East End Film Festival to celebrate female leads and directors

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East end film festival 2018
Film goers will be treated to 18 days of events next month.

Female directors and “strong female leads” will take centre-stage at this year’s East End Film Festival.

The 18-day programme, announced last week, begins on 11 April and includes screenings at the Hackney venues Rio Cinema, Castle Cinema and Rich Mix.

“A common thread this year is female directors and/or strong female leads confronting matters like injustice, rape and disparity,” said a festival spokesperson.

The opening night gala will feature a screening of The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat at Hackney’s Rio Cinema, followed by a Q&A session with director Sara Driver.

EEFF will also host the UK premiere of In the Fade, which won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film this year. In a performance that brought her the Cannes Film Festival award for Best Actress, Diane Kruger plays a woman whose Kurdish husband and son are killed in a terrorist attack.

Shirley Henderson of Harry Potter and Bridget Jones fame will be seen in the London premiere of Kathleen Hepburn’s Never Steady, Never Still. She plays a woman suffering from Parkinson’s disease who must fight to maintain her independence following the death of her husband.

The EEFF’s Best Film Award, awarded to first- and second-time directors, boasts a nominees list of eight films, five of which were made by female directors.

The Spotlight Screening of Pin Cushion will be followed by a panel discussion of the film’s female crew members.

The festival will also close with a weekend of outdoor events at Old Spitalfields Market. Screened films will include Luca Guadagino’s Oscar-winning gay romance Call Me By Your Name and a free programme of New Queer Vision Shorts.