Emerging from the Holloway Arts Festival in 2007, Reel Islington Film Festival returns in 2014 with the theme ‘Home is where I want to be...’
Featuring both old classics and newer material, the festival’s theme is broad enough to take in such disparate classics as Ken Loach’s under-seen Sweet Sixteen, in which Martin Compston’s Scottish teenager attempts to raise money to support his mother as she finishes up a prison sentence, and 1961’s Paris Blues, starring Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier as expatriate jazz musicians. Also showing is Bill Forsyth’s adaptation of Marilynne Robinson’s lyrical classic, Housekeeping, a dark and troubling feature that’s well worth investigating.
Reel Islington’s commitment to the art of the short film is evident in their annual Short Film Awards. Alongside the nominated films on show, there will also be a Sunday Shorts programme, in which some of the UK’s most promising talent rub shoulders with more established talent like JoWonder and Peter Speyer, whose You Are Me screened at the UK Jewish Film Festival last year.
Of the short films on show outside of these two venues, Picture Perfect, in which a pensioner’s life is transformed by an unlikely purchase at a car boot sale, sounds cryptically fascinating. And for those that managed to catch Marc Isaac’s feature-length The Road last year during its limited release, his short, Lift, an account of two months spent in an elevator on an East London estate will be essential viewing.
For those looking to continue the festivities into the night, the Wild Bunch DJs will be playing on the Saturday night, with Trio Manouche playing their unique mix of swing and jazz on the Sunday evening.
Reel Islington Film Festival runs from 28 February-2 March at Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road. Tickets can be purchased from the official website.