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    East End Film Festival lineup for 2010 announced

    presents its 2010 programme
    Thursday 22 April - Friday 30 April 2010

    Tuesday, 23 March 2010 - Founded in 2001, the East End Film Festival is now one of the biggest film festivals in London. In this, its ninth year, the festival offers a 9-day packed programme of features, documentaries and shorts, plus film-focused discussions and live music and arts events spread across thirty East End venues. Last year's festival broke all past records as audiences rose to over 30,000. This year the festival continues to grow, and will screen over 200 films, showcasing an impressive range of premieres from across the globe. As well as screening the best of East European, South East Asian and Latin American cutting edge urban cinema, East End Film Festival will endeavour to keep its feet firmly planted in East London - and to that end will put East End filmmakers in the spotlight by screening new films from our very own local emerging talent. The festival will hark back to the East End of yesterday, with a specially commissioned programme of heritage films.
    Mindful of the general election, there'll also be a selection of thought-provoking films themed around cultural politics.

    Ahead of its summer re-release, the festival opens with an exclusive preview screening of Barney Platts-Mills cult 1969 classic BRONCO BULLFROG. Shot on a shoestring budget using a cast of local kids, this gritty Stratford set drama went on to win Semaine de la Critique at Cannes, and The Writers Guild of Great Britain's Best Original Screenplay award. When the film originally screened at the ABC Cinema (now Genesis Cinema), it was seen by a young Princess Anne. We're therefore thrilled to show this re-mastered print at the Genesis.

    Directed by journalist Mark Donne and narrated by musician Carl Barat, THE RIME OF THE MODERN MARINER is a new artist documentary that explores the culture, community and folklore of the London Docks. The film's unfurling narrative reveals the decaying architecture, music, and native languages that remain etched in the masonry and bloodstream of this unique quarter. Its score samples bell-ringing from East London dockside churches, creaking hulls, and engine room rhythms - sounds that will supplement the live music score, performed by composer Anthony Rossomando and accompanied by an ensemble including Rose Elinor Dougall and very special guests. This World Premiere screening will be held in the uniquely atmospheric setting of St Anne's Church in Limehouse. Nicholas Hawksmoor's baroque masterpiece will be utilised again as a festival venue, for the silent screening of Robert Flaherty's 1934 film MAN OF ARAN, with a soundtrack performed live by UK rock band British Sea Power in conjunction with Branchage Film Festival.

    With a general election imminent, East End Film Festival will put its mark on the ballot paper by hosting a selection of films and events with a political edge. With election speculation and the stop-and-search policies of the Met Police once again making headlines, now is the perfect time for director Robert Heath to premiere his cinematic version of acclaimed play SUS. From the writer of British classic The Long Good Friday, this powerful drama is set on the eve of the general election in 1979 and tackles the Sus law and institutionalised racism. A panel discussion with the filmmaker, actors Clint Dyer, Rafe Spall, and Ralph Brown, and guests such as Doreen Lawrence, Stephen Kamlish QC, David Akinsanya, Pennie Quinton and Shami Chakrabarti will follow.

    Originally conceived as a one-off concert, Rock Against Racism went on to make great progress in fighting racism and fascism, and will be duly celebrated during the festival. RIOT, RACE, & ROCK N'ROLL: ROCK AGAINST RACISM 1978 - 1981 will comprise a round table discussion hosted by Mark Steel, with a panel to include musicians Jerry Dammers, Tom Robinson, Feargal Sharkey, and Sam Duckworth, musician and actor Riz Ahmed, and filmmakers Don Letts and Gurinder Chadha. Live music will follow this debate. The festival will also premiere the re-edit of Alan Miles acclaimed documentary WHO SHOT THE SHERIFF?, tracking the rise of the National Front in Britain during the 1970's. Featuring rare archive footage of leading artists and activists, it shows how music challenged the neo-Nazi threat. Afterwards will be a gig by The Allstars, a band comprising Sam Duckworth and special celebrity guests. A RIOT OF OUR OWN, an exhibition of photos and artwork curated by original RAR collaborators, will run at Vibe Gallery for the duration of the festival - with Jerry Dammers of The Specials fame on the decks for the exhibition's opening night.

    Amnesty International's Human Rights Action Centre will once again be a festival venue. A former Amnesty Prisoner of Conscience, Ngawang Choephel was arrested on charges of espionage by Chinese authorities in 1995. Sentenced to 18 years in prison, he was released in 2002. For his Sundance Jury Award-winning documentary TIBET IN SONG, he returned to the land he left at the age of two to capture the music of his people before it's lost in a void of cultural repression. Introduced by Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, PRESUMED GUILTY is a documentary that attempts to exonerate a wrongly convicted man: a young breakdancer and rapper, sentenced to 20 years in prison for a murder he clearly could not have committed. Shot with a handheld camera by American-based attorneys Roberto Hernandez and Geoffrey Smith, and accompanied by raw hip-hop beats, the film exposes Mexico's unsound legal system. The everyday life of a street child in Nepal is portrayed in LONELY PACK. This impressive first feature documentary is simply told: no narrator, music, or staging - just the poignant stories of the kids themselves. Showing the absurdity of how some political decisions on paper can have disastrous effects on the ground, Jaroslav Vojtek's THE BORDER documents how a village was divided between the Ukraine and Czechoslovakia when borders were randomly drawn in 1946 - as a result, whole families were literally split apart.

