Streatham Celebrates Cinema Heritage At Free Film Festival

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 38 months ago
Streatham Celebrates Cinema Heritage At Free Film Festival
Crowds watch a screening at a previous free film festival

Streatham High Road (Europe's longest, according to banners on the road itself) used to be home to 12 cinemas and theatres, so it's surprising the area's cinema heritage hasn't been celebrated before.

Now, the series of free film festivals which has been sweeping London is coming to Streatham for the first Streatham Free Film Festival (Peckham & Nunhead, New Cross & Deptford, London Fields and Camberwell, among others have already have the free film treatment).  

12 venues including pubs, a church and a library will screen 20 films across the four days, among other events. Budding filmmakers can even have their own short films screened by taking part in the 48 hour filmmaking competition a week before the festival begins. You'll be given a prop, a line of dialogue and a Streatham location — then 48 hours to turn all this into a short film.

The films being shown straddle the mainstream (Pulp Fiction, an outdoor screening of Dirty Dancing, the inevitable Frozen sing-a-long) and the more niche.

There's a B-movie all dayer, featuring hysterical, bad and downright weird classic B movies. Racial issues are addressed in indie satirical comedy drama, Dear White People, and adrenalin junkies can get their fix with Man On Wire.

It's not all about the films though. Organiser Anne-Marie McGregor and her team of volunteers are using the experience to get to know more about the area and local community, and hope that festival-goers will do the same.

"Whether it’s individuals with stories, venues that we never knew existed or just Streatham's own relationship with film it’s been fascinating" she said.

Streatham Free Festival takes place 17-20 September. All events are free expect Amy, which has a £5 charge and needs prebooking. See full programme here.

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Last Updated 14 September 2015