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The inaugural Soho London Independent Film Festival is taking place virtually this month from Thursday 19th – Monday 23rd November. The festival is the creation of a diverse team of professionals with a background in films. They are giving their time voluntarily to build the event, judge the films and promote emerging talent from around the world in these extraordinary times. Ticket monies will be reinvested into building a sustainable festival, and creating a film fund to enable communities and filmmakers to bring their important stories with a social and environmental impact to the screen.

The festival program showcases 39 short films over four days across animation, comedy, documentary, drama, experiential and fantasy genres and from a truly global reach including Cuba, Ghana, Iraq, Mexico, Nepal and Ukraine. Some in the official selection are from brand new filmmakers and they sit side by side with films from Oscar winners. Great new actors are debuting alongside famous actors in roles they are not normally seen in.

“The short films we have selected for our first festival come from a myriad of different voices bringing their world into ours”, said Festival Founder and Director Liz Farahadi. “Drawing on our collective experience of entering film festivals, we set up the festival with the aim of not only building a film fund to make films that explore subjects that matter to a specific community and empower an audience to action, but to also give practical advice, offer networking opportunities and support to filmmakers.”

”The Soho London Independent Film Festival is looking for emerging filmmakers who are deep listeners and can relate to, connect with and be understood by the communities and their stories that need to be told to evolve our social and environmental approach,” continues Festival Founder and Director Stephen Kearney. ”We want them to hold a mirror up to us all”.

Embedded in this purposeful vision are the major awards of the festival which are not the usual suspects but instead the Social and Environmental Impact Awards. Festival Founder and Director Julia Olsen says she hopes the film festival start-up will articulate community concerns, develop artistic filmmaking skills in those communities and open people up to broader socio, economic and cultural transformation. Her dream is that “It can link countries, urban, inner city and rural areas, shine a light on the current sense of despair and division and highlight potential solutions.”

The festival team also wanted to ensure timely feedback to submitted films, as being a part of the film community themselves they know only too well how much work goes in to creating films, so to then not get accepted or even acknowledged can be really disheartening. Workshops have already taken place in 2020 for actors and filmmakers, and private screenings for those whose films that showed talent and potential but did not make it into the official selection will be taking place in 2021. One successful case study is the film Winter Garden from director Mustafa Deniz. Although aspects of the film were great there were some simple technical issues which meant it could not be officially selected. After receiving feedback the director amended the cut then re-engaged with the festival team and the drama short from Turkey is now part of the festival.

“We are all about nurturing and supporting new talent as well as established talent from our studio base 01 zero-one in London’s Soho.” said Festival Founder and Director Erik Moore. “We are delighted that for our first festival all the films not only entertain but leave the audience with insight that we hope will inspire change.”

“The continuing creation of brave and tangible short films is crucial as it is where both filmmakers and the audience can learn and grow”, said Festival Judge and Actor / Producer Kate Magowan. She concludes, “All the officially selected films have something important to say and we are so very proud to have such high quality films in the first ever Soho London Independent Film Festival, a real grassroots festival that will help keep the arts alive.”

Official Selection:
Anna – Dekel Berenson
Ashmina – Dekel Berenson
Auricular Confession – Martin Del Carpio
Borderless – Behrad Sahebgharani
Canaries – Amy Sargeant
Cell 364 – Mathilde Babo and Zoe Rossion
Da Yie – Anthony Nti
Dana Dana – Mutana Al-Rubaye
Elephant Bird – Masoud Soheili
Film Me – Ed Picard
Guise – Ali Jalali
Harbor – Paul Marques Duarte
Hard Shadow – Neda Khanifar
Henet Ward – Morad Mostafa
Huo Zhe – Kino Lee
I am a Kurd – Laila El Azhary
If You Love Her, Let Her Go – Ilan Zerrouki
Love Blood Pain – Magnum Borini
My Lovely Grandma – Lara Mubayde
My Side of the Mountain – Eleanor Krawczyk
Night Feed – William Allum
November 1st – Charlie Manton
Peshmargas from Britain – Kamaran Karym
Quanfession – Laura Jean Marsh and Regan Tibbenham
Regeneration – Cameron Carr
Rut – James Henson
Sin Cielo – Jianna Maarten
Skin – Guy Nattiv
Sow and Keep Growing – K S Milner
Sticker – Georgi M Unkovski
Switch – Desiree Faust and Stefana D Brancastle
The Announcement – James Kibbey
The Cunning Man – Zoe Dobson
The Gesture and the Word – Helen Alexis Yonov
The Lord of the Circles – Sarah Gonzalez Centeno
The Tragedy of Father Cable – Thomas Moore
The Eve – Luca Machnich
The Ghastly Fowl – Shruti Veeramachineni
Winter Garden – Mustafa Deniz

About The Soho London Independent Film Festival:
Our vision and mission is to bring communities and filmmakers together to create films that have an impact.

By working with filmmakers and communities people have the opportunity to express and articulate their fears, hopes, aspirations and solutions.

We support filmmakers by providing the festival platform and links to a new and vibrant network of film, social and environmental professionals.

New filmmakers with potential that do not get chosen for the festival are encouraged to engage. Advice and support from experienced and more established filmmakers is on offer to nurture new talent from all backgrounds.

Ticket sales are reinvested into a film fund.
Twitter @soholondonfilm
Instagram @soholondonfilmfest
Facebook @soholondonfilmfest

Awards will be live streamed on Monday 23rd November 6pm to 8pm
Social Impact Award
Environmental Impact Award
Best Animation
Best Comedy
Best Documentary
Best Drama
Best Experimental
Best Fantasy
Best Student
Best Actor
Best Supporting Actor
Best Production Designer
Best Director
Best Film
In addition an Audience Award is being run via the festival website

Selina Armoudon
Stephanie Bamberg
Paul Carroll
Joe Ferrera
Chris Michael Frettwell
Kate Magowan
Athena Mandis
Matt Taylor

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