☀️ British Summer Film Festivals 2017 ☀️

It’s the British summertime! Gone are the harsh winters and long nights. Here comes 19 hours of day time, and endless possibilities to celebrate! Here’s a list of film festivals in London. If you want an edition for other parts of UK, simply leave a comment and I’ll write one just for you! 🙂

For a start, a great way to enjoy film in summer will definitely be to bask ourselves in the sun, with fellow cinephiles!

Outdoor Cinemas

British Summer Time
When: 6 and 8.30pm on 3, 4, 5 and 7 July 2017
Where: Hyde Park
$: FREE 🙂

No booking required but you should try to arrive early to enjoy the other activities at the venue (free admission!) and also to reserve a spot.

For more information, visit: British Summer Time

Rooftop Film Club
When: Evenings nearly everyday until 18 September 2017
$: £15 – General Admission
£50 for two – ❤ Rooftop Love Seat ❤ (includes bottomless popcorn, two glasses of wine, pillows and extra leg room)

Try to book your tickets in advance as screenings usually sell out one week prior to the event.
If you happen to be visiting The States, you may want to check out Rooftop Film Club in LA or New York as well.

For more information, visit: Rooftop Film Club

Film4 Summer
When: 10 to 23 August 2017
Where: Somerset House
$: £17/film
£20 – double bill
£24 – Premiere
*Prices are exclusive of booking fees

Do remember to bring blankets and bedrests or you can purchase them on-site at £5-15.
If you are keen, do book your tickets soon as nearly half of the screenings are sold out!

For more information, visit: Film4 Summer

Movies on the River
When: On selected day evenings from 24 June to 15 July 2017
Where: Meeting point at Tower Pier, Tower Hill. Boat will sail along River Thames
$: £29 to £39

Boarding begins at 8pm, boat departs at 8.15pm, and the screening commences at 9pm.

For more information, visit: Movies on the River

St Kat’s Floating Film Festival
When: 17 to 30 July 2017
Where: St Katharine Docks (near Tower Bridge). Boat will sail along River Thames
$: £10/film

Deckchairs cost £10 each and Beanbag for two costs £20.

The film festival is part of a summer-long festival (it includes an art night, world food market and Feel Good Fridays) which lasts till September.

For more information, visit: Floating Film Festival

Luna Cinema
When: 8.45pm, 8 to 10 August 2017
Where: Chiswick House
$: £16.50 – General admission
£12 – Concession (3-15 y/o)
£8.25 – Concession (Disabled)
£29 – Premium (Free drink, fast track queueing, Luna director’s chair)

Doors open at 7pm.
Access to the Pop Up Theatre is via Walled Garden which is next to the Rustic House Gate.
Blankets are available for £10 each, while backrests go for £12.50.

For more information, visit: Luna Cinema

The Nomad
When: Until 23 September 2017
Where: Various
$:£5 to $25

The Nomad is a roaming pop-up cinema.
Concessions are available to students, children 14 and under.
Group bookings discount are available as well.

For more information, visit: The Nomad

London Bridge City Summer Festival
When: Evenings, 9 August to 3 September 2017
Where: The Scoop
$: TBC

Movies are free on Tuesday nights

For more information, visit: London Bridge City Summer Festival

BP Big Screens
When: 4 and 14 July 2017
Where: Various across UK
$: TBC

For more information, visit: Royal Opera House

Pop Up Screens
When: Until 26 September 2017
Where: Various
$: Varies.
£10-12 – adult
For some screenings:
£20 – VIP (Chair, drink, goodie bag)
£6 – Under 6s

For more information, visit: Pop Up Screens

But I understand, sometimes you just want to escape the heat, or just escape the unpredictability of rain. Here are some indoor film festivals held in the summer:

Indoor Cinemas

East End Film Festival
When: Until 2 July
Where: Various
$: Various

Beyond films, East End also organises masterclasses by renowned guests that cover interesting topics such as Brexit.

