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Networking at Sheffield Doc/Fest

As the 2013 edition of Sheffield Doc/Fest launched on Wednesday - hosting the world premiere of The Big Melt with music performed by Jarvis Cocker - we started to think about the magnitude this festival has reached during its 20 years in action.

Filmmakers, producers, editors, funders and film commissioners from around the globe attend the former industrial hub that is Sheffield each year to keep up to date with the latest developments in documentary filmmaking, and meet up with the latest entrants to this ever growing market place. 

This year Doc/Fest has invited a record 18 international delegations (including a number of international training schemes and organisations) representing places as diverse as the Netherlands, Russia, Canada, Armenia, South Africa, South Sudan, Morocco, Jordan and Palestine to attend the festival with a special focus on factual filmmaking in their regions.

At Sheffield Doc/Fest both the weathered professionals as well as the newbies grab the amazing networking opportunities by the horns, attending non-stop parties, sessions and Q&As, while ensuring that they remain in the minds of those they have handed their business cards to.

It might sound a bit cliché but as the editor of KFTV I would also like to refer you to the guide on networking at film festivals that was written by our lovely contributor Emma Norton back in March.

Emma describes some amazingly simple tips which are really valuable when it comes to working big crowds. As we all know, in this industry your success is achieved as much by who you know as what you know.

So make use of all the official hangouts, the many drinks invites and the meet and greets, and make sure you make the most of your time there. Where else can you find yourself sitting next to the masterminds of the National Film Board of Canada - pioneers when it comes to innovative documentary forms - or Nick Fraser, the acclaimed commissioning editor of the BBC’s Storyville documentary strand?

And, just to make sure you are all behaving as you should, KFTV will make a guest appearance this year, meeting up with the filmmakers we have managed to support with contacts and production guides while they were filming abroad. So do send us a tweet, Facebook message or a comment if you are going to attend.

Enjoy Sheffield!

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