East End Film Festival 2012

Art & Culture

The 11th East End Film Festival (EEFF) running 1 – 8 July will be at the heart of the cultural carousal when the Olympics come to London’s East End this summer, proving there’s more to East London than the sound of Bow Bells and Cockney Rhyming Slang.
With a nod to other festivals that mix cinema with music and the arts like SXSW, EEFF is known for being creative with cross-platform programming, and this year is no exception.
Following from last year’s World Premiere of The Libertines: There Are No Innocent Bystanders, the festival will officially open on Tuesday 3 July with the UK Premiere of a documentary probing the legacy of another music icon. Combining never-before-seen concert and archive footage, Arena: Amy Winehouse – The Day She Came To Dingle (a BBC Arena/Other Voices co-production) exposes her unique talent and explores her deep affection for jazz, soul and gospel. Director Maurice Linnane’s film is anchored by live concert footage from what must be one of Amy Winehouse’s most incredible performances, recorded in December 2006 when Amy was on the brink of international fame. Her stripped down renditions of You Know I’m No Good, Rehab, Love Is A Losing Game, Me and Mr. Jones, Tears Dry On Their Own and Back To Black were performed in a church in the small Irish fishing village of Dingle. Originally recorded for acclaimed Irish TV music show Other Voices, this footage has today been augmented with an interview she gave on the day, rare archive footage of some of Amy’s musical influences including the legendary Mahalia Jackson, Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles and the Shangri-Las, and recollections of the everyday people she met in Dingle.

Screening in beautiful St Anne’s Church in Limehouse, this will be the only opportunity to experience one of Amy Winehouse’s most incredible live performances ever on a big screen before it debuts as an Arena special on BBC Four later in July (date tbc). A celebration of music, this red carpet gala screening will be accompanied by special live performances by a choir and orchestra plus very special guests, a Q&A chaired by journalist Caspar Llewellyn Smith with Maurice Linnane, Arena’s Anthony Wall and Other Voices Philip King, plus an after-afterparty in one of Amy’s favourite local watering holes.

The festival closes on Sunday 8th July with the UK Premiere of The Last Elvis (El Ultimo Elvis). Armando Bo’s acclaimed feature focuses on a delusional Elvis impersonator in Buenos Aires who sacrifices happiness with his wife and daughter in his unstoppable quest for fame, until a tragic accident forces him to reassess his priorities. Nominated for Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize, it features a powerhouse performance by John McInery in sequined Elvis jumpsuits.
Other cinema-versus-music content includes:
–       Premieres of the three remaining Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds reissue films, made for the albums Nocturama, Abattoir Blues/The Lyre Of Orpheus, and Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! featuring Bobby Gillespie, Beth Orton and others.
–       The work of Mr Luke Haines, one of the greatest English contemporary songwriters, often cited as a founder of Britpop, is explored in the World Premiere of Art Will Save The World (dir: Niall McCann, Ireland), followed by a live performance.
–       Accompanying the World Premiere of Make Your Own Damn Art (dir: John Rogers, UK), a documentary about Turner nominated British artist Bob & Roberta Smith, will be a gig featuring every past and present member of Bob’s groups The Apathy Band and The Ken Ardley Playboys.
–       Minima and the 60-piece Queldryk Choral Ensemble directed by Paul Ayres will perform a soundscape to accompany a free outdoor screening of classic 1922 Expressionist horror Nosferatu (dir: F.W. Murnau, Germany).
–       Winner of the Jury Prize at Tallinn Black Nights, the feature Sons Of Norway (dir: Jens Lien, Norway) explores an unusual father-son relationship set to a backdrop of rebellion, punk rock and suburban hell, plus a Johnny Rotten cameo.
–       Music documentary Jai Bhim, Comrade (dir: Anand Patwardhan, India) looks at leftist poet and singer Vilas Ghogre, who hung himself in 1997 in protest of the killing by police of ten unarmed Dalits.
–       A tale of faith, suspicion and flying saucers starring Vincent Gallo, the UK Premiere of The Legend Of Kasper Hauser (dir: Davide Manuli, Italy) is a Techno Western in a world of its own, complete with a thudding soundtrack by Vitalic.
–       Pop star and TV presenter Louise Redknapp makes her acting debut alongside Ray Winstone in the World Premiere of British period caper movie The Hot Potato (dir: Tim Lewiston, UK).

Head over to www.eastendfilmfestival.com for full information.