NFTS Alumnus to Open 2018 Sheffield Doc Fest

This year’s Sheffield Doc Fest opens with the world premiere of Northern Soul directed by NFTS Directing Documentary MA alumnus, Sean McAllister. Sean will host a Q&A directly after the screening.

The festival credits an impressive 29 NFTS students and alumni in total including Kate Stonehill whose NFTS documentary graduation film Fake News Fairytale has been selected for the event which takes place from the 7th – 12th June.

Still from Fake News Fairytale, directed by Kate Stonehill

Northern Soul sees Sean McAllister return to his Yorkshire hometown of Hull as creative director of the opening ceremony of the City of Culture celebrations: living back with his 90 year-old parents, McAllister reflects on the changes to a city hit by cuts in public spending and divided by Brexit and where more than 1 in 3 children are living in poverty. Drawn to the fringes of town, McAllister met and started filming with Steve Arnott, a struggling warehouse worker by day and hip-hop performer by night, who harbours his own creative dream.

In an article in Screen Daily, Sean said: “Back home in Hull, where I began, I have been filming Steve and wondering whether he can, against the odds, unlock the opportunities to build a better life? Is social mobility possible in cities like Hull? What role does culture have to play in this? How long can he hold onto his dreams for?”

Also being shown at the festival are:

NFTS Directing Fiction MA alumnus, Mahdi Fleifel’s new short film I Signed the Petition - in which a Palestinian man is tormented by self-doubt after signing a petition to support the cultural boycott of Israel. (Further NFTS credits: Michael Aaglund – Editing; and Dario Swade - Sound Design).

NFTS alumna, Eva Weber’s Skywards - a poetic visual study taking the viewer on a journey into the world of a pigeon flying high above the bustling and crowded streets of Old Delhi. (Further NFTS credit: DoP - Chloë Thomson)

NFTS Directing Documentary MA alumnus, James Newton’s Gun No. 6 - which is the story of Britain’s deadliest illegal gun.

Finnish documentary directed by NFTS Directing Documentary MA alumna, Inka Achte and edited by NFTS Editing MA gradate, Livia Serpa called Boys Who Like Girls - which follows a teenager from a violent home in the slums of Mumbai who begins to realise there may be a brighter path for his future than the one paved by his abusive, controlling father.

Other NFTS credits include:

The Distant Barking of Dogs: Editor, Michael Aaglund

Fake News Fairytale: Director/Co-Producer/Co-Camera Kate Stonehill; Co-Producer, Jimmy Campbell-Smith; Co-Camera Ronnie McQuillan; Production Manager Alex McArdle; Editor Conor Meechan; Sound Recordist Alex Collin; Sound Designer/Dubbing Mixer Odinn Ingibersson; Composer Pablo Scopinaro; Colourist/Online Editor Hugh Howlett

Kinshasa Makambo:  Rerecording Mixer/Supervising Sound Editor - Philippe Ciompi

McQueen: Editor - Cinzia Baldessari

Mini Miss: Sound Editor/Sound Recordist, Victoria Franzan; Sound Editor, Mauricio d’Orey

No Greater Law:  DoP - Arthur Mulhern

Rebirth is Necessary: DoP - Benoit Soler

Taking The Waters:  DoP - Sara Deane

Wild Relatives: Rerecording Mixer/Supervising Sound Editor - Philippe Ciompi

Yellow is Forbidden:  Editor - Nicolas Chaudeurge

If you are an aspiring documentary maker, find out more about our Directing Documentary MA and how to apply at