Never Steady, Never Still (2017) ****

Dir/Writer: Kathleen Hepburn | Cast: Shirley Henderson, Nicholas Campbell, Theodore Pellerin | Canada. 2017. 110′.

At the heart of this haunting portrait of family dissonance is Shirley Henderson’s dramatic performance as a dignified independent woman brought to her wits’ end by Parkinson’s disease. And if ever there was a location the echoed the mournful storyline it is the alienating lakeside landscapes of snowbound British Columbia, Canada, where this intimate exploration of strained but resilient kindred spirits unfolds in Kathleen Hepburn’s resonant debut, brought to life by DoP Norm Li’s impressive 35mm camerawork.

As films go this is a gruelling and devastating watch despite its worthwhile intentions. Judy (Henderson) is only in her fifties but has been struck down with the debilitating neural affliction and inured to the constant suffering since early in her marriage to  to Ed (Nicholas Campbell). And the pair live in mutual affectionate acceptance of one another despite the restrictions Judy’s illness has posed on their relationship. Not so their 19-year-old son Jamie (Theodore Pellerin) who is a sexually frustrated angry young man, at odds with himself and everyone round him in his male-orientated work in Alberta’s oil business. And in some ways this makes a man of him, although he is clearly troubled and drifting aimlessly through life, occasionally seeing his only friend Danny (Jonathan Whitesell). When he does meet a girl his opening gambit is along the lines of “do you like to fool around?”.

When his parents come under pressure at home, it’s clear that Jamie must knuckle down and offer support. In some ways Jamie’s mental state (never steady, never still) seems to channel his mother’s physical disability but clearly he’s been affected by the restrictions of his upbringing in feeling affection for his mother, but repelled by physical contact with her. So his attempts to engage with women his age are fraught with ambivalent awkwardness. He has brief encounters with a prostitute and local school girl local girl Kaly (Mary Galloway). Hepburn avoids sentimentality or melodrama using instead the quietly moving emotional heft of Judy’s devastating illness and compassion for her son as the dramatic counterpoint to his deeply troubled mental state in this stunning first feature. MT

PREVIEWING AT EAST END FILM FESTIVAL | 15 APRIL 2018 and On general release from FRIDAY 20 APRIL 2018

The Marriage (2017) East End Film Festival 2018

Dir.: Blerta Zeqiri; Cast: Alban Ukaj, Adriana Matoshi, Genc Salihu, Vjosa Abazi; Albania/Kosovo 2017, 97 min.

Blerta Zeqiri’s debut feature is set in Kosovo’s capital Pristina and features – surprisingly – a gay/straight ménage-a-trois. Shot in warm colours by the handheld camera of DoP Sevdije Kastrati, The Marriage always comes up with new twists, keeping us engaged throughout

We first meet Bekim (Ukaj) and his finance Anita (Matoshi) at the border between Kosovo and Serbia, where this Kosovar couple is waiting to identify the bodies Anita’s parents, who were killed in Kosovo War of 1999. This gruesome scene in a makeshift tent is a pitiful sight especially as Anita cannot identify her parents. On the way home in their car to Pristina, were Bekim runs a bar and Anita works in fashion shop, they discuss of Nol (Genc), a musician, who had a successful career in Paris and has now come back to their village. Anita is well aware of the friendship between the two men, but does not know that they have been lovers for a long time. In Bekim’s bar, both men lie to Anita, claiming hat they are depressed because Nol had to give up the love of his life – the implications are clear, that this person is a woman. Later Bekim goes a step further, and tells Anita that Nol is the lover his married sister Zana (Abazi).

What emerges is a story of lies and obfuscation based partly on shame – Islam takes a hard line decrying homosexuality – but this is compounded by a man’s inability to be straight and honest with his wife. Nol too is clearly is confused and is unable, despite his feelings, to be frank with Bekim, refusing to leave the village with and start again in France.

