“Even in the six years I’ve been involved, the festival has undergone some seismic movements, but none more so than this year,” says EEFF artistic director Alison Poltock. “Two weeks of the best cutting-edge voices in cinema, found in the less obvious places – a mixture of art, music and political discourse all relevant to the energetic and diverse nature of London’s East End.”
OPENING NIGHT GALA: THE UK GOLD
All eyes were on east London in 2012. Since that summer of glory, gold medals and diamond jubilation, questions have been raised as to what kind of legacy recession-hit Britain has really inherited. With that in mind, and with the G8 Summit being held in the UK in June, EEFF will open on Tuesday 25 June with the World Premiere of a vital new feature documentary that is the antithesis of last summer’s manic Union Jack waving. Journalist and filmmaker Mark Donne’s second feature THE UK GOLD follows the dramatic battle of a vicar from a small parish in the London Borough of Hackney as he goes head to head with an ancient and mighty heavyweight, revealing its central status as the tax-haven capital of the world. From Zambia to Salisbury; from the Cayman Islands to Clapton, a huge, untold story unfurls which shakes our notions of nationhood and empire. 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, it incorporates the views and voices of British politicians, hedge fund masters of the universe, Vanity Fair investigative journalist Nicolas Shaxson, Private Eye’s Richard Brooks and Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow, to expose the fundamental role the City of London plays in the secretive network of tax havens and tax avoidance. Screening at the Art Deco Troxy, this gala screening will be followed by a very special musical performance.
CLOSING NIGHT GALA: LOVELACE
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. Plagued by a difficult upbringing, an abusive marriage, and a desire to move on from her past, this superb Hollywood biopic by Academy Award-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, HOWL) is a powerful account of modern celebrity. Starring Amanda Seyfried (Les Misérables, Mamma Mia!) with a cast including Sharon Stone, Peter Sarsgaard, James Franco, Adam Brody and Juno Temple. EEFF’s gala closing night event shifts from Hackney Picturehouse to Netil House, for a special screening of THE OUTER EDGES. This collaboration between filmmaker Kieran Evans and Underworld frontman Karl Hyde is a poetic meditation on the Essex borderlands, from wetlands to working men’s clubs, with an improvised score performed live by Karl Hyde.
INTERNATIONAL FILM HIGHLIGHTS
One of the UK’s largest film festivals, EEFF will screen an international programme of over 80 features and 100 shorts, many by first- and second-time directors, including UK Premieres of MISS LOVELY (dir: Ashim Ahluwalia) which follows two brothers and a shady ingénue on Mumbai’s trashy movie scene; INCH’ALLAH (dir: Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette) portraying a Canadian doctor who’s torn between two sides while working in a West Bank refugee camp; 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; Rotterdam award-winner SOLDATE JEANETTE (SOLDIER JANE) (dir: Daniel Hoesl), a provocative portrait of two women from different ends of the social spectrum; TELEVISION (dir: Mostofa Sarwar Farooki) showing the clashes that arise between religion and technology when a teacher in a Bangladeshi village buys a TV; and the European Premiere of 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.
There are also films from established directors including SHOKUZA (PENANCE) from Japanese master of suspense Kiyoshi Kurosawa, about a mother who holds four girls responsible for the death of her kidnapped daughter. Filmmaker Noah Baumbach returns to his indie roots, reuniting with actress Greta Gerwig for offbeat coming-of-age story FRANCES HA, about a struggling dancer in NYC. Set in 1970’s Los Angeles, ANY DAY NOW(dir: Travis Fine) 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 question the arrangement. Another 1970’s set tale, CALL GIRL (dir: Mikael Marcimain) is a brilliantly rendered story of sexual exploitation and political corruption in Sweden, the same era and subject matter as our closing night gala, LOVELACE.
International documentaries include RICHARD PRYOR: OMIT THE LOGIC (dir: Ali and Marina Zenovich) celebrating the legendary comedian; andAFTER TILLER (dir: Lana Wilson, Martha Shane), documenting a group of doctors who become targets of the pro-life movement.
BRITISH FILM HIGHLIGHTS
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. This includes the European Premiere of Academy Award-nominated director Mike Figgis’s stylish psycho-sexual murder-mystery SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF starring 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); and George Kane’s feature debut DISCOVERDALE, 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. There’ll also be a special screening of Ben Wheatley’s A FIELD IN ENGLAND with director, cast and crew in attendance.
