Film & Video Festival 1998
monitored by the bouncers clickometers was around 5000.
The Festival (all admissions and film submissions free) kicked off with
the popular Video Cafe at the Venture Centre, Wornington Road. This is
for film makers who have missed the deadline to bring their work along
and show it on the day. It is a sociable, freestyle event and attracted
a thousand people over two days in a geographically obscure venue. One
film, "Cuddles" by Merlin Massaura, even made it to the Golden Boot Competition,
and with two screens the programme was further brightened by previous
years hits, Massive Videos recent work with disadvantaged kids, and some
rare early Shane Twentyfourseven Meadows shorts. The real meat
of the festival was three days at Subterrania, a local nightclub that
we converted into three cinemas using blackout and soundprooofing material.
We had no technical difficulties in showing 250 new films in three cinemas
over three days all bang on schedule. So apart from the wonders on offer
to the general public, the festival was something of a feast for new film-makers
to meet, show and compare their work, get new ideas, network and enjoy
We feel we achieved much in those three days for the future of British
and London film. In addition to the films submitted we also presented
local poets Jock Scott and Selina Saliva, authors reading live from the
accliaimed Disco2000 compilation, DJs and VJs mixing sound and
pictures-a new art form as yet in its infancy: the VJ Convention, a session
of local films including extracts with commentary from Tom Vague, of everything
from Bedknobs & Broomsticks to Performance, to a discussion
about Art Or Porn?
Overall the technical quality of the submissions was higher than previous
years. A case of practise making perfect for the growing army of independent
film-makers liberated by the arrival of the camcorder and cheap technology.
Filmmaking is the new rock and roll. Perhaps the greatest fun was moving
between the three cinemas, channel hopping as it were. The film-makers
represented a global cross section but mostly from London as our main
appeal for films goes out in Time Out.
Festival Grand Finale was at the magnificently restored Tabernacle. In
the afternoon we concentrated on local films by YCTV, NKVDP and Massive
Videos on the main screen with talks and workshops for young film-makers.
We had a kids circus from Albert & Friends. We showed Jacques Tati's Jour
De Fete for all the family. We presented the latest animation, experimental
and Video Art on a second screen upstairs which was surprisingly popular
including work from the Royal College of Art and alternative news agency,Undercurrents.
In the evening Andrew Borge of Dr.Martens presented the Golden Boot Award,
selected by votes and festival projectionists; the winner decided in a
clapometer ceremony MCed by Dr. Stewart. Short listed nominees included
hip London gangster epics (always a favourite theme for audience and directors
alike) Blood Brothers and Snap, the dark Panico comedy Hammerman,17
year old Massive trainee Kae Iden's Da Baby Fada, Goldiggaz,
a pop video from New York, and the eventual winner Marie Pascou's moody
handmade animation Un Jour.
The evening continued with Golden Boot nominees from 1996 and 1997, and
closed with Don Letts' Audio Visual Bashment, a kaleidscope of
fast cut images and state of the art dub previously only seen at the ICA.
A thousand people attended over the whole day. On the following day, we
wound the festival down at the North Pole pub/ restaurant, with higher
budget films from local production houses including Portobello Pictures'
Toy Boy, Illuminated Films' wonderful animated dramatic art deco
puzzle Transit, and Mike Hakarta's local full length feature
In A Blue Room (made for £4,000 and looking like £4,000,000). Some
500 film fans attended, bringing our total bums on seats to 7,500.