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Festivals around the UK


#The lost continent: opening up British silent film history Report

Conventional wisdom says Britain’s few canonised directors of the late silent era learned more from the Soviet cinema than their native culture. The true history, reports Henry K Miller from the British Silent Film Festival, is not so black and white

Doing time: ‘slow cinema’ at the AV Festival Postcard

Henry K Miller takes a deep breath, pulls up a seat and surrenders to a festival that celebrates slowness in music and the visual arts

The politics of ventilation:
Arika’s ‘A Film is a Statement’ festival

Chris Fujiwara communes with the participatory audience at the first of Arika’s three ambitious festival experiments for 2012

London Short Film Festival:
Winners and rejects

This year’s LSFF even showed the films it wasn’t showing. Dylan Cave peruses the award winners – and refusés

London Short Film Festival:
Nine of the best

Dylan Cave picks out nine titles in this year’s festival line-up


Encounters short film festival: Circumnavigating the world (and some time travel) Report

At Bristol’s short film expo, Nick Bradshaw and Dylan Cave encounter Mark Cosgrove’s philosophy of festival programming, the magical early silents of Segundo de Chomón and short highlights from Britain, Scandinavia and the Ukraine

Beyond extreme? The London Korean Film Festival Postcard

Anton Bitel finds genres straight and tangled in this year’s London showcase of new Korean cinema

FrightFest Hallowe’en:
Tricks but not enough treats

Emerging from the horror specialists’ annual all-night marathon, Anton Bitel wishes he’d only survived til 5am

S&S Nov 2011 coverLondon Film Festival
The Sight & Sound blog

Follow our team’s LFF peregrinations. Read the collated entries here, or see the index of individual blog posts

London Film Festival:
The best live-action shorts

Dylan Cave highlights ten titles in this year’s festival line-up

Abandon Normal Devices:
Near chaos and a happy ending

David Sorfa on Park Chan-wook’s iPhone-shot ghost film Night Fishing, Doug Fishbone’s Elmina, Michael Tully’s Septien and a preview of Shezad Dawood’s Piercing Brightness

London Film Festival:
30 recommendations

Our staff’s hand-picked selection of highlights in this year’s festival

FrightFest: women and horror Postcard

Mark Pilkington on The Woman, and two female-directed discoveries that bring “warmth and rounded characterisation to a genre that so often lacks it”

Uphill struggle:
Edinburgh International Film Festival

James Mottram finds Edinburgh feeling the pain in the wake of funding cuts

Vérité visions: Sheffield Doc/Fest Postcard

Nick Bradshaw on a rescheduled festival blessed by the sun, Lifetime Achievement awardee Albert Maysles, and his Direct Cinema heirs

East End Film Festival:
East London on Film

Frances Morgan picks out three new portraits of diversity, housing and upheaval in the capital’s unruliest quarter

This is our land: liminal Britain at the London Short Film Festival Postcard

Frances Morgan sees a fascination with the UK’s hinterlands unfold across two festival retrospectives and a guerilla filmmaking project

London Short Film Festival:
Eight of the best

Dylan Cave highlights eight titles in this year’s festival line-up


KosmosLondon Turkish Film Festival 2010:
in search of lost roots

Frances Morgan probes the poetry and prose of rootlessness in Reha Erdem’s Kosmos and Seren Yüce’s The Majority

Journals and RemarksSheffield Doc/Fest 2010: rain, speed dates, glamour and fine films Postcard

Edward Lawrenson on a busy festival for meteorologists, documentarists and Joan Rivers fans

Journals and RemarksLondon Film Festival 2010
The Sight & Sound blog

Follow our team’s LFF peregrinations. Read the collated entries here, or see the index of individual blog posts

London Film Festival 2010:
Sight & Sound’s top 30

30 highlights of this year’s festival

FrightFest 2010 Hallowe’en all-nighter Postcard

Postcard: Anton Bitel sticks out the witching hour with new films devoted to the return (or revenge) of the past: Confessions, The Silent House, Choose and more

FrightFest 2010: the return of the censor? Postcard

Mark Pilkington on a new round of horror cuts, and a well-timed documentary about the 1980s Video Nasties scare

