The 2015 East End Film Festival opens this week with Amit Gupta’s charming One Crazy Thing before going on to inspire and impress London audiences from 1 – 12 July. Billing itself as a festival of discovery, EEFF prides itself on giving exposure to new voices in film and will continue in that vein with this year’s programme as well as providing opportunities to see exciting work due to be released in UK cinemas later in the 2015. The festival will draw to a close the latest feature from EEFF alum, Marc Silver, who follows 2013’s Who is Dayani Cristal? with the deeply affecting 31⁄2 Minutes, Ten Bullets. Elsewhere, gala screenings such as Asif Kapadia’s Amy will provide a highlight in what promises to be another impressive selection.
The Brits will be out in force with the festival boasting 33 home-grown titles ranging from Martin Radich’s atmospheric and violent Norfolk to Mike Doxford’s Pleasure Island. Steven Nesbit’s North vs South receives its world premiere, in which young lovers (played by Elliott Tittensor and Charlotte Hope) ignore their families gang allegiances and risk sparking a full blown street war.There is also danger on the streets in Simon Blake’s Still which received a limited release earlier in the year and will feature in the festival’s British strand. It centres on a fantastic performance from Aiden Gillen struggling through the grief of having lost his son to a hit and run.
Gillen will also be attending the festival in the form of a Q&A following a centerpiece gala screening of the film on 11 July. A week earlier a gala screening will be given to the world preimere of Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s Vision of Paradise – Volker Schaner’s portrait of unbridled creativity – which will also be followed by a Q&A session. Sailing away from British shores there are a number of enticing prospects from around the world, not least Tolga Karaçelik’s Ivy – an engrossing character study build on Kafka-esque dread. That will feature alongside UK premieres for the likes of Miguel Llansó’s Crumbs, Juan Schnitman’s The Fire and Jan-Willem van Ewijk’s Atlantic. Also making a strong showing are documentaries with the absolutely gripping Cartel Land appearing to be one of the major highlights. Fortunately, one of the great things about the East End Film Festival is the range of appeal and so, even if none of the obvious picks jump out at you, there’s plenty more to discover in a varied and intriguing programme.
Ben Nicholson | @BRNicholson