A stalwart of everything cutting edge and visionary on London’s filmic calendar, the newly rebranded East End Film Festival (EEFF) returns again this July with yet another impressive programme of screenings, events and a festival fringe. Nestling itself comfortably in a summer of British pride, this year’s EEFF flies the flag for our nation, championing homegrown talent on and off the screen and also celebrating the multicultural identity the East End is famed for with films from over 40 countries.
While the main action takes place from Tuesday 2 July to Sunday 8 July, EEFF warms up with its festival fringe, Cine-East at Brick Lane’s Vibe Bar on Sunday 1 July with an outdoor screening of Wild Bill with appearances from Dexter Fletcher and the cast. Expect a day of free events, film screenings, live music, talks, workshops, film trails and competitions in over 100 cultural spaces throughout the area.
Keeping it at home for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, EEFF honours some less royal but nonetheless worthy Brits with 12 world premieres of British film including John Rogers’ Make Your Own Damn Art, following Turner Prize-nominated Bob & Roberta Smith from his garden shed in Leytonstone and Tim Lewiston’s East End car-cape Hot Potato, featuring Ray Winstone, Lois Winstone and Louise Redknapp.
Elsewhere, Andrew Kotting’s Swandown, documenting the bizarre journey of a swan-shaped pedalo as it makes its journey from Hastings to Hackney, will receive its London premiere. EEFF presents the UK premiere of Maurice Linnane’s evocative documentary, Arena: Amy Winehouse, The Day She Came to Dingle, using never before seen concert and archive footage to delve into the legacy of the late legend and her deep affection for jazz, soul and gospel. Nominated for Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize, Argentinian Armando Bo’s The Last Elvis (pictured) joins a wannabe Elvis impersonator from Buenos Aires on his unstoppable quest for fame.
Continuing the festival’s signature pairing of live soundtrack and silent film, this year audiences will be treated to FW Murnau’s classic 1922 horror, Nosferatu, with live soundscape from Minima and the 60-piece Queldryk Choral Ensemble, projections and absurdist poetry in Spitalfields Market. And it’s free.
In addition to a hearty programme comprising of five strands of themed movies exploring the energy of London’s East End from resistance and revolution to art, identity, this year’s EEFF boasts its biggest programme of LGBT films to date.
And of course, it would be impossible to have a cultural happening in East London in 2012 without some kind Olympic reference. Celebrating the impending Olympic arrivals, EEFF screens the world premieres of Daniel Rugo’s The Olympic Side of London, exploring how this once working class community has been reinvented as a cultural hotspot and Margaret Dickinson’s Builders and the Games, probing Britain’s biggest building site. As part of its complementary events programme, EEFF also welcomes the 1948 Olympic veterans for an evening celebrating their tales of representing Team GB last time the Olympics were in town.
Obligatory Olympic pride aside, with 14 world premieres, 35 UK premieres, 17 London premieres alongside a festival fringe with 1,000 films and events we don’t need to resort to sporting puns to convince you that this year’s East End Film Festival is one not to be missed. The only hurdle you’ll have to face is choosing what to see.
Ok, so maybe one sporting pun…
East End Film Festival takes place at various locations throughout East London from Sunday 1 July to Sunday 8 July.
Find the full programme of all screenings and events and purchase tickets by visiting the website.