There’s an impressive feature documentary contingent, with many highlights from first- and second-time British documentary filmmakers including the World Premiere of THE HEART OF BRUNO WIZARD (dir: Elisabeth Rasmussen), portraying the iconic singer-songwriter, artist, activist, and founder of seminal post-punk band The Homosexuals; 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; SMASH & GRAB: THE STORY OF THE PINK PANTHERS (dir: Havana Marking), pursuing a gang of international jewel thieves; and THE MAN WHOSE MIND EXPLODED (dir: Toby Amies) portraying a Brighton-based eccentric who can remember working with Salvador Dali, but who can’t remember yesterday.
EEFF also supports filmmakers in telling stories of local significance, including 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.
AWARD-WINNING SONIC CINEMA
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-basedNeon Dance, and a specially commissioned score by gothic pop band Esben and the Witch.
DIRECTOR IN RESIDENCE / FESTIVAL JURY
EEFF is committed to giving exposure to new and distinctive filmmakers. First- and second-time directors are shortlisted for the Best Film Award, the winner of which is invited back the following year as Director in Residence. Having won in 2012 with his tragic and beautiful debut feature El Ultimo Elvis, 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 filmmakerMartina 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.
EEFF invited a group of young east Londoners aged 16-21 to programme 3 days of films and events at the Genesis Cinema. The result is CUTTING-EAST, including the London Premiere of NYC pop video feature GIRL WALK // ALL DAY (dir: Jacob Krupnik) and a special screening of Tottenham-set high school teen comedy IT’S A LOT (dir: Femi Oyeniran, Darwood Grace). Cutting-East is a partnership between Tower Hamlets Council, Queen Mary University of London, and EEFF and is supported by Film London through the National Lottery Funding on behalf of the BFI and Youth in Action via the British Council.
Too many first time feature filmmakers never make a second film. EEFF’s industry sessions MIND THE GAP will address the issues at the heart of this trend with 3 days of expert-led sessions, helping filmmakers in all stages of their careers cross the divide between an initial success and a sustainable career in the industry.
Experts including director Mike Figgis will take part in EMERGE, a day of discourse, screenings, live performances and installations probing the creative potential of emerging technology and future filmmaking, looking at the rise of micro filmmaking, transmedia and storytelling across platforms, showcasing innovative experiments with moving image and interactive technologies.
NEW MUSIC FESTIVAL: EAST END LIVE
Reflecting the East End’s burgeoning music scene, live music has played an increasingly prominent role at EEFF, so much that this year the festival announces a brand new initiative. EAST END LIVE is a one day multi-venue music festival affiliated with the Independent Label Market, featuring breakthrough and more established bands and DJs from east London and beyond. Running 5pm to 5am at venues across the East End on Saturday 13 July, the lineup includes psychedelic indie rockers Toy, post-punk band The Monochrome Set, metal band Wet Nuns, hardcore group Perspex Flesh, French cold wave innovators Charles De Goal, Charles Hayward, Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, Moon Zero, Skinny Girl Diet, Teeth Of The Sea, Shopping, Joseph Coward, Indesinence, Beards Plus seminal band Pere Ubu will perform a live score for 1962 horror film CARNIVAL OF SOULS (dir: Herk Harvey) creating a vibrant communion of sound and image. 50 bands,10 venues, 1 wristband, early bird price £10.
