East End Film Festival is full of Hackney and Islington filmmakers

PUBLISHED: 11:17 14 June 2017 | UPDATED: 11:17 14 June 2017

Barnaby Miller's S|T|R|A|Y|S. Picture: Roto Film Ltd

Barnaby Miller's S|T|R|A|Y|S. Picture: Roto Film Ltd

Roto Film Ltd

What started off in 2000 as a local festival for filmmakers living and working in east London has now expanded to present the best of British and international cinema, while still staying true to its roots

The East End Film Festival is in full swing across Hackney and, in its 16th year, is the biggest yet.

What started off in 2000 as a local festival for filmmakers living and working in east London has now expanded to present the best of British and international cinema – while still staying true to its roots.

The festival is a magnet for many respected names, with patrons such as director Joe Wright, actor Jaime Winstone and film critic Jason Solomons.

“I always film in the East End when I can,” says Trainspotting’s Danny Boyle, also a patron. “I love it. The area really hasn’t properly been explored, both visually or culturally, and it needs to be represented more. Festivals like the East End Film Festival make people more aware of the area, and that’s a good thing.”

One of this year’s films, which was shot and produced entirely in Islington and Hackney, is S|T|R|A|Y|S, the debut feature from Islington filmmaker Barnaby Miller which has its world premiere on Saturday June 17 at Rich Mix in Shoreditch.

“What makes the film really special is that it looks like ‘a living graphic novel’,” says Miller. “This new aesthetic is the result of a new series of post-production techniques I have developed, allowing me to draw over the top of every frame of the film’s 87 minute running time, single handed.”

His film is about living with the pressures of austerity Britain, touching on issues of unemployment, housing, inequality and depression and following characters from all walks of life.

Also screening at Rich Mix on June 15 is dark comedy Arifa, about a young British-Pakistani woman who encounters a crisis, when she develops feelings for a professional gamer and her estranged father reappears.

The Hackney Picturehouse is hosting a number of screenings including documentary Follow The Money, by Hackney filmmakers Steve Boggan, John Hardwick and Ben Unwin who followed a $10 bill across the USA for a month.

Lower Clapton’s Castle Cinema is screening Climate Symphony, a film which turns hard data on climate change into a symphony, telling the story of what climate change means through sound.

The festival’s headline weekend runs from June 29 to July 2.

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