Doc/Fest.

13th-17th June.
sheffdocfest.com


Doc/Fest is one of the world's leading documentary and digital media festivals, bringing industry delegates and film lovers alike to Sheffield from far and wide. We're told it has quintupled in size in the last five years - no mean feat since it was never a small venture in the first place.

Last year, the audience was made up of people from 48 different countries. Highlights included an opening night screening of Morgan Spurlock's The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, the premiere of the BAFTA award-winning Senna, Martin Scorsese's A Letter to Elia, and numerous Q&A sessions with esteemed filmmakers and key industry figures. A total of 120 films were screened across five days.

At the time of going to print, the full programme of 2012's screenings and events was not yet available, but details of the somewhat special opening party were...

From the Sea to the Land Beyond is the latest work by awardwinning filmmaker Penny Woolcock. Created in conjunction with Doc/Fest, Crossover, the British Film Institute and the Arts Council, the hour-long 'cross-platform interactive documentary' has been built using over 100 years of BFI archive footage of the British coastline, celebrating Britain's identity, heritage and natural beauty. On 13th June, the film will be screened at the Crucible for the first time, accompanied by a live musical score composed and performed by rock band British Sea Power.

But that's not all. The new on-demand digital arts website The Space will host interactive elements of From the Sea to the Land Beyond, with a mash-up tool that allows visitors to essentially reedit the film and its soundtrack. With a bit of luck, the site will be hosting thousands of these personalised video postcards between until the end of October.

Tickets for the opening party go on sale on 14th May, priced at £11 or £9 for concessions. Visit sheffdocfest.com for more information. The full Doc/Fest programme will be available from 10th May.

No Direction Home.

8th-10th June.
Welbeck Estate, near Worksop.
nodirectionhomefestival.com


No Direction Home is a new venture brought to you by the lovely chaps and chapettes at End of the Road Festival, which is itself entering its 7th year this year. Located on the edge of Sherwood Forest on the site of an ancient abbey not 40 minutes drive from Sheffield, No Direction Home has all the hallmarks of a fun, laidback weekend, with a schedule packed full of folk, blues and rock, as well as tents dedicated to all manner of activities.

The music line-up is pleasingly full, with sets from the likes of Richard Hawley, Andrew Bird, the Low Anthem, Dirty Three, Gruff Rhys, Beth Jeans Houghton, David Thomas Broughton, Liz Green, Nat Johnson, Rachael Dadd, Wet Nuns and Zulu Winter, played on the edge of a beautiful lake.

Top comedy slots will be filled by Isy Suttie, Josie Long, Robin Ince and Simon Munnery, while other stages will provide film screenings, literature activities, workshops and much more. For example, the Secret Post Office will provide postmen and women to deliver free postcards across the festival site between 9am and 5pm. You can take part in an egg and spoon race at The Track, or get involved in artisan food workshops, or make things from old vinyl at The Groovy Record. You won't get bored, basically.

"8th-10th June? But that's the weekend of Peace in the Park!" I hear you cry. Yes, sadly it is. This clash cannot be helped, and only you can make the decision. If PITP isn't up your street or you just fancy a refreshing change, take a look at nodirectionhomefestival.com for more info. Tickets (including camping) are £105 for adults, £55 for 13 to 17-year-olds and free for under 13s.

Shawly Doomed.

shawlydoomed.com


There are all manner of worthy causes deserving of our support. At a time when we are witnessing the systematic conquest of the vast majority of the world's population by the very rich, it can be easy to lose perspective on all that we have.

A project known as Shawly Doomed was hatched by a group of Sheffielders and aims to raise both awareness and funds for two great charities, one of which provides community-run schemes for families who live without the most basic commodity of all - clean drinking water.

The team's goal is to raise £5,000 by travelling across India in an auto rickshaw. That's the equivalent of getting from Leeds to Russia on a moped with a roof. For the price of a sandwich you could make a big difference, so please give whatever you can.


The Sheaf View.

25 Gleadless Road.


By now it should be clear as crystal that here at Now Then we love a good pint. Give us a great ale in a warm, traditional and brilliantly situated environment and we are in raptures.

Sitting aloft in its perch in the lovely district of Heeley, The Sheaf View is renowned for its convivial atmosphere all year round. Snug and cosy in the winter and boasting a bedecked yet verdant beer garden for lazy summer supping, we really can't recommend this place highly enough.

You'll also find a wide range of interesting and often exclusive world beers that you'd be hard pushed to find elsewhere in the city, as well as locally produced standards kept exceptionally well. See you on the decking.


Not What You Know.

Digital album out this month.


As part of the Now Then 50th issue celebrations, us lot down at NWYK have decided to contribute in our own way. In association with our good friends at local netlabel Planet Terror Records we are going to be doing a free digital album release.

It will be a compilation of tracks from loads of local artists; some known, some fresh faced and ready to impress, and all from different parts of the musical spectrum. Contributors range from the blissful pop of Hey Sholay to the Nintendo electronica of HarleyLikesMusic, the afro-math of Blood Sport and the heavy stomp of Dead Sons.

Keep an eye on the Now Then Facebook page to see what weird and wonderful acts Sheffield is holding up her sleeve.

Two Tribes.

TT84.co.uk


Two Tribes is a drama set during the Miners' Strikes of 1984 under Margaret Thatcher. Written by Razor Stiletto founder Ralph Razor and Pulp violinist Ralph Senior, the story focuses on two miners, one in South Yorkshire and one in Nottinghamshire. It is soundtracked by hits of the day by the likes of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Duran Duran and Cyndi Lauper and features real-life events like the Battle of Orgreave.

They are currently looking for actors and people to work behind the scenes, so visit the website if you are interested. The project should see the light of day early next year. Senior said recently, "The strikes were such a dramatic time, and the human story behind them - the destruction of entire communities - is something that demands to be retold." We couldn't agree more.


Balance.

156 Devonshire Street.
0114 2491220.


It's always heartwarming to see a new independent trader striking out in town. This is particularly true for us when such a trader is a fine purveyor of independent clothing labels, art and general trinketry. So upon hearing the happy news of their arrival, we popped along to have a butchers and meet the team.

The shop is very much a game of two halves, with the first room dedicated to a mega choice of smoking paraphernalia, including an ingenious colour-coded mix-and-match display and an unusual bits and bobs. The second room, known as the Grid, was what got us most excited. It is a showcase of artwork, both wearable and hangable, from some of Sheffield's most prominent new artists and designers. Fans of Kuji should certainly make a beeline, as should everybody else.


Wikileaks:

The World Tomorrow.

worldtomorrow.wikileaks.org


For anyone unfamiliar with the new media landscape created by WikiLeaks, The World Tomorrow gives an insight into what a post-corporate media might look like and how it might actively question common perceptions of some of the world's most under investigated issues.

In essence, it is a series of interviews conducted by Julian Assange with topical and, in our Western media climate, often controversial figures. The first interview is with leader of the Palestinian political party Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, currently a member of the Lebanese government. This is his first interview in the West since 2006. Assange will be conducting a number of interviews over the coming months. We can't recommend highly enough that you take the time to check them out.