Lights! Camera! Action! Hackney takes to the big screen

With shorts across three Hackney venues, the borough’s first-ever film festival is worth a look this weekend

The first-ever film festival to be held in Hackney takes place this weekend with screenings planned for three different venues across the borough.

Short films, ranging in subject matter from immigration in Dalston to a documentary about a reformed heroin addict from Shoreditch, animations and live audio-visual performances will vie for audiences’ attentions at The Rio cinema in Kingsland Road and The Drop and The Others venues in Stoke Newington on Saturday and Sunday.

Organiser Steve McInerney, 27, of Amhurst Road, pulled together 19 films and three live performances for the festival without any funding, relying on a fund raising party he held in August.

He said: “We have lots of shorts on with a Hackney feel.

“Filmmakers from Hackney are proud to be from here and proud to put Hackney on film.”

The highlight of the festival could be Kingsland, a BAFTA-nominated short about Huso, a Kurdish immigrant who has recently moved to the UK, directed by Tony Grisoni, the screen writer behind Terry Gilliam’s Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas and the Red Riding TV series.

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Mr McInerney said: “It’s amazing. A lot of the scenes are shot in the Ridley Road market and on Kingsland Road. It’s nice to see Hackney on film.”

It will screen on Saturday at the Rio with eight other shorts, including Schlimazeltov! about the concept of luck in the Jewish community and By Hook, a surrealist short which was Hackney’s nominee for the Best of Boroughs Film Awards.

At The Others venue in Manor Road on Saturday night there will be live audio-visual performances from acts such as The Light Surgeons while The Drop, under The Three Crowns pub in Stoke Newington High Street, will be used to close the festival on Sunday.

Tickets for The Rio and The Others screenings cost �5; entry to The Drop is free.

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