Reel Islington Film Festival 2014

‘Home is where I want to be…’

Following on from the success of last year, the Reel Islington Film Festival was back from Friday 28 February – Sunday 2 March 2014 with the theme, ‘Home is where I want to be…’, bringing together an exciting programme of screenings and events, showcasing the work of both established and up-and-coming filmmakers.

View the festival gallery here

Friday 28 February

4-5.30pm: ‘Home’ in Film – Panel Discussion, FREE

London Met Senior Lecturer in Journalism Jude Rogers (Chair), The Guardian’s Ali Catterall, University of Kent Film Studies Lecturer Dr Maurizio Cinquegrani, and LMU Film Lecturer Leila Wimmer discussed the concept of ‘home’ in film.
No booking required

5.30-7.30pm: Meet the Professionals, FREE

Informal sessions lead by industry professionals Sky Neal (Documentary Filmmaker), John Jencks (Director), Ben Woolford (Producer) and Andy Glynne (Documentary Filmmakers Group/Mosaic Films), exploring career paths into the film and TV industry.

Sara Walker and Christine Lahti in Bill Forsyth's HOUSEKEEPING (5.30-7.30pm: Housekeeping

(1987, 116 mins, PG, trailer)
Director: Bill Forsyth
Bill Forsyth’s 1987 adaptation of Marilynne Robinson’s novel tells the tale of two orphaned sisters as they set up home with their eccentric aunt Sylvie. A dark yet touching film

What did you enjoy most about this event?

‘Great film, nice venue’

‘Film was gripping, really good’


Short film award 12 image8-9pm: Reel Islington Short Film Awards

See the finalists’ films and the winning entry selected for their unique approach to the festival theme. Guest judges are Lucy Baxter (Mandrake Films), Adam Roberts (A Nos Amours), Film Reviewer Tim Robey and Film Producer Ben Woolford
(Recommended Age 12+, strong language)  £2/£1


What did you enjoy most about the event?

‘Diversity of the films; cosy, personal venue; quality of the films – fun, nice twists, some very high production’

‘Variety of films and the quality’

‘Good range of different films!’


Saturday 1 March


11am-12pm: The View From My Window Tells Me I’m Home

(2013, 45 mins, Recommended Age 12+, information)
Director: Esther Johnson
Artistically shot, this film explores the legacy of 1950s architectural idealism by following the lives of ten current residents of the City’s Golden Lane Estate.


What did you enjoy most about this event?

The film was excellent. Very friendly and helpful staff’

‘Excellent film. Good organisation of the festival’

‘Quality of the film – beautifully filmed, esdited and soundscape. Really nice thing to do on a Saturday morning – slowed me down’

‘I thought the film was brilliant very moving, beautifully shot, and extremely thought-provoking. The venue was also great – lovely café and all the staff extremely friendly and helpful’



12-1pm: Picture Perfect

(2013, 30 mins, Recommended Age 12+, trailer)
Director: Irina Izmesteiva
Cynical pensioner David is transformed by the transcendence of love after making a last-minute purchase from a car boot sale. A perfectly crafted short fiction with a charming twist. Followed by a discussion with director Irina Izmestieva and producer Rebecca Knapp


What did you enjoy most about this event? 
‘Lovely film. Enjoyed meeting filmmaker at Q & As afterwards’

‘I really enjoyed the film. Was also nice to meet the director’

‘The venue, and friendly staff’


Sweet Sixteen

2-3.30pm: Sweet Sixteen

(2002, 106 mins, 18, trailer)
Director: Ken Loach
Determined to have a normal family life once his mother leaves prison, Scottish teenager Liam from a tough background sets out to raise the money for a home.


Nanna Tully beach 1960

3.30-5pm: Just Half a Cup

(2013, 30 mins, Recommended Age 12+)
Director: Nadya Mahdi
Filmmaker Nadya Mahdi introduced this tender celebration of her Irish grandmother’s life. Followed by a discussion with the director and a tea party with sandwiches, scones and live music by 8-piece Irish band, Meitheal Cheoil


What did you enjoy most about this event?

