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NEON - the New Elephant Open Network
22 June 2004


Elephant and Castle is set to host a free, four-day summer film festival (14-17 July) which will feature some of the greatest films ever made alongside locally produced work.

Elefest, to be held in the Coronet, aims to celebrate the vast cultural diversity of the area with films from Nigeria, Bangladesh, Colombia and Ireland. There will also be a rare chance to see The Italian Job on the big screen and the Charlie Chaplin classic, Modern Times. Cult classic Babylon will close the festival on Saturday night. (Full programme below.)

The festival will also show a wide spectrum of locally produced work, It opens with three short films made specifically for the festival by local people in conjunction with the INTO Project. Local community media experts Southwark TV will host an hour of local work on Thursday.

Short films by people who live, study or work in the area will start Friday night’s programme and a locally-produced version of Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, featuring the talents of local children will be shown on Saturday.

The festival will close with a free party featuring DJ’s and live visuals at the Corsica Arts Club. Entry is by invitation only – email for info on how to get a ticket.

Elefest is organised by Neon (New Elephant Open Network), a voluntary organisation that aims to keep the creativity of local people at the heart of the Elephant and Castle’s regeneration. It has been funded by Film London, Elephant Links and South East London Community Foundation.

For more information on Elefest, please contact Orla Delargy on 07740 902 386 or Rob Wray on 0778 869 2137.

• The first ever Elefest was held in November 2003
• Full programme for this year's festival below



7pm Three short films
The premier of three shorts films made by local residents specifically for the festival in a series of workshops facilitated by the INTO project.

8pm Modern Times: 1936, USA, Cert U, 83mins. Dir: Charlie Chaplin.
A keen social satire and one of the Chaplin greats, this is one of the funniest movies ever made. As relevant today as when it was made.


7pm Southwark TV
Southwark TV presents a selection of work made as part of their community media project.

8:30pm: Heritage: 2003, Nigeria, Cert 12, 90mins. Dir: Ladi Ladebo
This brand new Nigerian film combines both documentary and fictional styles to explore the issue of the illegal smuggling of African artefacts on to the international art market. This violation of Africa’s heart and soul, conducted by Europeans but tolerated by African leaders, becomes a metaphor for the wider problems plaguing parts of Africa.

FRIDAY 16 JULY (Doors open 7pm)

7pm: Shorts films made by film/video makers who live work or study in Southwark

9:15: The Italian Job: 1969, UK, Cert PG, 100mins. Dir: Peter Collinson
Featuring Michael Caine, a fleet of Mini Coopers and a bank heist in Italy. A rare chance to see it on the Big Screen! Need we say more?

SATURDAY 17 JULY (Doors open 11:30am)

12pm: The Children’s Midsummer Nights Tale: 2001, UK, Cert U, 115mins. Dir: Christine Edzard

Rotherhithe-based Sands Films’ production of the classic William Shakespeare play “A midsummer night’s dream” performed by local schoolchildren.

2:15 pm Naioree (Return of the Bride) 2001, Bangladesh, Cert tbc, 100mins, Dir: Tauquir Ahmed

The story of Piari a rural lady who falls in love with a flute player called Mona, who has a lower financial and social status. One night they run away and get married, the village cant accept the union and force them to leave the locality. Eventually she returns to the village but finds that coming home is not as easy as she thought.


4:15pm: I Could Read The Sky: 1999, Ireland/UK, Cert 15, 86mins. Dir: Nicola Bruce
Packed with literary and cinematic allusion, this is a beautiful and haunting film. An Irishman recalls his life from a rural upbringing on the west coast of Ireland to a bedsit in London. The fragments and textures of a man's life and memories unfold to a dynamic soundtrack.

6:15pm: La Primera Noche (First Night): 2003, Colombia, 90 mins. Dir: Luis Albert Restrepo, Alberto Amaya
The First Night is a love story, which takes place in the heart of a society that has been shattered by war, violence and ignorance. Over the last 15 years, two million peasants in Colombia have been forced off their lands. Most of them have moved to big cities finding themselves in unfortunate economic, sociological and cultural conditions.

8:15pm: Babylon: 1980, UK, Cert 18, 95mins. Dir: Franco Rosso
A potent mix of music and social commentary Babylon presents a portrait of the young black community in London that differs from the tabloid stereotype. This is a story of ordinary young black guys at the sharp end of inner city survival, their lives hemmed in by the predictability of poverty, disillusion and the randomness of violence that can erupt at any time. A cult classic!

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