Top 3 Doc/Fest recommendations – Sheffield 9-14 June

Sheffield Doc/Fest is a film festival comprising; inspirational documentary films from across the globe; controversial discussion panels and in-depth filmmaker masterclasses; a marketplace offering a unique way to pitch new and groundbreaking documentary projects; and world-famous parties. So, with so much on, how do you know what to see? Here at Safe Cinemas, we’re recommending to you 3 of the best looking mental health, neurological, and other related events so you can see the things you’ll find most interesting.

So, here’s our top 3 picks for this year’s Doc/Fest:

The Departure (18)

(trigger warning: suicide)

Emmy-award winning director Lana Wilson (After Tiller) chronicles one Zen Buddhist priest’s difficult emotional labour of suicide prevention. A former tearaway youth with nihilistic tendencies, Ittetsu Nemoto feels a natural kinship with the people he counsels. But it has come at the cost of his own mental and physical health, both of which rapidly deteriorate as he is unable to detach from the deep yet morbid bonds he strikes at work.

Tickets here: (9th and 10th of June)

Still Tomorrow (18)

At the heart of director Jian Fan’s filmic portrait lies the melancholy brilliance of poet Yu Xiuhua, a farmer living with cerebral palsy in rural China. In a social climate that is hostile to people with disabilities, she copes with her heartbreaking frustrations by writing poems. One of them, an unflinching portrayal of her sexuality, explodes on Chinese social media and changes the course of her life.

Tickets here: (9th June)

Unrest (18) – film

Struck with a debilitating illness and unable even to sit in a wheelchair after a bout of high fever, filmmaker Jennifer Brea took to her camera to make sense of what she was going through. With many questions left unanswered by medical experts, Brea turns to the internet and finds not only that her condition has a name – myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) – but along with it a supportive community of sufferers.

Tickets here: (9th and 11th June)

You can also try the VR experience of ME at The Millennium Galleries, to see an insight of what it is like to live with an invisible illness.


These are just 3 of the many documentaries on offer at this year’s Doc/Fest, and we’ve only focused on mental health and neurology related films. Other events we’re particularly looking forward to are Grandad, Dementia and Me, Queerama, and The Work. If you’re free in Sheffield from the 9th to the 14th, you’re in for a treat!


Stay safe, friends, and happy doc/fest-ing. x


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