East End Film Festival Kicks Off in London

Photo via East End Film Festival

Photo via East End Film Festival

The East End Film Festival returned to London last night with a sold-out rooftop party and screening of Dressed as a Girl. This year’s annual festival, one of the UK’s largest, will include a handful of high-profile gay films, crafted by local indie filmmakers. A rich program of pop-up screenings, international premieres, and immersive live events are in store over the course of the festival, which runs for 12 days. By festival’s end, over 70 feature films will have been screened in multiple theaters across East London. Here are the highlights you won’t want to miss.

“A tale of lipstick and counterculture,” Dressed as a Girl is a wondrous exploration of East London’s bustling alt/punk drag scene, five years in the making. Meet the men behind the mugs, from Jonny Woo to Scottee, and watch as the film’s stars perform live cabaret-style after the curtains have closed. The screening will prelude with Drag is my Ecstasy, a short film about performers at Sink the Pink, East London’s most “ridiculous, gay, drag, queer, fun” party (7 pm, Tue 7 July, Dalston Roof Park).

Read on after the jump…

Actor Leon Lopez’s directorial debut, Soft Lad tells the story of a young man caught in a forbidden love affair with his sister’s husband, colored with jealousy and lust. What results leaves lives disfigured in the wake (9pm, Thu 9 July, Genesis).

A gay teen and his older brother venture to Greece in Xenia, a “queer road trip epic,” in search of their estranged father, and also in hopes that the elder brother, an aspiring singer, will capture the hearts of judges on popular television talent search, “Greek Star” (5:45 pm, Sun 12 July, Rio Cinema).

A collection of shorts dedicated to the art of dance, Everybody Dance will include Joseph Wilson’s drag dance-off Stance, shot at Repton’s Boxing Club in East London (9pm, Thu 9 July, Genesis). Also, catch Aidan Gillen (Queer as Folk, Game of Thrones) in Still, a revenge thriller, and James Franco in the London premiere of his gritty thriller, Good People.

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