    Once the bastion of freedom and civil liberties, the UK is now one of the world's most advanced surveillance societies. David Bond's first feature documentary ERASING DAVID follows his attempts to find out how much the government and private companies know about him by putting himself under surveillance then attempting to disappear. British filmmaker Simon Chambers' COWBOYS IN INDIA documents a group of tribal people who are fighting with bows and arrows to save a sacred mountain from being plundered by mining moguls from London. Winner of India's National Film Award for Best Feature Film in English, Avantika Hari's LAND GOLD WOMEN tackles the controversial subject of honour killings.

    Filmed on location in Birmingham, it follows a British-Asian family caught between Eastern tradition, Western culture, and political turbulence. The feature debut of documentary filmmaker Ben O'Connor, ANA BEGINS is a subtle and intricate love story set in rural North Devon. The story probes the tense, guilt-filled relationship that develops between a young widow and her lonely older neighbour. Set in and around Greenwich and Canary Wharf, Carl Medland's feature debut THE COST OF LOVE follows a rentboy who specialises in sexual fantasies, although his own dreams of happiness are complicated by the fact that he secretly loves his soon-to-be-married straight best friend.

    At the core of all festival activity will be the FILMMAKERS CENTRE at Wieden + Kennedy's events space The Cole - hosting industry talks, masterclasses, training programmes, screenings, and special events with major industry names including Scouting Book For Boys director Tom Harper, composers Michael Nyman and Nitin Sawhney, Barry Adamson of Magazine, Bad Seeds and Visage fame, and special guests courtesy of BAFTA. Over the weekend s&m will provide a hog-roast in the roof garden - a tempting appetiser to GRITS N'GRAVY SUNDAY, a day of Deep South cinema nourishment, including the UK Premiere of THE WILD AND WONDERFUL WHITES OF WEST VIRGINIA. Directed by Julien Nitzberg, and produced by Johnny Knoxville, this true story of living legend Jesco White, the 'White Lightnin' mountain tap dancer of rural Appalachia will be accompanied by complementary Bloody Mary's.

    As a result of Michael Muhammad Knight's novel, depicting a fictitious Islamic punk rock scene, real bands such as The Kominas formed and began touring the United States and Pakistan - a phenomenon captured in Omar Majeed's documentary TAQWACORE: THE BIRTH OF PUNK ISLAM.

    Spitalfields will once again host a free outdoor screening of a silent classic, with an improvised soundtrack performed live by Minima. This year's film will be Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1927 thriller THE LODGER. Spitalfie1ds will also host the festivals GIVE & TAKE event - the latest recession-busting pro-recycling craze to hit the streets, it's a chance to swap unwanted film memorabilia. Running for the duration of the festival, our specially commissioned interactive film installation LOCAL (EYES) explores East London's streets from the perspective of a cyclist.

    Russia's famous young actress Oksana Akinshina comes to East London to present her gritty new film I AM (YA). Described as a 'psychedelic drama', it's the story of post-Gladnost Russia, and how the youth tried to find themselves following the collapse of Communism. Director Igor Voloshin will join the Q&A afterwards. We also welcome uncompromising Russian director Aleksey Balabanov, here to present his two most recent films. Using the code-word for the boxes which bring dead soldiers back from Afghanistan, CARGO 200 (GRUZ 200) is a dark comedy that follows a corrupt police chief in rural Soviet Russia in 1984. Based on the book by Mikhail Bulgakov, MORPHIA takes us back to 19th century Siberia, where a young doctor descends into drug addiction. Both screenings will be followed by a director Q&A. CRUSH is a unique collaboration of five innovative 'New Wave' Russian directors (Petr Buslov, Ivan Vyrypayev, Alexei German Jr., Kirill Serebrennikov, and Boris Khlebnikov), who each present a cinematic statement on what love is in contemporary Russia. The festivals exploration of new Russian cinema continues with RUSSIA 88, Pavel Bardin's highly polemic mocumentary about Moscow's neo-Nazis; Alexei Mizgirey's intense, Locarno Silver Leopard-winning drama BUBEN BARABAN; and a late night screening of Alexander Strizhenov's school horror JULIA.

    The Whitechapel Gallery will host a screening and panel discussion exploring the legacy of punk poetry. This special event will incorporate a screening of Dom Shaw's ALL THE YEARS OF TRYING. Part music documentary, part concert film, it tells the story of influential punk poet Patrick Fitzgerald. Another cultural high will take place at Barbican Cinema, where local filmmaker Marc Isaacs will discuss his latest documentary MEN OF THE CITY.

    Compiled from over thirty years of photographs, Phil Maxwell and Hazuan Hashim's EAST END HERITAGE is a beautiful visual document of local meeting places, streets, and communities. This premiere screening at The Water Poet pub kick-starts the festivals HERITAGE PUB TRAIL - a sequence of unique screenings in ten of the East End's oldest and best public houses, to provide Londoners with a perfect opportunity to unwind with a drink and a good film.

    For full details visit www.eastendfilmfestival.com

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