British filmmaker Chester Yang (War Matters, EEFF 2013) uncovers the shocking reality of police powers in post-9/11 Britain in Kettling of the Voices. Following British students Brian and Ethan, two students protesting against the government’s hiking up of tuition fees, we bear witness to troubling levels of surveillance, and both a media and a police force that seem a little too comfortable with the notion of banning political protest. Featuring frontline footage and interviews with key activists, this is an enthralling, disturbing film for our times.
Generation Rent gets the film it deserves in Hot Property, an anarchic satire on the wild west that is the housing market. MyAnna Buring (Kill List) is a corporate spy on the verge of losing her home, who finds herself embroiled in a conspiracy of love, celebrity chefs, hipsters and chainsaws – not to mention borderline insane estate agents – in BAFTA-nominated Max McGill’s riotously fun debut feature.
The ferocity of the US-Mexico drug war comes in for gripping, blood-pumping treatment in The Hollow Point, a gloriously retro 70’s style thriller set in a Texas border town. Wallace (Patrick Wilson, Fargo), the new sheriff in town, gets more than he bargained for when he investigates a cartel deal that’s gone seriously awry. As he chases down the culprits, the self control that’s supposed to come with the badge begins to slip. A petrol-scorched hoot of a movie, also starring a brilliant, scene-stealing Ian McShane.
When Mark Duggan died at the hands of the London Met in 2011, the reaction was unlike anything seen in Britain since the early ‘80s. But whilst the Tottenham Riots made headlines around the world, the true circumstances of Duggan’s death remained mysterious. An incredibly vital pursuit of the truth, The Hard Stop follows Marcus and Kurtis as they seek justice for their friend, in the process exploding the historical tensions between law enforcement and London’s black community.
Followed by an extended filmed panel discussion with Krishnan Guru Murphy, director George Amponsah, Marcus Knox Hooke, Kurtis Henville, ex-London Met Policeman Mick Lees, Stafford Scott (Race Advocacy Officer at The Monitoring Group) and Deborah Coles (InQuest).
A story of resurgent grassroots activism, Generation Revolution is a stirring account of a new generation of black and brown activists in London. Focusing on The London Black Revolutionaries (Black Revs), R Movement and the Black Dissidents, Usayd Younis and Cassie Quarless’ film is a first hand insight into what cooperative, politicised engagement in social change means to a generation of young Londoners, fighting for egalitarian ideals and against a discriminating society.
The life of famed East End luminary Lenny McLean gets a touching, personal treatment in The Guv’nor. Famous (and infamous) as a bareknuckle boxer, bouncer, enforcer, and doorman from the late ‘60s, McLean’s journey from unlicensed fighter to best selling author and star of Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels is also the story of a working class man from Hoxton weathering the changing decades before his untimely death in 1998. Director Paul Van Carter follows his son Jamie as he explores his father’s story, from troubled upbringing to stardom, on the way meeting a variety of East London characters to director Guy Richie. What emerges is a picture of a complex, troubled and driven family man.
A new web series delving into a twentysomething world, The Grind follows a group of young people as they seek to make their way in London’s creative scene. Nick, Sage, Avery, and Josh are using every connection they have in a bid to excel. Life and circumstances always lie in the way; but that doesn’t mean they’ll be giving up. That’s the nature of the grind, in this refreshingly realistic take on being young and getting by.
Always celebrating the clash of sound and image, the East End Film Festival has a longstanding and passionate commitment to music and its mercurial creators. From Joe Strummer to The Libertines, and from Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry to Amy Winehouse, EEFF has been delighted to premiere some of the last decade’s finest music documentaries. Gary Numan: Android in La La Land is utterly at home in that company. A story of a man who has gone from global fame to the brink and back again, Steve Read & Rob Alexander’s film follows the artist behind bonafide smash hits Cars and Are ‘Friends’ Electric? as he returns to the world stage, and moves to California. An electronic music pioneer famous for his standoffish demeanour, sharp threads and eyeliner, Numan’s journey into the musical wilderness, long undiagnosed Asperger’s, marriage to his biggest fan, and triumphant return is the stuff great movies are made of. A human story with killer songs, Android in La La Land is a film for would be Numanoids everywhere.
A deserving, timely winner of this year’s Berlinale Golden Bear, Gianfranco Rosi’s potent documentary explores the human national no-man’s land of Lampedusa, the island that represents the border of Europe. A through point for thousands of refugees and migrants over the past two decades, it’s the home of Samuele, a 12-year old kid living a normal life of school, hunting, and his slingshot. But there will always be the spectre of the sea, and the path it represents for people fleeing their homelands for the promise of a new life. A humane portrait of a crisis laid bare.
Dir: Daniel Mulloy
UK, USA, Kosovo | 2016 | 20 min
+ LA BESTIA
Dir: Gisela Carbajal Rodríguez & Konstantin Steinbichler
Mexico, Germany | 2014 | 30 min
Will Sharpe and Tom Kingsley follow the BAFTA-nominated Black Pond with an often hilarious, always poignant tale of troubled sibling relationships, alienation and aliens. When his sister Alice and her boyfriend disappear on the canalways of London, Zac desperately sets out to find her. Featuring Joe Thomas and Simon Bird, The Darkest Universe is a brilliantly distinctive, emotive piece of comedic filmmaking, featuring some of Britain’s most exciting young comic actors.