First Look At Cutting Edge Film Festival

Katy Sharp-Watson previews the East London festival in which young film makers take centre stage.

Cutting East, the youth wing of the East End Film Festival, returns to the Genesis cinema this weekend for a three-day session of film screenings, music, poetry and dance.

Now in it’s third year, the festival celebrates the best of young filmmaking and creative talent across East London. All events are programmed and curated by 16-21 year olds under the guidance of the Mile End Community Project.

The festival kicks off on Friday 20th March with a selection of shorts, including Chicken, a five-minute film documentary made by HoodForts production company, which explores the widespread appeal of fried chicken in East London. The Undercroft looks at the campaign to keep alive the historic Southbank skate park and the impact the closure will have on the wider skating community.

On Saturday 21st March, feature-length documentary Mass E Bhat traces the life of social worker Nasir (now 20 years old), from his days working on a rubbish dump as a child in Bangladesh. This screening is organised in partnership with Tower Hamlets Food Bank – to get in you’ll need to make a food donation.

Also on Saturday from 7pm is Cutting Beats: Open Mic Night, an evening of spoken word performers interspersed with live music and dance – sign up on the door if you want to take part.

Sunday’s eclectic programme features retro-classic Election (1999), directed by Alexander Payne who went on to make The Descendants, Sideways and Oscar-nominated Nebraska. Election is a cult teen classic centred on the upcoming election for President of Carver High School students. The Sunday festival programme also features Chasing Cotton Clouds and Supersonic – two films by deaf filmmaker Samuel Dore, both featuring deaf boys struggling to cope with absent fathers. The screenings, with English subtitles, are presented in association with the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust.

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The festival culminates with recently released documentary Beyond Clueless. This film is a montage of more than 200 adolescent movies, charting and celebrating the history of the genre. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Charlie Lyne, who will also host a high school film quiz for keen teen movie buffs to test their knowledge.

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Katy Sharp-Watson is Rising East‘s Film and TV Editor. Twitter @ksharpwatson