9 June 2014

What Filmmakers should be watching at this year’s East End Film Festival

By Cassio | Categorised in Film Festival Diary
The East End Film Festival is an annual festival presenting a rich programme of international premieres, industry masterclasses and live cross-arts events.  We highlight the films that filmmakers and film fans should look out for at this year’s festival, running June 13- 25.
Lilting is a modern classic romance- in the timeless way that films like Brief Encounter live on,  it’ll soon spread by word of mouth to unsuspecting film buffs in the coming years.  Starring the endearing and tragically-struck Ben Whishaw, Lilting tells the story of the loss of Richard’s (Whishaw) partner, Kai,  and how he longs to share his grief with Kai’s Cambodian-Chinese mother.  The film is set in contemporary London- flitting between Richard’s hectic flat and the vintage-themed care home Junn now resides in.  The struggle to connect the two vastly conflicting cultures palpitates throughout the film, with a concluding crescendo which burns brightly and passionately, breaking the barriers between Richard and Junn, where language becomes insignificant.
A Message to the World- Whatever happened to Jesse Hector?
One for the Documentary fans! Jesse Hector is a cult legend amongst fans of punk-rock. With a career spanning 40 years and now working as a cleaner,  he attempts to answer the question ‘what ever happened to Jesse Hector and the Hammersmith Gorillas?’ Charmingly positive, Jesse harks back to life in 1960s London, when he was adored by fans at the centre of the punk rock movement;  “It was fierce, it was revolution, it was life!  The Beatles came along and gave us freedom.”  It is a heavenly slice of the 1960s/70s London punk movement and an absolute delight to watch for anyone interested in a documentary showcasing a vibrant and unique personality.
Here and Now
Here and Now tells the story of tough-talking East Londoner Grace, her warring parents, and their weeklong trip to the countryside in a shaky attempt to reconnect.  In the Wye Valley Grace meets silent, bereaved local boy Say, and against the backdrop of the fading summer a relationship develops that goes deeper than the atypical teenage summer romance.  A touching portrait of summer romance, with impressive performances from established performers Susan Lynch and William Nadylam, and newcomers Andy Rush and Lauren Johns.
A withdrawn, blind ex-soldier loses his beloved guide dog on an infamous housing estate. Convinced that his dog has been taken by a local gang, he embarks on a hazardous mission, working against the odds and the clock to rescue his missing canine friend. This cleverly structured and stylishly executed debut feature from Guy Pitt, revolving around an absolutely outstanding central performance from Alec Newman, is memorable, thought-provoking British cinema.
Hide and Seek
A utopian ideal is portrayed in this thought-provoking British film.  In an English country house, four young people from London move in together, seeking to challenge social conventions and their own tolerances by engaging in scheduled partner-swapping. The durability of their new living arrangements is tested by the arrival of an outsider who fails to get in tune with the foursome’s radical spirit. An inventive and engaging film that uses an elegant, delicate style to gently probe both the protagonists’ ideals and our own convictions about love and sex.
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