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Essex Road 5: Tintype Gallery celebrates landmark programme of short films

PUBLISHED: 11:08 14 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:08 14 December 2018

Crowds gather at the window of Tintype Gallery for the opening of Essex Road 5. Picture: Cameron Leadbetter

Crowds gather at the window of Tintype Gallery for the opening of Essex Road 5. Picture: Cameron Leadbetter

Archant

Next time you’re on a bus trundling along Essex Road, don’t be surprised to find a huddle of people gathered at the window of the Tintype Gallery.

The programme features eight short films all inspired in some way by Essex Road. Picture: Cameron Leadbetter.The programme features eight short films all inspired in some way by Essex Road. Picture: Cameron Leadbetter.

These folks will (almost definitely) be watching one of eight short films projected out of the venue’s window, as their annual Essex Road programme provides a cinematic snapshot of this street which links Angel with Balls Pond Road.

This year’s programme – which runs daily until January 19 – is the fifth, and Tintype director Teresa Grimes says it feels “fantastic” to reach this milestone.

“We started in a spirit of experimentation; after the first year I had no idea that it would become an annual thing. The first show was so popular and successful, and five years later we have showcased 40 short films.”

While the brief is simple – make a short film at least partially inspired by Essex Road – the responses from filmmakers have been richly varied.

A still from Michelle Deignan's Looking For Gary. Picture: Michelle DeignanA still from Michelle Deignan's Looking For Gary. Picture: Michelle Deignan

Teresa adds: “Some of the films have been set specifically around this part of Essex Road. It’s fascinating to see that when you turn a lens on a small part of London, you get such an amazingly diverse range of films.

“Getting that range of filmic responses and seeing how people have interpreted it has been the most exciting thing. It’s been wildly diverse and inspiring.”

This year’s exhibition of films opened with a launch event on Wednesday (December 12). There are a total of eight movies which are no longer than five minutes each, and they are broadcast on to the street on a loop between 4pm and 11pm every day.

Selected films among the eight include David Blandy’s Interlaced, which documents the hidden life of the street, and Jayne Parker’s Floral Tribute to Essex Road. Dmitri Galitzine’s I Had the Dream of a Perfect World is based on the nearby Packington Estate.

An image from Michelle Williams Gamaker's Encore. Picture: Dan FontanelliAn image from Michelle Williams Gamaker's Encore. Picture: Dan Fontanelli

“I feel like this film programme lends itself to the street,” continues Teresa.

“Essex Road has retained its individuality, there are loads of independent shops and businesses and there are strong working-class communities on the adjoining roads.

“It’s got a typical London mix. It’s also very long so you feel you’re on a bit of journey walking down it! For me looking out of the window of our gallery, there’s always something going on: little vignettes, dramas, people chatting. There’s a kind of ‘ordinary extraordinary’ to Essex Road that holds so many stories.

“A woman came to the launch event who has lived here for 30 years – she told me we’ve only just scratched the surface of this area! Maybe her stories could form the basis of a film next year.”

Essex Road 5 continues at Tintype, 107 Essex Road, until Saturday January 19. More details here.

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