Leeds Film Festival Extended

Leeds Film Player

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.

Poster for Anne at 13,000ft

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.

Poster showing Aida in front of a warehouse of refugees.

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.

17 year old Selma eating a honey cigar

Honey Cigar

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.

Illustrated bear wearing a regal robe with a number of human and bear character standing behind him

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).

Poster featuring a woman in a white suit covered in blood holding a pair of shears.

The Columnist

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.

3 thoughts on “Leeds Film Festival Extended

  1. Fine. I am unsure what the following means’
    “visible watermarks and the ability to cast to TVs.”?
    Is there much buffering on this platform?

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  2. Watermarks are used to prevent piracy (usually for press screeners) and superimpose text over the film, London Film Festival did this with a short code that popped up every 20 minutes, Manchester Animation Festival displayed your email address throughout in the top corner.

    Casting uses a device plugged into your TV (e.g Google Chormecast) and then you can ‘broadcast’ the content from your computer or phone to the TV.

    I didn’t experience much buffering on the Leeds Player, the occasional pause of a few seconds often near the start of a film but it seemed to be worse at weekends when I imagine there was more demand. I do have quite a fast internet connection though.

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  3. Thanks. However, ‘water marks’ are on paper. I think these are company copyright signs, rather as was the case in early cinema. The one used for the London Film Festival was especially annoying as I kept thinking there was some streaming problem.
    As for the ‘casting’ it appears that this requires problematic software like google chrome. I am puzzled as to why some streaming services, like netflix or you tube, come on modern television sets but it seems impossible to add others, like some i-players.

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