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First London-Worldwide Comedy Short Film Festival comes to Hackney Picturehouse

PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 January 2017

Bootleg, directed by Reem Morsi. Picture: David Lee

Bootleg, directed by Reem Morsi. Picture: David Lee

Archant

Former comedian and comedy promoter Roddy Fraser is the brainfather, featuring short films coming from around the globe to promote the universal love of comedy

A brand new film festival is coming to Hackney.

Former comedian and comedy promoter Roddy Fraser is the brainfather of London-Worldwide Comedy Short Film Festival, featuring short films coming from around the globe to promote the universal love of comedy.

Fraser came up with the idea while working in Cambodia as an English teacher. He decided to put together a comedy festival over there: “It was a smaller idea than this one and with YouTube videos rather than proper short movies.

“But one day while I was teaching English to one of my students, I received an email from someone in Papua New Guinea. Someone who had such a completely different culture than ours wanted to send me his video for the festival. It felt very global and modern and cool! I really enjoyed that.”

The Festival will run on two days in February at Hackney Picturehouse, with two different sets of short films being shown to give people the opportunity to come back for more laughs the second time.

Fraser says he chose Hackney Picturehouse as his venue after performing there at the end of November with American comedian Scott Capurro, to raise money for Delete Blood Cancer.

“It’s a great venue and it’s in Hackney which is full of creative people.”

Just like his performance in November, the festival is aimed at raising money for the two charities Action Aid and the Environmental Justice Foundation, with 50 per cent of ticket sales going to them.

The Scottish creator of the festival is showing films that would be funny, clever and universally relatable, but also with an insight into the culture they come from.

“Generally speaking if it makes me laugh I’m going to stick it in,” he says. “But with social media and the internet, different cultures are getting closer together and understand a lot more about each other, so the culture element is very important.”

When he talks about inspiration he can’t help but think of the stand up comedy world he is a part of:

“It’s very different watching a film with an audience from watching it by yourself on your computer, it’s a lot more enjoyable with other people around you just as much as stand up comedy is about audience participation and the interaction with the comedian.”

Fraser admits to have done it all by himself and wishes one day this will be taken to other European cities starting with Edinburgh and Glasgow and perhaps moving to Northern European countries “because their English is just so good”.

Films will not be limited to mainstream and traditional methods of production but will also include animation and experimental styles of short movies. He adds: “Not just pedestrian, I like strange!”

London-Worldwide Comedy Short Film Festival will be at The Hackney Attic, Hackney Picturehouse, on February 5 and 12. Tickets £5 from worldwidecomedyshortfilmfestival.com

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