Spring is in the air and in our steps as we bounce eagerly into a new month and a new season. No matter how much we want to believe the weather is going to be incredible there is plenty going down on the cinema circuit to fall back on should you be betrayed.
Spring is in the air and in our steps as we bounce eagerly
into a new month and a new season. No matter how much we want to believe the
weather is going to be incredible there is plenty going down on the cinema
circuit to fall back on should you be betrayed.
Perhaps not the cheeriest means to spend March but no less
thought provoking, the Human Rights
Watch festival returns this year with a shamefully good array of
documentaries and feature films exposing and illustrating global issues,
misrepresentation and struggle from the 21st of March. The festival
approaches four themes over its 10 days; development, environment and the
global economy; migrants’ rights and racism; personal testimony and witnessing;
and women’s rights.
Flitting between the Ritzy cinema in Brixton, the Curzon
Soho and the Institute of Contemporary Arts will be premieres, panels and
Q&As to accompany such heavy subjects. The documentary Brother Number One, accounting New Zealander Rob Hamill testifying at the Cambodia War Crimes Tribunal
following the death of his brother, will be followed by a talk with the film’s
director Annie Goldson and Hamill
Award winning director Werner
Herzog will be attending a Q&A following his feature on life on death
The Abyss: A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life. The film follows
the punishment of prisoners Michael Perry and Jason Burkett from various
viewpoints and joins Brother Number One and Carlo Augusto Bachschmidt’s Black Block and two other films in the personal
testimony and witnessing category.
For information on all the films at this year’s festival and
details of tickets click here ff.hrw.org
The air might be warming up but at the BFI its sub zero with
three programmes showing of archive material of the cinematic race to the South
Pole. A restored version of The Great
White Silence, documenting Captain Robert Scott’s last expedition, along
with news footage of the event will be shown, another programme will be
dedicated to explorer Roald Amundsen and the season ends with a collection of
films showing the life and last expedition of Ernest Shackleton. The collections
will be played on the 14th, 21st and 22nd of
March at the BFI Southbank.
Polish Kinoteka Film Festival is this year launching with the OSCAR
nominated In Darkness this month at
The Barbican. This dramatisation of a refugee rescue mission will be followed
by a panel with the film’s lead Robert Więckiewicz and director Agnieszka Holland. Also
on the programme is a preview of Małgorzata
Szumowska’s Elles starring Juliette Binoche for the opening Gala,
which falls happily on International Women’s Day, and Jacek Bromski’s
crime political thriller Entanglement, followed by a Q&A with a
director. The festival will be held across a couple of London cinemas, and you
can book tickets HERE.
Outside of London,
the AV Festival in Sunderland will be running for the entire start to
finish of March, covering art, technology, music and of course, film. The
organisers are pelting out the goods this year in light of London 2012, but
whereas the Olympics will be the essence of speed and agility, the AV is
countering with a more leisurely pace, abiding by the motto As Slow As Possible.
The slow cinema weekend is ideal for the passive audience, with filmmakers from
all over the world popping in to talk about their work as well as showing the
films themselves. They’ll also be putting on five films a week plus two more for
weekends, find out more HERE.
for the first 10 days of March is the Swindon Film Festival in
Wiltshire. Proving you don’t have to be in the city to find some of the best in
independent and foreign cinema, the town will be hosting some of the best in
home grown film (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Main Picture), Tyrannosaur) global
animation (Chico and Rita, Arrietty) and foreign cinema (Pina,
Benda Bilili!) across five local venues. For the full programme and
ticket information visit the festival site HERE.
The Manchester Cornerhouse
will be bringing some premature sunshine to the north by putting on the 18th
edition of their Spanish and Latin American Film Festival. From the 2nd
to the 18th a throng of exhibitions and the cream of Latin cinema
will be showing at the cinema, opening with an appearance from director Emilio Aragón who will be presenting
his debut feature Pájaros de Papel. Also on the programme is Icíar Bollaín’s Even the Rain, starring the dishy Gael García Bernal and a presentation
on contemporary Spanish comedy, One Hour Intro, to show off a bit of what the
industry has to offer. Pop over to
the Cornerhouse website HERE
for the full line up.
If you want the adrenaline of climbing an iceberg without
actually having to go outside, the Sheffield
Action Film Festival is one of the more intense ways to experience cinema.
Held across the weekend of 9th, the festival has selected a white
knuckle programme of white water rafting, mountain biking and the unsung sport
of extreme kayaking. There’s also a lecture with mountaineer Simon Yates, a
chance to have a bash at urban orienteering and a talk with Olympic runner
Charlie Spedding. There’s a huge array of films being shown across the weekend,
all of which can be found HERE
at the SHAFF website.
It may be that time of year where things start to change but
we’ll always be looking for the best and most intriguing way to experience film
and cinema near you.