As a Bradfordian, it often pains me to give Leeds credit for anything. Alas, when it comes to film, the city has got it nailed on. Not content with inventing the medium, Leeds also boasts the coolest social cinema in the country, an International Film Festival which has managed to secure future Oscar winning pictures with recurring effect and, not least, Neville Longbottom.
For the last couple of years too, however, the city has also been able to add another unique event to its cinematic calendar. No/Gloss Film Festival, which returns for its third outing in October, is a two day celebration of the best of DIY film-making from around the world; a showcase of the unconventional and underground movies made as the antithesis of the mainstream.
The movies themselves, spanning the globe, are not connected by any theme or form and shorts, features, documentaries, animations, music videos and experimental images all sit side by side in the line-up. The one bond that each film has in common with one another is that they are created "free from the restrictions of corporate expectations and the clichéd, glitzy superficiality we have come to associate the (movie) industry with".
The 2014 edition, taking place on the 11-12th October at Templeworks, has begun to fill-up with announcements for titles which will be on display at the festival and looks as diverse as ever. Early Bird tickets for the festival are available here (for just £12!) now - for regular updates be sure to like No/Gloss on Facebook and follow them on Twitter too.
Whilst the full line-up will be available in August, stand-out titles so far include:
Strong Coffee With Vodka
An absurdist short German comedy, backed with Balkan beats, is a three handed tale of a doormat waiter, a tyrannical boss and a sadistic soy-loving customer who seems to take pleasure in causing pain to her server. Looks set to be an off-kilter and bizarre treat.
El Espejo Humano
Shot in black and white, the eerie-feeling trailer showcases an apparent true story of a 17 year old-girl struck with social anxieties. With hardly any contact with the outside world, the only thing able to prepare her for the horrors of society are the ugly images which appear on her television.
Ehi Muso Giallo
Another creepy-feeling European selection. Ehi Muso Giallo, a title which makes references to the art-horror genre popularised in 1970s Italy, tells the tale of a man who awakens to find himself bound and captive with no recollections of how he got there. A duo of torturers, whom the man despises as immigrants, help him reconstruct the events - it soon becomes clear that someone will have to die for the situation to end.