Last night saw the official launch of the Leeds Film Festival programme as part of Light Night with a trailer-reel in the Town Hall. If you didn’t manage to pick up a programme here is a summary of the 6 main sections followed by 10 picks for the festival I’m most looking forward to:
Official selection – billed as the ‘heart of the festival’ this section champions unseen (mostly character driven) cinema from around the world.
Fanomenon – the genre section of festival brings the best in horror as well Japanese and extra-terrestrial mini-strands.
Thought Bubble – celebrating its 5th birthday, the UK’s largest comic/graphic festival will include everything from cosplay to talks by industry leaders.
Cinema Versa – the documentary strand of the festival has two main themes: music & underground voices.
Cherry Kino – a completely free section of the festival showcasing ‘wondermental’ cinema – “films that fill you with, and make you, wonder.” (Intriguing!)
Short Film City – the title is pretty self explanatory here but the short section will have 3 competitions as well a selection of international shorts.
10 Festival picks
1 – Shame – Fri 18th 20:30
This year’s closing Gala, Dir. Steve McQueen’s second feature film Shame tells the story of Brandon, a thirthysomething nymphomaniac whose lifestyle is dramatically altered by the arrival of his sister. Starring man of the moment Michael Fassbender & phenomenal actress Carey Mulligan this British film is set to be a real highlight.
2- Finisterrae – Fri 11th 14:00 & 18:30
Boasting the strangest trailer you will ever see (below) , Finisterrae is the feature debut of the co-director of the Sonar music festival and follows the journey of two ghosts towards the end of the world.
3- Sound of Noise – Thu 17th 18:15
If you’ve ever read the following 5 words in this order then I’ll eat my hat: a Swedish musical crime comedy. Didn’t think so. Well that’s exactly what Sound of Noise promises, following music-hating Police Officer Warnebring track down a band of guerilla musicians who are causing havoc around the city is sure to delight and amuse in equal measure.
4 – Take Shelter – Sun 6th 17:45, Mon 7th 20:30
Suffering from apocalyptic nightmares Curtis (Michael Shannon) is driven to the edge of breaking his family apart though his obsession with building a storm shelter to protect him and his family from the approaching cataclysm. However, is it Curtis’ mind that is most risk? This supernatural thriller/family drama promises some stunning special effects and a powerful central performance.
5. Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Sun 13th 15:00
Revisit one of Spielsberg’s finest with his sci-fi classic. This year’s nostalgia-fest Super 8 (no.3 in our to 5 blockbusters of 2011) wouldn’t have been made without it.
6. The Thing – Sat 5th 20:30
The Hollywood remake of this Carpenter classic enjoys one of its first UK screenings as part as LIFF and its trailer promises plenty of jumps and gasps:
7. I am Jesus Sat 5th 19:00, Tue 8th 17:00
A documentary that follows three different cults that have formed around 3 individuals who claim to be the second coming of Christ. From a former UK secret service agent to Siberian ex-farmer the documentary contrasts these 3 movements as well as explore the nature of faith and spirituality.
8. Sound it Out Mon 7th 21:15
In an age of digital music where the internet is forcing the music industry to drastically adapt, Sound it Out warmly charts the continued unlikely success of Stockton-on-Tees based record shop.
9. British Short Film Competition 2011 – Sat 12th 14:00
From black comedy to stop motion animation, this year’s British Short competition will showcase the best of contempary British cinema through a diverse selection. Whether your a traditional short film fan or not I urge you to check this one out.
10. Yorkshire Short Film Competition 2011 – Sat 12th 16:15
Only last week we featured Armley based film-makers’ short Joy and as well as enjoying and celebrating the truly international important programme the LIFF understands the importance of nurturing home grown talent and will therefore be featuring the work of local filmmakers through this competition.