Friday, May 24, 2024

Thameside Theatre set to host film festival

6th – 9th September 2018
Thameside Theatre, Orsett Road, Grays, Essex RM17 5DX

TIC Film Festival is the newest, most thought provoking film festival in Britain. It promises the radical, the unfamiliar, the unexpected. A team of curators and specialists have programmed four exciting days of inspirational activities.

6th Sep British Diversity Films
7th Sep Unseen
8th Sep World of Ballet | Queer Films
9th Sep Other Worlds

TIC Film Festival is the international element of the larger Grays Festival of Film. It represents that historical doorway between Britain and the world.

TIC Film Festival is that window which features worlds less visible. Banned and non-mainstream films trigger discussions of creative dialogue. They provide the opportunity to debate human rights and freedom of speech. They make visible the international diversity of our global world often kept hidden away from view.




Suitable Only for Persons of Eighteen Years and Over

Dream of Emerald Hill | Director – Mingyu Lin | Drama | UK 2015 | Producer Moongate | 10 mins

Cast: Jennifer Lim, Brendon Fernandez, Rishi Budhrani

Rosie Seow aka Kheng Lim was one of Singapore’s first English speaking stage actresses and almost definitely the first actor of South East Asian descent to train at London’s prestigious RADA drama school. Her daughter, Stella Kon, author of the seminal Emily Of Emerald Hill, went on to become one of Singapore’s most acclaimed writers. Through snapshot vignettes from the 40’s and 50’s (including a perilous war time journey) Dream Of Emerald Hill celebrates the life of this pioneering and inspirational figure – actress, teacher, wife, mother and nation-builder.

Centurion | Directors – Damian Thomas, Frederick Szkoda | Comedy | UK 2017 | Producers – Millicent Productions, Playhouse Pictures | 16 mins

Cast: Edward Andrews, Chris Barritt, Ben Harper, Cassidy Little, Bryony Maya Normanton, Frederick Szkoda, Delilah Tahiri, Eddie Usher

100 shots of beer in 100 minutes….that’s 10 pints in an hour and a half…what could possibly go wrong? Conor embarks on his last night of freedom with his friends…but will there still be a wedding in the diary by the time we get to the end of the night?

Hall of Mirrors| Director – Daniel York| Drama Comedy | UK 2016 | Producers – Ismail Guluev, Andrew Koji, Paul Stallian | 20 mins

Cast: Dominic L Coates, Mark Holden, Andrew Koji

A film shot in a gritty dramatic, comedic style that raises awareness and support for Body Dysmorphic Disorder and its sufferers.

Bouffée Délirante | Director – Stephen Hoo| Drama | UK 2017 | Producer – Hedvig Productions | 8 mins

Cast: Jordan Bright, Johnny Raggett

An episode of bouffée délirante results in unexpected revelations.

Margaret Haig Thomas | Director – Hi Ching| Drama Doc | UK 2018 | Producer – AAAHA | 22 mins

Cast: Iris McCormick

A short of the suffragette Margaret Haig Thomas in her own words. Filmed as a talking bust, the suffragette is enacted by her descendent Iris McCormick and filmed by cinematographer Peter Treherne, another descendent. Also known as Lady Rhondda, she established the first women led weekly called Time and Tide in 1920. It secured a unique position as the only female-run general-audience weekly review of its day.

Chinese Labour Corps | Dir. Peng Wenlan| Documentary | Mandarin (English subs.) | UK 2017 | Producer – The Meridian Society | 50 mins. |

‘Soon after war broke out in France and Belgium, the Allies found themselves having to replenish their troops with men from the munitions factories and strategic ports. To replace them, the British came up with the idea of enlisting coolies from China, known to be resilient, hardworking and in need of money. Going to Europe, despite its dangers, could earn them enough to keep their families alive.

In total, 140,000 were recruited: close to 96,000 by the British and the rest by the French and Americans. After intense military training in China, the British contingent – which came to be known as the Chinese Labour Corps – was transported to France, mainly via Canada and England. It was a grueling three-month journey. Some never made it to mainland Europe and over a dozen lie buried in Liverpool, Plymouth and Folkestone.’ The Meridian Society



A open Discussion with experts and academics about Censorship in Southeast Asian films with internet video communication to the filmmakers from Singapore and Philippinnes whose two banned films follow.


Jungle Love | Director – Sherad Anthony Sanchez | Drama | Filipino, Visayan, English (English subs.) | Philippines 2012 | Producers – SALIDA and GAPS Philippines | 90 mins | Banned in Philippines.

Suitable Only for Persons of Eighteen Years and Over

Cast: Mei Bastes, Martin Riffer, Edgardo Amar, Aldrin Zapitan

A jungle in an undisclosed Philippine location hosts a middle-age woman who runs off with a baby, two juveniles lost in sexual games, military cadets leisurely wandering about and a guide with an obscure presence. All consumed with the game of their own lives until the jungle comes to play.

