saturday 18th september
BULLET FROM THE BLUE
UK : 51mins : 2019
Directed by Jennifer Farfort
11AM : PARK INN BY RADISSON PALACE BALLROOM
This remarkable documentary unravels the tragic story of a B17 American bomber that crashed just off Canvey Point in 1944. It tells the heartfelt stories of how local historians Gary Foulger and Alan Jasper became engrossed in uncovering the full story behind this wartime tragedy, after discovering parts of wreckage in the Canvey estuary in the Seventies.
During their many years of research, including reaching out to eye witnesses as well as members of the crew, their emotional involvement intensified. In 1996, Gary finally achieved his mission to get a memorial plaque installed, and the film ends on a message of hope and the importance of giving back.
Introduced by Director Jennifer Farfort
+ THE SOLDIER WITH NO NAME
UK : 13mins : 2018
Directed by Daya Dodds
Drama based on the true story of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, whose anti-Nazi propaganda targeted the German soldiers occupying the island of Jersey during World War II.
+ LOCK 4 TIMES
UK : 25mins
Directed by Alex Gulland
Lock 4 Times is a true-life documentary film that examines the real stories of 4 disparate people behind the headlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The film's catalyst was the moving story of a woman whose ex-partner, a military veteran, went missing during the early stages of Lockdown. Millions have been affected by Covid-19. Lock 4 Times gives a voice to just four people whose lives have changed forever and how they have coped, with arguably one of the most significant social upheavals since World War II.
Introduced by Director Alex Gulland
KINGS OF MULBERRY STREET
South Africa : 90mins : 2019 : Certificate ‘15’
Directed by Judy Naidoo
11AM : PARK INN BY RADISSON PALACE ROYAL VIEW SUITE
In KwaZulu Natal, feisty Ticky is like the Artful Dodger: cheeky and daring, with a streetwise swagger and little respect for rules. He escapes the realities of his 80s Sugarhill District existence by living in a Bollywood dream world where he's an unbeatable action hero. And when chubby, timid Baboo moves into the neighbourhood with his snooty, academic dad, Ticky thinks he's the biggest loser he's ever seen. But soon the two nine year olds are drawn together by the shared threat of local bully and crime boss, Raja. Their plan of attack: to emulate their Bollywood heroes.
This hard-hitting, jet black comedy was a huge success on its release in South Africa in June 2019, and has since become an international film festival favourite.
+ SURYAPET ORPHANAGE: MY NAME IS…
UK : 8mins : 2019
Directed by Nicholas Alston
Whilst I knew that the children would be sleeping on the floor and they would not eat one day a week to reduce costs, I was not prepared for the emotional effect it would have on me.
However, they were looked after and away from the dangers of the streets, simply educated and allowed to have a childhood with much of the love and happiness a child deserves.
Their lives may be very different, too often hard, but also extraordinary with hope and ambition.
UK : 75mins
Directed by Chris Izod
1.30PM : PARK INN BY RADISSON PALACE BALLROOM
Join historian Chris Izod on a journey around the county in the company of some of the stars of the silver screen who were born or lived in Essex. Take this opportunity to enjoy trailers and classic clips from the movies that made them household names. There will also be plenty of archive footage and fascinating facts about their lives, taking you back to the Golden Age of the Cinema.
Southend BID has kindly sponsored Essex Connections.
+ The Year We Washed Our Hands A Lot
UK : 8mins : 2020
Directed by Molly Brown
A selection of topical animations made from February through December, 2020, on subjects ranging from toilet paper shortages and social distancing to whether or not a Scotch Egg counts as a meal.
Introduced by Director Molly Brown
VILLAGE IN THE JUNGLE
Sri Lanka : 120mins : 1980 : Part Subtitled : Certificate ‘15’
Directed by Lester James Peries
1.30PM : PARK INN BY RADISSON PALACE ROYAL VIEW SUITE
This powerful drama chronicles the lives of a poor family in the small village of Beddagama as they struggle to survive the challenges presented by poverty, disease, superstition, the unsympathetic
colonial system, and the jungle itself. The head of the family is a farmer named Silindu. After being manipulated by the village authorities and a debt collector, he is put on trial for murder.
