The 3rd Fragments Festival is set to open its doors at London’s Genesis Cinema on the 28th of September.
Celebrating inclusivity in film, the festival opens with Ken Loach’s new film The Old Oak. Rumoured to be the acclaimed British filmmaker’s last production, the film completes his ‘Northeast Trilogy’ that began with I, Daniel Blake and Sorry We Missed You.
The Old Oak focuses on the eponymous pub, the last of its kind in an ex-mining community in the North of England. The film examines the tensions surrounding the arrival of Syrian refugees who have been housed in the area. Lead actor Dave Turner will join for a Q + A before the special preview of the film.
The Fragments Festival comprises 8 features, 26 shorts, and a host of forums, events and workshops. Highlighting stories by and from women, non-binary folks and other members of the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as disabled people, working class individuals, and Black, Asian and Arab communities. the festival celebrates the full scope of cinema.
The feature programme includes the amusing and moving Big Boys, a heart-warming coming of age story about a teenage boy’s unexpected crush. Made by Corey Sherman, the film is sweetly funny and well deserving of its festival appearance.
Another highlight is the off-beat sci-fi film Unidentified Objects. Focusing on a stressed-out person of smaller stature and their adventurous alien-obsessed neighbour, the film is a joyous examination of souls looking for their place in the universe.
Set in contemporary China, Hidden Letters (dir: Violet Du Feng, Qing Zhao, China) documents two modern women who are connected by their fascination for the secret female language of Nushu. The non-vocal script was passed down from mother to daughter over generations, and was used as embroidery on materials.
In Ginger & Honey Milk (dir: Mika Imai, Japan), deaf and non-binary filmmaker Mika Imai depicts a complex four-way relationship between two Deaf and queer best friends and their potential love interests.
Animated stop-motion comedy Oink (dir: Mascha Halberstad, Netherlands) sees a 9-year-old girl receive a piglet as a gift from her grandfather. She’s soon raising the cute little pig like a puppy – but unbeknown to her, potential peril looms in the form of the local “King Sausage” contest. This captivating family-friendly film touches on topics including animal welfare and vegetarianism.
Highlighting the ethics and responsibility inherent in documentary filmmaking, Subject (dir: Camilla Hall, Jennifer Tiexiera, USA) examines a wide range of well-known documentaries from the past decade and reveals the impact their commercial success has had on the lives of the onscreen subjects. Titles featured include true crime series The Staircase, basketball documentary film Hoop Dreams, award-winning Egyptian film The Square, and other notable titles such as The Wolfpack and Capturing the Friedmans.
The features programme closes on October 1 with the London Premiere of Smoke Sauna Sisterhood (dir: Anna Hints). The Estonian entry for the 2024 Academy Awards®, it documents a space where women can share their innermost secrets and intimate experiences. In the darkness of a smoke sauna, women wash off the shame trapped in their bodies and regain their strength through a sense of communion. A beautiful and intimate exploration of body positivity, mental health, and feminism.
The fragments festival also includes a diverse collection of experimental, challenging, and enlightening short films. There are also special events, discussions and workshops taking place over the festival run.
Fragments Festival runs from Sept 28th – Oct 1st, Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road, London E1 4UJ