Director’s Statement

“The idea of the project all began in Rome. It started when a friend of mine told me that a portrait of me had been exhibited by a Filipino Organization in a show in Rome declaring that I am one of the many Filipino desaparecidos (victim of forced disappearances). They have insisted that I was on the “list”. Living in Mindanao (Southern Philippines), a state of continuous civil unrest, the news had instilled fear and paranoia for my life. Whether it was true that I was on a “list” or a sheer mistake, I began to realise something—that I am a perfect candidate to become a victim of being a desaparecido. I realised my youthful and naive recklessness or brazenness of engaging issues, places and people. And then I realized how exoticised the victims, the topic and even the milieu have been. And then, I wondered, if I were a desaparecido, a lost soul in the world of silent regimes – martial, mystical or even sexual — what film would I make then?” (excerpt from an interview by JM Ferraris)

Shadows of Fiendish Ancestress And Occasionally Parajanov on Durian Cialis (Lesser #9) | Director – Chew Tze-Chuan | Fantasy Drama | Malay (English subs.) | Singapore 2017 | Producers – Wutami Matsuoka, Chew Tze Chuan | 90 mins | Banned in Singapore
Suitable Only for Persons of Eighteen Years and Over

Cast: Lim Poh Huat, Shin Yong, Umi Yushi, Gillian Tan

In an island perpetually suspended by Asian values, the spirit of a dionysian culture lays dormant. What stays awake is the daily repression of sensuality in the name of a constructed morality naturalised by the weight of history. Within this landscape, underground director Chew Tze Chuan continues the search for depictions of native sexuality in history which remains undocumented and only whispered about.

With reference to native historical texts and the mythological and religious depiction of the “Holy Whore”, Chew constructs a mythology of a hermaphrodite who comes to town to impart a wisdom that proves to be too carnal and untimely. Years in the making and strung together with documentary-like footage of orgiastic happenings, punctuated with moments of refrain into randomness, the film soon escalates into a schizophrenic psychedelia of multicultural and polymorphous sexuality.
Director’s Statement

“Who is the (most) iconic antagonist in the Singaporean cinema since The Revival in1995? The winner is most probably a lacklustre character from some crowd pleasing comedy films or a melodramatic TV series.

Occasionally we have had anti-heroes/heroines like the late Toh Hai Leong, the retired Singaporean porn star persona Annabel Chong, and the exiled Amos Yee. The potency of their creative singularities and candid personalities were illuminating and fleeting like a ship passing in the night. Castration, denigration or demonisation await them, just like
the female natives’ sensuality was transmuted to diabolic horror in our early cinema.

Human vitality must somehow be reduced to an undead amnesiac. Violence, neuroses and ridicules are preferred over the candid depictions of carnal joys and expressions.

Where have the original texts of the natives erotic imagination gone to?

Against these odds the filmmaker perseveres and creates a naive idyll without enemies; a serene idyll where lovers embrace regardless of race, language, religion, gender and sexuality. Finally we have a Singaporean film with an androgynous heroine who does not end up dead, amok, or punished for her carnal aspirations.

Lesser#9 is a journal containing the realizations of certain societal facades and repressions that may have hindered the creative energies and potential within the Singaporean filmmaker. The transcendental function of this film brings the viewer beyond the subjective pornographic imaginations, gaining a more balanced development
of individuality.

The Operatives/Experiences of (a) Lesser (film):
1. Detach oneself from the desired look and sound
2. Detach oneself from the fear and hatred of failure
3. Cultivate compassionate contemplation on all creations
4. Be patient to recognise the conditions behind the endless cycles of repression and indulgence.
5. Celebrate imperfection (of randomness) and impermanence (of the self).

By venturing beyond the artistic, generic, entertaining and masturbatory, Lesser #9 reveals and reconciles the inner conflicts within the neurotic Singaporean psyche. It strives to open a creative discourse on Sexuality within the local filmmaking community, thus making an ethical gesture of contribution towards the maturity of the Singaporean Cinema.

On 24th November 2017, Lesser #9 received a ‘Not Allowed for All Ratings’ (NAR)classification from the Infocomm Media Development Authority, Singapore.”


BALLET company demonstration and workshop

New English Ballet Theatre, resident at Thameside Theatre, present an insight into their new production ‘Remembrance’. This is followed by a Ballet workshop for selected local dance students.

Ballerina | Éric Summer and Éric Warin | Animated Comedy | L’Atelier Animation | Canada/France 2016 | U

The film follows a poor orphan girl who dreams of being a ballerina. She gets the opportunity to audition for school of the famous Paris Opera Ballet. Key frame animation was used on two star dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet, Aurélie Dupont and Jérémie Bélingard, who translated their movements to the film.

