22nd Leeds International Film Festival 2008

The festival launches next week, running from the 4th – 16th November in thirteen diverse venues in and around Leeds city centre. Exhibiting a staggering 266 carefully selected screenings, the festival allows cinema-goers to discover an unseen world of independent filmmaking.

There are six distinct sections of the festival programme and with each I draw attention to one of the many films to look out for.

Official Selection showcases the work of emerging filmmakers who are constantly pushing cinematic boundaries (Sita Sings the Blues, 2008: Nina Paley).

Cinema Versa is where you will find ground breaking documentaries of which the two principal themes this year are music (Public Enemy: Welcome to the Terror Dome, 2007: Dr Robert Patton-Spruill) and human rights (Chomsky And Co, 2008: Olivier Azam).

KiNETIKA! highlights experimental films which aim to play with our senses and stream of consciousness (Fear Eats The Soul, 1974: Rainer Werner Fassbinder).

Fanomenon, otherwise known as the festival’s home of genre cinema, is packed with horror, sci-fi, fantasy and anime. Whether your pleasure is blood and carnage (Tokyo Gore Police, 2008: Yoshihiro Nishimura) or the uncanny (Nightmare Detectives, 2006: Shinya Tsukamoto), the festival will not disappoint. The special horror themed events, named Day Of The Dead and Night Of The Dead are firm festival favourites.

Thought Bubble is a four day event celebrating sequential art with free writing and art based workshops led by industry professionals. Marvel talent spotter C.B. Cebulski will also be attending. For more information visit www.thoughtbubblefestival.com

Finally, new for 2008 is the Short Film City section, which gives viewers a rare chance to enjoy an assortion of unique programming including The Attack Of The Robots From Nebula 5 (Txema Garcia Ibarra). This is a charming and surprisingly playful short film about a loner who insists that the world is about to end but no one believes him. You can catch this film on the 14th of November as part of the Fantasy Shorts – International Competition. I also recommend Pop Art (Amanda Boyle), a short film primarily about the death of Toby’s mother and his subsequent friendship with Arthur, a new boy at school who is, in fact, inflatable. This comes under Incommunicado – International Fiction Shorts showing on the 12th and 13th November.

The festival relies upon volunteers and film enthusiasts in order to return to Leeds each year where it never fails to deliver an outstanding array of independent cinema. Tickets start from only £3.50 and you can buy a pass to the entire event for £70. For more information on the films and how to book visit www.leedsfilm.com or call the box office on 01132243801. So get down to Leeds, enjoy the films and show your support.

© BRWC 2010.

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.



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