It is often said that art sometimes imitates life and in an era of Brexit and talks of a second Scottish referendum, a festival screening international films on a theme of independence will take place later this month in Edinburgh and Stirling.
Somewhat appropriately this festival breaks away from conventional cinema venues by holding interactive screenings in coffee shops, cafes, community centres and pubs in both cities.
Each film ranging from short to full length features is themed on ways of interpreting ‘dependence.’
The un-Dependence Film Festival which launched in Edinburgh in 2014 aims to debunk the big budget approach to film making and also to attract audiences that may not find the ‘arthouse’ appealing.
Next year the festival, which champions student talent, animators, and first time film makers, aims to move out to other areas of Scotland that may not normally have access to cultural content.
More than 200 film submissions were received for this year’s festival from 33 nations, including the UK, Russia, the United States, Turkey, Moldova, Germany, Canada, Iran and Australia.
Edinburgh screenings will take place at The Banshee Labyrinth, Niddry Street, and The Outhouse in Broughton Street Lane. Stirling venues include The Burgh Coffee House and The Tollbooth Attic.
Extending the festival into Stirling is a move which Pop-Up Scotland, an arts social enterprise, hopes to ‘creatively and artistically link’ the two cities.
The thought-provoking event opens up independent and arthouse film to a wider audience with filmmakers exploring questions of dependence through shorts, full-length feature films, documentaries, animation and experimental work.
There will also be a supporting interactive programme of workshops, talks and screenings.
Carys Evans, Producer of unDependence Film Festival said: “unDependence was established by Edinburgh-based arts social enterprise Pop-up Scotland in 2014, as a means of capturing the ‘buzz’ created by the first Scottish Independence Referendum and, by extension, the EU Referendum last year.
“The festival showcases a mixture of independent films from all over the world which may lack ‘blockbuster budgets’ but which exemplify great craftsmanship, storytelling, and cinematography.
“We are not about exploring obscure avant-garde film or politicising any theme, we just want our entrants to demonstrate that film-making transcends boundaries and shows a wealth of creative and inspirational aptitude.
“We can accommodate audiences for whom an arthouse cinema is an unfamiliar space that they may not comfortable entering. Film festivals are a valuable tool in creating a beneficial shared experience, motivating group discussion, and harnessing communities.”
The programme is designed with active audiences in mind who are eager to take part in discussions with their fellow spectators on national, global, and personal topics.
A quarter of this year’s submissions came from female filmmakers, and a quarter from first time submissions to a festival.
More than 50 of the submissions were student projects. Some submissions came from film agencies, others independents, and nine films submitted this year came from first time filmmakers.
Carys Evans added: “Our festival attracts very specific submissions as it is a thematic festival. This requires films submitted to fit our theme of ‘dependence, specifically the individual’s relationship to and dependence on the social and/or cultural context they find themselves in.
“The submissions we have received epitomise that beautifully and members of the public can see this for themselves later this month.”
unDependence Film Festival in Edinburgh runs from 20-23 April and in Stirling from 27-30 April.
This year’s entries include;
Konstantin Bock//Hattie Goes Cruising//U.S//2015//18min
Irina Karelina//Any Exit//Germany//2016//2min29sec
Roxana Vilk//I Came From the Unknown to Sing//UK//2015//9min
Ruaridh M Turner//Man on Layby 52//UK//2016//20min
Zuzana Žiaková//Brother Deer//Slovakia//2015/11min53sec
Zebedee Parkes//For my Friends in Detention//Australia//2016//11min53sec