short Short Films (under 7 minutes) - £10 +VAT

Standard Entry Deadline: 15 January 2021, 23:59 GMT
Mid-Length and Feature Films (over 40 minutes) - £35 + VAT
Short Films (between 7 and 40 minutes) - £25 + VAT
Short Short Films (under 7 minutes) - £15 + VAT

Late Entry Deadline: 8 February 2021, 12:00 Noon GMT
Mid-Length and Feature Films (over 40 minutes) - £45 + VAT
Short Films (between 7 and 40 minutes) - £35 + VAT
Short Short Films (under 7 minutes) - £25 + VAT

For any further information contact Mita Suri, Film Programme Producer at films@sheffdocfest.com or ring +44 (0) 114 276 5141.

Good luck and we look forward to receiving your entries!


2021 Film Programme Strands

Singular films from all over the world, driven by courageous and creative ways of reflecting life and imagining our times.

There are two awards in the International Competition: Jury Award and Grand Award.

Bringing together diverse films with the UK as the main country of production into a contemporary conversation, championing and spotlighting artists and filmmakers with fresh perspectives on the world and on cinema.

Into the World is about all of us—the distant, the close, the intimate, the political—our worlds and their infinite appearances, challenges and dangers. Films by essential directors with essential themes that take varied approaches to exploring our past, present and collective future.

There are as many ways to rebel as there are humans on this planet—and cinema can be one of them. What happens when a human who wants to change the world meets a camera? What happens when a film changes a human being? Reality is here to be invented and it’s up to us to take it into our own hands.

Since the first glimpses of the moving image, ghosts were haunting our imaginations, including those yet to be. A ghost from then meets a ghost from now - histories and collective memory are born. And cinema: the dismantling of frontiers.

Film has a rich tradition of incorporating and interacting with other arts and practices. From music to performing arts, from visual arts to literature, these films offer encounters and inspirations to a different beat.

Each year, Doc/Fest will present a retrospective that brings to Sheffield fundamental histories of cinema. Sometimes a theme, sometimes an idea, sometimes a filmmaker, each retrospective will be a unique moment to revisit the history of non-fiction and documentary, and to put contemporary cinema in perspective.


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