LGBT T-Party

A fun event hosted by Thurrock LGBT group.


An open Discussion with experts and academics with video internet communication with the filmmakers whose films follow.

Haram Queen | Dir. Abdul Zainidi | Drama | English | Brunei 2014 | Producer – BruRealism Pictures|5 mins |

The first LGBT themed film from Brunei. A poetic take on a drag queen’s last day after he was murdered, with his friends reminiscing about him and what happened.

Insects in the Backyard | Dir. Tanwarin Sukkhapisit | Drama | Thai (English subs.) | Thailand 2010 | 90 mins | Banned in Thailand
Suitable Only for Persons of Eighteen Years and Over

Cast: Nonpavit Dansriboon, Suchada Rojmanothum, Tanwarin Sukkapisit

Tannia, a 35-year-old trans woman, has already been married to a loving wife who died after giving birth to their second child. Now the family consists of Jennifer, the 17-year-old daughter, 15-year-old son Johnny, and their father who refuses to be called dad and who became Big Sister Tannia. Both teenagers will discover desire and sexuality to the limits of themselves. In the darkness of the city, what can save them?

This film was banned, twice, by the rating committee. What Tanwarin Sukkaphisit minds is why the board believes her film, Insects in the Backyard, is a ”disruption of national order and public morals,” according to Article 29 of the Film Act 2008.

Director’s Statement

”I feel like a terrorist. I was just making a movie. I didn’t set out to make an aggressive movie with taboo-breaking images; not at all. There’s a shot of a penis because we’re talking about sexual problems, and that organ is part of the problem were talking about.

What I present in the film is what I believe to be the problems that exist in society. There are married men who dress up as women and pursue homosexual interests, and there are students who engage in prostitution of various kinds. These things do exist in this country. They are social problems, especially the teenagers who find themselves lost and disoriented, and the film simply wants to tell their stories.

There’s a rigid boundary of what makes someone a man or a woman and that entails a list of social responsibilities. When someone doesn’t operate within that boundary, he’s in trouble. But there are a lot of people who do not belong to those strict boundaries. ”Is Thai society open about gays and katoeys? Most people believe so. We’re not arrested on the streets. Our rights aren’t limited, and we can live fairly happily. But if you ask me if katoeys are accepted as part of the mainstream ‘we’ of society, I don’t think so. We’re still ‘the others’, the insects in the backyard.”

Outed: The Painful Reality | Dir. Kamoga Hassan| Documentary | English | USA/Uganda 2016 | Producer – Ivan Mayombwe | 70 mins| Banned in Uganda
Suitable Only for Persons of Eighteen Years and Over

On 25th February 2014, based on no evidence, a Ugandan tabloid published names and photographs of the people they perceived to be the “Top homosexuals” in the country. This outing not only provoked widespread hate messages towards people perceived to be of LGBTQ orientation but also instigated widespread debate among the Ugandan society. Based on a true story, the film looks into the life of John Alex Kigozi aka Vida who appears on the front page of the tabloid despite the fact that he had never disclosed his sexuality to anyone. Following the outing, Vida’s life turns woeful when he consequently loses his job, his house and so much more.

Director’s Statement

Police recently raided Kamoga Hassan’s office and confiscated all his film footage. What will be screened tonight is a copy one of our co-curators manage to salvage.

“I was shocked to learn of the human rights violations committed against people suspected to be gay. So many Uganda filmmakers fear the subject of homosexuality and as Ugandan filmmaker I wanted to stand out from the rest, I am the voice for the voiceless and through film, things can be debated and bring change in society, Therefore I wanted to make a film that highlights the consequences of being publicly outed by the media as an LGBTI person living in a highly homophobic country. The story is a narration based on the lived experiences of a gay Ugandan who is outed in the media, gets kicked out of work and later succumbs to a homophobic attack.”



Suitable Only for Persons of Eighteen Years and Over

Le Mal | Dir. Abdul Zainidi | Drama | English subtitles only | Brunei 2018 | Producer – Abdul Zainidi|3 mins |

An arthouse film by Fice KB, about the melancholic setting of two people longing for warmth/each other’s bodies.

Carole | Director – Abdul Zainidi | Drama | Korean (English subtitles) | Brunei 2018 | Producer – BruRealism Pictures |2 mins |

A meditative film set in Busan about a lost love called Carole and how the narrator speaks from the perspective of the character.

