London’s EAST END FILM FESTIVAL (EEFF) returns for its 12th edition this summer, from June 25 to July 10, 2013. EEFF will open on Tuesday June 25 with the World Premiere of the new feature documentary THE UK GOLD – the second feature from journalist and filmmaker Mark Donne
THE UK GOLD follows the dramatic battle of a vicar from a small parish in the London Borough of Hackney as he goes head to head with an ancient and mighty heavyweight, revealing its central status as the tax-haven capital of the world. From Zambia to Salisbury; from the Cayman Islands to Clapton, a huge, untold story unfurls which shakes our notions of nationhood and empire. Narrated by actor Dominic West (The Wire, The Hour), and featuring an extraordinary new sound-score from Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja, it incorporates the views and voices of British politicians, hedge fund masters of the universe, Vanity Fair investigative journalist Nicolas Shaxson, Private Eye’s Richard Brooks and Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow, to expose the fundamental role the City of London plays in the secretive network of tax havens and tax avoidance.
The festival closes on Wednesday July 10 with the UK Premiere of LOVELACE, the eventful and tragic story of Linda Lovelace, the most famous adult actress of the 1970s. Plagued by a difficult upbringing, an abusive marriage, and a desire to move on from her past, this superb Hollywood biopic by Academy Award-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, HOWL) is a powerful account of modern celebrity. Starring Amanda Seyfried (Les Misérables, Mamma Mia!) with a cast including Sharon Stone, Peter Sarsgaard, James Franco, Adam Brody and Juno Temple.
EEFF will screen an international programme of over 80 features and 100 shorts, many by first- and second-time directors, including UK Premieres of MISS LOVELY (dir: Ashim Ahluwalia) which follows two brothers and a shady ingénue on Mumbai’s trashy movie scene; INCH’ALLAH (dir: Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette) portraying a Canadian doctor who’s torn between two sides while working in a West Bank refugee camp; HALLEY (dir: Sebastian Hofmann), a staggering tale of a lonely security guard at a Mexico City gym whose physical deterioration contrasts wildly with the healthy bodies around him; Rotterdam award-winner SOLDATE JEANETTE (SOLDIER JANE) (dir: Daniel Hoesl), a provocative portrait of two women from different ends of the social spectrum; TELEVISION (dir: Mostofa Sarwar Farooki) showing the clashes that arise between religion and technology when a teacher in a Bangladeshi village buys a TV; and the European Premiere of GENERATION UM (dir: Mark Mann) starring Keanu Reeves as a listless voyeur whose search for new experience leads him to video the dark confessions of two New York party girls.
There are also films from established directors including SHOKUZA (PENANCE) from Japanese master of suspense Kiyoshi Kurosawa, about a mother who holds four girls responsible for the death of her kidnapped daughter. Filmmaker Noah Baumbach returns to his indie roots, reuniting with actress Greta Gerwig for offbeat coming-of-age story FRANCES HA, about a struggling dancer in NYC. Set in 1970’s Los Angeles, ANY DAY NOW (dir: Travis Fine) stars Alan Cumming as a gay burlesque performer who, along with the closeted district attorney he’s just met, take in their neighbours abandoned and mentally handicapped son until a biased legal system question the arrangement. Another 1970’s set tale, CALL GIRL (dir: Mikael Marcimain) is a brilliantly rendered story of sexual exploitation and political corruption in Sweden, the same era and subject matter as our closing night gala, LOVELACE.
International documentaries include RICHARD PRYOR: OMIT THE LOGIC (dir: Ali and Marina Zenovich) celebrating the legendary comedian; and AFTER TILLER (dir: Lana Wilson, Martha Shane), documenting a group of doctors who become targets of the pro-life movement.
EEFF will also screen 25 features from British filmmakers including the European Premiere of Academy Award-nominated director Mike Figgis’s stylish psycho-sexual murder-mystery SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF starring Sebastian Koch, Lotte Verbeek and Emilia Fox; WE ARE THE FREAKS, the new feature from award-winning shorts filmmaker Justin Edgar, a high octane teen comedy starring Jamie Blackley (Vinyl), Mike Bailey (Skins) and Rosamund Hanson (This Is England, Life’s Too Short); and George Kane’s feature debut DISCOVERDALE, a fly-on-the-wall mocumentary about the frontman of a just-defunct band who believes his long-lost father is Whitesnake’s David Coverdale. There’ll also be a special screening of Ben Wheatley’s A FIELD IN ENGLAND with director, cast and crew in attendance.
Feature documentary lineup includes, many highlights from first- and second-time British documentary filmmakers including the World Premiere of THE HEART OF BRUNO WIZARD (dir: Elisabeth Rasmussen), portraying the iconic singer-songwriter, artist, activist, and founder of seminal post-punk band The Homosexuals; PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER (dir: Mike Lerner, Maxim Pozdorovkin), chronicling the way a small act of protest became an international story of human rights abuse; SMASH & GRAB: THE STORY OF THE PINK PANTHERS (dir: Havana Marking), pursuing a gang of international jewel thieves; and THE MAN WHOSE MIND EXPLODED (dir: Toby Amies) portraying a Brighton-based eccentric who can remember working with Salvador Dali, but who can’t remember yesterday.
EEFF also supports filmmakers in telling stories of local significance, including the World Premiere of WE AIN’T STUPID, the first feature from Mitch Panayis (winner in 2012 of EEFF’s Short Film Audience Award), documenting the changing nature of Queen’s Market in West Ham, in a timely examination of a fading trade; Trevor Miller’s first feature RIOT ON REDCHURCH STREET, a spirited tale of a love triangle and Anglo-Muslim relations in East London’s rock n’ roll subculture; and Jason Attar and Danny Wimborne’s first feature ONE NIGHT IN POWDER, a tale of an obscure British rocker’s last-ditch effort to find fame and fortune.
Special events include a day of Southern-fried cinema, GRITS ‘N’ GRAVY celebrating the American Deep South with films including DOWN BY LAW (dir: Jim Jarmusch) starring Tom Waits, and Alabama music doc MUSCLE SHOALS (dir: Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier) plus live bluegrass music from Dirty Gentleman, hearty Southern grub and free Bloody Mary’s.