145 short films and 145 different subjects. The Playback Festival is a prosperous celebration of young talent and their work. Created by Random Acts and launching at London’s Institute of Contemporary arts on March 9, the inaugural edition of the film festival covers the widest definition of film, created by artists aged 15 to 24.
A still from Tower XYZ by Ayo Akingbade
As a joint initiative of Arts Council England and Channel 4, Random Acts functions as a hub of creatives that use the medium of TV as their canvas, with their sub-initiative First Acts focusing on the young talent. By creating Playback Festival the organisation is determined to give a big platform in an industry that’s everything but opened to newness. After its four-day run at the ICA, the festival will embark on a national tour until Spring 2018.
A still from Walk of Shame by Maisie Buck
And just as the project’s reach goes beyond London, so does the content’s. The names behind the films are coming from all across England – South Shields included. Screened across interactive video jukeboxes, the short films represent the diversity of its makers. From a George Orwell-esque animated video about the burden of technology called Panoramic, to a spoken word collage on youth feminism unapologetically named Walk of Shame – the vision of youth seem to be more relevant than most of what’s screening at the multiplex.
While this generation’s Hollywood is focusing too much on too little, it seems like the next one has plenty to say. In many languages, through poems and animation – we’re ready to hear the new voices.
The Playback Festival is running from March 9 to March 12 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, St. James's, London SW1Y 5AH. Find out more about the programme and the accompanying workshops, and book tickets at ica.org.uk.
Text by Dino Bonacic