The East End Film Festival closes after 20 years
While fears are growing about international festivals such as SXSW and Cannes being forced to close due to the coronavirus, yesterday the organisers of one of the UK’s most prominent film festivals announced its closure due to lack of funding.
As reported by Screendaily, the festival has been closed with immediate effect. Festival owner and outgoing director, Alison Potlock, said: “There has been resistance from many to closing a festival that inhabits such an independent, uniquely diverse position. The push to provide a more mainstream commercial offering is not for us. We are so proud of our inclusive, accessible and civically engaged programming; it’s at the core of our identity, so without significant investment to enable us to continue that fundamental service, we have to let the final credits roll.”
Each year over 30,000 attendees would visit the festival which was hosted in various venues across the east end of London. It placed an emphasis on first and second-time feature filmmakers and over the years welcomed the likes of Asif Kapadia, Ken Russell, Hugh Grant and Danny Boyle.
For a long period of time it got by on the goodwill and support provided by a number of long-term partners and sponsors, with the last event taking place in 2018 after taking a strategic break last year. Festival organisers had hoped to raise enough funds to return in 2020, but have unfortunately reached a point they are unable to move beyond.
However, Potlock struck a positive note, ending her statement by saying, "Our heartfelt thanks goes to all the filmmakers, artists, sponsors, staff and volunteers who’ve supported us over the years. It’s the end for now, but who knows, one day there may be a sequel.”