The new wave of cinema for good – now showing at London’s East End Film Festival

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Our top picks from the East End Film Festival, bound to enrich and inspire that little revolutionary in all of us…

Founded in 2000, the East End Film Festival is one of the UK’s largest cinematic all-pile-ons, featuring international premieres, industry masterclasses, free pop-up screenings and immersive live events. The EEFF’s mission is to discover and support pioneering work by independent filmmakers from all over the world, and to introduce viewers to challenging cinematic experiences – and this year, that includes a bunch of new films and events that shine a light on people working for genuine, positive change in their corners of the world.

So if you’re feeling emotionally dried out, or feeling like the world’s going to hell in a hand-basket, here are some flicks to help nudge your optimism indicator in an upwards direction, and get your creative and humanitarian juices flowing…



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Monday the 20th marks World Refugee Day, and with 65.3 million displaced people globally, it’s a massive issue of global urgency and relevance.

The Day of Refuge strand of films and events is a chance for everyone to truly connect with not only the big picture issues, but other people who passionately involved in this area.

Highlights include a screening of Gianfranco Rosi’s award winning documentary, Fire At Sea and a special panel discussion between Maurice Wren (CEO, Refugee Council), Giorgia Dona (co-director of Centre for Refugees, Migration and Belonging, UEL), filmmaker Lucas Jedrzejak, chaired by Susie Symes (Chair, 19 Princelet St).

More information here


You know that old Margaret Mead quote, Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has?
Well… it may be overused, but there is a good reason for that.  It’s true, and this film collection can attest to that.

A story of resurgent grassroots activism, Generation Revolution is a stirring account of a new generation of black and brown activists in London. Focusing on The London Black Revolutionaries (Black Revs), R Movement and the Black Dissidents, Usayd Younis and Cassie Quarless’ film is a first hand insight into what cooperative, politicised engagement in social change means to a generation of young Londoners, fighting for egalitarian ideals and against a discriminating society.

People power, to the max!

More information here



Living with your best friends, reducing you carbon footprint, equality… fairness for all… communal living sounds like the dream, right? Uh, maybe think again.

The Commune is a ‘70s set melodrama which takes an in-depth look the eternal conflict at the heart of the hippy dream. Beautifully shot and perfectly composed.

Maybe just stick to community gardening?

Followed by a Q&A. Tickets available from the Picturehouses website here.



A River is put the spotlight on the ongoing battle between community, local democracy and the natural world. Following River Afan’s precarious past and uncertain future, the film focuses on the current battle of locals and environmentalists against fracking in the area.

Followed by a Q&A. Tickets available from the Genesis website here.


Want to see more? Head to the East End Film Festival website.

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