Three NFTS graduation documentary films have been selected and over 40 NFTS students and graduates are credited at this year’s Sheffield Doc/ Fest, the UK’s premier documentary festival, which takes place between the 9th and 14th June.
NFTS Directing documentary graduate, Nick Broomfield, described on the Sheffield Doc/ Fest website as ‘one of the most influential documentary makers of our time’ is being interviewed by Louis Theroux for The BBC Interview on Sunday 11th June at 3.30pm – tickets here. Nick’s latest acclaimed documentary about Whitney Houston, Whitney, “Can I Be Me” is being screened at the festival.
(Still: Whitney, "Can I Be Me")
The three NFTS graduation films include: Pride in Rags, directed by Tom Whitaker; Professional Foreigner, directed by Catherine Harte and Unspeakable, directed by Kate Stonehill.
About Pride in Rags:
Dewsbury is a town with a 19th century heritage and a 21st century population, and recent events have brought unwanted attention to this small corner of Yorkshire. From suicide bombers to the case of a mother who faked the kidnapping of her own child, the area is regularly trashed by the national media, leaving its reputation in tatters. Danny Lockwood is the local Rupert Murdoch, a controversial newspaper publisher and author of ‘The Islamic Republic of Dewsbury’. Pride In Rags looks at Dewsbury through Lockwood’s readers and critics, in a town where the pride went with the woollen industry and racial tensions bubble under the surface...
Tom Whitaker says: “I am delighted that Pride In Rags will be premiering at Sheffield Doc/Fest. I was fortunate to work with a really talented crew at the NFTS and am looking forward to discussing the film with an audience in Yorkshire.”
Pride In Rags is screening on Wednesday June 14th at 3.15pm – book tickets here.
Tom is speaking on the panel, ‘What Does Brexit Look Like?’ at the festival discussing the impact of Brexit on documentary making in Britain – you can see him at 10am on Tuesday 13th June.
About Professional Foreigner
This character-driven documentary explores the bizarre job opportunities available to white people in India. Talent is not essential — just the presence of a white face supposedly adds glamour to a movie or event. Following casting agents and foreigners, this documentary explores race and stereotypes while illuminating a world where Europeans migrate East for work. The story centres around Sasha, who left Russia with his mother and sister in the hope of making it as an actor. He needs to support his household so when acting gigs run dry, he is forced to reassess his easy but limited prospects in India.
Catherine Harte says: "I volunteered at Sheffield Doc Fest in 2011 and that's where I first heard about NFTS. It's so nice to look back over the years since then and to finally have a film to show there!"
Professional Foreigner is screening on Friday June 9th at 3pm – book tickets here.
In 2015, the British government issued a press release calling for universities to do more to tackle extremism. The document identified six men as examples of ‘radical’ speakers who have expressed views that are ‘contrary to British values’ and who should therefore be silenced. Unspeakable is a hybrid documentary that combines interview, performance and image to tell the stories of three of these men. The result a complex and gripping encounter with some of Britain’s so-called extremists and a rigorous meditation on the nature of free speech.
Kate Stonehill says: “My motivation for making this film was to ask some hard questions in a creative way, and instigate a conversation around what I thought was a deeply troubling UK government policy. I'm thrilled to premiere the film at Sheffield Doc/Fest, which I hope will provide a perfect space for a discussion of the complex grey area between freedom of speech and incitement to hatred that is the subject of the film.”
Unspeakable is screening on Tuesday June 13th at 6.15pm and Wednesday June 14th at 3.15pm – book tickets here.
Other NFTS graduates credited include:
(Still: Almost Heaven)
Almost Heaven (Director/Producer, Carol Salter; Associate Producer/Editor, Cinzia Baldessari; Composer, Terence Dunn; Editors, Hoping Chen & Rodrigo Saquel; Sound Designer, Raoul Brand; Additional Sound, Ania Przygoda & Rob Szeliga
69 Minutes of 86 Days (Producer, Tone Grøttjord-Glenne)
Carnage: Swallowing the Past (Sound Assistant, Nina Rice)
The Dread Pirate Roberts (Director, Emily James)
The Flying Proletarian (DoP, Annika Summerson; Re-recording Mixer/Sound Designer, Philippe Ciompi)
Out of Thin Air (Editor Miikka Leskinen; Sound Editor, Christopher Wilson)
Thank You for the Rain (Editor, Adam Thomas; Composer, Chris White)
Whitney: Can I Be Me (Writer/Producer/Co-Director, Nick Broomfield; Cinematographer, Sam Mitchell)
The Workers Cup (Producer, R Paul Miller)
If you are an aspiring documentary maker, find out more about our Directing Documentary MA at www.nfts.co.uk/documentary