I just came back from the 2007 Sheffield Doc/Fest. In addition to screenings around the clock, there were a host of great panels, presentations, pitch sessions and parties. Director Heather Croall and staff should be congratulated for putting on a fantastic event.

According to the festival’s website, more than 1200 delegates from around the world attended the event. Some of the highlights included the European premiere of Grant Gee’s Joy Division, a Channel Four interview with acclaimed filmmaker Kim Longinotto, master classes with Louis Theroux and Brian Hill and more.

I spoke about POV and our work with Web 2.0 technologies around documentary films on the Docs 3.0 panel (part of the festival’s DigiDocs 360 program) and served as one of the judges for the Crossover and Cross-Media Challenge pitch competitions. I also tried to watch as many films as I could (though I didn’t see nearly as many as I wanted), and had a number of interesting conversations in the Showroom Bar, the social hub of the festival. Sheffield Doc/Fest is one of the premiere documentary festivals in the world, and for filmmakers, members of the documentary industry and documentary fans, it’s five intense days of talking, watching and living docs.

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Former POVer Ruiyan Xu worked on developing and producing materials for POV's website. Before coming to POV, she worked in the Interactive and Broadband department at Channel Thirteen/WNET. Ruiyan was born in Shanghai and graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Modern Culture and Media.