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Tuesday 20 April 2010

East End Film Festival Opens in 2 Days!

I've always had my eye on the ball with regards to film, with our editorial focus looking at the interdisciplinary nature of the arts, I feel it's important to engage with not only what's happening in the world of visual arts, but also that of film, performance, music and literature. I see all the arts connected - art influences art, and so on and so forth.

With our current issue, looking at the Artists' Cinema Project and the Aesthetica Short Film Competition, my focus has been even more acute, so I wanted to give you the heads up on this year's East End Film Festival (22 - 39 April).

Now in its ninth year, the festival offers a 9-day packed programme of features, documentaries and shorts, plus film-focused discussions and live music and arts events spread across thirty East End venues. Opening this Thursday, the festival will screen over 200 films, showcasing an impressive range of premieres from across the globe. As well as screening the best of East European, Middle Eastern, and South East Asian cutting edge urban cinema, East End Film Festival endeavours to keep its feet firmly planted in East London – and to this end will put East End filmmakers in the spotlight by screening new films from local emerging talent.

Films by British filmmakers include COWBOYS IN INDIA, SHED YOUR TEARS AND WALK AWAY, LAND GOLD WOMEN, ANA BEGINS and THE COST OF LOVE. The festival will also hark back to the East End of yesterday, with a specially commissioned programme of heritage films. Indeed, the festival opens with a gala screening of the digitally restored HD version of cult 1969 classic BRONCO BULLFROG; with another highlight being a free outdoor screening in Spitalfields Market of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1927 thriller THE LODGER, accompanied by a live soundtrack performed by Minima.

Mindful of the general election, there’ll also be a selection of thought-provoking films themed around cultural politics, such as a new cinematic version of acclaimed stage play SUS; a programme of films screening at Amnesty International’s Human Rights Action Centre including TIBET IN SONG and PRESUMED GUILTY; and a series of events, debates and gigs celebrating ROCK AGAINST RACISM. Other musical highlights include TAQWACORE: THE BIRTH OF PUNK ISLAM, a screening at Whitechapel Gallery of ALL THE YEARS OF TRYING alongside a debate on punk poetry, and the World Premiere of THE RIME OF THE MODERN MARINER.

Screening in atmospheric St Anne’s Church, this artist documentary narrated by musician Carl Barat explores the culture, community and folklore of the London Docks, with a live music score performed by composer Anthony Rossomando, Rose Elinor Dougall, and very special guests. A pop-up cinema at Village Underground will combine film, alternative music and live performance; including the UK Premiere of DOWNTOWN CALLING. International highlights include UK Premieres of THE WILD AND WONDERFUL WHITES OF WEST VIRGINIA, and anticipated Polish feature PIGGIES. Russian filmmaker Aleksey Balabanov will visit the East End to present his two most recent films CARGO 200 and MORPHIA.

For more information on these and other films, plus details of shorts programmes, networking events and masterclasses, visit www.eastendfilmfestival.com

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