London’s expansive and diverse cultural landscape has been inspiring filmmakers for decades. The programme of the 58th London Film Festival is no exception, with its twelve-day programme featuring more than ninety UK productions, several of which take place in the East End.
Snow in Paradise is centred on the real life experiences of co-writer and co-star Martin Askew, a white, working class Hoxton boy who turned his back on his gangland roots to convert to Islam in 2001.
Following a drug deal gone wrong, the central character, played by Frederick Schmidt, is forced to deal with the consequences amidst the changing landscape of the East End’s underground culture. A directorial debut for accomplished editor Andrew Hulme, it was nominated for two awards at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Hulme explains his desire to depict “a guy who embraces what is, in the Western World, quite a castigated religion. I felt that Islam is misportrayed in the media. People are really bored with seeing Muslims as terrorists. We wanted to be a little bit more complex and portray a different side.”
William Raban, one of Britain’s leading experimental filmmakers, returns with 72-82, an hour-long feature documenting the first decade of the arts organisation ACME. Working exclusively with archive material from ACME, it shows the crucial impact the organisation had in supporting and providing housing for many London artists, including Richard Deacon and Helen Chadwick.
In addition to music from David Cunningham, the archive footage is brought to life by voices of the artists involved. The director will be taking part in a post-screening Q&A at the BFI Southbank on 13 October at 9pm.
Cinemas in Hackney will be taking part in the festival, including the Hackney Picturehouse, Rich Mix and the Rio cinema. For the full programme and to book tickets see below.
BFI London Film Festival
Until 19 October