‘The film itself – its warmth and affection. The way the audience engaged with it. Lovely idea to have the Irish music and the tea/scones etc. To make it an event not just a viewing’

‘Well set up. Ease of event with a friendly attitude’

‘Fantastic small film. Great editing, soundtrack and storyteling. Q and A interesting and music after showing was very enjoyable too’




5.30-8pm: Marc Isaacs Double Bill:
The Road: A Story of Life and Death (2013, 75 mins, trailer)
Lift (2001, 25 mins, trailer)

Director: Marc Isaacs
Acclaimed documentary maker, Isaacs’ most recent film The Road: A Story of Life and Death is a
fascinating and intimate portrayal of people who have come to London from afar, seeking a better life. In Lift we witness a must-see account of two months spent in a lift on an estate in East London. A funny, moving and uplifting portrait of humanity. Followed by a discussion with the director
(Recommended Age 14+) £5/£2.50

What did you enjoy most about this event?

‘The two films were excellent and very creative’

‘The Director Q & A in an intimate setting’

‘Originality of films. Deep themes, profound’



8-10pm: Festival Party with the Wild Bunch DJ’s

Come and join us for a dance as the Wild Bunch DJ’s spin their party mix. Expect Reggae, Pop, House, Disco and more. Includes a screening of a short film about Wild Bunch- an inclusive DJ collective and club night that has been running for over 10 years


Sunday 2 March

You Are Me high res ally pally view

11-12.30pm: Sunday Shorts

Reel Islington Short Film Awards Winner (Announced at Short Film Awards Fri 28 Feb, 10 mins: Sunday Punch, Dir. Allen Powell, 2013)
Go Away, Please! (John Jencks, Electric Shadow Films, 13 mins)
You are Me (Peter Speyer, 12 mins)
Don’t Submit to a Moments Passion with a Stranger (JoWOnder, 2 mins)
The Brooch Pin and the Sinful Clasp (JoWOnder, 18 mins)

A morning of short films from Islington based filmmakers: an opportunity to see some of Islington’s finest talent and discuss their work with them. Guests include award winning animator JoWOnder on her world of dark fairy tales and Peter Speyer on his touching film You Are Me.
(Recommended Age 12+) £2/£1



1.30-3.45pm: Simone Brioni Double Bill
La quarta via (2011, 48 mins, trailer)
Aulò: Roma postcoloniale (2011, 48 mins, trailer)

Director: Simone Brioni
In a unique dialogue between two documentaries, Simone Brioni explores the lives of two women of Somalian and Eritrean origin attempting to create their own visions of home in contemporary Italy. Followed by a discussion with Italian writer of Somali origin, Shirin Ramzanali Fazel. Click here for further information on the documentary project.
(Recommended Age 12+) £5/£2.50

What did you enjoy most about this event?

‘Learning some history and the stories of the women. Good location’


Paris Blues bright image

4.15- 6.30pm: Paris Blues

(1961, 98 mins, 12, trailer)
Director: Martin Ritt
Set in Paris in the early 1960s, two American expatriate jazz musicians – one white (Paul Newman) the other black (Sidney Poitier) fall in love and must choose between returning home, or remaining in a city which offers each of them personal and creative freedoms. While the story unfolds against a backdrop of racism and drugs, it is famous for its music score by Duke Ellington and appearances by Louis Armstrong.  Followed by a discussion with Jazzwise Magazine writer Selwyn Harris

What did you enjoy most about this event?

‘The film ‘Paris Blues’ was a gem and the band was excellent, too’


Trio Manouche high res colour

6.30-8pm: Trio Manouche

‘Hot swing’ from one of the UK’s finest gypsy ensembles – bringing joy and good times through their reworking of various classics, as well as original, upbeat compositions. Listen here!




8pm till late: Post-Festival Drinks

Come and join us for a drink at Filthy’s, where a live musician will be playing iconic film songs
Location: Filthy’s 270 Holloway Road, N7 6NE

Passes: Weekend Passes £20/10  |  Saturday Passes £10/5  |  Sunday Passes £10/5

Café and bar open throughout featuring the exhibition Face Facts Face Fiction by Sally Jones.

Click here to see highlights from last year’s festival.