Docfest 2017

Last week Slime House TV was granted exclusive press access to Sheffield’s one and only Docfest.
Founded in 1994, Docfest now in its 23rd year is the largest documentary film festival in the UK and as of recent times the 3rd largest in the world… The whole world! Pretty cool right?!
Now although some members of our team have attended Docfest many times previously, my sister and Slime House TV staff member Tavarna Caris even working several years as a volunteer there, this was personally my first year experiencing the festival, so I was really keen to get stuck into the event, the vibes and of corse the documentaries!

HERE is a little break down of some of the films I was looking forward to before attending, just incase you need a little breakdown of the kind of stuff they had on offer this time around.

Now the first thing you need to know about Docfest, is this festival is all GO!… Like, there is seriously no time at all when there is not much happening, whether it’s films playing, ‘Q&A’ sessions and talks happening, networking parties with free food and drinks, even interactive zones and virtual reality experiences. This is a festival like no other, spreading throughout the majority of sheffield town centre and featuring showings and exhibitions at almost every cinema in the city.

I along with Tavarna attended the majority of the festival and saw an array of vastly different films from Informative features to experimental shorts.
Because the festival is so busy, several films end up overlapping each other and playing at the same time in different cinemas over two different sides of the city, so its very easy to miss some of the films you want to see, but not to worry, Docfest know all about how much of a problem this could potentially be, so they even provide anyone with a festival pass with exclusive access codes afterwards that allow them to catch up on any that they might have missed, they really do think of everything!
So i am now currently ploughing through the latter and will get those reviews up over the next couple of days!

As well as a vast array of movies, Doc Fest also offers an ensemble of various interactive activities to take part in, my favourite was this retro style arcade machine, that was not only fun, challenging… and actually insanely addictive (I was there a good hour trying to beat the game) but also educational!
An educational game that is fun…madness right?! Well not really!
In the game ‘Borders’ you take control of a Mexican refuge seeker trying to… you guessed it, Jump the US border!
However boarder patrol are hot on your tracks, and as the 100000’s of skeletons that lay like a blanket across the ground of the overhead view map suggest, they are not here to guide you across the border peacefully.

Bushes and foliage are you’re only friend as you use them to hide from passing patrol officers and collecting bottles of water helps you keep your stamina up and your body dehydrated.
As a huge fan of retro arcade cabinets and vintage style gaming, I really enjoyed playing Borders, Shouts out to 23 year old Gonzalo Alvarez who made this game, a quick bit of research told me that Boarder crossing is something Gonzalo’s family had to deal with personally, so its no surprise that this game was so well put together, creating something that was not only fun to play, but also had a seriously dark undertone that tackled a very serious world issue and made it relatable to an audience of players who may have not been familiar with the actual struggles of being a refugee before playing the game.

Overall Borders was actually one of my main highlights of the festival and I think this would be great made into a phone app game, it would mean more people can be educated on the real life struggles of boarder crossing…. and I would also get another chance at completing the game!… C’mon Gonzalo get it sorted dude!

In the meantime you can download the pc version HERE!

Stay tuned for More on our visit to Sheffield Doc Fest very soon!

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Words by Theo Cane