The gay sex is very graphic, on the whole Blerta never shrinks from showing a realistic picture of the male relationship. The atmosphere in the bar scene is testosterone-laden, and when Bekim is approached by a  man who wants to use his bar for an LGBT celebration, Bekim refuses and leaves the table angrily. Neither Bekim’s nor Anita’s extended family has an idea about Bekim’s sexual orientation, gaydom is unacceptable for them. Zeqiri never shrinks from showing the duplicity, Bekim’s fear and betrayal are always played out in the crassest possible way. This is a very brave debut, with brilliant ensemble acting and realistic ending. AS


House Without Roof (2017) **** | East End Film Festival 2018

Dir.: Soleen Yusef; Cast: Mina Sadic, Sasun Sayan, Murat Seven, Wedad Sabri, Ahmet Zirek; Iraq/Germany/Qatar 2016, 117 min.

Writer/director Soleen Yusef was born to Kurdish parents, and emigrated to Germany with her family when she was nine. The intricate script is one of the highlights of this self-assured and densely plotted debut, a convincingly fraught road movie, which is actually her graduation film from the Baden-Würtemberg Film School.

After the fall of Sadam Hussein, Kurdish siblings Liya (Sadic), Jan (Sayan) and Alan (Seven) are not getting on well in their new life in Germany. Their mother Gule (Sabri) wants to go back with them  to their Kurdish homeland, but the rather wayward Alan will have nothing of it. Gule dies suddenly and her Will reveals the request to be buried next to her husband – a hero from the war against Iraq in 1990 – on Kurdish soil. The three siblings cannot agree about anything so make their separate ways back to Duhok, where Liya meets a taxi driver, who will play a significant role in the forthcoming odyssey. They all finally come together in the house of uncle Ferad (Zirek), and it becomes clear that well-balanced Jan (whose wife is expecting a child back in Germany) has a secret. When Ferad categorically denies the siblings the right to bury their mother next to their father, the real facts starts to emerge about this so-called father who was anything but a hero: he was a traitor who took his own life. Their final journey back to the village is fraught with ups and down as the truth is finally revealed.

Yusef deftly masters her material, keeping the plot together, despite near-surrealistic incident made more bizarre by the awkward trio conversing in German. Liya, whose name means ‘Patience’ in translation, is just the opposite. DoP Stephan Burchardt’s lively handheld camera creates the right look for this topsy-turvy family drama, mixing close-ups mixed with long panning shots over the glorious landscape. Sadic leads the brilliant cast, never wavering from her efforts to put her foot down in a male dominated society – even if she has to copy some bad habits of the opposite sex. AS


Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (2017) **** | East End Film Festival 2018

Dir: Mouly Surya  Writer: Rama Adi| Drama | Indonesia | 92′

There a dark humour to this feminist parable set in the enchanting widescreen skyscapes and exotic shady interiors of a remote Indonesian village in the South Pacific, where revenge is a dish best served with calm and a dash of strychnine by the central character Marlina, played gracefully and with deadpan conviction by Marsha Timothy.

Although Mouly Surya’s third feature is a modern story from a Muslim country it feels distinctly stuck in the Dark Ages, certainly where attitudes towards to the fairer sex are concerned. Played out in four segments, as the title suggests, the film explores how a young widow deals with the aftermath of being robbed of her livestock and then raped by seven bandits who seem to think they have done her a favour. Clearly the pleasure is hers, as we discover early on in this amusingly arcane tale.

Yunus Pasolang’s limpid lensing and Zeke Khaseli and Yudhi Arfani’s redolent trumpet soundtrack often bring to mind a Sergio Leone Western, albeit one set in Sumba Island, to the north east of Australia. This languid drama takes its time and is surprisingly gentle and poetic in contrast to its violent subject matter. There are also touches of surreal artistry at play: in one scene Marlina is followed down the dusty road in the sweltering heat by her headless rapist – or perhaps it’s just a mirage. But the tone is gently upbeat, the pace leisurely but bristling with a low level tension as the story unfurls in a seemingly lawless community where casual violence is prone to rear its head at any given moment, and not just on the part of the male population.

