A FILM depicting Iain Sinclair, Hackney’s chronicler of the offbeat, in a swan-shaped pedalo, is surely a film to be seen. Swandown, about a journey by director Andrew Kotting and the writer from Hastings to the 2012 London Olympics in Stratford, is described as an “examination of the relevance of Englishness for 2012”. It is a highlight of the 11th East End Film Festival (EEFF), from Tuesday 3 July 2012 to Sunday 8 July 2012.
Screening 21 features, at the Rio Dalston, RichMix, Aubin, Stratford and Hackney Picturehouses, Genesis and other local cinemas, the festival offers art, music and sport films, and free events, including a free screening of the 1922 German classic Nosferatu. Hard to see what the German classic has to do with East London — but it is bound to appeal to every goth, not to mention serious cineaste in the area.
New Indian and Bangladeshi cinema, gay documentaries and dramas from more than 40 countries will also be in the festival.
Among movies to be premiered are The Hot Potato, a Ray Winstone vehicle, and The Legend of Kaspar Hauser, starring Vincent Gallo, a name that can strike dread in the heart of filmgoers.
Alison Poltock, the festival artistic director, said: “As the Olympics come to our neighbourhood, we’ll be exploring their effects with a series of Olympic-themed films, and acknowledging our home in one of the world’s most diverse quarters as we present a strand of work exploring notions of identity and displacement.”
There will be a jury contest and the festival has set up its own fringe. CINE-EAST runs on Monday 1 July from noon to midnight. The organisers say it will “take over every cinema, bar, café, nook and cranny of London’s East End with literally hundreds of documentaries, dramas, animations, filmmaking competitions, workshops”, all free.
This is a festival that gets better every year. In a time of recession, that is a great achievement.
David Altheer 300512
* Tickets for the main festival cost up to £20. For prices of particular sessions, plough through the EEFF website. Kotting and Sinclair will do a question-and-answer session after a screening of Swandown at the Rio on Sat 7 July 2012 at 3.30pm. Sinclair also features in The Olympic Side of London at Stratford Picturehouse on Sunday 8 July 2012 at 6pm.