Jump to navigation

Crafts Council

Home // News & Features // Craft comes alive at Real to Reel film festival
  • Rosa Boesten, Moving Glass, 2018

Craft comes alive at Real to Reel film festival

The mini movies not to be missed

Making will be celebrated on the big screen in London this May in the fourth edition of the UK’s first film festival devoted to craft. Real to Reel, co-hosted by Crafts magazine and the Crafts Council at London’s Picturehouse Central (7 and 8 May), explores the human relationship with making and materials, revealing personal stories in a medley of shorts.

Ainslie Henderson, Stems, 2017

You can witness puppets made from scraps come to life in Stems, a Bafta award-winning stop-motion animation by filmmaker Ainslie Henderson and musician Poppy Ackroyd. ‘What I love about stop-motion puppets is that they have this inherent sadness about them,’ says Henderson in the film. ‘They have a tiny, little life and then they just go back to being inanimate objects again.’

Mariano Rentería Garnica, Devil Face, 2018

Meanwhile, woven dogs are the stars of another stop-motion short, Ngayuku Papa, created by Aboriginal artists from social enterprise Tjanpi Desert Weavers and animated by Jonathan Daw. Elsewhere, we see the story of Mexican dancing traditions – and the vivid masks and costumes used by performers – in Mariano Rentería Garnica's film Devil Face, which focuses on craftsman Felipe Horta. 

‘This year, we’re painting an increasingly diverse picture of craft practice with submissions from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe,’ says Sarah Turner, project curator at the Crafts Council and producer of the festival, which was first launched by Crafts’ former editor, Grant Gibson.


A post shared by Crafts Council (@craftscouncil) on

Over the two nights you can also see India-born Vidya Thirunarayan interweaving dance and clay in an ongoing performance project, which we explore in the current issue of Crafts magazine; witness scrap metal being transformed into intricate eyewear by Kenyan artist Cyrus Kabiru, and watch documentaries about making. These films explore both familar crafts such as ceramics, glass and furniture, alongside more unfamiliar fields – from making miniature furniture to replica birds’ eggs.

Duncan Parker, The Chairmaker, 2018

For an off-site finale, the Crafts Council is bringing photographer David Penny’s multi-screen installation Screen for Another Focus to the industrial setting of Bargehouse at London’s Oxo Tower Wharf, where it will be on display as part of The Future of Craft exhibition (9-12 May). Featuring weavers from Edinburgh’s Dovecot Tapestry Studio, it artfully captures their handling of warp and weft.

The programme will have global reach: following the premiere at Picturehouse Central, it will tour to a number of national and international venues and festivals; the full schedule will be announced soon. For touring enquiries, please contact Sarah Turner, s_turner@craftscouncil.org.uk, tel: +44 (0)20 7806 2511.

Read Next