Next weekend marks the second iteration of the annual Nottingham International Film Festival (NOTTIFF), happening at the Showcase Cinema de Lux from 6th to 8th October. Here’s a round-up of the films on offer, so find your favourites and bag your tickets…

The New 8-Bit Heroes

The festival kicks off on Thursday 5th October with one for the gamers – a documentary exploring forgotten childhood dreams and Joe Granato’s journey to realise those ambitions as an adult. This colourful film shows every aspect of game creation, and has been described as “compelling … even for people who have no interest in video games”. Starring many famous faces in the world of gaming, this is definitely one to look out for.

Held in the beautifully appropriate National Videogame Arcade, this screening is a great start to NOTTIFF, and includes a Q&A session with producer Austin McKinley for those who want to know more about the film’s creation.

Access All Areas

This coming of age film follows a group of teens who run away to a music festival held on an island, escaping their parents and leaving behind the rules of the real world. With a host of great actors, and music from the likes of Disclosure, The Who, Royal Blood, and Duke Dumont, Access All Areas looks like the perfect film for music lovers and film fanatics alike.

Set to include an exciting Q&A session with director Bryn Higgins and writer Oliver Veysey, this film will likely be popular viewing, so book your tickets and get down to the Showcase Cinema de Lux on Friday 6th to avoid missing out.

Fruition

This film looks at snowboarding legend Nicolas Mueller’s personal journey through life, tackling obstacles and travelling towards self-realisation.

Airing on the afternoon of Saturday 7th October at the Showcase Cinema de Lux, this screening also includes three short documentaries, and features a Q&A session with Tal Amiran, the director of one of these, entitled Sand Men.

One Note at a Time

Following Hurricane Katrina, jazz music’s hometown of New Orleans was silenced as people fled their destroyed homes. This documentary follows the musicians who returned, and the charity that helped them get back on their feet. The New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic provided the much needed health care that allowed jazz performers to bring life and music back to their home, and this film highlights their heroic efforts.

Director Renee Edwards is available following the screening for a Q&A session, so make the most of this great opportunity, and book your tickets for Saturday afternoon at the Showcase Cinema de Lux.

Lies We Tell

When Donald’s boss dies, the billionaire’s final wishes instruct his employee to hide his relationship with his mistress, Amber. In attempting to fulfil these demands, Donald finds himself Amber’s protector when her life is suddenly threatened. This thriller is set to draw both Donald and the viewer into a dangerous criminal underworld, and will test the unwilling protagonist to his limits.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with producer Malcolm Scott, so get your questions ready, and enjoy an insider’s perspective on this intriguing film.

American Pets

This apparently bright and breezy film takes a dark turn when Tod, a young man living in the world of Hollywood’s declining golden age, finds himself spiralling into amorality. The trailer involves a plethora of guns and just a smattering of blood, so expect high tension and plenty of violence in this thriller.

This film also includes a Q&A with the director, Robert Lodevall, allowing you to explore further the dark themes this movie presents.

Bikini Blue

This Cold War-set tale explores the lives of Polish refugees in Britain, as well as the difficulties of mental health problems brought on by a person’s past. Seen through the relationship between married couple Dora and Eryk, these issues are close and intimate, and are sure to leave the audience with several questions. Luckily, director Jarek Marszewski is on hand for a Q&A session straight after the film.

A Pact Among Angels

As the trailer declares, “three lives are forever changed” when Adrien, in the wrong place at the wrong time, finds himself kidnapped by two brothers, and embarking on an unexpected journey. This French language film highlights the fragility of each individual as their true natures are revealed, and pushes the three of them together in order to survive.

American Satan

Not to be confused with American Pets, this film looks at a group of young people from Britain and the USA who drop out and chase their dreams as a rock band. A deal with a stranger results in dire consequences as their societal influence spirals, and time begins to run out as they fight to regain control of their lives. “Rock and Roll is where God and the Devil shake hands”, and this film is set to embody that principle, uniting the heavenly dream with the hellish realities.

Catch it at the Showcase Cinema de Lux on the Sunday evening of NOTTIFF, before its full release on Friday 13th October.

Rage

When Adam, following a fight with his wife and sex with his mistress, gets a phone call about a promotion, everything seems to be taking a turn for the better. He imagines a brilliant future, but in reality his world is about to collapse.

As its name suggests, this Polish language film is permeated by feelings of anger and violence, as well as a tension caused by the 90-minute time limit Adam is faced with to sort out his life.

This screening also includes a Q&A session with the film’s director,Micha? W?grzyn, so get on down to the Showcase Cinema de Lux on the evening of Sunday 8th October to avoid missing out!

Short Films

There are two ‘Shorts Sessions’ happening during the festival, one on Saturday 7th and one on Sunday 8th October, but that’s not the only way to get your short film fix. Several of the feature-length offerings at NOTTIFF will be accompanied by short films and music videos – notably, Fruition’s screening will include a short documentary about Nottingham’s very own ice hockey team, entitled Panthers.

Other shorts to look out for are: Lemon, a story about secrets coming out at a wedding; I am God and Severely Under Qualified, which has an amazing title and a strong storyline; I am Dyslexic, a beautiful animated film about what it means to have a learning difficulty; and New Age, Olde English, a thrilling dark comedy about a hitchhiker travelling with a stranger.

Don’t miss this opportunity to explore an aspect of filmmaking often underrated by a public out for feature-length blockbusters – there will almost certainly be a short you fall in love with.

Find out more about the Official Selection of films, shorts, documentaries, and music videos at http://www.nottiff.com/official-selection-2017, including the date, time, and location for each.

Isobel Sheene

Featured image courtesy of Nottingham International Film Festival via nottiff.com.

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