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The East End Film Festival 2013 Launch.

May 27, 2013

FestivalsFilm + Entertainment | by Francesco Cerniglia


The East End film festivals programme was launched on Thursday and this festival, which is on its 12th run, is undeniably going from strength to strength. This pioneering festival, which promotes first and second time film makers, brings revolutionary and fresh cinema to one of London’s most vibrant areas and is always an exciting opportunity to discover cutting edge cinema across surprising dynamic locations. This year sees its longest run to date and the line-up, which includes a mix of film, art, music and political commentary, is definitely a highlight in London’s film and creative events calendar.

The festival kicks off with Journalist and Filmmaker Mark Donne’s second feature, The UK Gold which follows a vicar from a small parish in Hackney as he confronts the current status of London as a tax-haven, given the volatile situation for residents in his borough. The film sees a collaboration by some incredible talents from a variety of creative mediums, with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Massive attack’s Robert Del Naja providing the sound-score, narration by Dominic west (The Wire, The Hour), and the incorporation of the views and voices of British Politicians, Vanity Fair investigative Journalist Nicolas Shaxson, Private Eye’s Richard Brooks and Channel 4 News presenter, the charismatic Jon Snow. It’s a strong and poignant opening to what is set to be a forward thinking and thoughtful film festival.

Having seen the incredible programme it would be easy to ramble through every nook and cranny of what is a wide and brilliant selection of cutting edge cinema but rather than write the world’s longest analysis, it seems best to briefly mention some stand out features and leave you enough time to go and peruse the programme for yourself as there’s something for everyone. The festival includes the European premiere of Generation Um, directed by Mark Mann, which sees Keanu Reeves offer an edgier performance in a role as a voyeur in a film that explores the undercurrents of the New York party scene. A Hollywood darling such as Reeves working with up-and-coming directors is always intriguing so this film’s definitely going to pull in curious film goers.

Another exciting European premiere comes from the very brilliant Noah Baumbach. A close friend of Wes Anderson, Baumabch’s already given us similarly off beat, well written films such as The Squid and the Whale and Greenberg, has returned to his indie routes and reunited with the charming Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha. Shot in black and white, but more a quirky comedy than cliched romance, this film is to a similar ilk as the TV show Girls, following Frances as she tries to build a life in New York.

Anyone who was lucky enough to attend the mesmerising and now award winning (Silent Event of the Year by Silent london) screening of Nosferatu in Spitalfileds market last year, with a live orchestra and installation creating a tension filled atmosphere, will be more than excited the festival will once again bring audiences an unforgetable silent movie experience. Set in a dysytopian city where residents have lost their voices, this year’s film, La Antena, will be accompanied by a specially commissioned score by the brilliant Esben and the Witch.

Other highlights include BURN, the platform for moving images by cabaret artists produced by TO cabaret editor Ben Walters, Cutting-East, a three-day strand programmed by east Londoners aged 16 to 21, East End Live, a music festival and a day of screenings at a real Masonic temple. Alison Poltock, the Artistic Director of East End Festival explains why this year’s set to be the most stimulating yet, “Even in the six years I’ve been involved, the festival has undergone some seismic movements, but none more so than this year”. The festival will be a rollercoaster of a ride which includes 16 world premieres, 2 European premieres and 20 London premieres. See you there!

Kerry Flint.

The East End Film Festival runs for two weeks from 25th June to 10th July.