The 14th East End Film Festival Takes Place in Venues Across London

Now in its 14th year, the East End Film Festival hosts an outstanding number of premieres: 18 world; 8 European; 20 UK and 16 from London alone. The 11 day event will open with the gala premiere of One Crazy Thing, directed by BAFTA’s 2014 Breakthrough Brit, Amit Gupta and exploring the superficiality of fame; and will close with British documentary filmmaker Marc Silver’s 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets which looks at the aftermath of the tragic death of an unarmed 17-year old African-American who was killed over the trivial issue of loud music – this screening is one of several films which explore race this year.

In 2015 the British contingent includes an unprecedented 33 titles, including the World Premiere of Pleasure Island, a drama set in an economically crumbling British coastal town; the story of star-crossed Northern and Southern lovers in North vs South and Norfolk, a risky piece which looks at family revenge and violence.

British documentary highlights with east London angles include now-famed piece Amy, which has been directed by Asif Kapadia to tell the story of Amy Winehouse’s life and untimely death. The 12th EEFF opened in 2012 with the gala screening of the Kapadia’s documentary on the life and death of Brazilian motor-racing champion, Ayrton Senna, so the screening of this whirlwind tale of a superstar’s rise and fall is only fitting.

Further documentary includes international pieces such as Udita which exposes the struggle of female garment workers in Bangladesh, and pieces closer to home such as the London premiere of Stand By for Tape Back-Up which is a quiet consideration of memory within analogue home recording.

International films reach as far back as Abraham Lincoln’s formative experiences, include stars such as Diane Kruger, James Franco and Kate Hudson, and look at lesser-explored areas such as counter-culture San Francisco; meanwhile international documentary ranges the current war in Syria, drug wars in Mexico and the race-relations and gang crises of America.

Not only limited to feature-lengths, 57 short films by artists and filmmakers alike are on show; industry events including talks and workshops support filmmakers’ careers, and nightly networking drinks bring together festival attendees.

East End Film Festival, 1 July – 12 July, various venues, East London.

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1. Still from Amit Gupta’s One Crazy Thing (2014).