Valley of Sighs | Dirs. Mihai Andrei Leaha, Andrei Crișan, Iulia Hossu | Documentary | Romanian/Ukaranian (English subs.) | Romania 2013 | Producer – Triba Films |56 mins |
Suitable Only for Persons of Eighteen Years and Over

Between 1943 and 1945, 25.000 Romani people were deported to Transnistria by the Antonescu regime. Half of them soon died of hunger, cold or other causes. 70 years later, a few survivors, who were of a very young age at that time, recall and give a sad account of those terrible events. The film aims to reconstruct the journey, places and tragic experiences of the past. Interviews with the members of the Ukrainian community from Transnistria expand the stories of the Roma survivors and transform an area nowadays apparently trivial in a place of anthropological value, memories and tears.

The Last Reel | Dir. Kulikar Sotho| Drama| Cambodian (English subs.) | Cambodia 2014 | Producer – Hanuman Films |120 mins |

Cast: Ma Rynet, Rous Mony, Sok Sothun, Hun Sophy, Dy Saveth, Phon Panha, Khloot Rattana, Jimmy, Piseth Reach, Nuth Sophal, Sean Seang Hay.

Phnom Penh, present day. Sophoun, the rebellious daughter of a hard-line army colonel, lives life for the moment, hanging out with a local gang. But when her father returns home with another marriage proposal, Sophoun flees her imploding home and seeks refuge in a derelict cinema. There, she is shocked to discover an incomplete 1970s melodrama from pre-Khmer Rouge times, a film which starred her now desperately ill mother as a glamorous young woman. A story from a different world, a different time.

With the help of the cinemas elderly projectionist, Sophoun re-makes the missing last reel of the film, reprising her mothers role. By premiering the completed film forty years later, she hopes to remind her mother of a life shed once lived and to mend the psychological scars that still haunt her. 

The old film, however, poses more questions than it answers. The promise of the Cambodian film industry and its newest star was cut short in 1975 by the brutal Khmer Rouge regime which specifically targeted actors and filmmakers as enemies of the people. Remaking the last reel offers Sophoun an opportunity to dictate her own destiny but at the cost of uncovering some painful truths about her family and their past.

Director’s Statement

“The Last Reel portrays my belief in the overwhelming human need for stories and storytelling as part of the reconciliation process towards restoring a country and a culture that was devastated by genocide and war. It takes courage to open our hearts and minds, and to relive what has gone before. It’s crucial that we Cambodians unlock our painful past and find an inner strength to share our stories with each other and the world beyond.

“Visually, the film offers an opportunity to explore a number of different worlds. There is the lyrical melodrama of the film-within-the-film. In contrast to this is the frantic and confusing contradictions of contemporary urban life in Phnom Penh. With the rural pagoda and temple sequences, the characters are caught between the tranquility of the Cambodian countryside and the brutality of its past. In between these three worlds is the empty space (both metaphorically and visually) of the abandoned cinema. The cinema is one of the central themes in the film and exists, like the blank screen within, as a place onto which the characters project their fears and dreams.

“The Last Reel is a story of love, sacrifice and forgiveness, redemption and recognition. Sophoun, the central character in The Last Reel, learns to confront the past in order to learn from it. History has left its scars on her parents’ generation in a way that continues to impact on the present. People of my parents’ age still live with the trauma they went through. We grew up like orphans, with only one parent or in the shadow of parents who behaved in ways we couldn’t understand.

“On a personal level, it has been an incredibly emotional journey to make this film. My father, Om Channy, was killed by Khmer Rouge soldiers for the ‘crime’ of being a civilian pilot and many of my extended family died at the hands of the regime. The Last Reel is dedicated to my father. On a very deep and personal level, it expresses my love for him and my grief that he was unable to be part of my life. I was two years old when he was taken away from us. Some of the events in the film are eerily close to my mother’s life: like Sophuon’s mother in the film, the Khmer Rouge took away the love of her life.

“Making The Last Reel has also been a real challenge as a first-time female director, as Cambodia remains a male-dominated society. So you have to work twice as hard to be heard, to earn respect and to ensure the predominantly male crew responds to your creative needs. But most of all, I want to unite Cambodians, make them proud of their country and remind them that the genocide did not take away our identity or dignity. I believe The Last Reel can help the rebirth of a film industry that was devastated by war and genocide.”


A rare opportunity to meet the renowned Cambodian writer and actress who began writing in search of a voice as a modern woman living in Cambodia.



Join us in a party to meet Thurrock’s Cambodian community and stay to watch their choice of film for the festival.

White Sun | Director – Deepak Rauniyar| Drama | Nepalese (English subs.) | Nepal 2016 | Producers – Deepak Rauniyar, Joslyn Barnes, Tsering Rhitar Sherpa, Nichel Merkt | 90 mins |

Cast: Dayahang Rai, Asha Maya Magrati, Ranibdra Singh Baniya

Anti-regime partisan Chandra confronts physical, social and political obstacles for his father’s funeral. His search for a solution takes him to neighboring mountain villages and encounters with the police and rebel guerrillas. A portrait of post-civil war Nepal during the fragile deadlocked peace process.


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