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The Sheffield DocFest, the U.K.’s highest-profile documentary festival, has lost its director.
Cíntia Gil, who oversaw two editions of the event, has stepped down from her position, with the festival citing “artistic differences over the present and future direction of the festival with its board of trustees.” In a statement, no further information about her departure was included.
Director of partnerships Sylvia Bednarz will now take over as interim managing director with immediate effect. Bednarz joined DocFest in 2013, having previously worked in production, commissioning and for festivals in the documentary sector.
“The trustees are extremely grateful for Cintia’s significant contribution to the Festival over these past tough two years and wish her all the best for the future,” the statement added.
Last week, Sheffield DocFest’s deputy director Melanie Iredale also left the event and is set to become director of the female-focused film charity Birds’ Eye View.
Gil’s two events while in charge of DocFest were impacted by the COVID pandemic. The 2020 edition, which had been set for a physical event, was forced online as the U.K. went into lockdown, while the 2021 edition ran as a hybrid event, presented online, physically in Sheffield and in 16 cinemas across the U.K. The festival said this year’s festival was its most accessible to date, welcoming 45,334 admissions for the 191 film shorts and features in its lineup.
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