Every year, the East End Film Festival seeks to champion the most exciting, distinctive new films from first and second time directors. Seeking the irrepressible creativity and energy that comes from first steps into feature filmmaking, and stories that touch on the nature of life in London, the EEFF’s Opening Night Gala is a space for us to delight in the announcement of important new voices in film. In 2016’s Opening Night Gala film, London-based filmmaker Ian Bonhote makes a rip-roaring debut feature in Alleycats, a thriller that romps through the streets of London from the seat of a bicycle. When bike courier Chris witnesses what looks like a murder, his first instinct is to cut and run. But when his curiosity draws him back in, he’s soon embroiled in a world of corruption, political power, and illegal bike racing. His sister Danni has to take on the role of the hero, and go up against the entire establishment. Featuring a fantastic turn by John Hannah (Four Weddings & A Funeral, Sliding Doors, The Mummy) as a shady MP, Alleycats a riotously entertaining, tense gauntlet ride through the streets of London (and East London), featuring a flock of rising British talent, all of them on wheels. An exciting, bold piece of London centric filmmaking, we are delighted to present Alleycats as our Opening Night Gala.