The film was based on the novel of the same name by
Leonard Woolf . Published in 1913, that was based on his experiences as a colonial civil servant in British-controlled Ceylon (now Sri Lanka ) in the early years of the 20th century. It was ground-breaking in being written from the native rather than the
colonial point of view . In the film, Woolf is portrayed by science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke (who first visited the country in 1954) and the court scenes were shot in the actual courtroom where Woolf
presided in his working life
UK : 90mins : 2020 : Certificate ‘15’
Directed by James Smith
4PM : PARK INN BY RADISSON PALACE BALLROOM
Kelly is an assassin, a trained killer and experimental chemist who specialises in poison. But she's just turned fifty and has become weary of her lifestyle. Yet the assassin is in her blood – and, after learning of the brutal rape and murder of her young charge, she allows an inner rage to take hold. Tracking down the gang, she kills one member, leaving his body for the rest of the gang to discover. But this gang is dangerous - and now it's their turn to seek vengeance.
This experimental thriller comes from James Smith and Caroline Spence, the director-producer team behind festival favourite Do Something, Jake.
Introduced by Director James Smith and Producer Caroline Spence
+ THE CUNNING MAN
UK : 13mins : 2019
Directed by Zoe Dobson
Inspired by real-life John Harries (1785-1839), a physician and ‘Cunning Man’ (a healer who uses folklore magic) this film tells the story of an elderly and mysterious farmer who drifts through the Welsh valleys collecting dead animals. Refusing the services of the local abattoir’s collector, what he has in store for these creatures is beyond anyone’s imagination.
France : 108mins : 2018 : Subtitles : Certificate ‘15’
Directed by Olivier Assayas
4PM : PARK INN BY RADISSON PALACE ROYAL VIEW SUITE TICKETS £7.00
Juliette Binoche and Guillaume Canet reunite with acclaimed director Olivier Assayas (Personal Shopper) for this wry, slyly seductive tale of sex, lies, and literature. Set amidst the bohemian intelligentsia of the Parisian publishing world, Non-Fiction traces the romantic and emotional fallout that results when a controversial writer begins blurring the line between fact and fiction, using his real-life love affairs - including a passionate fling with an actress (Binoche) who happens to be married to his editor (Canet) - as fodder for his explosive new novel.
Balancing dry wit with keen observations on the tensions between art, commerce, and technology, Non-Fiction is a buoyant, breezy delight from a master director at his most effortlessly brilliant.
UK : 12mins : 2019
Directed by Pantelis Hapeshis
A girl in a same-sex relationship has been estranged from her father for many years. But now it is time for them to confront the situation.
UK: 81mins : 2021 : Certificate '15'
Directed by Wendy Morgan
6.30PM : PARK INN BY RADISSON PALACE BALLROOM
Mercy is a factory-farmed pig who bravely and touchingly takes us with her on her tragic journey as she leaves behind her family and encounters those whose job it is to end her short life.
Actress Wendy Morgan’s award-winning debut as director stars Mark Wingett as ‘Slaughterman’, and imagines the pigs as humans, with a voice. As the world teeters on the precipice of ecological destruction, Mercy's story is at the heart of everything we are now and at the beginning of all that must change.
Warning: Mercy takes an unflinching view of factory farming and includes scenes of animal cruelty that might well offend.
Introduced by Director Wendy Morgan
+ Ubique Virtual Gallery
UK : 10mins : 2020
Directed by Niki Cornish
Ubique Virtual Gallery was created during the COVID-19 Pandemic by local photographer Niki Cornish and author Dennis Thompson.
The film evidences an evolution in the the art world during a time of isolation.
Through the media of film, the work of many of our artists remains accessible to all.
This short film is an accolade to artists who were due to exhibit in a high street gallery space from 1st April 2020. The physical space: 'Ubique Pop Up Gallery' will be launched in 2022 and will be well worth the wait!
Introduced by Director Niki Cornish
WOMAN AT WAR
Iceland : 100mins : Subtitles : Certificate ‘12’
Directed by Benedikt Erlingsson
6.30PM : PARK INN BY RADISSON PALACE ROYAL VIEW SUITE
To her friends, Halla leads a quiet and routine life. But her happy and upbeat exterior hides a secret double life as a committed environmental activist. Known to others as “The Mountain Woman”, she wages a one-woman-war on the local aluminium industry to protect the stunning highland landscape that is under threat. However, just as she begins planning her biggest and boldest operation yet, she receives an unexpected letter that will change everything – and she will be forced to choose between her environmental crusade and the chance of fulfilling her dream of becoming a mother.
