Real to Reel craft film festival opens next week

Real to Reel: The Craft Film Festival opens at the Picturehouse Central cinema in London with a three-day programme of 44 short films that celebrate the art of ‘making’. It then visits The Bureau in Blackburn for three further nights

Owen Jones, Oak Swill Basket Weaver © Jacob Hesmondhalgh 2016

Produced by the Crafts Council and Crafts magazine, Real to Reel runs from May 2-4 and takes place during London Craft Week. It then moves north to Blackburn’s The Bureau: Centre for the Arts for May 5-7.

Launched last year – and run in partnership with Picturehouse Central – the festival includes art films, animations and documentaries and will feature profiles of markers such as ceramic artist Kate Malone, metalsmith Simone ten Hompel and letterpress artist, Martin Clark.

Opening the first night is Gabrielle Ginns and Ross Gillepsie of Pretend Lovers’ captivating film Roadliners that follows road-markers Tam and Jim as they signpaint letters on the streets of Glasgow.

Roadliners © Gabrielle Ginns and Ross Gillepsie 2015

CR readers may recognise their work from this post on the film which sees the pair “painting traffic instructions on roads using molten plastic and a steady hand” and was made in collaboration with studio, O Street.

Also featuring at this year’s festival is Jacob Hesmondhalgh’s documentary on Owen Jones, an ‘oak swill basket weaver’ (still shown at top of post) based in the Lake District; Benjamin Wachenje’s film focusing on the craft and creativity that goes into preparing for the Notting Hill Carnival (below); and The Craft of Sound by Alex Bishop, which documents the making of the craftsman’s hand-built guitars. A short film by Nick David and Jack Flynn entitled The Big Cloth documents the Harris Tweed industry on the Island of Harris and Lewis in Scotland.

Last year’s offering included director Liam Saint-Pierre’s documentary on artist/inventor Dominic Wilcox and the UK premiere of Gill & Gill, a film that looked at our relationship with stone via the stories of  rock-climber John Gill and artist letter-cutter, Eric Gill.

Tickets for the festival are available from

Picturehouse Central, Corner of Great Windmill Street and Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7DH (6.30pm – 8.30pm). The Bureau: Centre for the Arts, 25 Victoria Street, Blackburn, BB1 6DW (Friday 5 May – 8.30pm – 10.30pm; Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 May – 7.30pm – 9.30pm)

Film Makers © Simon and Lorna Mills 2016

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