Sheffield Doc/Fest 2011 report for Film & Festivals Magazine

Such is the breadth and scope of Sheffield Doc/Fest with its multitude of screenings, panels and master-classes, not to mention its market, that it is almost impossible to characterise the festival according to a particular theme or strand. However, the presence this year of larger than life film-maker and activist Morgan Spurlock with his new film POM Wonderful: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, which kicked off the festival, brought an interesting new dimension to Doc/Fest, and one which we would perhaps more associate with the fiction film industry: branding in movies. Spurlock’s project seeks to lift the lid on product placement while at the same time funding the film itself through … product placement, hence the aforementioned main sponsor’s name ahead of the title. This makes for an energetic and distinctively Spurlock style investigation into commercial sponsorship which treads the line between genuine enquiry and satirising the brands who get involved with his film. And not about to miss out on all the fun Doc/Fest itself had added the well known pomegranate juice manufacturer to its list of sponsors; complimentary bottles of POM Wonderful were ubiquitous around the festival.
– more here

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