The Into Film Festival opens with two great new documentaries

10 Nov 2023

5 mins
Your Fat Friend screening and Q&A with director Jeanie Finlay
Your Fat Friend screening and Q&A with director Jeanie Finlay

The 2023 Into Film Festival got off to a terrific start this week, with over a thousand free screenings and events for schools and young people taking place across the UK.

Opening the Festival on Tuesday 7 November were Tish and Your Fat Friend, two exciting new documentaries which were screened for young audiences in Newcastle and Nottingham, with Jen Corcoran, the producer of Tish, joining us for a post-screening Q&A in Newcastle, while Your Fat Friend director Jeannie Finlay was on hand to discuss the themes of her film with those in Nottingham.

Tish is a documentary that focuses on noted social-photographer Tish Murtha, whose work captured the lives of working-class communities in the North-East of England during the 1980s. When programming the Festival, we felt it was important that the film was screening in the same part of the country that Murtha worked in, providing a new generation with a deeper insight into the history of their local region.

"I think it's fantastic that organisations like Into Film exist and that screenings like this happen around the country", said Tish producer Jen Corcoran. "I think there's a perception that the film industry is happening in London, or in the US, and while to a degree that has been true, there are exciting things happening in film all over the UK."

This event isn't the first time we've celebrated a film focused on the work of Tish Murtha, with Still Life, the winner of Best Documentary at the 2018 Into Film Awards, also focusing on her career. The award-winning youth-made short catches up with some of the people featured in Murtha's iconic photography, and seeks to compare how much - or how little - things have changed in the area since they were taken.

In Nottingham, ahead of Anti-Bullying Week, we screened Your Fat Friend, a vital documentary about Aubrey Gordon, who became an online sensation for posting articles under the pseudonym 'Your Fat Friend'. "The number one reason children are bullied is because they are fat", explained director Jeannie Finlay during a post-screening Q&A session. "Aubrey being so open it encourages us to examine our own biases... to talk more openly to the fat people in our lives, and to not make assumptions. It can be hard, but it's important."

The Into Film Festival continues until Friday 24 November, and there are even more great documentary films to catch, including the stunning A Crack in the Mountain, fascinating space-themed films Asteroid Hunters and The Edge of All we Know, and a special preview of School of Rap: The Story of M.I.N.D..

As well as thousands of screenings, we also have a number of special events still to come, including a special pupil premiere of The Marvels, a special screening of How to Have Sex followed by a Q&A with director Molly Manning, and our closing event, which will see several pupil premieres of Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget taking place.

Keep an eye out for more Festival highlights over the coming weeks, and if you want to join us, there's still time, with many events still having spaces available. Browse now to find screenings near you!

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