Absolutely adventurous Joanna Lumley and Michael Moore head to Sheffield Doc/Fest

Absolutely Fabulous TV star and now documentaries presenter Joanna Lumley plus Oscar winner Michael Moore are amongst the big names coming to this year's Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016.

Thursday, 17th March 2016, 1:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th March 2016, 1:31 pm
Absolutely Adventurous Joanna Lumley coming to Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016

Legendary activists and innovators have also been announced including the return of Moore - famed for his 2003 Oscar winning documentary Bowling for Columbine, about the high school massacre and challenging American gun law.

Innovative feature film and immersive experience Notes on Blindness, based on the audio diaries of John Hull, will also take the spotlight at this year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest, which runs from June 10-15, 2016.

Tickets for the event, including screenings and talks - based at the city's Showroom cinema and other top city centre venues, including the Crucible and the City Hall - go on sale to general public from tomorrow, Friday, March 18. Full details below and also see sheffdocfest.comVIDEO: Watch the Sheffield Doc/Fest interview with the now late great Joan Rivers from 2010 - press the play button of the YouTube video embedded here on our site.

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Fore more Sheffield Doc/Fest videos visit youtube.com/user/sheffdocfestSheffield Doc/Fest is a world leading and the UK’s premier documentary festival, celebrating the art and business of documentary. It is a hub for all documentary and factual content across all platforms, from feature length to shorts, and including virtual reality and interactive projects.

The festival, which welcomes over 30,000 documentary-makers and lovers each year, including 3,500 industry delegates from over 60 countries, is also open to the general public.

It comprises a film programme for the very best international documentaries, a marketplace for international business, with talks and sessions to inspire, inform and debate.

Elizabeth McIntyre, CEO & Festival Director says, “Moore, Lumley and Hull have in their own distinct and brilliant ways creatively challenged the status quo with real and meaningful impact.

Oscar winner Michael Moore

"Michael Moore will open the festival with Where To Invade Next, and the trailblazing Joanna Lumley will come to Sheffield to give the ITV Interview. Through the Notes On Blindness feature documentary – which was pitched at the festival’s Marketplace MeetMarket in 2012 – and the virtual reality project, the words of John Hull will offer a truly inspirational experience. I am thrilled to be able to announce these three incredible game changers will be part of Doc/Fest this year.”

Multi-award-winning activist filmmaker Moore returns to Sheffield to open the 23rd edition of the festival on Friday, June 10 at Sheffield’s iconic venue City Hall with the UK premiere of his provocative and hilarious Where to Invade Next followed by an on-stage interview.

His latest poke at the world order - which Entertainment Weekly has described as funny, but also serious as a heart attack – confronts the most pressing issues facing the USA (and currently being played out in the US Presidential election campaign) and proposes solutions from the most unlikely places. The Opening Night Gala at Sheffield Doc/Fest will launch the UK theatrical release the same day.

On Sunday, June 12, Doc/Fest and ITV welcome a true legend to the Crucible Theatre - actress and now absolutely adventurous Joanna Lumley.

Oscar winner Michael Moore

The celebrated TV and film star, documentarian and campaigner will come to Sheffield to talk about her esteemed, exciting and eclectic career in TV and film.

Her documentary work has included epic journeys to discover diverse cultures and continents and intimate portraits of pop icons from Elvis to will.i.am.

Born in Kashmir, Joanna began her professional life as a model, before moving into acting, including unforgettable performances in The Avengers and Absolutely Fabulous. This will be a rare opportunity to hear her discuss her experiences on films such as Joanna Lumley’s Trans-Siberian Adventure, the Northern Lights and Joanna Lumley’s Nile, as well her future documentary work. This event will be British Sign Language Interpreted.

John Hull’s cognitive and emotional experience of blindness will be explored in three Sheffield Doc/Fest programmes: in the Showroom Cinema, the Film programme will screen the UK premiere of Notes on Blindness the acclaimed hybrid documentary which uses actors to lip sync John Hull’s audio diaries, and this will be attended by filmmakers Peter Middleton and James Spinney’s as well as members of Hull’s family. At the VR exhibtion at Site Gallery, the Alternate Realities programme Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness uses new forms of storytelling, gameplay mechanics and VR.

Sheffield Doc/Fest is proud to also be championing the Notes on Blindness project which was originally pitched at the festival’s flagship pitching forum MeetMarket in 2012 and is produced by Alex Usborne, Sheffield-based producer of 104 Films, considered the world leader in disability cinema.

John Hull’s cognitive and emotional experience of blindness will be explored across the festival in June: in the Showroom Cinema, the Film programme will screen the UK premiere of Notes on Blindness the acclaimed hybrid documentary which uses actors to lip sync John Hull’s audio diaries, and this will be attended by filmmakers Peter Middleton and James Spinney’s as well as members of Hull’s family, while the virtual reality Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness will be presented as part of the VR exhibition at Site Gallery as the European premiere of the complete six-chapter experience.

In memory of the festival’s oldest and most beloved audience member the festival is renaming its audience award to the Dr Clifford Shaw Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature.

A former medical officer for Health for Sheffield, Dr Shaw had been to every single edition of Doc/Fest until his death in October last year, aged 96. A true cinephile, he watched films at the festival from morning til night each year, and his dedication to documentaries well known to Doc/Fest regulars and cherished among the team. In 2013, Dr Shaw featured on the Jury for Doc/Fest’s Student Award.

Following suggestions from Doc/Fest followers on social media, the team is thrilled to be presenting the festival’s Audience Award in the name of their favourite audience member.

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2016 Highlights:

Opening Night film: Where to Invade Next + Q&A with Michael Moore (local cert 15). Venue: City Hall. Date: Friday 10 June 2016. Time: 18.30 – 21:15. Tickets go on sale: Friday 11 March. Ticket Price: £13 / £11 concession. Tickets on sale to Crucible Members: From 12 March Tickets on sale to General Public: From March 18 at https://sheffdocfest.com/articles/372-first-events-now-announced/The Absolutely Adventurous Joanna Lumley in Conversation Venue: Crucible Theatre. Date: Sunday 12 June 2016. Time: 15:00– 16:30. Tickets go on sale: Saturday 19 March. Ticket Price: £15 / £12 concessions. This event will be British Sign Language Interpreted see https://sheffdocfest.com/articles/372-first-events-now-announced/Notes on Blindness + Q&A , 90mins, 2016, UK Premiere (local cert U). Venue: Showroom 4. Date: Sunday 12 June. Time: 18.00 – 19.55. Tickets go on sale: Friday 11 March. Ticket Price: £8.50 full/ £6 concession https://sheffdocfest.com/articles/372-first-events-now-announced/Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness. As part of Alternate Realities. Venue: VR Arcade at Site Gallery. Date: 10-15 June 2016. Times: Opening times 11.00am to 5.30pm, daily. Cost: Free see https://sheffdocfest.com/articles/372-first-events-now-announced/