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Spurlock’s “Greatest Movie” to Launch Sheffield Doc/Fest ’11

Spurlock's "Greatest Movie" to Launch Sheffield Doc/Fest '11

Sheffield Doc/Fest will kick-off this year with the European premiere of Morgan Spurlock’s latest, “Pom Wonderful presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.”

Around 120 documentaries round out this year’s slate, many of them making their European premiere following launches at Sundance. Highlights include Ian Palmer’s “Knuckle,” Steve James’ acclaimed “The Interrupters,” Marshall Curry’s “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front,” and Andrew Rossi’s “Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times.”

The 18th Sheffield Doc/Fest runs June 8th through June 12th.

Full release below:

plus European premieres for five Sundance titles

12 April 2011: Sheffield Doc/Fest, the UK’s biggest international documentary festival, will open on Wednesday 8 June with the European premiere of Pom Wonderful presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, attended by acclaimed filmmaker Morgan Spurlock. Pom Wonderful: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is Spurlock’s scathingly funny look at the world of product placement, marketing and advertising, and his efforts to finance this film by exactly the same means.

“We’re thrilled to open with the European premiere of Pom Wonderful: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold and have Morgan Spurlock attend”, says Doc/Fest Director, Heather Croall, “the film won high praise and many fans at its world premiere at Sundance and we know it’ll find more at Sheffield.”

In addition to the opening night Morgan Spurlock will give a masterclass, offering an in-depth discussion of his work. Pom Wonderful: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is being sold worldwide by Content Media Corp.

The highly acclaimed film programme features around 120 docs, including a number that will receive their European premiere at Doc/Fest, having launched earlier this year at Sundance. Five such highlights are: Ian Palmer’s Knuckle, Steve James’ The Interrupters, Marshall Curry’s If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Matthew Bate’s Shut Up Little Man: An Audio Misadventure and Andrew Rossi’s Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times.

Ian Palmer’s epic 12-year journey into the world of an Irish Traveller community Knuckle takes us inside their secretive and exhilarating bare-knuckle fighting lives. Chronicling a history of violent feuding between rival families, the film follows James Quinn McDonagh and his younger brother Michael, as they fight for their reputations and the honour of their family name. Following its world premiere at Sundance, Knuckle was picked up by ContentFilm for international distribution and Revolver Entertainment for cinema release in the UK and Ireland. Producers, RISE Films are developing Knuckle into a drama series HBO. BBC Storyville first learned about the project at a Doc/Fest pitching workshop in Cardiff in 2009 and subsequently commissioned it, joining RISE films and The Irish Film Board on the production.

RISE Films also co-produced The Interrupters, with the non-profit Chicago based production studio Kartemquin Films – the sixth collaboration for Steve James (Hoop Dreams) with Kartemquin. The Interrupters is an intimate journey into the stubborn persistence of violence in our cities in which Steve James achieved unparalleled access to three violence Interrupters – ex-gang members who have renounced their former ways – who now work to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed. Following its Sundance world premiere, The Interrupters was awarded Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the Miami International Film Festival. Steve James will attend Doc/Fest and give a masterclass.

Marshall Curry’s If A Tree Falls: A Story of The Earth Liberation Front will play within a festival strand about the role of documentary and social media in the protest movement. It tells the story of the rise and fall of a group within the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), an organisation which the FBI has called America’s “number one domestic terrorism threat.” For years the ELF had launched spectacular arsons against dozens of businesses they accused of destroying the environment. In December 2005, Daniel McGowan was arrested by Federal agents in a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists. The film interweaves a verité chronicle of Daniel on house arrest as he faces life in prison, with a dramatic recounting of the events that led to his involvement with the group. And along the way it asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism.

In Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure Australian filmmaker Matthew Bate has taken the surreal recordings of two men fighting – which became the world’s first viral pop-culture sensation – and turned it into an hilarious and critically acclaimed documentary feature.

In the revealing Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times director Andrew Rossi gained unprecedented access to the workings and journalists of the paper’s media desk and shows the impact that internet news and social media, is having on traditional printed media.

“Moving to June from November has allowed Doc/Fest to bring new international hits to launch into Europe so much more quickly”, say Hussain Currimbhoy, Doc/Fest Film Programmer. “We’re delighted to be showcasing these very strong titles out of Sundance, and this is just the tip of the iceberg!”

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