FrightFest 2010: looking back to giallo
– and Tobe Hooper’s debut

Mark Pilkington cuts through the corpses to praise giallo homage Amer and Tobe Hooper’s forerunner to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

FrightFest 2010: undead and kicking Postcard

Mark Pilkington interviews horror handmaiden and FrightFest founder Alan Jones

Romania 2010: Eastern promises
Report and preview

James Bell previews the Romanian Film Festival in London and finds the new wave still rolling on

The Palestine Film FestivalThe Palestine Film Festival 2010 Preview

Preview: Adania Shibli finds reality proving camera-shy at this year’s Palestine Film Festival in London

Glasgow International Art FestivalGlasgow International Art Festival 2010 Report

John Beagles hears voices from the past around every darkened corner of the Glasgow Festival

ContentKinoteka 2010: Celestial mail Preview

A 14-minute mini-masterpiece at the Kinoteka Polish Film Festival reminds Michael Brooke of a history of correspondences between the British documentary school and its great Polish counterpart

The short of itThe short of it Preview

Dylan Cave previews some highlights of the 2010 London Short Film Festival


Bedlam in briefBrief Encounters 2009: Bedlam in brief Report

Nick Bradshaw picks a hatful of the best movies at Bristol’s Encounters Short Film Festival

Eastern duskAurora 2009: Eastern dusk Report

Norwich’s Aurora festival of progressive artists’ movies convenes its final gathering of the faithful

Every doc for itselfSheffield Doc/Fest 2009: Every doc for itself Report

Documentaries with attitude, and film-makers with vision: the worst and best of Sheffield Doc/Fest 2009

‘Underground’, overgroundLondon 2009: ‘Underground’, overground Report

This year’s London Film Festival brought archive films up onto the streets, and the Tube back onto the screen. We caught two of the festival’s archive showcases

The Celluloid CeilingLondon 2009: Everywhere girls? Preview

Chuffed with this year’s harvest of films made by women, the London Film Festival is hosting a panel debate on why the movies aren’t always so even-handed. Sophie Mayer sizes up the festival’s female perspectives

Last remaining seatsLondon 2009: Last remaining seats Preview

Sight & Sound’s recommendations of films still available for booking in this year’s festival

PrimitiveAND 2009: Tropical rocket Report

Tony Rayns sees Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Primitive installation at the inaugural Abandon Normal Devices Festival of New Media and Digital Culture in Liverpool

2008 and earlier

Waltz with BashirLondon 2008 Report

Various writers on The Class, Rachel Getting Married, Quiet Chaos, Liverpool and Lisandro Alonso, Ben Rivers and 20 further S&S recommendations

BamakoLondon 2006 Report

Various writers on Red Road, Bamako, Times and Winds and 12 more of the best at the London Film Festival

ZidaneEdinburgh 2006 Preview

David Thomson on early 1970s Hollywood, and ten S&S selections

A Cock and Bull StoryLondon 2005 Report

Various writers on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Good Night and Good Luck, The Death of Mr Lazarescu and ten more of the best at the London Film Festival

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International festivals


Cannes Film Festival 2012
The Sight & Sound blog

Follow Nick James and our correspondents on the Croisette. Read the collated entries, or see the index of individual posts

#Ebertfest: thumbs on hearts Postcard

At Roger Ebert’s Film Festival, films, filmmakers and fans come together under the guiding hand of the World’s Most Famous Film Critic. Scott Jordan Harris joins the communion

Artists (still) at play: Ann Arbor at 50 Postcard

Stephen Connolly pays his respects to a legacy of lively engagement at North America’s preeminent festival of artists’ movies

Berlinale 2012
The Sight & Sound blog

Nick James and S&S contributors report from the unknown quantity that is this year’s Berlin film festival. Read the collated entries, or see the index of individual posts


The rebel confederacy:
the Doc Alliance at CPH:DOX

Copenhagen’s blossoming documentary festival was the latest stop for the Doc Alliance roadshow. Demetrios Matheou reports

