It is a good time for film lovers right now. There are a lot of film festivals going on in many parts of the world but for those in the UK, there’s one interesting festival last week. Dubbed the British Urban Film Festival (BUFF), this event started on Tuesday of this week. So what is the BUFF all about? This is what the official web site has to say:

This is where it all begins. As film continues to diversify, The British Urban Film Festival is a fantastic opportunity to highlight our commitment to film and to celebrate the pivotal role we can play at every stage of the film-making process. Our single uppermost goal is to attract all film lovers as well as people who just want to be entertained. The content that we show offers genuine insight into people and places that are rarely documented and which demand attention.

BUFF provides an exciting environment for outstanding talent with a level of participation that goes beyond the screening. We hope that BUFF will be seen as an opportunity not just to watch great entertainment, but for the audience at large to be armed with knowledge, to appreciate the art of storytelling and to be inspired by the skills of the storytellers and become mobilised. We feel very privileged to serve you. Long may you enjoy the experience.

It is a pity that this year’s festival is now over. I am sure that with its success, though, it will be held again in the coming years. If I were you, I would support it. After all, they are reportedly having problems with the funding. I am hoping – along with their supporters, I am sure – that the government will see the value of BUFF and channel some funds into this worthwhile endeavor.

Photo courtesy of The Guardian

Turner Prize Shortlist Unveiled At Tate Britain

British artist Mark Leckey has been distinguished with the Turner Prize – something that most people just aspire for but never end up getting. The Turner Prize started in 1984 and is meant to celebrate remarkable developments in contemporary art. Every year since then, the Turner Prize has been awarded to a British artist under the age of 50 who held an exhibition (or something of that sort) in the past year. The group dubbed Patrons of New Art are the ones who came up with the Turner Prize, originally with the aim of helping to buy new art for Tate Gallery. The prize is named after JMW Turner, who was a great artist in his own right.

This year, it is Mark Leckey who was honored with this prize. Who is Mark Leckey? Wikipedia has this write up on him:

Mark Leckey’s video work has as its subject the “tawdry but somehow romantic elegance of certain aspects of British culture.” Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999) is a video essay, made from found footage, about British youth dance subcultures. His 2005 DVD installation Drunken Bakers, based on the Drunken Bakers characters from the Viz comic, is about drinking culture in the North of England.

He exhibited alongside Damien Hirst in the 1990 New Contemporaries exhibition at the ICA but afterwards dropped from view, before making a “comeback” with Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore in 1999.

In 2004 he participated in Manifesta 5, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art. In 2006 he participated in the Tate Triennial and his works are held in the collections of the Tate and the Centre Pompidou.

Controversial or not, he was the favorite of the art circle for this year’s Turner Prize – and he came out on top!