Lets All Be Free Film Festival Is About to Go Down and We’ve all got to be a part of it. Why? I told you there was a revolution going on – which is why Austin Revolution Film Festival is how we kicked off our Film Festival season to celebrate the true reason Film Festivals exist in the first place – to give a voice to the real anti-culture of hollywood and expression and exposure to real life and real talent.
When i found out about Lets All Be Free film festival 12-16th October in London i jumped up and down at discovering it’s in its 4th years and growing strong. I wasted no time in jumping in to delve beneath the surface of what Lets All Be Free is really about and gave Artistic Director Tariq Nasir some deep thinking to do so we could get the low down.
How did it all begin?
Tariq: “It all began many years ago as I listened to a speech given by Bill Clinton where he talked about how all people should be free. Being of Palestinian heritage this resonated with me, and at the same time reminded me of the hypocrisy of politicians, since under the Clinton administration Israel continued to oppress the Palestinian people, making them much less free than the ideal he spoke about. This started me thinking about all the non-free people around the world, ranging from slaves mining minerals in Africa, to people escaping war, to ordinary people who feel oppressed by their everyday lives. I knew this project was not going to be about “freedom” as much as about “what does being free mean to you” as an individual in this world. I wanted to create a multi-faceted project that used creative means to explore what being free means in our world today, with film being just one of those expressions. That was the seed that grew to be the Let’s All Be Free Project.”
Amazing isn’t it – to know what truly freedom means anyway is a journey in itself that can only start with a sharing of our perspectives, what an amazing fire burning from the centre of Lets All Be Free Film Festival.
What are your favourite past winners and what about them do you love?
Tariq: ” EL TREN DE LAS MOSCAS (TRAIN OF FLIES)
This is a film that highlights the kindness of strangers, and shows that people with very little themselves, are often willing to do so much for others.
Won an award from us before winning a BAFTA. It starred Martin Freeman who plays a doctor who has been called to examine a prisoner who thinks he is a god. A clever look at how being free can have many meanings.
A film that creates a picture of what it is like for young people to learn to skateboard while living under occupation. A deep look at the human spirit, and how resilient it can be in the face of oppression.
A film that brings attention to the plight of the Tibetan people; a powerful look at the extremes humans will go to in order to lead a free life.”
Wow you’ve made me fall inlove with the screen again, real, deep and touching expressions of life – LABF is showcasing real talent and real human issues. What do you believe are the key issue’s standing in the way of each of us being free are? And you find certain themes tend to present themselves over and over again?
Tariq: “In the West we often think we are more free than we actually are. This illusion can get in our way of making sure our governments don’t overstep and make decisions for us that we may later regret. The things that get in our way of being free can often be ourselves, or it can be an oppressive regime, or an ideology that is forced on a population. Mental illness can keep us from living freely, or our sexual orientation, or a religion thrust upon us perhaps. So many ways. But by coming together and hearing each others stories, and learning from one another we can free ourselves and those we open ourselves up to from stereotypes, racism, and injustice just to name a few things. The themes that often are explored at LABF are those of sexual orientation, self empowerment, and other inspirational stories where people overcome the odds to live the lives they choose. I am passionate about helping people to think about things they may never have thought about before, I want to help open eyes and nurture positive human interaction in the hope that together we can create a more understanding and peaceful world.”
It’s Pretty incredible that your out there doing it and bringing the spotlight where the heart is. Lets All Be Free is in it’s fourth year this year – you must be seeing the fruits of a beautiful impact. What changes have you seen happen as a result of Lets All Be Free Festival and how would you describe the effect on people who attend?
Tariq: “I have seen diverse groups of people come together and learn from each other in a way they may never have in their ordinary lives. I have seen people become allies with people who were strangers until the moment they witnessed each others stories. People leave screenings with a new understanding on topics they had never considered in the past. They continue conversations that were started at our panel discussions.”
Amazing, i can’t wait to be there, free myself and my mind and learn to connect more deeply. Check out their full program including their opening party and live acts the Society Club on Friday 14th which will bend our mind like elastic bands. Here’s a snap of the film festival goodies for all you film-aholics.