Set in breath-taking landscapes, and alternatively funny, moving and utterly distinct, Woman at War follows Halla as she juggles the adoption of a beautiful little girl whilst planning her final act of industrial sabotage.
+ How To Be Human
UK : 13mins : 2017
Directed by Bruno Centofanti
In a post-apocalyptic England, two sisters flee a London in ruins- and discover that eliminating signs of emotion is essential if they are to be allowed into a safe territory.
MADE IN ESSEX
9PM : PARK INN BY RADISSON PALACE BALLROOM
What talent we have! Thirteen locally made short films for you to enjoy:
The Magician and The Ice Rink - Sarah Judd/4 minutes
A rollercoaster ride through the stories of magician Terry Herbert's time at Streatham's Silver Blades ice rink between 1965 and 1967. Told through a stop-motion and hand animation hybrid.
Over the Influence - Andrew Younge/6 minutes
About the inescapable grip social media has on modern society and culture.
The Keeper - Stuart Rodwell/6 minutes
Sinister and secretive, will the cryptic case claim another Keeper?
Christmas Spirit - Andrew Delaney/11 minutes
The difficulties of dealing with grief, especially at Christmas.
The Woods Near Jacob's Farm - Samantha Anderson /11 minutes
Naomi awakens in a room with no recollection of how she got there and is desperately trying to find a way out.
R.I.P. - Simon Cluett /13 minutes.
Four low-rent thugs incur the wrath of a fearsome mob boss... cue murder and mayhem. A film by Simon Cluett. Shot in and around Southend and Rochford.
Three Blind Mice - Ben Cluett /6 minutes
After a heist goes wrong, the gang smell a rat... but all is not as it seems. A film by Ben Cluett. Shot on location at what's left of Stambridge Mill in Rochford.
Roundheads and Cavaliers - Chloe Thomas/13 minutes
Alice tries out historical re-enactment, but finds herself caught between a Roundhead and a Cavalier in a battle for her affections.
Silent Hymns of Light Café - Bradley Barton/5 minutes
Archaeologist Louise is curious about the mysterious character that helped her father find a special artifact, but it turns out she's not the only one after it - and no-one is safe...
Captured - Stuart Rodwell/5 minutes
A routine meter check leaves a service engineer at the mercy of a sinister inventor
Supermarket Stories - Sarah Judd/5 minutes
Supermarket Stories is an animated web-series which features the real-life comedic encounters between a supermarket checkout operator and the general public. Episode One focuses on bad behaviour in the supermarket during the COVID-19 pandemic.
…. And What Would You Say? - Andrew Delaney/5 minutes
The beach from Chalkwell to Leigh, in poetic mode.
The Man Who Wouldn’t Die - James Wilsher/20 minutes
In 1930s New York, a group of desperate people plot to kill a homeless drunk to claim on his insurance. So far, so normal - but this is performed by puppets and told entirely in poetic verse!
Southend Arts Festival has kindly sponsored Southend on Stage
+ JOE RETURNS A VIDEO
USA : 13mins :
Directed by Directed by Robert M. Neilson and Joe Grissafi
Joe suddenly realises that his rental copy of Steven Seagal's Above The Law is overdue by 10,592 days...
Denmark : 85mins : 2018 : Subtitles : Certificate '15'
Directed by Gustav Möller
9PM : PARK INN BY RADISSON PALACE ROYAL VIEW SUITE
When alarm dispatcher (and former police officer) Asger Holm answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman, it is suddenly disconnected. With the phone his only tool, Asger starts a race against time to save the endangered woman. But he soon realises that he is dealing with a crime that is far bigger than he first thought.
A break-through film for director Gustav Möller, this nail-biting thriller boasts a powerhouse performance from Jakob Cedergren as the desperate Asger.
+ THE BIG POP
UK : 8mins : 2018
A Beyond Studios Production
Murder, dames and the butterkist of death. A rookie P.I. sets out to prove himself in this film noir which was written, shot, and edited over one weekend for The 48 Hour Film Project. The brief required it to feature popcorn, a character called Dr Mackenzie Menendez, and the line "I love you".