EEFF confirms closure of all its operations

LONDON, March 4, 2020 – After a long period of uncertainty, the East End Film
Festival (EEFF) today confirmed the final closure of all its operations. Exactly
20 years since the festival first hit the streets of London’s East End, current owner
and outgoing Director Alison Poltock said, “There has been resistance from many to
closing a festival that inhabits such an independent, uniquely diverse position. The
push to provide a more mainstream commercial offering is not for us. We are so
proud of our inclusive, accessible and civically engaged programming; it’s at the core
of our identity, so without significant investment to enable us to continue that
fundamental service, we have to let the final credits roll.”

Known for its bold cinematic voices and pioneering multi-platform events, the festival
has grown from a local film showcase under the umbrella of Tower Hamlets Council,
to an international home of discovery, with a focus on 1st and 2nd feature exhibition.
With a clearly stated commitment to reaching diverse audiences and representing
different perspectives, EEFF explored the limits of the filmmaking story without
compromise, addressing local and global issues from identity to activism, postcode
wars to the environment. Over the years, it has welcomed a wealth of high profile
guests including Sara Driver, Hugh Grant, Aleksei Balabanov, Andrea Riseborough,
Danny Boyle, Jaime Winstone, Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, Jerry Hall, Asif Kapadia, Lee
Scratch Perry, Ken Russell, and Ron Perlman, the latter describing it as ‘”far and
away my favorite festival experience to date”.
East End Film Festival thrived thanks to the goodwill and support of many, but
ultimately has been unable to secure the funding necessary to sustain its activities.

“It’s terribly sad of course, but we have a lot to celebrate,” continued
Alison. “Alongside our film series we have commissioned poets and performers,
launched soundtracks and educational programmes. We have applauded and
appreciated film in all its forms and genres. We’ve been at the cutting edge and the
very centre of the cinema experience. It really has been a pleasure and an honour to
be involved.  Our heartfelt thanks goes to all the filmmakers, artists, sponsors, staff
and volunteers who’ve supported us over the years. It’s the end for now, but who
knows, one day there may be a sequel.”



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