For more information, visit: East End Film Festival

Portobello Film Festival
When: 31 August to 16 September 2017
Where: Acklam Village
$: FREE 🙂

For more information, visit: Portobello Film Festival

Frightfest 💀
When: 24 to 28 August 2017
Where: Leicester Square
$: £14.25/film
£33 to £66 – Day passes
£195 – Festival pass

For more information, visit: Frightfest

Just in case you’re wondering, summer in Britain this year lasts from 21 June to 22 September. Enjoy! 🙂

Original article: British Summer Film Festivals 2017

A Festive Fall in Finland

Film festivals can be a medium that serves to fulfil some filmmakers’ goals, and can also serve as a commercial tool for programmers but it is how they use them that makes the films successful.

Fall can be a rather dreary occasion in Finland with temperatures falling to as low as -10°C in some places. Gone are the days where you stay cooped up in your room to avoid the cold. Fall can be a great time for you to celebrate film too. Here’s a list of film festivals happening in fall that you might want to attend! (This article is for you Lydia 🙂 )

Image Courtesy of Helsinki International Film Festival
  1. Helsinki International Film Festival – Love & Anarchy

Date: 14 to 22 September 2017

Why you should attend: The biggest film festival in Helsinki. Since 1988, HIFF has screened artistic, controversial and visually stunning films that would normally not be accessible to the public in regular theatres. HIFF also has a focus on Asian cinema, particularly Hong Kong and Japan. This is something not normally seen in European Film Festivals and is definitely worth a visit if you are not familiar with the genre, or by the same token, if you are a fan of the genre as well.

Ticket prices: €9/film (£7.50/film)

€70 (£59) for festival pass (11 single tickets and catalogue)

For more information, visit:

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 7.33.16 AM
Image Courtesy of Rokumentti Rock Film Festival

2. Rokumentti Rock Film Festival

Date: 15 to 19 November 2017

Venue: Tapio Film Centre and Kerubi (subject to changes), Joensuu

Ticket prices: €7/film (£6/film) & €25 (£21) for 5 films (subject to changes)

Why you should attend: Rokumentti is the largest music film festival in Finland and frankly speaking, have you every heard of a rock film festival? This is definitely an interesting experience for you! The festival will be held in a quaint city Joensuu, East of Finland. The programme has yet to be released but looking at last year’s programme makes me excited already. And did I mention how lovely their visuals are?

For more information, visit:

Image Courtesy of Oulu International Children’s and Youth Film Festival

3. Oulu International Children’s and Youth Film Festival

Date: 12 to 19 November 2017

Venue: Various. Full information can be found here:

Why you should attend: This is has definitely got to be another first for you: a children’s film festival! What better way to get the youth involved in film than letting them attend one or even be part of the jury. Ten children get to be part of the jury for the Starboy Award. If you are an adult and are worried that you will feel out of place, not to worry. The festival also has strands that are catered to older audiences such as Growing Pains and Kaleidoscope.

For more information, visit:

Screen Shot 2017-04-27 at 8.15.17 AM
Image Courtesy of Scandinavian International Film Festival

4. Scandinavian International Film Festival (SCIFF)

Date: 25-28 October 2017

Why you should attend: This year marks the second year for SCIFF and it’s already achieved much success. It screens international films meant to raise awareness among the Scandinavian audience on racism, radicalism and human crises. The festival is located in the heart of Helsinki so if you happen to be there, do check it out.

For more information, visit:

#Helsinki #Joensuu #Finland #Nordic #Scandinavia #Film #Festival #FilmFestival #HIFF #LoveAndAnarchy #Rokumentti #Rock #Oulu #Children #Youth #GrowingPains #Kaleidoscope #SCIFF #Racism #Radicalism

Original article:

Who are film festivals meant for?

Cinema at Vault Film Festival. Image Courtesy of Adora Tan

Film festivals have been introduced to the international film market from Europe since the 1930s. Through the decades, films have been celebrated by diverse groups, often using the festival as a platform to gather communities together. However, not everyone sees the benefits of film festivals and this brings to question: are film festivals meant for a specific target audience only?

For a group of people who have never come into contact with film festivals, they mostly feel that film festivals are not meant for them.

The Former Military Police Corporal of the Singapore Armed Forces, Malcolm Lim, 20, said: “I think I would not be able to understand the film at a film festival.”

Malcolm added: “They usually target a very ‘artsy’ audience.”

