Sheffield Documentary Festival 2024

The Faction team attended The Sheffield Documentary Festival once again this year, maintaining their annual tradition. The event proved to be as brilliant as ever, featuring a few days packed with captivating documentaries and insightful industry discussions.

Katie’s top pick was The Accidental President . This documentary follows Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who put her name on the ballot alongside authoritarian Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko and won. Director’s Mike Lerner and Martin Herring were given unfettered access during Tsikhanouskaya’s campaign, her subsequent exile from Belarus and her navigation through the EU and global political landscape as her country’s legitimately elected leader.

Katie also enjoyed the BBC Interview: Simon Reeve in Conversation where the author, explorer and presenter spoke about his career. Chaired by Jack Bootle ( BBC Head of Specialist Factual Commissioning).

Satu enjoyed the Industry Session: Backing British Storytelling: Meet the BBC Unscripted Commissioners. Where the commissioners from the unscripted team Clare Sillery (Head of Commissioning, Documentaries), Jack Bootle, (Head of Commissioning, Specialist Factual), Gian Quaglieni, (Commissioning Editor, Current Affairs), Suzy Klein,(Head of Commissioning, Arts and Classical Music) and Emma Hindley, (Lead Commissioning Editor, Storyville) talked about their upcoming projects and how the BBC is backing British storytelling across its documentary films.

In the Alternative Realities exhibition we found Satu lying on a bed on 1000 silicone fingers (yes real life).  In addition both Katie and Satu were spotted with some strange masks on, apparently to imitate how bats see and hear the world..!

All in all, a brilliant, insightful few days.