Published on October 20th, 2013 | by Jeffrey Russel0
GRACE WINS THE LONDON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Our success with Grace continues with win number 9 coming from The London International Film Festival for Best Historical Drama. Away from the hustle and noise of central London, the town of Ealing is a bustling, leafy, multi-cultural hub in the north-east corner of the metropolis. When William Barker, renowned film producer, director and cinematographer, bought the “White Lodge” in 1902, I’m sure he had no idea that he was beginning the British film industry. His industrial legacy still stands today as Ealing Studios, the oldest continuously running film and television production studio in the world.
It was, therefore, appropriate to hold the London International Film Festival in the historic heart of British cinema. Adam Tinnion, director of LIFF, Carl Tooney and the rest of the festival staff put together a fascinating and entertaining mixture of short and feature length films originating from over 50 countries world wide.
Holding the festival at one venue, the historic Drayton Court Hotel, fostered a sense of community. The camaraderie we enjoyed cannot be understated. Friendships were made and cemented over 5 days of continuous programming. It was the best festival experience I’ve ever had.
Ealing is a vibrant example of London’s diversity. What I discovered was “a tale of two Ealings”. I walked down to the high street and found that it actually has two names. To the east and west of the Ealing Green, it’s called Uxbridge Road and is a major thoroughfare. However, a short section from Dayton Green to Grosvenor Road is known as Broadway. The road narrows and the streetscape turns from drab to a colourful reflection of the local North-African population. Savory aromas and pulsating music spill out from restaurants and bars. Brilliant fabric displays and fragrant foods invite further exploration. Traveling east, the flavour changes as the Middle-Eastern and Indian spices take over. Tandoori smoke rises from the chimneys of busy kitchens and permeates the air.
Wandering farther east, I found Mattock Lane where the tall trees create a canopy of green over its luxurious houses and the grounds of Hammersmith and West London College. Formidable walls surround the campus, but a few well placed gates allow passers by to enjoy the beautiful gardens and architecture. Hidden behind the school, an observant walker will find the original Ealing Studios. Tours are not granted, but just being there, standing in the shadow of its famous sound-stage is memorable enough for me.
London International Film Festival, Ealing, London UK., I shall return…