Sonita

A story of conservative society, furious rhymes and mic drops, Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami’s extraordinary film follows Sonita Alizadeh, a young female Afghan refugee living in Iran, who rejects an arranged marriage in order to pursue a life making rap music. Standing up to conservative traditions and challenging assumptions, her dream of emulating Rihanna goes down like a lead balloon with her mother. But this self-possessed would be pop star isn’t going to let that stop her.

Sonita won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for World Cinema – Documentary at Sundance Film Festival 2016.

Tickets are available from the Genesis website here.

Part of Cutting East.

bestfilm


Notes on Blindness (HoH screening)

When writer and theologian John Hull went blind in 1983, he began keeping an audiocassette diary of his daily life. When it was published in 1990, Oliver Sacks described it as ‘the most extraordinary, precise, deep and beautiful account of blindness’. Using total access to the recordings, Notes on Blindness is an ever-evolving artistic project that has included a short film and an engrossing VR experience. Dubbing actors with the recorded voice of Hull, its exploration of how dreams, memories and imagination are impacted by a lack of sight, this is a formally extraordinary insight into a hidden interior world.

This screening will provide captions for the hard of hearing. Following the screening there will be a discussion about hard of hearing subtitling with Pablo Romero-Fresco (University of Roehampton). There will be a BSL interpreter present. 

Tickets are available from the Genesis website here.

Limited number of FREE tickets available here.

Part of Roots. More information here.

bestfilm

Los Punks: We Are All We Have

Take a trip into the backyards of South Central and East Los Angeles in Los Punks: an intimate documentary exploring a homegrown DIY community of bands, skaters and resolute togetherness. Angela Boatwright’s debut finds a scene four-decades old, but in rude health; uniting young people who often feel unwelcome in the ‘mainstream’, providing a fruitful breeding ground for Latino punk and a conscious, active community, often in the face of poverty and violence.

Tickets available from the Genesis website here.
Part of 40 Years of Punk, for more information click here.

Mariam + EXPLOITING IT?

Saudi Arabian journalist Faiza Ambah’s debut film is a poignant insight into the issues facing a young Muslim woman growing up in a Western country. It’s 2004 in France and a new law has recently been passed banning religious symbols in schools, including the hijab. For Mariam, a young teenager who has recently begun wearing the veil after returning from pilgrimage in Mecca with her grandmother, this means an agonising and unfair choice between continuing her studies and retaining an important part of her religious identity. Pressure from her father to conform to French law and attention from a young boy who admires her determination complicates this situation further. Will she continue to resist external pressures and in so doing put her education at risk, or find a way to please authority whilst staying true to herself?

+ EXPLOITING IT?
Dir: Jade Jackman
UK | 17 min

In this thought-provoking documentary by first-time filmmaker Jade Jackman, several different British-Muslim women share their recent experiences of being negatively portrayed or stereotyped by the western media. Through these women’s perspectives we see an unexpected form of oppression that contradicts and challenges the misinformed view that these women are in fact oppressed by their faith. Furthermore, this short film offers an insight into how governmental legislation, such as Prevent and the Counter Terrorism and Security Bill, is seeping into different areas of life and institutionalising racist stereotypes.

Followed by Q&A with the producer Aleksandra Bilic and special guests.

Tickets available on the Genesis website here.

Limited number of FREE tickets available for Under 18 / student / unwaged: BOOK

Part of Roots, for more information click here.

 

Six Rounds + Kingsland (Short)

As the 2011 London riots unfurl, a former boxer has to choose between his past and his future in Six Rounds, Marcus Flemmings’ bold and stylish second feature. Stally is a former fighter who stepped out of the ring while he was still unbeaten. Having fallen in love and gotten a regular job, he feels like he’s moving towards something positive. But when an acquaintance from his past asks him for a favour, he finds himself trapped in a corner, from which he’ll need to fight his way out, in a tense and emotive tale of race, love and redemption in the midst of spiking social tension.

+ KINGSLAND
Dir: Jake Gabbay
UK | 33 min | World Premiere
A semi-professional boxer tries to leave behind a life of crime. But his dangerous friend Sonny keeps pulling him back, in Jake Gabbay’s stylish short, set in London’s East End.

Tickets available on the Genesis website here.

Part of Crime Scene.

Redistributors

A thriller for the age of the Panama Papers, Adrian Tanner’s impressive micro-budget debut city sees Elizabeth forced to go on the run when she’s accused of leaking secrets from her military contractor employers. Discovering the Redistributors via her activist brother, she’s soon entering a shady hacker underworld, where money is stolen from tax evaders and passed on to the poor. Hoping they can bring down her pursuers before they get to her, Redistributors is a rip-roaring thriller, where everybody has to pay their share.

Followed by a Q&A. Tickets available from the Genesis website here.

Part of Crime Scene.

Native

When a signal is received from the other side of the universe, Cane and Eva are dispatched to colonise a distant world. So begins Native, a stylish and cannily directed slice of science fiction. Featuring a powerful turn from Rupert Graves, and with much of the film being shot in East London, Native is a gripping vision of a future hive-mind society, and enduring questions of what it means to be human, and whether we should serve our masters.

Followed by a Q&A. Tickets are available on the Genesis website here.

 

My Feral Heart

Luke, an independent young man with Down’s syndrome, is grieving the loss of his elderly mother when he is forced to move into a care home. Initially despondent about his new home, his spirits are soon raised when he finds a way to sneak out and explore the local countryside. And when he meets a girl in need of his help, his desire to connect and protect another person gives him a new lease of life. A moving story of the importance of embracing life and people, featuring a brilliant turn from newcomer Steven Brandon.

Followed by a Q&A. Tickets available from the Genesis website here.

 

Mile End

The grind of working in the city meets Strangers on a Train (or does it?) in Mile End, Graham Higgins’ impressive debut. Paul (Alex Humes) is a committed runner who meets John when out for one of his regular jaunts through East London. Seeking some direction having just left his job and experiencing trouble at home, John’s experience and guidance seem to be just what he needs. But the latter’s everpresence soon begins to become unnerving.

Followed by a Q&A. Tickets available from the Genesis website here.

 

Ketermaya

On a dusty hillside surrounded by olive trees, the children of Ketermaya play far away from the horrors of Syria. But life in the Lebanese refugee camp is far from easy. Disrupted educations, the loss of loved ones, and the scars of war and chemical weapons weigh heavily in this extraordinary portrait of family and childhood innocence. An important corrective to narratives surrounding refugees, and a moving fable of hope and resilience in unimaginable circumstances.

+ REFUGEE BLUES
Dir: Tristan Daws & Stephan Bookas
UK | 2016 | 6 min

+ THE BRIDGE
Dir: Babak Inaloo & Ali Haghooi
UK, Iran, France | 10 min

Tickets available from the Genesis website here.

Part of Day of Refuge, for more information click here.