East End Film Festival kicks off this week

After months of preparation, the 13th annual East End Film Festival (EEFF) is now underway – presenting a wide and diverse programme of the very best the independent filmmaking industry has to offer.

Every year, the EEFF typically attracts around 30,000 cinemagoers, who flock to venues across east London to attend international premieres, workshops helmed by industry insiders, pop-up screenings of cult classics and Q&A sessions with the leading lights in independent film. Around 70 full-length movies are shown on average, plus several short film programmes.

When it was founded in 2000, the EEFF served as a platform for East End artists but has since expanded its remit. Now, filmmakers from Europe and around the world have their work showcased here – with particular attention given to first and second time directors.

Among the events still lined up for the festival's first week, visitors will be able to attend the world premiere of Two Graves – a British-Irish co-production directed by Yvonne McDevitt and scored by Michael Nyman, described by organisers as a "hallucinogenic odyssey to the dark heart of the soul".

Later, festival-goers will be able to see the new film from Kill List director Ben Wheatley, a psychedelic English civil war tale entitled A Field In England. Reportedly channeling the likes of The Wicker Man and Witchfinder General, the movie should be one of the most distinctive to come out of Britain this year.

Documentary fans should look out for 99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film, which proved a huge hit when it premiered at Sundance. Exploring the trials and tribulations that have affected the Occupy grassroots movement, it will be one of the lead contenders for the EEFF's Best Documentary Feature award.

EEFF screenings take place at venues across the East End, including the Genesis Cinema and the Hackney Playhouse. For a full list of films, workshops and live events, would-be attendees should check the festival website.

Festivities conclude on July 10th, so film enthusiasts staying in London hotels over the next two weeks have plenty to look forward to.

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