The beginning of April was very a exciting time for us here at VOTA. Roxy and I had a chance to help out as volunteers at the Let’s All Be Free Film Festival, a new and independent event which took place from the 5th to 7th of April 2013 at the Brunei Gallery in Russell Square, in London. During the festival we worked at the reception, as ushers and Roxy also worked as a panel and Q&A assistant. We had so much fun doing it we thought we’d tell you all about it!

The founder of the festival, Tariq Nasir and his team really did a brilliant job. The Let’s All Be Free Film Festival was well organized considering it was its first year running. We were well taken care of by the fabulous volunteer coordinator Marine. She was always checking on us, offering food, drinks and breaks during our shifts. Roxy and I had a great time volunteering for the film festival. We will definitely do it again!

Apart from helping out we had the opportunity to see a few films as well. The short films we managed to see were fantastic, we do have favorites of our own though. For Instance: ‘Between Two Worlds’ by Ruud Lenssen which is “a portrait of the Dutch filmmaker Marijn Poels who makes 8 films about 8 different Third World countries in crisis every year”. It was a brilliant and compelling documentary, Marijn Poels is an inspiring individual for sure. Another film that caught our attention was ‘Still’, an 11 minute film which told the story of the writer, free diver and ocean photographer Carlos Eyles and his opinion on the “worth of our sea”. The film was beautifully shot. The directors, R. Stocking, J. Tadeu Bijos, Barth and Gutierrez deserve an applause! The stunning pictures of the ocean made us feel like we were diving with Carlos. STILL also made us realise how much we still have to learn about the world and its environment, perhaps even about ourselves too. The film is one of those documentaries that will remain in our hearts for a long time.

‘The Voorman Problem’ was an entertaining and intriguing short film about a psychiatrist that must examine Mr Voorman, a prisoner who believes that he is a god. The film, starring Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander was very enjoyable. ‘A Better World’ (Un Monde Meilleur) is a Belgian short film by Sacha Feiner who wrote, directed and did the visual and special effects for the film. Set in a dystopian future A Better World follows Henry, a dedicated citizen of a strange dictatorship. When the regime suddenly collapses, Henry is unable to cope without rules and the dictatorship as the world around him becomes a beautiful countryside. Feiner’s creation is a feast for the eyes, every little detail made this strange and wonderful film feel so real and enjoyable. Roxy really loved this film from her home country.

Milo, Momentum, Do Tell, Being Violet, This is a Love Story and Kokoto, in the fiction or documentary respectively, were also very interesting. Apart from screening 37 shorts, the Let’s All Be Free Film Festival held panel discussions and Q&As with directors and wonderful speakers such as: Steve Crawshaw (International Advocacy Director at Amnesty International), Kim Longinotto, Marijn Poels, Sophie Farthing (Policy Officer at Liberty), Sean Baine (Chair of Board at the Equality Trust). We had a chance to meet judges behind- the- scene too: Robert Bierman and Randolph Benson. There was also a great performance by Charlie Dupre which was entertaining and funny. Charlie is a Spoken Word Artist who once was described by Annexe Magazine as “a unique brand of poetic wizardry”. He certainly is an articulate young man with a great and colorful personality. If you would like to see one of his shows please check his website for more details.

As the festival was coming to a close, there was a sense of emptiness in the air, we really had fun. It’s definitely worth attending or even helping out to run it. We also managed to interview a few directors. Our first interview will be with one of the directors of ‘Still’ J. Tadeou Bijos. Enjoy!

Panel discussion

From the left: Sophie Farthing, Steve Crawshaw, Prof. Richard Disney, Sean Baine and Kim Longinotto

Festival Director Tariq Nasir - opening night speech

Tariq Nasir, the Founder of the Let’s All Be Free Film Festival

Closing night party

Collin Rustin

Opening night audience

Opening Night Audience

Directors' Q&A

Directors Q&A

Pictures courtesy of the Unusuality Productions

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Documentary, Film, Film events and festivals, Foreign Films, Short films


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