The next Blue Planet? 10 eco docs to discover at Sheffield Doc/Fest

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The next Blue Planet? 10 eco docs to discover at Sheffield Doc/Fest


It's possible, that in the future people will believe David Attenborough single handily turned the tide on plastic waste. Such has been the power of Blue Planet II.

Environmental documentaries are having their day in the sun and there's no better place to find them than Sheffield's Doc/Fest, which takes place from from 7-12 June.

Georgina Wilson-Powell

Tue 5 Jun 2018

Each year Sheffield welcomes over 32,000 cinema lovers, documentary fans and conservationists for Doc/Fest. The six day festival is the the premier documentary festival in the UK and it's always had a lot of room on its line up for documentaries that focus on the environment.

Following the success and the enormous impact of Blue Planet, there is a lot more attention on the power of eco-docs in 2018. 

Good job then, that Sheffield Doc/Fest is fielding a strong slate of powerful pics that draw attention to a range of causes.

10 eco docs to discover at Sheffield Doc/Fest

A Journey to the Fumigated Towns

Check out the UK premiere of veteran filmmaker Fernando Solanas's human and urgently political take on the environmental crisis in Argentina. Based on testimonies, re-creations, archives and photos, this investigative documentary reveals the effects of agrochemicals on both an individual and global scale.


Another UK premiere at Sheffield's Doc/Fest is this documentary that charts the change in the Amazônia ‘Paiter Surui’, who only made contact with the modern world in 1969. Since then, smartphones, electricity, gas tanks, guns, and Facebook replace traditional forms of life.

When Lambs Become Lions

Book a ticket to see the international premiere of When Lambs Become Lions. A small-time ivory dealer struggles as forces mobilise to destroy his trade. Turning to his cousin, a wildlife ranger who hasn't been paid in months, he sees a possible lifeline.

10 eco documentaries to see at Sheffield Doc Fest

Book tickets for the international premiere of When Lions Become Lambs - about ivory poaching

Arboretum Cycle

A magical collection of seven 16mm films by Nathaniel Dorsky, explores the beauty of Californian nature in Spring light. Each silent film celebrates qualities of energy, joy, fullness, and rebirth.


Don't miss the world premiere of Flow. It explores the morphological and human connection between two geographically opposing rivers: the Ganges in India and Biobío in Chile. The film observes the behaviour of the inhabitants along both streams, from the mountain range to their vanishing into the ocean. 

Against The Tides

Celebrate World Oceans Day on 8 June with the story of an extraordinary woman, marathon swimmer Beth French, attempting the world’s most extreme swimming challenge. Driven to be a role model for her autistic son, and by her battle with lifelong illness (ME), Beth confronts jellyfish, sharks, wild weather and reluctant skippers.  

Wild Relatives

Follow the journey of seeds in this UK premiere, as they're transported between the Arctic and Lebanon. Wild Relatives unfolds a matrix of people and plant lives between two distant spots of the earth.

10 eco documentaries to see at Sheffield Doc Fest

Explore the journey of seeds with Wild Relatives

Into The Okavango

The Okavango River provides a vital source of water to about one million people. However, this once unspoiled oasis is now under siege due to increasing pressure from human activity.

(Read our interview with the producers of cult eco-doc River Blue, which looks at the toxic pollution of rivers here).

This is Climate Change: Feast & Famine

Explore VR with this international premiere of the reality of our more extreme weather events that are displacing communities and transforming landscapes with alarming speed.

Every King Tide

Another international premiere from Australia, Every King Tide uncovers the problems of Poruma Island, in the Torres Strait of Australia, which is being slowly swallowed by the sea. The community's passion of the island is distilled through a first person perspective.

As well as film screenings, the festival has panel discussions, networking events, a marketplace and more. Buy tickets for Sheffield Doc/Fest here