Indonesian men clearly think themselves the superior sex, and are a querulous and unsympathetic lot, but women are not always supportive of each other either, in the Solomon Islands. Marlina is plainly irritated by the heavily pregnant Novi (Dea Panendra) who talks none stop and insists on following her to the Police station in the hope of protection and further attack from the rest of the gang. Marlina’s gruesome package is clearly a talking point amongst locals during their bus journey — but the pair eventually reach their destination despite in an eventful journey that’s as breathtaking as it is satisfyingly weird. MT

EAST END FILM FESTIVAL | 2018 | 12 April 2018

The Legend of the Ugly King (2018) | East End Film Festival 2018

Dir.: Hüseyin Tabak; Documentary with Yilmaz Güney, Fatos Güney, Elif Güney-Putün, Nebahat Cehre, Donat Keusch, Serif Goren, Costa Gavras, Patrick Boussier, Canan Gerede; Germany/Austria 2017, 122 min.

German born director Hüseyin Tabak (Deine Schönheit ist nichts wert) treads a careful line in this frank portrait of the Kurdish film director and political activist Yilmaz Güney (1937-1984) – a man with personal flaws but undeniable talent.

Yilmaz Güney was born in Andana, Anatolia in Southern Turkey to Kurdish parents – and heritage he was proud of for he rest of his life. After studying economics at Istanbul University, he became a screen actor in as many as 111 features and later gained the sobriquet ‘The ugly King’, after playing a gangster in the 1967 film of the same name. In 1960 and 1962 he was imprisoned for political reasons, and directed his first feature in 1965. After establishing his own production company with early 1970s social realist fare such as Umut (Hope), Agit (Elegy), Aci (Pain) and Hopeless – far removed from the entertainment films he had starred in beforehand. In 1972 he was arrested again for harbouring radical students, and was later imprisoned during pre-production of Zavallilar (The Miserable) in 1975. The timing of his arrest was crucial, since he was completing his 1974 film Endise (Worry), which was finished by his assistant Serif Gören, who would become a regular stand in during his prision stays, particularly during Güney’s long internment between 1974 and 1981. The filmaker was released under an amnesty in 1974, but re-arrested in the same year for shooting dead a district attorney near his birthplace of Adana. In the trial, it became clear, that the incident was part of a drunken brawl, and Güney had absolute no intention of killing his victim. But he state judiciary changed trial judges three times, and finally Güney was convicted for murder and sentenced to 19 years in prison. In his cell, he wrote his masterpieces directed by Zeki Okten: Suru (The Herd), 1978 and Dusman (The Enemy) 1979. A year later, the new military Junta declared all of Güney’s films banned, and a year later the director escaped from prison, helped by the American director Canan Gerede, and his Austrian producer Donat Keusch, who bribed prison wards and border soldiers with “whores and money”. Güney was being granted asylum in France by President Mitterand, after Germany and other West European countries had refused to grant him this status. In the following year, at the Cannes Film Festival, Güney’s Yol (directed again by Goren) won the Golden Palme, sharing it with Costa-Gavras’ Missing, the latter having fled from the Greek Junta to France. A year before his death of cancer in 1984, Güney directed his last feature, Duvar (The Wall) in France.

Güney’s first marriage was to the Turkish actress Nebahat Cehre, who had co-starred in many of his films. The marriage only lasted from 1966 to 1968, after which Cehre asked for a divorce, after her husband had tried to run her over with his car after an argument, breaking her collarbone in the process. Interviewed, she stated, that her ex told her in hospital “that I could be sure, that he did not wanted to hit me with the car”. Güney had a daughter from a former relationship, Elif Güney Putun, whom he hardly ever saw. But Tabak quotes from one of Güney’s film’s, were a child is called Elif, and her (film) fate bears resemblance to the one of his neglected daughter. When shooting The Wall in 1983, French filmmaker Patrick Blossier was allowed to shoot a documentary of the making of the feature, and was surprised, how much freedom Güney gave him. The excerpts we see are rather frightening: he making a big scene with the translator, after the latter misheard Güney’s directives. Worse, the latter shouts and raves at an actor, a young boy, who tried in vain to cry. After the day’s shooting, Güney tried to make up for his brutal behavior, telling the boy, how much he loved him.

