The East Anglian Collection screening presented 8 specially selected films, each of which brought a sense of local filmic community into the festival. Set and shot in the region, with one, Panoramic written and animated by a Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) student, all were truly a celebration of what the East Anglia region has to offer to film.
The evening started with screenings of the 3 nominees for the East Anglia Film Archive mash up competition. Composed of archive film, these shorts presented found footage from the region in order to give compelling re-imaginings of the history of East Anglia. These were followed by a flow motion, panoramic tour of Norwich cathedral, a great advert for Norwich and the greater region.
Next came Milda Baginskaite’s Apples (pictured above), starring Kieran Urquhart as a young man whose relationship with his grandfather is thrown into turmoil by taking a job at the local apple orchard. Shot along the Norfolk coastline, the film offered up some stunning scenery and an engrossing portrayal of local community.
My personal favourite from the whole festival was The Knackerman (pictured below) directed by Tom Shrapnel. Featuring truly beautiful performances from Donald Sumpter and Adam Long, The Knackerman follows the working life of Ron, whose commitment to the disposal of dying horses forces him to face his own mortality. Cannot rate highly enough! Also, this won the Best East Anglian Film for 2018!
Panoramic, made by NUA pupil James Ivett, presented an animated “Black Mirror Esq” depiction of a technologically dependent world. By visualizing a person’s every thought on a series of screens, Panoramic cleverly asks viewers to what extent our lives are just a collection of missed opportunities?
What to say about The Birch? During the film, a schoolboy named Chris is aided by his grandmother in his attempts to rid himself of debilitating school bullying. Her assistance? To enlist the power of a demonic ancient tree in the woods that proves more than a match for the teenage bully. The awesome power of East Anglian nature.
Blood and Stones (Pictured above) written and directed by Joshua Carver explored a vital day in the relationship of Ruby and Robby, during a day out at the beach. Next came a commercial for Weston Canoes, furthering an exploration of East Anglian waters. This fabulously tranquil advert, offered a great way to explore the stunning beauty of the Norfolk broads, in Weston’s purpose built wooden canoes.
Bringing proceedings to a close was Edmund the Magnificent (Pictured below) Narrated as a poem performed by Sir Ian McKellen, the short followed David Bradley (of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones fame) in his attempts to rear a thorough bred piglet for the local pig fete. However, having invested all his savings in the boar, Edmund refuses to mate, forcing the farmer to go on a journey of self-discovery.
Overall this was a great event, with great films, and a great display of the best of the East Anglia region.
Review By Sam Briggs