Cinema Versa is dedicated to the documentary form and inspired by the underground festival aesthetic, showcasing low budget, independent features: alternative music docs, grassroots political activist films and profiles of mavericks and outsiders.All the films / events in this programme »
Underground Voices gives a platform for human rights and activist films and profiles mavericks and outsiders and unusual themes beyond the usual scope of mainstream culture. This year includes some extraordinary reportage from the frontlines of the revolutions in the Ukraine (Maidan) and Syria (Silvered Water and #chicagogirl). Elsewhere there are tributes to political cartoonists from around the world (Footsoldiers of Democracy), artwork made in the concentration camps (Because I was a Painter), and a football game in pre-revolutionary Romania (Second Game). And most unusually of all, a UK premiere of the strange real life science fiction world of the slime mould in The Creeping Garden.
MUSIC ON FILM
A celebration of Music on Film takes in the old and the new spanning musical genres and film styles. Brand new documentaries pay tribute to the heartbreaking indie songwriting of Elliott Smith in Heaven Adores You, the vibrant sound of Brazilian band Sonzeira in Brasil Bam Bam Bam and the history of reggae in I am the Gorgon. Join us for a unique one day celebration of the concert movie with Once in a Lifetime, four classics from the seventies to the noughties culminating in an exclusive screening of the brand new digital print of arguably the greatest of them all, Talking Heads in Stop Making Sense. There will also be some special guest appearances by music icons including Edwyn Collins and Gilles Peterson.
Cinema Versa’s Forum presents a series of special events, collaborations and live performances. Enlightening talks and panel discussions accompany films on the influential radical thinker Herbert Read in To Hell With Culture, global development issues with the World Development Movement and Poverty Inc and Tibetan culture with Leeds based travel writer Ivan Cooper and Silent Holy Stones. We follow up last year’s successful Leeds Cinema Heritage Walks and long running collaborations with Arts and Minds with Film to Change and the University with Summat New. And we have a guest appearance from the great Edwyn Collins to accompany the remarkable new film The Possibilities are Endless.
Fanomenon is the UK's greatest genre film event offering a unique combination of great fantasy, sci-fi, horror, anime and cult cinema experiences, both light and dark, that cannot be found together anywhere else together on the planet.All the films / events in this programme »
Exclusive events in the Fanorama section include the world premiere of new Yorkshire thriller The Taking, and graphic novelist Alan Moore and filmmaker Mitch Jenkins on stage at Leeds Town Hall with their new project Show Pieces. Studio Ghibli documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, Korean action sensation A Hard Day, and German fantasy horror The Samurai are among the line-up of new films.
Following the suceess of the Basha poster exhibition in North Bar last year, we are presenting a selection of Drew Struzan’s seminal film posters to coincide with the remarkable documentary Drew: The Man Behind the Poster about his illustrious career. The exbition is free and runs from 31 OCtober - 10 December.
Fanomenon’s epic movie marathons are always popular, with hundreds of film fans literally going to great lengths to experience the latest in Japanese anime and worldwide horror filmmaking. This year’s Anime Day features a brand new print of Ghost in the Shell, a new Dragon Ball Z feature, and the award-winning Giovanni’s Island.
Night of the Dead returns for its 14th edition with a selection of gruesome films including ABCs of Death 2, festival favourite Housebound and a brand new Dead Short competition. With guests, giveaways (from our new sponsor Shameless Screen Entertainment) and gore galore, this is a night any self-respecting horror fan won’t want to miss.
Day of the Dead 8 has a truly international programme with demonic possession from Spain (Asmodexia), werewolves from Denmark (When Animals Dream), vampires from New Zealand (What We Do in the Shadows) and Kevin Smith’s latest body horror (Tusk). The audience also gets to vote for their favourite film in the Silver Méliès fantastic short film competition.
LIFF audience favourite Sound of Noise returns in a free screening as part of Leeds Free Cinema Week and 2001: A Space Odyssey screens again due to popular demand as part of the BFI’s Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder season. Discover one of Japan’s most talented and original animators, Masaaki Yuasa, in a special selection of his work. Revisit three anime classics on the big screen, Gainax’s Wings of Honneamise and Studio Ghibli’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Grave of the Fireflies.
