Writer/Director: Jose Anjembe | Producer:Nelson Ghrénassia Cast: Grace Seri
French is the debut short film drama by praised documentary filmmaker Josza Anjembe, who’s Cameroonian heritage has been the underlying influence in her work to date.
In French we follow Senya, the seventeen-year-old model student with dreams of studying politics. She’s smart, humble and the obedient eldest child. After passing her exams the brief euphoria of overcoming her first hurdle into independence and self-assuredness, is gaining a French ID that will allow her to pursue her journey into further study.
Creators: Noah and Lewie Kloster | Contributor: Christine Choy
Aesthetically the Sundance 2017 nominated film, Legal Smuggling, composed almost entirely of cut and paste illustrations, looks innocent enough. However all of this dissipates within seconds when the film’s subject and glorious narrator, Christine Choy, begins to regale the story of her relationship with cigarettes and her determination to sustain her love for smoking by doing the extreme – flying a few thousand miles to get them cheaper. I’m loathe to use the term addiction (though, yes this is what this is) because the way Choy talks about her beloved twenty-pack of Benson & Hedges is a poetic, unashamed and unapologetic confession.
With Choy’s unique gravelly voice and the Kloster brothers’ perfectly imperfect visuals, the audience is guided through a succinct story that really kicks off during Choy’s teen years; from leaving the ‘Orient’ to ending up in an all girls’ Catholic school in North America. Choy does what any teenager does to adapt in new surroundings, follow the trend but for an all East Asian girl living in a time where all-white Hollywood stars are idolised and smoking is in vogue, a young Choy is limited in the ways in which she can adapt. It’s a humorous retelling, fast-forward to a trip to Canada, the charismatic and sharp narrator points to this as one of the only downsides to her escapade (there’s nothing to do in Canada… bleurgh!)
We’re treated then to a tense climax in Choy’s story, when her seemingly seamless plan faces one glaring obstacle, airport customs and security. And without giving the ending away, one thing is certain, this final act is a worthy wrap to a consistently thrilling production.
Director/Writer: Kristof Deák | Producer:Anna Udvardy | DOP:Róbert Maly | Composer: Adam Balázs | Cast: Zsófia Szamos, Dorottya Hais and Dorka Gáspárfalvi
Sing is a beautiful dance between indie cinema realism and feel-good Hollywood charm that is hard to capture in any feature let alone a short film. This Hungarian language film is shortlisted for an Academy Award and it’s clear to see why.
Director/Writer: Paul James Driscoll | Producer(s): Alyazia Bint Nahyan, Mazen Alkhayrat | Cast/’contributors’: Julie C. Mcilvenny, the Mohammed Al Hammadi family
Writer/Director: Sallas De Jager | Producer(s):Terwadkar Rajiv, Piet De Jager, Sallas De Jager | Dop:Tom Marais | Cast: Nicola Breytenbach, Andrew Govinder, Leleti Khumalo, Hemali Juta-Pillay, Mangesh Desai and Deon Lotz.
Free State plays at the Garden State Film Festival, 3rd April at 12.30pm
Ambitions and dreams lock horns with rules and expectations in this beautifully constructed South African film.
Director: Atul Malhotra | Cast: Rez Kempton, Sam Vincenti, Martin Delaney, Karen David, Laura Aikman with Meera Syal and Nina Wadia
With over 1.4 million indian Punjabis in the UK, Indian cinema was always destined to thrive on British shores. But it’s been close to three decades that the British Indian-diaspora of filmmakers have taken hold of western audiences and gained consistent critical acclaim for being able to open its doors to film lovers from various backgrounds. Indian cinema in the UK, unlike other subcultures, has managed to successfully navigate the line between what it means to be British whilst staying authentically Indian.
Cinematic wonders such as East is East, Bend it Like Beckham, Anita and Me et al are to name a few – but it’s been close to a decade since the real big Brit-Indian flick took ahold of the nation’s audiences. Continue reading