Tabak, who discussed the structure of the film with fellow director Michael Haneke, tries his best to give the professional the personal Egos of Güney enough space, sometimes one feels his embarrassment at this ‘hero’s’ vicious machismo. But Tabak delivers a very satisfying statement on filmmaking, history and the male psyche. AS


Brasilia: Life After Design (2017) *** | East End Film Festival 2018

Dir: Bart Simpson | Doc | US | 90’

In Brasilia: Life After Design, Bart Simpson takes a novel approach in  exploring the social, economic and political aftermath of modernist ‘starchitect’ Oscar Niemeyer’s inventive urban planning project that created Brazil’s new national capital in 1960, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located on high plateau in the country’s centre-western region, it comprises a metropolitan area now estimated to be the Latin American country’s third most populous. It is divided into various economic districts (Banking, Embassy etc) it moved the seat of government away from Rio de Janeiro and into a more central location. The film asks the question? Can you create a perfect city from scratch? What emerges is interesting. Although you can in theory, when the human element is added, it doesn’t always go according to plan.

Niemeyer and his partner Costa wanted to create a utopian city, designing Brasilia on a cross-axial grid and allowing for generous green areas where mid-sized trees where planted into aligned avenues to give a ‘ready made’ environment from the outset. A Monumental Axis accommodated government, monuments and institutions and a Residential Axis housed the inhabitants. Costa’s intention with housing superblocks was to have small self-contained and self-sufficient neighborhoods and uniform buildings with apartments of two or three different categories, where he hope to facilitate the integration of upper and middle classes sharing the same residential area. But sadly Brasilia has not been the success story originally intended for various reasons.

And this is in part due to the region’s hostile landscape. Niemeyer and Costa worked with government support to create the ‘Plano Piloto’, an innovative built environment intended to reshape the way people interact and behave within its confines. Rather than an organic city, Brasilia was imposed on its terrain, over a period five years. And despite its sophisticated architecture and status as a capital city, all the problems of contemporary Brazilian society soon surfaced there despite best laid plans – from unemployment to crime and social divide. Brasilia has failed to accommodate its burgeoning population.

So how is life after design for the people that live there? We meet a street vendor who is struggling to find a clientele due to the vast open boulevards; a mother whose job is a difficult commute to from her kids’ school; economic instability and social alienation and a general lack of neighbourly-ness induced by the built environment, despite high quality architecture. A building can look good but be impractical or hostile to live in. So a success on the drawing board, can actually be a disaster when it hits the reality of the streets.

Stunningly shot on the widescreen and in intimate close-up, Simpson’s documentary is chockfull of sophisticated facades and impressive building designs, capturing the city’s geometric shapes, pleasing symmetry and glamorous skylines. But on a personal level there are clearly concerns for those who have made it their home. Simpson’s film offers fascinating insight for travellers, historians, designers and those interested in its themes, although thr lack of a distinct dramatic arc may make it less absorbing for mainstream viewers. MT



West of Sunshine (2017) | East End Film Festival 2018

Dir: Jason Raftopoulos | Australia / 78’ | cast: Damian Hill, Ty Perham, Kat Stewart, Tony Nikolakopoulos, Arthur Angel

Jason Raftopoulos’ well-meaning but flawed father-son portrait has plenty of twists, but still panders too much to the notorious Australian male ego . It follows a dad with less than a day left to repay a debt while also bonding with his offspring. Low on the tension needed to fuel the countdown narrative West of Sunshine is a metaphor for a life where hope and the future reside under sunnier skies.

Set in a the back end of Melbourne the action takes place between morning and evening, and Raftopoulos loses no time in introducing the two main characters: father Jimmy (Hill) who is running late collecting his teenage son Alex (Perham) from his estranged wife’s house in a middle class suburb. Jimmy is a compulsive gambler working as a courier, and even his best friend Steve (Angel) is running out of patience with him. The clocks ticks by as he first upsets his on-and-off girlfriend, then starts peddling drugs for Mel (Stewart), another ex. In between, he makes a big win on the horses, but schematically gambles it all away. Everything happens more or less in front of Alex, who is told that Dad is “selling vitamins” – before he finds out the truth, tasting some of the coke. Down on his uppers, Jimmy then leaves his vintage car with his debtor, having been beaten up by two heavies. No surprises in store here.

