The East End Film Festival: discovering, debating and developing new voices in cinema

About us

Founded in 2000, the East End Film Festival is one of the UK’s largest film festivals. An annual multi-platform festival held in London, the EEFF presents a rich and diverse programme of international premieres, industry masterclasses, free pop-up screenings and immersive live events. The EEFF’s mission is to discover, support, and exhibit pioneering work by global and local independent filmmakers, and to introduce viewers to innovative and challenging cinematic experiences.

Attracting an annual audience of more than 30,000, the EEFF has established itself as a major international film festival situated at the heart of London’s most dynamic quarter. Committed to the work of first and second time directors, the annual EEFF showcases more than seventy feature film screenings, several short film programmes, and a variety of cross-arts events and industry activities across the festival. The EEFF’s established awards system includes: Best Feature (reserved for first and second time directors); Best Documentary; Best UK Short Film; and the EEFF Short Film Audience Award. Past EEFF juries have featured Gillian Wearing OBE RA, Peter Bradshaw, Sally El Hosaini, Armando Bo, Pater Straughan, Nic Gonda and Divine & RZA.

The EEFF boasts large audiences, ever increasing industry support, high levels of international press coverage, and a large and incredibly diverse range of partnerships with organisations such as Amnesty International UK, Sheffield Doc/Fest, World Pride, Digital Shoreditch and Film London. The festival received unprecedented levels of attention in 2014, showcasing films to diverse, engaged audiences in record numbers.

EEFF 2015 takes place 1st – 12th July 2015.


Originally founded in 2000 as a platform for filmmakers living and working in East London, the EEFF has since expanded to represent and showcase the very best of contemporary British, European and World cinema whilst retaining its commitment to one of the world’s most vibrant filmmaking communities.

Originally established as the East London Film Festival by Stephen Murray and Sarah Wren from Tower Hamlets Council, the festival was subsequently renamed Raindance East for its 2003, 2004 and 2005 editions, as Raindance took on responsibility for programme and festival development. Ending its association with Raindance in 2005, the festival was renamed the East End Film Festival, and in that time has developed exponentially to become a true festival of discovery, with several films from previous editions of the EEFF having gone on to win international awards.

Previous guests of the EEFF include filmmakers Ken Russell (The Devils), Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting), Richard E. Grant (Withnail and I), Julian Temple (The Great Rock n’ Roll Swindle, Oil City Confidential) and Shekar Kapor (Elizabeth); Composers Michael Nyman (The Piano, The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover) and Nitin Sawhney; producers Stephen Woolley (The Crying Game) and Andrew Macdonald, (Trainspotting, The Last King of Scotland); writers Tony Grisoni (Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas) and Ayub Khan Din (East is East); musicians from The Libertines to Annie Lennox; and artists ranging from Gilbert & George to Tracey Emin.

Previous festival screenings include the second ever UK screening of the Director’s Cut of The Devils, with director Ken Russell and members of the cast in attendance; Danny Boyle’s Millions, Richard E. Grant’s Wah Wah, and the restoration of Barney Platts-Mills’s mod classic Bronco Bullfrog; award-winning British documentaries including Jez Lewis’ Shed Your Tears and Walk Away, Nicola & Teena Colins’ The End, Julian Temple’s Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten and Jamie Jay Johnson’s Sounds Like Teen Spirit; and hard hitting, challenging foreign documentaries, including Roberto Hernández’s Presumed Guilty and the Oscar-winning Born Into Brothels. The EEFF also has a strong history of connecting the East End with Eastern Europe with premieres of award winning Polish films Mall Girls and Lejdis, and a 2012 retrospective of infamous Russian director Alexei Balabanov with Balabanov himself in attendance.

The EEFF is also committed to excavating the boundaries between cinema and other art forms, regularly hosting exhibitions, installations, spoken word and live music events in support of the festival’s main programme. Past highlights include Mark Donne’s The Rime of the Modern Mariner, an elegiac ode to Docklands culture, performed in the beautiful Hawksmoor church St Anne’s with a live orchestral score; a 50th Anniversary screening of Polish classic Mother Joan of the Angels in the Sir John Soane designed St. John on Bethnal Green; a special screening of the Limehouse-set silent classic Broken Blossoms accompanied by pianist Neil Brand; and special live performances from artists such as The Guillemots and Saint Etienne.


Festival Director

Alison Poltock


Head of Programming

Andrew Simpson


Festival Producer & Head of Industry

Rachael Castell


Head of Press

Stuart Haggas


Project Manager

Jo Duncombe


Production Coordinator

Johanna Brooks


Associate Art Director 

James Pretty


Marketing Coordinator

Rachel Brook


Programming Assistant

Dimitris Boutourelis


Festival Assistant

Adriana Bielkova


Head of Shorts

Manish Agarwal




PR Agency: Margaret

Hilary Cornwell

Sarah Bemand

John Dunning


Programme Designer