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  • Still from 'The Wilds of 5 Lely Court', © Katie Spragg, 2016

Real to Reel: The Craft Film Festival

Calling all filmmakers! Applications now open for 2018 edition

Produced by the Crafts Council and Crafts magazine, Real to Reel is the first UK festival dedicated to craft and moving image. Now in its third year, the festival highlights the extraordinary talent and technique of the making and film communities.

Real to Reel will return to Picturehouse Central London on 8th, 9th and 10th May 2018, to coincide with London Craft Week.

Applications for submissions are now open, until 15 January 2018.

We are interested in all genres: documentaries, story-led films, animation and more, whether celebrating the skills involved in prop making, following the sometimes surreal journeys of individual makers, or exploring ways making brings people together.

Full terms and conditions are available on our opportunity page. Just click “Apply Now” below. We have introduced a submission fee to help support the production of the festival and increase its reach. 

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The 2017 edition of Real to Reel highlighted the extraordinary talent and technique of the making and moving image communities.

The story so far

Real to Reel was launched by the Crafts Council and Crafts magazine in May 2016 at the Picturehouse Central in London’s West End during London Craft Week.

Following an open call, 36 films were selected from over 300 submissions, covering the gamut of styles from animation to satire and from documentaries to surreal art pieces. As diverse as the films are, each looks at our relationship with materials and making in different ways.

Highlights included award-winning director Liam Saint-Pierre’s documentary following artist and inventor Dominic Wilcox on his quest to transform the mundane into something extraordinary, and Lionel T Dean’s tribute to 1950s Japanese science fiction T-Rex versus The Gorilla: Quest for the Stone. The festival also featured the UK premiere of Gill & Gill, which looks at humanity’s relationship with stone through the stories of two masters: rock-climber John Gill and lettercutter Eric Gill.

After the sellout launch at London Craft Week, 11 films were selected for the Real to Reel: LDF Edit screened at Curzon Goldsmiths on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September 2016.  These hour-long screenings formed part of the South East Makers Club trail throughout the creative streets of South East London as part of London Design Festival.

In 2017, Real to Reel grew from two to three nights of craft centred film-making. The Crafts Council were pleased to welcome Picturehouse Central as official partners of the festival and to return to their Central London cinema.

After an open call – which attracted almost 300 entries from around the world – the final programme was edited down to 44 films running accross 3 days, and included documentaries, animation, and profiles of makers such as Ceramic artist Kate Malone, Metalsmith Simone ten Hompel and Letterpress artist Martin Clark. Film makers selected for the second year running include Nick David and Jack Flynn, Dominic Wilcox, Lorna Hamilton Brown, Juriaan Booij, and Sam Meech.

For the first time, Real to Reel went on tour, featuring at the inaugural National Festival of Making in Blackburn in May, as well as in Form+Motion, the Crafts-Council curated UK pavilion at Cheongju Craft Biennale, South Korea in September – October.

With renewed partnership from Picturehouse Central, we are looking forward to returning to Piccadilly on 8th, 9th, 10th May 2018, with a fresh selection of films.

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