RETRO - ÁLEX DE LA IGLESIA
Álex de la Iglesia has been making films for over 20 years and yet, unlike his contemporaries (Guillermo del Toro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Kevin Smith), his films are mostly unknown in the UK. Regardless of the genre or the plot, all Iglesia’s films have his trademark black humour and social commentary. Discover some of the most overlooked independent horror comedies of the last two decades with four of his greatest films.
RETRO - KONSTANTIN LOPUSHANSKY
While the cold war still loomed ominously in the USSR, Russian director Konstantin Lopushansky created two visionary post-apocalyptic masterpieces. LIFF28 is proud to present extremely rare screenings of both Letters from a Dead Man (1986) and Visitor to a Museum (1989) - a compelling companion piece to Tarkovsky’s Stalker, on which Lopushansky was an assistant. Each film follows a central character through seemingly post-nuclear landscapes, thoughtfully reflecting on humanity’s struggle and hopes for the future.
RETRO - THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE
The social injustice, unemployment and poverty faced by many in post-Vietnam America gave rise to a number of angry young directors who were driven to make violent and often bleak films about the death of the American Dream. Buddy Giovinazzo, Jim van Bebber and Jim Muro all hailed from different states and had very different approaches to the subject but all created films that have gained cult status and which are brought together for the first time at LIFF28.
The Official Selection hosts special screenings of some of the most acclaimed films of the year.All the films / events in this programme »
OPENING AND CLOSING FILM
Opening LIFF28 is the film adaptation of Vera Brittain’s best-selling memoir Testament of Youth, about her coming of age during World War I. Featuring some of the UK’s most exciting talent and filmed across Yorkshire, director James Kent’s Testament of Youth is one of several films made in the region showing at LIFF28, including Dominic Brunt’s thriller The Taking, Daniel Wolfe’s Catch Me Daddy and Morgan Matthews’ debut X+Y. Closing LIFF28 is the UK Premiere of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s brilliant Birdman, starring Michael Keaton as a washed-up actor who attempts to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory in his role as an iconic superhero.
The Official Selection hosts special previews of some of the most anticipated films of the year. Two of the most acclaimed films at this year’s Cannes film festival screen at LIFF28 - Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan, hailed as a ‘new Russian masterpiece’ and Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Palme d’Or winning Winter Sleep. Other highlights include - The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch as English mathematician and code-breaker Alan Turing; Tom Hardy’s latest film, crime drama The Drop, also the late James Gandolfini’s last film; and Song of the Sea, the new beautifully animated Irish feature film from the director of Secret of Kells.
Discoveries showcases a broad range of new talent and filmmakers on the rise from all around the world. Some are fresh from prizewinning success at major festivals, Corn Island won the Crystal Globe at Karlovy Vary, No One’s Child won the main prize at Venice Critics Week and Alê Abreu’s The Boy and the World scooped the top prize at Annecy Animation festival. Elsewhere we have UK premieres of innovative French drama Bird People and gripping Latvian coming of ager Modris, gritty Indian thriller Titli, Mexican teen odyssey We are Mari Pepa and Icelandic black comedy Paris of the North.
LIFF28 includes a fantastic array of retrospective programmes ranging from rare opportunities to rediscover forgotten gems to celebrated classics given an appropriately grand backdrop in Leeds Town Hall.All the films / events in this programme »
BERGMAN ON FÅRÖ
The great Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman first came to the island of Fårö on a stormy day in 1960, researching shooting locations for Through a Glass Darkly. It proved an inspired choice and he ended up making a string of features and a couple of documentaries there including Shame, Persona and The Passion of Anna. He was so taken with the place, he moved there and stayed for the last forty years of his life. Since his death in 2007, the island has become a focal point for his legacy and a pilgrimage made by many of today’s leading filmmakers is shown in the new documentary Trespassing Bergman.
BERLANGA AND BARDEM
Luis García Berlanga and Juan Antonio Bardem were extremely influential filmmakers in modern Spanish cinema, but have not had the attention they deserve internationally. Their best films stand the test of time and should be celebrated more widely. Beginning by working together on Welcome Mr Marshall and That Happy Couple, they developed distinct but complementary satirical styles, Berlanga’s sharply observed black comedies like The Executioner and Placido and Bardem’s noirish melodramas like Death of a Cyclist. Both were very influential during the period of Franco’s dictatorship and beyond as shown with additional screenings of later classics by Erice, Saura and Almodovar.
