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East End Film Festival Returns in June

From the press release…

The EAST END FILM FESTIVAL (EEFF) returns to London’s East End for its 12th edition this summer, for what will be its longest ever run. From 25 June to 10 July, EEFF will present two weeks of films and events that reflect its position as the festival of discovery for cutting-edge voices in cinema, questioning the status quo with a mixture of art, music and political discourse all relevant to the energy of London’s East End. With an emphasis on first- and second-time filmmakers, hot breakthrough bands and digital visionaries, the East End is London’s destination for revolutionary new film, music, the arts and technology.

All eyes were on east London in 2012. Since that summer of glory, gold medals and diamond jubilation, questions have been raised as to what kind of legacy recession-hit Britain has really inherited. With that in mind, and with the G8 Summit being held in the UK in June, the 12th East End Film Festival will open on Tuesday 25 June with the World Premiere of a vital new feature documentary that is the antithesis of last summer’s manic Union Jack waving.

As Olympic gold medals pumped the UK with pride, vast financial hauls from across the planet were being secretly processed within a few miles of the Olympic stadium. In the shadows of that stadium, one local resident took an equally daunting leap: to challenge one of the most powerful and clandestine institutions in the world. Journalist and filmmaker Mark Donne's second feature 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; a story seismic enough to shift perceptions of finance and flag forever. 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. Screening at the Art Deco Troxy, this unique red carpet gala screening will be followed by a very special musical performance.

Further highlights include:

- As one of the UK’s largest film festivals, EEFF will screen an international programme of over 80 features and 100 shorts, many by first- and second-time directors, including 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) which follows a Canadian doctor who’s torn between two sides while working in a West Bank refugee camp; and Rotterdam award-winner LIFE SOLDIER (dir: Daniel Hoesl), a provocative portrait of two women from different ends of the social spectrum. There's also films from established and renowned directors, including stylish psycho-sexual murder-mystery SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF from Academy Award nominated Mike Figgis; and PENANCE from Japanese master of suspense Kiyoshi Kurosawa.

- EEFF continues its partnership with Sheffield Doc/Fest, taking over an infamous Doc/Fest party venue now known as the East End Bar. The festivals also share a selection of films, with EEFF hosting London Premieres of 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; AFTER TILLER (dir: Lana Wilson, Martha Shane), documenting a group of doctors who become targets of the pro-life movement; SMASH & GRAB (dir: Havana Marking), pursuing a gang of international diamond robbers; THE MAN WHOSE MIND EXPLODED (dir: Toby Amies) portraying an man who can remember working with Salvador Dali, but who can’t remember yesterday; and RICHARD PRYOR: OMIT THE LOGIC (dir: Ali and Marina Zenovich) celebrating the legendary comedian.

- Committed to giving exposure to new and distinctive filmmakers, first- and second-time directors are shortlisted for EEFF’s prestigious Best Feature award, the winner of which is invited back the following year as Director in Residence. Having won in 2012 with his barnstorming debut feature El Ultimo Elvis, this year’s Director In Residence is Armando Bo and the festival will include a special focus on Argentine Cinema including UK Premieres of THE WILD ONES (dir: Alejandro Fadel) and LEONES (dir: Jazmín López), both compelling tales of angst-ridden Argentine teenagers.

- EEFF’s signature paring of live soundtrack and silent film in a unique setting was voted Best Silent Film Event of the Year in 2012 by Silent London. EEFF returns to Spitalfields Market in 2013 with a FREE outdoor screening of LA ANTENA (dir: Esteban Sapir). Set in a future dystopian city whose residents have lost their voices, this imaginative Argentine film will be accompanied by immersive contemporary dance by East End-based Neon Dance, and a specially commissioned score by gothic pop band Esben and the Witch.

The East End Film Festival’s full 2013 programme will be announced 23 May. For further information visit the festival website.

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