Raftopoulos pulls off the action scenes with a certain aplomb, but when he turns his camera to the emotional father and son scenes the drama turns soggy and kitsch with the use of slow-motion and sunsets. When asked by his mother how his day with Dad went, Alex answers “the best day ever”. Really? AS


Gary Numan: Android in La La Land (2016)

Directors: Steve Read and Rob Alexander

85min | Biopic | UK

Steve Read and Rob Alexander get together again for their second documentary that stylishly explores the human side of the reclusive British synthpop pioneer who started Tubeway Army rising to fame with two iconic ’70s hits – Cars and Are Friends Electric?

After thirty years away from the spotlight 55 year old Gary Numan emerges a blissfully married father of three small girls and making a move to a castle in Los Angeles to expand his repertoire into the film world and promote Splinter (2013) – his latest album which turns out to be a bestseller. Alexander and Reed’s film doesn’t attempt to fill in the blanks of the past three decades career-wise, but looks behind Numan’s cold and alienating public persona to expose a rather loveable man who is genuinely passionate about his music and disarmingly down to earth. The directors also avoid a talking heads approach centring their biopic on a close circle of Numan’s collaborators and his parents, who reveal how their son was a self-starting loner who suffered pathological stage fright as was much later diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Numan started life as Gary Webb and formed his five man band Tubeway Army as a London teengager in the late ’70s, getting them signed to a major label during punk rock’s surge to the public consciousness. When he discovered how the moog synthesiser could produce a series of highly original sounds Numan incorporated these electronic new wave vibes into a groundbreaking album ‘Replicas’ creating the first UK synthpop hit ‘Are Friends Electric?’ – along the same lines as the German band Kraftwerk several years previously. His robotic stage routines and swivelling eye movements where a clever attempt to emotionally detach himself from his public appearances in order to cope with severe shyness and social unease caused by Asperger’s, but they soon became one of the most innovative and successful features of his performances.

However, debt rapidly followed his breakout success largely due to the mounting costs of his futuristic stage sets and expensive lighting equipment and this caused a rift with his father and manager as the family had sacrificed everything for their only son’s career. The film makes no attempt to explore how financially Numan bounced back simply stating that he carried on working and touring, clutching success from the jaws of failure due to inner strength and his relationship with Gemma – a long-time groupie who eventually became his wife in 1997. One of the takeway moments of the film is when Gary shares his composing techniques ensconced in his musical studio. Fully admitting how unpleasant he can become during this anxiety ridden process, he confesses to coming alive nowadays on stage and wishes he could go on forever.

GARY NUMAN; ANDROID IN LA LA LAND works as a portrait of a fully evolved creative force and also as a tribute to  his relationship with the driven force of bubbly Gemma whose hair changes from a raven to flame and then butter blond bombshell during filming and, whom he describes as “everything that I am not” and his conduit to the outside world. Gemma has clearly built her entire existence round the easy-going and appealingly self-deprecating musician who appears to be charmingly devoid of hang-ups or pretensions as he goes about his days in black jeans, tee-shirts and sleeve tattoos. Numan still dyes his quiff of hair black in an attempt to stay youthful. But as his daughter Echo comments: “Daddy you still look old – but with black hair instead of grey”. Clearly children keep you grounded, even when you’re a pop star. MT



How to Lose Jobs and Alienate Girlfriends (2015) | East End Film Festival

Dir.: Tom Meadmore

Cast: Tony Jackson, Amanda Medica, Thomas Meadmore

Australia 2014, 73 min.

Back in 2008, Australian film editor Thomas Meadmore wanted to direct his own film. He chose his boss, TV director Tony Jackson, and his girlfriend Amanda Medica as subjects, since both were aspiring singers/musicians. As it turned out, his efforts did affect him professionally and personally, and, as the title suggest, not for the best.

