Normally at this time of year the film festival will have come to end but as we all know this year is far from normal. Plans to show films in venues had to be cancelled as cinemas closed again at the start of November but this has made the online selection even stronger and many of the films are still available until the end of the month.
I found the Leeds Player to work very well with only a few minor niggles, it’s certainly better than offer online film festival platforms with no visible watermarks and the ability to cast to TVs.
Here’s my selection of the films I liked the most that are still available to watch until November 30th.
Anne at 13,000 ft
A divisive film but one I really liked with a very strong central performance; it stuck with me for days after viewing.
Quo Vadis, Aida?
A really powerful film centred around a translator in Bosnia, 1995 as the Serbian army take over her town. It manages to be both intimate and cover the larger scale of what happened and always feels very relevant.
A late addition to the online programme but a great coming of age film with a really good central performance that wonderfully captures the life of French-Algerian teenager living in Paris in the early nineties.
The Bears’ Famous Invasion
One from the Young Film Festival selection but this charming animation is a delight for all ages (and only £3 to rent).
It doesn’t always make a lot of sense and can get quite silly but this is also the most fun I had watching a film for quite some time. A black comedy about a newspaper columnist taking on social media trolls.
I didn’t have time to explore the Cinema Versa strand but hear that Andrey Tarkovsky. A Cinema Prayer and Kubrick by Kubrick are worth watching. I’m making my way through the Shorts, as always this is a varied selection but so far have been consistently good.
I was slightly worried that there may not be as many good films this year but once again it has been a really good programme. I only saw one film that was (arguably) bad and there were a few I struggled to get on board with but I’m glad I saw everything else. You can see my comments on all of the films along with star ratings on my Letterboxd list.