WAR AND CINEMA
During the First World War, film - for the first time in the history of the medium - was systematically employed by governments on both sides of the conflict. Between 1914 and 1918 countless films were produced, some were made to help train troops, and many others were produced as propaganda intended to influence public opinion, as well as to provide those at home hungry for information with images of the war. War and Cinema gathers propaganda newsreel and animation, classic silent films and enlightening documentaries to provide a unique perspective on the First World War and its cinematic heritage.
MASTERS OF FILM COMEDY
LIFF28’s Masters of Film Comedy selection plays out over one day, Saturday 8th November. The day opens with a free breakfast screening of Jour de Fete from French master Jacques Tati. The day then continues at City Varieties with a Buster Keaton masterpiece The General with live accompaniment from Unsilent Movies, Peter Sellers in perhaps his greatest screen performance in Dr. Strangelove, and Bill Murray in what is now regarded as one of the finest American film comedies ever made, Groundhog Day. The day closes with a former LIFF audience favourite, the unclassifiable experience of Symbol from Japanese master Hitoshi Matsumoto.
HOLLYWOOD GREATS: EUROPEAN ORIGINS
The classic studio era of Hollywood’s heyday is hugely influenced by the influx of talent from Europe, in many cases Jewish Europeans fleeing from the rise of Naziism in Germany. The list of great directors is astonishing: Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, F.W. Murnau, Douglas Sirk, Robert Siodmak, Fred Zinneman. Here we showcase some of the classics made in Europe just before these directors hit their creative peaks in Hollywood, some well known like Josef von Sternberg’s first collaboration with Marlene Dietrich, The Blue Angel and some more obscure like Max Ophül’s unusual tragicomedy made in the Netherlands in the mid 30s, The Trouble with Money.
OPEN HOUSE: HYDE PARK PICTURE HOUSE CENTENARY DAY
On Friday 7th November 2014, the Hyde Park Picture House is 100 years young and to celebrate, LIFF28 and the cinema present free screenings as part of Leeds Free Cinema Week. In the daytime there are four acclaimed British regional comedy dramas, one from each of the UK home nations - Good Vibrations, Raining Stones, Comfort and Joy, and Welsh-language film Coming Up Roses, which screened at the cinema in the first LIFF in 1987. During the evening, there is a special presentation of the BFI’s A Night at the Cinema in 1914 and the return of a LIFF audience favourite from last year, Final Cut – Ladies and Gentlemen.
Short Film City is the home of the latest and greatest short films from around the world.All the films / events in this programme »
The very first moving images were captured in Leeds by Louis le Prince in 1888 and LIFF’s international competition for short fiction films is named after the film pioneer. The International, British and Animation competitions are at the heart of the Short Film City programme and will be judged by an international jury of experts. There’s also the Yorkshire Short Film Competition which champions local filmmakers, the new screendance and music video awards. You also have the chance to decide on the outcome of a competition yourself in the new audience award. LIFF is a recognised festival in the categories of short film for both the Academy Awards and BAFTA.
PANORAMAS, EVENTS AND EXBIBITIONS
This year the Short Film City panoramas focus on new filmmaking talent from Romania and Ireland, alongside the annual selection of French shorts. The main event at Short Film City this year also opens Leeds Free Cinema Week on Friday 7th November at Left Bank - Vertical Cinema is an unforgettable light and sound experience that captivates the senses, featuring a unique method of film projection. The mesmerising three-screen installation Mother. I Am Going runs at The Tetley from Friday 14th November. For budding filmmakers, Short Film City will present a series of masterclasses and networking events – full details will be available from late October on the website.
THE KENTUCKY ROUTE ZERO SHORT FILM GUIDE
LIFF28 is presenting a series of screenings connected to videogaming culture, including the first-ever film festival screenings of Valve’s Free to Play and British documentary From Bedrooms to Billions. Kentucky Route Zero is one of the most acclaimed independent video game series made in the last few years. Releasing gradually online in five chapters, KRZ is a remarkable and surreal interactive experience, strongly influenced by experimental and original narrative filmmaking. For this year’s Short Film City, the KRZ creators have selected some of their key short film influences and two feature-length films made of vignettes, Songs from the Second Floor and Le Quattro Volte.