ALL EYES ON US (dir: Eelyn Lee, UK)
BRUNO & EARLENE GO TO VEGAS (dir: Simon Savory, UK)
EAST ONE (dir: Hazuan Hashim & Phil Maxwell, UK)
OUTER EDGES – DIRECTORS CUT (dir: Kieran Evans, UK)
OVERHILL (dir: Will Hutchinson, UK)
PROSPECTS (dir: Sebastian Duthy, UK)
RAILWAY REDEMPTION (dir: Santiago Posada, UK/Sri Lanka)
RIOT ON REDCHURCH STREET (dir: Trevor Miller, UK)
SOMMERSTALLET (dir: Johan von Reybekiel & Marcus Werner Hed, UK/Sweden)
THE BRIGHTEST COLOURS MAKE GREY (dir: Daniel Audritt, UK)
THE FADE (dir: Andy Mundy-Castle, UK)
THE HEART OF BRUNO WIZARD (dir: Elisabeth Rasmussen, UK)
THE POOR & HUNGRY – DIRECTOR’S CUT (dir: Craig Brewer, USA)
THE TIK AND THE TURKEY (dir: John Doe, Turkey)
THE UK GOLD (dir: Mark Donne, UK)
WE AIN’T STUPID (dir: Mitch Panayis, UK)
ANY DAY NOW (dir: Travis Fine, USA)
GENERATION UM (dir: Mark Mann, USA)
2 GRAVES (dir: Yvonne McDevitt. UK)
ANNELIE (dir: Antej Farac, Switzerland/Germany)
BEYOND THE GRAVE (dir: Davi de Oliveira Pinheiro, Brazil)
BLACKOUT (dir: Eva Weber, UK)
BURN IT UP DJASSA (dir: Lonesome Solo, Cote d’Ivoire/France)
DOLLHOUSE (dir: Kirsten Sheridan, Ireland)
HALLEY (dir: Sebastian Hofmann, Mexico)
IN THE NAME OF (dir: Malgoska Szumowska, Poland)
INCH ‘ALLAH (dir: Anais Barbeau-Lavalette, Canada)
KURO (dir: Daisuke Shimote, Japan)
LEONES (dir: Jazmin López, Argentina/France/Netherlands)
LOVELACE (dir: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman, USA)
MISS LOVELY (dir: Ashim Ahluwalia, India)
PENANCE (dir: Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan)
PHARMAKON (dir: Joni Shanaj, Albaina)
PILGRIM SONG (dir: Martha Stephens, USA)
ROCKER (dir: Marian Crisan, Romania)
SATELLITE BOY (dir: Catriona McKenzie, Australia)
SOLDIER JANE (dir: Daniel Hoesl, Austria)
SONGS OF REDEMPTION (dir: Amanda Sans, Jamaica)
SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF (dir: Mike Figgis, UK)
TELEVISION (dir: Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, Bangladesh)
THE 99% OCCUPY WALL STREET (dir: Aaron Aites, Audrey Ewell, Nina Krstic, Lucian Read, USA)
THE CLEANER (dir: Adrian Saba, Peru)
THE WILD ONES (dir: Alejandro Fadal, Argentina/Netherlands)
TRIOS EXERCISES D’INTERPRETATION (dir: Cristi Puiu, France)
UNDERGROUND ON THE SURFACE (dir: Salma El Tarzi, Egypt)
WHEN DERIN FALLS (dir: Çagatay Tosun, Turkey)
A WORLD NOT OURS (dir: Mahdi Fleifel, UK)
AFTER TILLER (dir: Lana Wilson, Martha Shane, USA)
AKA BLONDIE (dir: Jon Watts, USA)
BREATHE IN (dir: Drake Doremus, USA)
CALL GIRL (dir: Mikael Marcimain, Sweden/Finland/Norway)
COLOUR OF THE CHAMELEON (dir: Emil Hristow, Bulgaria)
CORES (COLORS) (dir: Francisco Garcia, Brazil)
DIE WELT (dir: Alex Pitstra, Netherlands)
DISCOVERDALE (dir: George Kane, UK/Ireland/Norway/Sweden)
DUMMY JIM (dir: Matt Hulse, UK)
FRANCES HA (dir: Noah Baumbach, USA)
GIRL WALK // ALL DAY (dir: Jacob Krupnik, USA)
RICHARD PRIOR: OMIT THE LOGIC (dir: Marina Zenovich, USA)
SMASH & GRAB (dir: Havana Marking, UK/USA/Serbia/Montenegro)
THE EAST (dir: Zal Batmanglij, USA)
THE LAST TIME I SAW MACAO (dir: Joao Pedro Rodrigues, Joao Rui Guerra da Mata, France/Portugal)
THE MAN WHOSE MIND EXPLODED (dir: Toby Amies, UK)
UNA NOCHE (dir: Lucy Mulloy, UK/USA/CUBA)
VIOLA (dir: Matías Piñeiro, Argentina)
WE ARE THE FREAKS (dir: Justin Edgar, UK)