The Melbourne set documentary might not be an aesthetic masterpiece and first timer Meadmore certainly knew very little  about himself or his subjects, not to mention his total lack of empathy, but his honesty somehow saves this rugged undertaking. Whilst it soon becomes clear that Meadmore’s filmmaking skills are not much above your average home movie maker, he is obviously oblivious of his failings, and instead attacks both Jackson and his girl friend Amanda, telling his boss that he lacks talent as a singer and is far too old at the age of forty to start a career as musician. He then accuses Amanda of a lacking motivation, even though she has to earn her living as a waitress on top of her music career.

Meadmore’s arrogance is as surprising, as his lack of awareness: he is shocked that Thomas and Amanda resent him and it’s hardly surprising that the two split up fairly early on in the proceedings. Interviews with Jackson’s ex-wife, and conversations with his sister again show Meadmore as an overreaching self-starter with strong opinions, but few skills as a filmmaker and even less as an human being.

Meadmore comes over as control freak and manipulator, who has little going for himself, apart from his brutal honesty, which is underlined in the credits, when How to lose Jobs & Alienate Your Girlfriends is called a selfie/film. It is, alas, very much the first. In spite of himself, Meadmore somehow manages some scathing humour, but overall this is just an exercise in self-glorification, aspiring filmmakers can safely use the film as a model of how not proceed. AS


The East End Film Festival (EEFF) 25 June – 10 July 2013

IN THE NAME OF – Malgorzata Szumovska’s follow-up to ELLES screens 3 July

PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER – hot girls behind the Iron Curtain  4 July

FRANCES HA – a brilliantly witty black and white satire screens 6 July 2013

SATELLITE BOY – David Galpill still shines 40 years after WALKABOUT screens 6 July

The EAST END FILM FESTIVAL (EEFF) returns to London’s East End for its 12th and biggest edition this summer, from 25 June to 10 July. EEFF will present two weeks of cutting-edge films reflecting the culture, diversity and spirit of East London across an international programme. Artistic director Alison Poltock places the emphasis on first and second-time filmmakers, hot breakthrough bands and digital visionaries, EEFF is London’s destination for revolutionary new film, music, the arts.

This year ARGENTINA takes centre stage with six new releases featuring directors Armando Bo (EL ULTIMO ELVIS), Alejandro Fidel (THE WILD ONES), Matias Piñiero (VIOLA) and Sofia de Skalon (London Argentine Film Festival).


Filmmaker Mark Donne’s second feature THE UK GOLD  takes up the subject of takx evasion following the dramatic battle of a vicar from a small parish in the London Borough of Hackney who pits himself against the City, revealing its central status as the tax-haven capital of the world. Narrated by actor Dominic West (The Wire, The Hour), and featuring an extraordinary new sound-score from Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja.  All this is happening at the TROXY, a revived theatre in London’s E1, close to Shadwell tube.  Its claim to fame is a giant wurlitzer that’s currently being refurbished.


The festival closes on Wednesday 10 July with the UK Premiere of LOVELACE, the eventful and tragic story of Linda Lovelace, the most famous adult actress of the 1970s, is a power account of modern celebrity starring Amanda Seyfried, James Franco and Sharon Stone.


One of the UK’s largest film festivals, EEFF will screen an international programme of over 80 features and 100 shorts, including UK Premieres:

We recommend:

HALLEY (dir: Sebastian Hofmann), a staggering tale of a lonely security guard at a Mexico City gym whose physical deterioration contrasts wildly with the healthy bodies around him;

SOLDATE JEANETTE (SOLDIER JANE) (dir: Daniel Hoesl), a provocative portrait of two women from different ends of the social spectrum;

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TELEVISION (dir: Mostofa Sarwar Farooki) showing the clashes that arise between religion and technology when a teacher in a Bangladeshi village buys a TV;

GENERATION UM (dir: Mark Mann) starring Keanu Reeves as a listless voyeur whose search for new experience leads him to video the dark confessions of two New York party girls – a European Premiere.

FRANCES HA from Noah Baumbach, a really inventive and witty coming-of-age story about a struggling dancer in NYC played by Greta Gerwig.

