Thursday, 9 May 2013

Pussy Riot film to open Sheffield's Doc/Fest 20


Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer
The UK premiere of Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin’s compelling Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer will be the opening night film of Sheffield Doc/Fest 20 on 12 June. Filmed over the course of six months, it tells the story of three young women - Nadya, Masha and Katia - jailed for perfoming a 40-second “punk prayer” inside Russia's main cathedral. The three women were arrested on charges of religious hatred.

Lerner and Pozdorovkin of Roast Beef TV gained unparalleled access and exclusive footage to a trial that reverberated around the world. They also observed the three young women and their families as they fought back against a justice system that often seemed impervious to logic.

Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin said: “We’re very excited and honoured to be screening the UK premiere of our film Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer at the opening night of Sheffield Doc/Fest. Sheffield is a natural home for our film representing as it does a tireless support for freedom of expression, the challenging of authority and pure Punk spirit. We're sure Pussy Riot will take the town by storm and kick off another fantastic year for this awesome festival.”

The screening will be followed by a Skype interview with Katia who was released in October 2012. Nadya has just recently been denied early parole - her and Masha are serving a two-year prison sentence in a Penal Colony.

The Summit
Sheffield Doc/Fest, which runs from 12-16 June, will celebrate its 20th year with a bumper line-up of documentaries, sessions and interactive programming, as well as the annual MeetMarket in the Doc/Fest marketplace.

On the eve of the festival, Tuesday 11 June, the new Crossover Market will take place for the very first time plus Doc/Fest delegates can take part in TEDx SheffieldCrossover Market, a new initiative for Doc/Fest 20, concludes the groundbreaking Devise to Deliver (D2D) mentoring and training programme which has been held around the country for the past seven months, delivered by Sheffield Doc/Fest and Crossover Labs. Twenty-five interactive and digital projects, mostly but not exclusively alumni from D2D, will pitch their projects in match-made meetings to digital buyers and mentors.

On 12 June the Crossover Interactive Summit, curated by Mark Atkin, will focus on ‘Transformers’, people who want to change the world and have moved from one platform to another to do so. It is aimed at filmmakers creating apps, doc producers moving to social platforms, app designers making hardware and video game developers making physical objects. The day will bring together international speakers including Kat Cizek from Highrise, who will give the keynote speech.

The Crossover Interactive Summit is followed at 6pm by the world premiere of The Big Melt in the Crucible Theatre, a celebration of ‘A Century of Steel’ with a soundtrack from Sheffield-born musician Jarvis Cocker working with his long-time collaborator Martin Wallace. The Big Melt fuses music and moving pictures with a soundtrack played by Jarvis Cocker and special guest musicians. It has been commissioned by BBC Storyville and BBC North in Association with the BFI using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Jarvis Cocker
To complete what is an opening night triptych, Doc/Fest audiences will be treated to a first for the festival - a screening in a cave. Located in the Peak District’s ‘Devil’s Arse ‘(Europe’s largest cave opening), the event will include a screening of Nick Ryan’s The Summit about a fatal attempt by several climbing expeditions to reach the peak of K2 in 2008.

“Since I arrived seven years ago the festival has grown exponentially and we’ve done that by making sure we stay ahead of the curve,” said festival director Heather Croall. “At Doc/Fest we always strive to broaden the term documentary to deliver a programme that celebrates the form across all platforms. This year I am particularly proud that the Interactive programme is the strongest ever, and can be seen right across the festival in speakers, sessions, docs, in The Crossover Lounge and the first ever Crossover Market. And throughout Doc/Fest we will present a live music and film events with some of the most exciting musicians around.”

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