Now in its third year, Shuffle Festival returns to the shady retreat amidst East London’s urban sprawl, Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, for another season of film and feasting. This year inspired by the theme of Movement, Migration and Place.
With film, science, food, performance art, architecture, comedy, music and event virtual reality, Shuffle has expanded from a small film festival to something all together more unique, combining science with the arts – and an enticing food offering.
The highlight of the festival is without doubt its extensive film strand, with twenty seven films exploring ideas of where we came from, where we are and where we’re going. Films include The Godfather II (Fri 24 Jul), Dirty Pretty Things (Sat 25 Jul), Strictly Ballroom (Sun 26 Jul), Lost In Translation (Tue 28 Jul) plus a hefty series of talks and discussions.
Opening the festival, Clio Barnard introduces her docudrama, The Arbour, matched with Chris Morris’ Four Lions with a Q&A with star Riz Ahmed, who will also be one of the Shuffle Prize judges. To close, Gareth Edwards discusses his debut film, Monsters. Founder of the festival Danny Boyle will also be on hand to introduce his films 127 Hours and The Beach during the opening weekend.
For the music, British Sea Power perform a live score to Penny Woolcock’s film, From the Sea to the Land Beyond with the UK’s only orchestra for the blind and visually impaired, the Inner Vision Orchestra Quartet. Hiphop heroes, Boy Blue Entertainment perform in Cantrell Field (27 July and 1 August) while Dark Arts Circus Performance see the festival to a close with performance art throughout the park. Brace a visit to the Dark Arts tent for performance poetry, music and unsettling video loops and glitch electronica.
And the virtual reality mention? In a storytelling first, Shuffle team up with experimental psychologists Prof. Charles Spence and Charles Michel from the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the University of Oxford and artist Chris Milk’s VR production company, Vrse works to present The Feelies, created by Shuffle Science Director Grace Boyle and Wellcome Trust. With a Samsung Gear VR headset, you’ll be part of an experimental investigation of place perception – in the guise of a theatrical one-hour experience immersing you in an artificially created stimulation of sound, touch, smell and taste.
Appetite for more? Taste for heights? Climb up to the Symbiosis Treehouse Restaurant built in the treetops, suspended above the graveyard. Cheese addict? Head to the Migration Pavilion for ‘Cows, Their Cheese and Our Addiction’ (Sat 25 Jul) to learn more about our relationship with cheese and its affect on world history. Plus there will be cheese tastings… Of over 20 cheeses from around he world. Check out the Special Dinner programmes with some intriguing dinner guests, such as the Biohackers – and their takeaway gift of your very own bioluminescent plankton to take home.
You’ll also be able to learn more about your new plankton friend with workshops and talks on everything from biohacking, genetic mapping, science and music via grime and virology as part of their free science programme.
Leave your usual expectations of arts festivals at the cemetery gates.
Shuffle Festival takes place from 24 July to 1 August in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Mile End.
Browse the full programme: shufflefestival.com