We are offering £10,000 for an artist(s) based anywhere in the world to create an imaginative immersive documentary work to be installed and premiered as part of Sheffield Doc/Fest taking place later this year: 9 – 14 June 2017.

Deadline for proposals: 12pm (GMT) on Thursday 23rd February 2017.

About the Commission

Following the success of 2016’s winning project Indefinite by virtual reality artist Darren Emerson, this is the second open commission of its kind for Sheffield Doc/Fest. This is an amazing opportunity to truly innovate in the field of documentary-based interactive storytelling. The chosen project will be exhibited as part of Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Alternate Realities Exhibition at Millennium Gallery in June, with a second opportunity to exhibit at FACT in Liverpool later in the year. 

About Alternate Realities

Alternate Realities is a leading forum for interactive and mixed reality projects. It explores innovative forms of storytelling through experimenting with technology to deliver immersive experiences.

“Sheffield has now firmly established itself as a go-to event for cutting-edge VR material.” – Sight & Sound, June 2016.

Along with the Alternate Realities Exhibition, the Alternate Realities Summit and 25 new projects in the Alternate Realities Market, the 2016 Festival included the most comprehensive programme yet, reaching 10,000 Festival-goers.

Who is this for?

Artists and documentary makers from anywhere in the world are invited to submit proposals.

To be considered, projects must be immersive or interactive documentaries. We are particularly interested in projects that push the boundaries of what is technically possible within factual storytelling.

Applicants should be able to demonstrate a strong commitment to innovation in interactive storytelling in the realm of non-fiction and documentary-making.

Evidence of a strong body of artistic work in the field, including a proven track record of recent work, projects, exhibitions, publishing, and/or commissions is desirable, but not essential.

The panel is open to projects that may have already been started or developed or are in production, providing they respond to the brief and we are made aware of any other partners or funding bodies involved in the project.

The commissioned project will be presented for the first time as a World Premiere at the Alternate Realities Exhibition as part of the 24th Edition of Sheffield Doc/Fest. One member of your project team must be available to be present during the Festival, 9 – 14 June 2017, plus two days for installing and one day de-rigging where necessary. After the Festival, the work will go on to be exhibited at FACT in Liverpool (date of exhibition TBA). We hope that the selected artist will document the production of this commission through a blog or Twitter feed or through supplying images that may be shared with our networks.

Support for the Commission

The selected proposal will be awarded 10,000 GBP including VAT to cover artist fees and all production costs and expenses. Travel (including international flights) and accommodation for the artist to install their work and participate in the Festival will be covered in addition. The venue and AV equipment needed to exhibit the work will be provided, as will technical help with install for the Festival and at FACT. Sheffield Doc/Fest and FACT together offer additional support in the development, production, delivery, marketing, and touring of the commission as appropriate.

Closing Date and Selection Process

The deadline for submissions is 12pm (GMT) on Thursday 23 February 2017. 

Selection will be made on the basis of materials submitted, and the chosen proposal will be selected on the basis of artistic merit and concept, how well they relate to our mission to support makers in the emerging field of immersive, interactive documentary, as well as benefit to applicant’s practice and feasibility of production.

The commission will be selected by the Monday 13 March, for delivery Tuesday 30 May.

The commission selection panel includes:

Dan Tucker – Curator, Alternate Realities, Sheffield Doc/Fest

Mike Stubbs – Artistic Director, FACT

Two other judges to be announced.

Shortlisted artists will be invited for an informal Skype chat to discuss project details Thursday 9 March.

How to Apply

All proposals should be submitted via the downloadable form available until 12pm (GMT) on 12pm (GMT) on Thursday 23rd February 2017. 

It is free of charge to submit, and there is no limit to the amount of submissions that can be submitted by any one artist, though one form must be completed per proposal. For answers to any specific questions, please email ellie.robinson@sidf.co.uk, with the subject heading ‘Alternate Realities commission.’ All applications will be considered and shortlisted by Tuesday 14 March. 

Those who have been shortlisted will be informed and may be asked to submit further information. Due to the volume of applications we will only be able to contact those who have been shortlisted for interview. Unless you specify that you do not wish to receive further communications from us we will ensure each applicant is added to our Opportunities mailing list so you are made aware of all similar opportunities in future.