Perugia: a new ‘experiential vertical’ in the Stratus galaxy Postcard

What does a big-talking new festival in the capital of Umbria have to do with American martial arts fighting, vintage car racing or the Stratus Rewards Visa White Card? Lee Marshall scoops a preview

Morelia: shelter from the sensation Postcard

Mark Cousins sees a running tussle between baroque culture and Bressonian art at Mexico’s foremost showcase of homegrown film

Rio: cool potatoes – and torpor in the favela Postcard

Jonathan Romney on three mixed-bag local curios – and a wanton lack of thrills and spills at a new cinema built in a recently pacified favela


Curfew cannot curb a festival devoted to promoting the voices of the Caribbean and its diasporas, finds Joshua Jelly-Schapiro

The sun still rises: CinDi 2011 Postcard

Ian Christie finds a clutch of exciting, exploratory new films from China, Tibet, Sri Lanka and Japan at Seoul’s Cinema Digital Festival

On the road to Telluride Report

Nick James on bringing home Sight & Sound’s ‘Special Medallion’ from the Telluride Film Festival, “given to a hero of cinema that preserves, honors and presents great movies”

Venice Film Festival 2011
The Sight & Sound blog

Follow Kieron Corless and our correspondents on the Lido. Read the collated entries, or see the index of individual posts

Locarno: big stage, new talent Postcard

Isabel Stevens on the emerging new film voices stepping up to Locarno’s 5,000-strong crowd

Il Cinema Ritrovato: restoration heaven Postcard

Jonathan Rosenbaum goes reevaluating the films of Soviet dramatist Boris Barnet, Howard Hawks and Louis Feuillade’s muse Musidora at Bolgona’s ‘festival of rediscoveries’

Midnight Sun: let there be light Postcard

Nick James investigates a wonderful blend of cinema and mild carousing with luminaries including Aki Kaurismäki, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Atom Egoyan and cinematographer Michael Chapman

Cannes Film Festival 2011
The Sight & Sound blog

Follow Nick James and our correspondents on the Croisette. Read the collated entries, or see the index of individual posts

IndieLisboa: The revolution will be dramatised Postcard

Demetrios Matheou on José Filipe Costa’s wonderfully conflicted Red Line and the truth behind Thomas Harlan’s 1975 Carnation Revolution documentary Torre Bela

San Francisco filmgrimage:
Falling from Nob Hill

Nick James takes the Vertigo tour

Strange energies from the east

Jonathan Rommey on three festival finds from Russia and Austria, including a sci-fi cult attraction extraordinaire and a portrait of Chernobyl awaiting meltdown

The Rotterdam conundrum Postcard

It used to a festival that prided itself on bringing to light overlooked world cinema curios but not any longer. Nick James ponders what’s going wrong at Rotterdam

Sundance week two: the kids are too much Postcard

Hannah McGill on a surfeit of teen tales, the best of the fest’s docs and prizes for James Marsh, Asif Kapadia and Paddy Considine

Sundance week one: ‘lo-fi’, low-key Postcard

Hannah McGill on the best of the usual blend of coming-of-age tales, dysfunctional-family dramas and up-to-the-minute documentaries – plus Kevin Smith in revolt


IDFA 2010: Santas, waffles and echoes of turmoil Postcard

Adina Bradeanu browses a typically rich festival whose pickings spanned Finnish saunas and Indonesian star-gazers – enveloped by some eccentric street theatre

Tallinn’s Black Nights Film Festival Postcard

Carmen Gray joins The Temptation of St. Tony’s Veiko Õunpuu in flight from the Baltic’s disillusioning post-Soviet realities

Copenhagen’s CPH:DOX: ‘naughty new vocabularies for documentary’ Postcard

Demetrios Matheou visits an increasingly confident European showcase for the documentary art in all its diversity

Telluride: walking on air Postcard

High in the Colorado mountains, Mark Cousins goes giddy for old films by Stanton Kaye and Mario Camerini, the latest from Harutyun Khachatryan, and Claudia Cardinale

Venice: storm in a bottle Postcard

After Miike Takashi’s ferocious 13 Assassins, this year’s festival ended on the lows of Monte Hellman’s Road to Nowhere and Julie Taymor’s The Tempest, says Nick James