Similar to Malcolm, the Third Year Business student at San Diego State University Nadine Lugo feels like she does not feel comfortable being at a film festival. The 20-year-old said: “I would not go for a film festival because I would feel intimidated by the people at the ‘higher end’.”

While the general public believes that film festivals are meant for a more artistically inclined audience, film festivals have diversified to cater to the needs of a more youthful and energetic crowd. For instance, Vault Film Festival has launched its fifth underground festival at central London.

Vault Festival Festival Assistant Ksenia Koshtariva, 22, who is also a Business student (Masters) at Goldsmiths, University of London. Image Courtesy of Adora Tan.

Vaults Festival assistant Ksenia Koshtariya, 22, said, “We always welcome smaller, independent companies.” She emphasised the importance of introducing the works of young filmmakers who lack funding to other youth at the festival, which she valued.

Festivals that target the youth like Vaults would in turn inspire more young filmmakers to step up for their cause.

Film festivals are also crucial in encouraging the creation of new, competitive content. Thomas Elsaesser also noted in The New Topographies of Cinema in Europe (2005) mentioned that practically all European new waves owed their existence to film festivals.

On a political dimension, films can serve as a mouthpiece for the filmmakers and their people. For Iranian Director Jafar Panahi, he has been making films that raise social hardships that women and children in Iran face. For his film Taxi (2015), he received a Golden Bear Award at the Berlin International Film Festival where he documented his passengers’ stories as a taxi driver.

This is in spite of the fact that he was charged for propaganda against the Iranian government in 2010 and has since been serving six years’ jail term and a 20-year-ban on directing any movie.

Second Year student at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information in Singapore Chua Kai Yin, 20, regards the government’s ban towards filmmakers as secondary as compared to the delivery of the film’s message.

“For directors like Jafar Panahi, film is a way of self-expression. Even if making the film means going to jail, if the filmmakers feel that pursuing their cause is worth it, that’s all that matters,” said Chua.

Chua added, “Even if the government may initially not be receptive to the films, the citizens’ responses to them may cause the government to be more open to such ideas in future.”

Chua cited the example where Singaporean film To Singapore, With Love (Tan Pin Pin, 2013) was previously banned in Singapore upon its release. With the directors’ and locals’ petitions, the appeal to lift the ban was reconsidered where the film was given a Mature 18 (M18) instead.

“The film may still not be accessible to all Singaporeans but I think this is a stepping stone for the film industry in Singapore.” Chua said, “Films like Love will gather huge interest among Singaporeans.”

Like Iran, Pakistan also faces social issues that Pakistani student Aqeelah Kamran
Sumar draws parallels to. The 21-year-old Third Year student at the University of Szabist in Pakistan said: “Many Pakistanis are illiterate and are unaware of the important societal issues. The films also serve to educate the Pakistani community – by encouraging them to understand their country’s situation and eventually choose to give back to the rest of society.”

Aqeelah regards Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy as her role model. Sharmeen has directed and produced films that highlights issues about women such as rape and domestic violence in the last 15 years where she has won award in most of her films.

Besides giving a political standpoint at a film festival, a film festival can also give viewers the opportunity to view material that is normally shown in mainstream cinema.

Second Year Aerospace Engineering student at Nanyang Technological University Vanessia Choo, 20, said: “If people are open to engaging in meaningful and honest dialogues about society, or about themselves, this is where a film festival comes into play.

Sometimes, film festivals are not essential to have but it could become an experience you would enjoy.

Second Year Banking and Finance student at the Nanyang Business School Tricia Toh, 21, said: “There is no true need for film festivals but it is a need that can be cultivated.”

So, even if you find that film festivals are not your kind of thing, maybe it’s time for you to step out of your comfort zone and have a taste of what a film festival is like before simply saying no.

The trend of film festivals

Film festivals have evolved over the years from being a showcase of the best international films to one encompassing cultural exchange. Thomas Elsaesser has observed that European film festivals are trying to reinvent themselves as cultural centres. Film festivals have become a platform to absorb the culture of the host location and the local filmmakers. While there may be a film festival in your city, you might want to have a taste of being in a festival far from home and are attracted by its exotic lure.

Kelly Phua, 23, a graphic designer at the Perspectives Film Festival has observed that film festivals organised within small communities has been a trend.

