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Sensoria marks return to city after two years with eclectic programme of film and music

The 2021 edition of the long-running festival includes live soundtracks, short films about folklore and an exploration of Sheffield's housing estates through photos and field recordings.

Sensoria will return to Sheffield for the first time in two years from 2 to 9 October, with a programme full of film, folklore, photography and music from around the world.

Highlights include a screening of Bait – a BAFTA-winning black-and-white satire about gentrification in a Cornish fishing village – with a new live score by Gwenno Saunders.

Other film screenings include The Forbidden Strings, a documentary about four Afghan rock musicians whose parents fled to Iran, and this year's collection of Sensoria Shorts.

On 2 October, Sheffield-based band Sister Wives will play at Site Gallery in a dialogue with Rafaël Rozendaal's mesmerising floor-to-ceiling projection-based show Permanent Distraction.

Now Then · An excerpt from 'From The Estate'

From The Estate, which runs at S1 Artspace from 2 to 5 October, is a new collaborative project between celebrated Sheffield musician Jim Ghedi and photographer Laura Merrill. It will combine photos, field recordings and original music to explore green spaces across four estates in Sheffield: Gleadless Valley, Herdings Park, Jordanthorpe, and Stannington.

Ghedi told Now Then that the initial aim of the project was to capture "the journey of urban into rural, the council estate going into the green space."

"However, as soon as I got there that changed," he said. "I became more interested with the community itself, how they were engaging with those green spaces, so I kind of changed the focus and tried to capture people in that environment, that entanglement of community and nature.”

Ghedi said that his and Merrill's shared working-class background influenced From The Estate, which will examine how Sheffield is seen "both as a green city and an industrial city too."

Garage rock outfit FloodHounds will open the festival at Sidney & Matilda on 1 October, while on 6 October UDAGAN will combine "shamanic music and ancient instruments" with live coding at the Drama Studio. On 7 October a double-bill of animated short films features That Long Moonless Chase, a mash-up of folklore from Sheffield and Kyoto, as well as the premiere of Nihar Palwe's Daud with a live woodwind soundtrack.

The festival closes on 9 October with The Afropean Express, a film following Sheffield writer Johny Pitts as he visits black communities across Europe in search of an 'Afropean' identity.

Pitts will also be soundtracking the film live with collaborator Chris ‘Finguz’ Morris in their guise as Bare Knuckle Soul, as well as discussing its creation on-stage.

Industry event SensoriaPro will also return to The Showroom on 8 October, with the usual lineup of talks, networking opportunities and panel events for creatives working with film and music.

by Sam Gregory (he/him)
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