Venice: waft breezily Postcard

Nick James enjoys the momentum of new films from Larraine, Ozon, Reichert, Woo and Hark

The festival directors:
Locarno’s Olivier Père
Video interview

The new director of the Locarno Film Festival tells us about the challenges ahead for cinema and cinephilia

Sarajevo: changing trains Postcard

Nick James writes home from a friendly, growing Sarajevo Film Festival

Transilvania: Eastern promises Report / Preview

James Bell previews the Romanian Film Festival in London and finds the new wave still rolling on

Annecy: an animated crowd Report

Isabella Kaminski finds techniques from past, present and future meeting at the forward-thinking animation festival

IndieLisboa: the new school Report

Mar Diestro-Dópido finds a thriving IndieLisboa brimming with young international talent

Cannes: big stories, or the bigger picture? Postcard

This year’s Cannes mounted a fine survey of the art of modern cinema, writes Nick James

Argentine cinema: state of the grain Report

Maria Delgado on the best of this year’s Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival, spiritual home of the New Argentine Cinema

Cannes: some favourites Postcard

Geoff Andrew’s pick of the crop

Cannes: doom, chills and bewilderment Postcard

Nick James finds abnormal life in Cannes’ second-string selection

Oberhausen: bent pink soup Report

Isabel Stevens gets her kicks at the short film festival with a retrospective of New York’s late-70s No Wave Cinema

Cannes: time for TV? Postcard

Nick James finds respite from a predictable programme in Olivier Assayas’ television epic Carlos

Cannes: side tracks Postcard

Geoff Andrew hunkers down with 100 goats in a Calabrian village

Cannes: brotherly love Postcard

Nick James sees a gentle tide for Xavier Beauvois’ Of Gods and Men

Cannes: slow lift-off Postcard

Geoff Andrew is tested – and rewarded – by new films from Cristi Puiu and Mike Leigh

IndieLisboa: views from the edge Postcard

Kieron Corless revisits Chantal Akerman’s hypnotic Communist portmortem D’Est at this invigorating Portuguese festival

Film still: A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle ShopBerlinale: We have the stars Postcard

Nick James wonders if dreaming of a festival without instant ratings is asking for the moon

Smoke gets in your eyesRotterdam: Smoke gets in your eyes Postcard

James Benning’s slow-gaze Ruhr provides sights for Nick James’ sore eyes at Rotterdam


ViennaleViennale: The whirls of time Report

The Viennale rings in the old, including Timothy Carey’s loopy The World’s Greatest Sinner

Shoot him againToronto: Shoot him again Report

Returning to Toronto with trepidation, Nick James enjoys Claire Denis’ latest and a Cage-Herzog pairing

LourdesVenice, part two Postcard

Jonathan Romney picks his hits of the festival

Venice Film FestivalVenice, part one Postcard

Jonathan Romney gets excited by Herzog’s new films on the Lido

Jeonju ReportJeonju: Digital watch Report

James Bell discovers the hidden treasures in Jeonju festival’s Digital Project

Amazonas Film ReportAmazonas Report

In the footsteps of Fitzcarraldo, James Bell heads deep into the Brazilian jungle for the Amazonas Festival

#In a lonely place: Pyongyang International Film Festival Report

What films are you allowed to see in North Korea, the world’s most secretive country? James Bell hands in his mobile phone and reports from the Pyongyang International Film Festival

2008 and earlier

HungerCannes 2008: British cinema on exhilarating form Report

Nick James sees Of Time and the City, Hunger and Better Things

Black BookVenice 2006: Jewels in the crown Report

Hollywood blockbusters mixed with more innovative indie film-making from Europe and the US. But a series of films from Asia and Africa commissioned in Vienna was Venice’s strongest suit, says James Bell

Marie AntoinetteCannes 2006: American decadence and other tales Report

Various writers report on terror and war subjects; the Europeans; the Americans; and the fringes

SaratanEurasia 2006: Cinema at the crossroads Report

James Bell finds that not even a stroppy Theo Angelopoulos can mar Kazakhstan’s Eurasia film festival

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Last Updated: 15 May 2012