Words by Molly McGreevy
With just six weeks to go until the 25th edition of Doc/Fest, Sheffield’s international documentary festival, kicks off, Sheffield’s creatives gathered to listen to Liz McIntyre AKA festival director and CEO of Doc/Fest, speak on CreativeMornings’ April’s global theme, CM Game.
CreativeMornings Sheffield is calling The Showroom cinema home. One of the city’s
last remaining art deco buildings, The Showroom began life as Kennings car
showroom in 1936. After Kennings closed four decades later, it wasn’t until
the 1980s and 90s that the building found a new purpose as the Sheffield
Media and Exhibition Centre, and The Showroom Project was born.
In 1994, The Showroom hosted the first Doc/Fest, a documentary festival that has grown to become one of the largest and most revered in the world. For Sheffield’s creatives, The Showroom is the venue for a private audience with Doc/Fest’s CEO Liz McIntyre (and one of the most delicious CreativeMornings breakfasts of the year – bacon and veggie sausage sarnies!)
For Liz, the word game can mean five things: 1. Activity for fun. 2. Competitive sport, played according to the rules. 3. A period of play, ending in a final result. 4. A secret or clever plan or trick. 5. Being eager to do something new or challenging.
Working through her definitions, Liz explains where her fascination with documentaries came from. Her teenage years were spent in search of role models with experience that extended beyond her own home, and Liz found her inspiration in other peoples’ stories.
When Liz’s family faced their own adversity, she realised that the lives of others are often not what they seem, and a spell as a penny-a-line columnist in a village paper helped her find the joy in all stories, no matter how big or small.
“We must be aware of the stories around us. The good, the bad and the ugly.’
For Liz, telling stories in print turned into telling stories through film, making films including The Lost Children of Berlin, No Place Like Home, Dangerous Love and Five Steps to Tyranny. She then moved into commissioning for The Discovery Channel before taking on her role at Doc/Fest.
For the 25th edition of Doc/Fest, Liz and her team are expecting thousands of delegates from the film industry and thousands more members of the public to attend events across the city. Trafalgar Warehouse will play host to free AR and VR activities, cinema screens will pop up and talks from the likes of Vicky McClure, Guy Martin and Mark Cousins are already close to selling out.
From Liz, a final word of advice…'keep on enjoying playing the game of life!’