On Sunday 28 July, UKCSC attended the London Cannabis Film Festival at Rich Mix cinema in Hackney, London.
This was the first year of the event and it went very well. Five screenging were put on over the course of 12 hours and included a number of talks and panels for attendees to hear from and question.
Between screenings attendees could peruse an exhibition room set aside for a gallery showcasing cannabis art and stalls of cannabis campaign groups and small businesses, including UKCSC, We The Undersigned, Mila Hash Queen, Kushtopia, Myshroom, Hempress Rising.
One of the screenings later in the day was called ‘Women in weed’, which gave female activists and entrepeneurs the chance to speak about their experience in the UK cannabis scene.
The list of screenings:
And the winners were…
- Best Feature – Breaking Habits
- Best Short – Cheer Up Charlie
- Best Foreign Film – Grassroots
- Best Documentary Story – The Secret Story
- Trailblazer – Extinction Rebellion
UKCSC chairman Greg de Hoedt was inveited to particpate on the judging panel. Afterwards he said: “The London Cannabis Film Festival was an inspriational event. It is well overdue for UK film makers to start looking at the topic of cannabis as an important social justice issue. There are millions of stories to be told and a hungry audience trying to connect with good cannabis content that can help open up the hearts and minds of the softest and hardest of cannabis prohibitionists.
“Sitting down and watching the entries in a theatre was a great experience and breathes a whole new level of life into the films. There’s something special about sitting down to watch a film on the big screen with lots of other people experiencing the same thing as you for the first time at the same time. The energy of the debate afterwards thrived it can be really inpirational to people who feel on the cusp of diving into the world of film-making and documentary.
“I hope to see more British entries next year and hopefuly some films about or from some of the clubs in the UK with their incredible and unique journeys they have been on. Its a great chance to share andd learn and grow.”
The LCFF was organised by passionate group of activists in London who described the event as “a celebration of the plant, its myriad of uses and the people and communities it inspires and nurtures”.
LFCC organiser Mark George said: “We couldn’t have been more humbled or thrilled by the response we had. Overall we felt that for our first festival it went well, above and beyond our expectations to be honest. But it was the support from members of the grassroots community, the filmmakers, our judges and sponsors that made it all worthwhile.
“Our favourite part of the process… was getting to put the programme of films and talks together. We had so many amazing entries from all over the world, it was an honour to get to showcase just some of them. In terms of the day it was probably the talks that took place. You never know what might work in the first year of an event but seeing leaders in their fields coming together to share ideas was amazing to see.
“Our hopes for next year are to grow and hopefully reach more sceptical audiences who need a bit of a cannabis re-education. We’re also really keen to get more UK entries in the festival next year. There are so many UK-specific stories, like youth knife crime, county lines etc, that we’d like to give a platform to.
“We’d like people to realise there is so much more to this plant than the scaremongering and buzzwords you hear in the mainstream media and we know from personal experience that film has a vital role to play in re-educating audiences. We’re planning a UK tour of our winning films later this year.”
The festival next year is planned for May. Submissions are now open. See thelcff.co.uk for more details.