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Fertility Doc supports best in film fest

The world's first CO2 free documentary festival will launch its UK tour at the Barbican on 7 March 2007, with the support of Professor the Lord Robert Winston, acclaimed documentary programme maker, fertility expert and Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University.

Sheffield DocFest is sponsored by Sheffield Hallam University and will give the best of the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival a national platform. The tour will take in more than ten cities, including Edinburgh, Nottingham, Cardiff and Bradford and will bring six world-class documentaries to a national audience. The fesitval will offset its carbon footprint with the support of Carbon Planet.

One of the highlights of the festival is A Crude Awakening, a documentary that shows how our exploitation of oil has led to fabulous lifestyles, and highlights the ongoing political and economic instability worldwide that this dependence causes. Other documentaries include The Last Days of Yasser Arafat; Dreaming by Numbers; Motodrome; Chances of the World Changing and Every Good Marriage Begins with Tears.

Sheffield Hallam University can boast a number of talented and internationally significant film-makers among its staff and alumni, including Alex Osbourne - Picture Palace North Acid House Trilogy and Tales from a Hard City; Sussanah Gent - Prize winner Berlin for Jelly Dolly; Barry Ryan, Warp Films producer; and Debbie Ballin, producer of Knitting for Annie, for which she received a BAFTA nomination. Also Virginia, Heath whose ‘surf, sex and tattoo’ movie Point Annihilation was screened at the Cannes Film Festival and chosen to help launch Apple’s pioneering USA pilot project in short movie downloads.

Professor the Lord Robert Winston, Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, world renowned fertility expert and acclaimed documentary programme maker explains, "I am delighted that this national film festival can boast Sheffield roots, which I think is entirely appropriate considering the wealth of creative film making talent in the region.

"Sheffield Hallam University has a strong tradition in film studies and was the first publicly funded higher education body in the UK to establish a post in film studies, back in 1971.

"The University makes at least 25 films a year and many of these are screened and win awards at prestigious film festivals such as Oberhausen and Chicago, Edinburgh and London International Film Festivals.

"Documentary films allow us to see the world from a different viewpoint, and widen our horizons. Education fulfils a similar role and I am proud that Sheffield Hallam University is associated with DocFest."

Previous DocFests have brought cult information classics to the UK such as Morgan Spurlock's fast food experiment Super Size Me.

Sheffield Hallam University offers a range of courses in film and media production, from foundation degree to postgraduate level. These include film and media production, performing arts and film studies.

Lorna Branton | alfa
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