ANY DAY NOW (dir: Travis Fine) is set in seventies LA and stars Alan Cumming as a gay burlesque performer who, along with the closeted district attorney he’s just met, take in their neighbours abandoned and mentally handicapped son until a biased legal system questions the arrangement.

CALL GIRL (dir: Mikael Marcimain) is a brilliantly rendered seventies story of sexual exploitation and political corruption in Sweden, the same era and subject matter as our closing night gala, LOVELACE.

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International documentaries worth looking out for:

AFTER TILLER (dir: Lana Wilson, Martha Shane), documenting a group of doctors who become targets of the pro-life movement.


EEFF champions the best of new British cinema with the largest ever selection of British films, with 25 features from British filmmakers at every stage of the profession.

SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF: the European Premiere Mike Figgis’s stylish psycho-sexual murder-mysterystarring Sebastian Koch, Lotte Verbeek and Emilia Fox;

WE ARE THE FREAKS, the new feature from award-winning shorts filmmaker Justin Edgar, a high octane teen comedy starring Jamie Blackley (Vinyl), Mike Bailey (Skins) and Rosamund Hanson (This Is England, Life’s Too Short);

DISCOVERDALE, George Kane’s feature debut is a fly-on-the-wall mocumentary about the frontman of a just-defunct band who believes his long-lost father is Whitesnake’s David Coverdale.

A FIELD IN ENGLAND with director, Ben Wheatley, cast and crew in attendance.

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PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER (dir: Mike Lerner, Maxim Pozdorovkin), chronicling the way a small act of protest became an international story of human rights abuse;

For a local flavour, the World Premiere of WE AIN’T STUPID, the first feature from Mitch Panayis (winner in 2012 of EEFF’s Short Film Audience Award), documenting the changing nature of Queen’s Market in West Ham, in a timely examination of a fading trade; Trevor Miller’s first feature RIOT ON REDCHURCH STREET, a spirited tale of a love triangle and Anglo-Muslim relations in East London’s rock n’ roll subculture; and Jason Attar and Danny Wimborne’s first feature ONE NIGHT IN POWDER, a tale of an obscure British rocker’s last-ditch effort to find fame and fortune.


EEFF’s signature paring of live soundtrack and silent film in a unique setting was voted Best Silent Film Event Of The Year in 2012 by Silent London. EEFF returns to Spitalfields Market in 2013 with a FREE outdoor screening of LA ANTENA (dir: Esteban Sapir). Set in a future dystopian city whose residents have lost their voices, this imaginative Argentine film will be accompanied by immersive contemporary dance by East End-based Neon Dance, and a specially commissioned score by gothic pop band Esben and the Witch.


This year’s Director in Residence is Armando Bo and the festival will include a special focus on Argentine Cinema, including UK Premieres of LOS SALVAJES (THE WILD ONES) (dir: Alejandro Fadel) and LEONES (dir: Jazmin López), both compelling tales of angst- ridden Argentine teenagers; and VIOLA (dir: Matías Piñeiro), which takes fragments of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night to spin a labyrinthine web of desire.

Joining Armando Bo on a jury to choose this year’s Best Feature will be The Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw, producer and co-founder of Tugg, Inc. Nicolas Gonda, and My Brother The Devil director Sally El Hosaini.

This year’s Best Documentary Jury comprises writer and filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, filmmaker and poet Iain Sinclair, musician Mark Stewart, producer Rachel Wexler and head programmer of CPH:DOX, Niklas Engstrom. The Shorts Jury comprises multiple BAFTA winning short filmmaker Martina Amati, director of Rushes Soho Shorts Festival Joe Bateman, Vice Chair of the board of the European Film Academy Nik Powell, and actress Jodie Whittaker.


A day of Southern-fried cinema, GRITS ‘N’ GRAVY celebrates the American Deep South with films including DOWN BY LAW (dir: Jim Jarmusch) starring Tom Waits, and Alabama music doc MUSCLE SHOALS (dir: Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier) plus live bluegrass music from Dirty Gentleman, hearty Southern grub and free Bloody Mary’s.


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