For anyone who is not familiar with the Horse Hospital in London, you could be forgiven for thinking that it was a kind of veterinary service specifically for horses. You couldn’t be further from the truth as the intriguingly named Horse Hospital is actually an ultra-cool venue dedicated to exhibiting underground and avant-garde media. Situated in Bloomsbury, WC1, the Horse Hospital was established in 1993 as a three tiered event centre for the underground art genres.
Each year the London Underground Film Festival takes place at the Horse Hospital and this year will be held on 13 -17 November. While the location is not unusual for this underground event which is focused on experimental cinema, what is different is the festival’s collaboration with the Portuguese city of Porto. At the end of November Porto will hold a similar “sister” event.
The London & Porto Underground Film Festivals will celebrate outsider works of cinema with an emphasis on creativity and originality.
Submissions are now closed and the festival’s organisers will be busy sifting their way through all the eye-opening footage those with a hankering for making underground films will have provided them with. The only real criterion laid down by the festival’s organisers is that all submissions must be original and creative. It is the festival’s aim to give innovative and avant-garde material that would be ignored by the commercially-centred cinemas the recognition it deserves. In other words, virtually anything goes.
Entrees may be landscape films with music, garbage dump films with no music, important social comment movies, silent films, or dark comedy movies – Whatever films are shown at the festival they will all have an original creative slant that transcends the normal.
The London Underground Festival began in 2008 and has remained a voluntary run film festival. This underground London event is directed by Daniel Fawcett and Clara Pais, collaborators on film exploration. These pioneering filmmakers are based in Porto where they have a studio.
If you want to experience a touch of London’s prolific nonconformist scene then taking a trip to the Horse Hotel to witness the London & Porto Underground Film Festival certainly promises to be an eye-opener.