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 fifty 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 Film (reserved for first and second time directors); Best UK Short Film; Accession Award (reserved for a particular industry discipline); the EEFF Short Film Audience Award and new for 2017; the Rising Star Award; and our £10,000 Transit Award.
Previous festival jurors have included Joe Wright (BAFTA winning director, Atonement, Pride & Prejudice), Sarah Gavron (Director, Suffragette), Amma Assante (Director, A United Kingdom), Ron Perlman (Actor, Hellboy), RZA (musician), Peter Bradshaw (Film Critic, The Guardian), Irvine Welsh (novelist, Trainspotting), Armando Bo (Screenwriter, Birdman), Peter Straughn (Screenwriter, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy). Previous festival guests have included Hugh Grant, Andrea Riseborough, Clive Owen, Ben Wheatley, Ron Perlman, Asif Kapadia and Ken Russell.
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 AmnestyInternational UK, Sheffield Doc/Fest, the BFI and Film London. The festival received unprecedented levels of attention in 2015, showcasing films to diverse, engaged audiences in record numbers.
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 in both British and international cinema whilst retaining its commitment to one of the world’s most vibrant filmmaking communities. The East End Film Festival is a completely not-for-proft CIC (Coummunity Interest Company), with no headline or corporate sponsors.
Beginning life as a series of screenings at the Genesis Cinema in Mile End, the festival was formally established as the East London Film Festival in 2000 with the support of Stephen Murray and Sarah Wren (Tower Hamlets Council) and Tyrone Walker-Hebborn (Genesis Cinema). Known as Raindance East from 2003-2005, the festival was renamed as the East End Film Festival in 2005. Since then EEFF has developed exponentially to become a true festival of discovery, showcasing films that have gone on to win international awards and be picked up for UK distribution.
Previous guests of the EEFF include Hugh Grant, Clive Owen, Jodie Whitaker, Andrea Riseborough, Jerry Hall, Ken Russell, Danny Boyle, Andy Serkis, Ella Purnell, Ron Perlman, Thomas Turgoose, Kat Graham, Demetrius Shipp Jr., Richard E. Grant, Julian Temple, Shekar Kapor, Ben Wheatley and Mike Figgis; as well as 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); and writers Tony Grisoni (Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas) and Ayub Khan Din (East is East). The festival has also welcomed musicians such as The Libertines, Annie Lennox, Saskilla, The Levellers, Karl Hyde (Underworld) and The National; and artists ranging from Gilbert & George to Tracey Emin and Gillian Wearing.
Previous festival premieres include the second ever UK screening of the Director’s Cut of The Devils, with director Ken Russell in attendance; the European Premiere of Tupac biopic All Eyez on Me; Danny Boyle’s Millions, Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha, and Ben Wheatley’s A Field in England; award-winning British documentaries including Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, Julian Temple’s Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten and Jamie Jay Johnson’s Sounds Like Teen Spirit; and hard hitting foreign documentaries including Oscar-favourites Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry, How To Survive A Plague, Cartel Land and Born Into Brothels. The EEFF also has a strong history of connecting the East End with Eastern Europe, including a 2012 retrospective of infamous Russian director Alexei Balabanov with the director 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. 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, The Levellers, Public Service Broadcasting and Saint Etienne, as well as members of The Klaxons and Underworld.