“There will be more town organised film festivals because festivals are linked to tourism,” said Kelly.

She added: “In the UK alone, there are Manchester Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Glasgow Film Festival, and the list goes on.”

Beyond town organised film festivals, Kelly noted that cross-continental film festivals will become more popular in the next few years.

“In Europe, we get to have a similar experience to the people at Sundance in Salt Lake City by going to London Sundance Film Festival,” said Kelly.

With more film festivals in more cities around the globe, film festival organisers are beginning to arrange the film festivals such that they are spread across the calendar year. This ensures that at any one point of the year, there will be a film festival for the people to attend.

There appears to be three types of filmmakers: One, the filmmaker who makes his films to win awards at film festivals. Two, the filmmaker who creates his films for commercial gain. Three, the filmmaker who uses his films to entertain and educate.

For the filmmaker who makes his films to win awards at film festivals, some of them probably started out with a lack of funding and wanted to use a reputable name as a means of gaining recognition.

Major film festivals are beginning to employ ways to bind creative potential to them. For instance, Berlin International Film Festival has organised Berlin Talents to encourage young filmmakers to submit their work where they will be carefully handpicked and be invited to a specially curated programme.

Such programmes have arguably reversed the role of film festivals where filmmakers instead make a “festival film”. Filmmakers are compelled to make a film that meets the standards of a film festival with low or no budget.

When a film receives an award at a film festival, it also brings collaboration opportunities for the filmmaker with other industry professionals.

For the second type of filmmaker who produces his films for commercial purposes, he is the type who belongs to the movie theatres or television more than for film festivals.

For Jack Neo, a veteran Singaporean director, he regards film produced for commercial purposes as independent from film produced for film festivals.

Jack shared at the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) Actors Unscripted talk that his goal has always been to make comedy films for his Singaporean audience. Often these films are timely for the Chinese New Year season. his films have proven to be extremely successful. For example, Ah Boys to Men 3 (2015) is the highest grossing local film to date.

He mentioned that if he were to write a film for the SGIFF in November, his films would not be able to be released in time for the Chinese New Year. For directors like Jack who have commercial means as their priority, catering to the film festival market then becomes a challenge.

For the last type of filmmaker, the one who makes films which seek to inform, educate or entertain, they are sometimes able to publish their films in both movie theatres and film festivals.

One example is Vietnamese Director Hàm Trần who recently released his film Siêu Trộm (Bitcoin Heist) last February. His film has been screened in movie theatres and has since travelled to numerous film festivals throughout Asia.

In his Question and Answer dialogue at his post screening in SGIFF, Tran mentioned that he aims to make his films travel worldwide and film festivals is one excellent medium of doing so.

Tran noticed that many Vietnamese directors focus on making their films commercially successful locally rather than internationally. Tran hopes to introduce films from Vietnam to the global sphere to expand the Vietnamese film market.


6 thoughts on “Blog”

  1. I have never been to a film festival as I felt that film festivals are mainly targetted at the group of audience who can appreciate art and most of the films are very artsy. I feel like having a film festival at a unique location, for example, the vault film festival, can actually attract people to attend them. Film festivals, especially the major ones, are really very good ways to attract young filmmakers and also creates an exposure for them to a greater group of audience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s absolutely true, Yan Lin! 🙂 Like you, I felt that film festivals were targeted at a niche audience and I only started getting involved in film festivals because my school offered a module to plan a film festival! But it’s really good that you have an open mindset to want to visit a film festival at a different location. 🙂 I definitely hope more film festivals will consider non-conventional locations – maybe in an igloo, a forest, or maybe even in the tube! That will definitely draw more audiences! 🙂


  2. I have the same mindset as Malcolm Lim at first that film festivals usually target a very ‘artsy’ audience which is the complete opposite of me. But Adora has provided insights on what other things a good films can provide, like on a political and cultural level. Perhaps i will give film festivals another chance. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Really insightful post! I’m never been to a film festival but it seems something like Vault would be a good place to start, it sounds really cool too. Thanks for the recommendation!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting read. I’m really curious as to how film festivals will evolve and become more popular in the future as the trend continues to be picked up.

    Liked by 1 person

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