Sheffield Docfest has begun! It’s the first day and yes, the weather is appalling, so far. Luckily though, the films are indoors.
TAKING OVER THE KING’S LAND has just screened at the Puny Gods Cinema in Exeter and is now at the Sheffield Docfest, the UK’s biggest and most important film festival for documentaries. The film is 23 min long and is in the festival Videotheque, available to all the festival delegates.
Arts docs are notoriously difficult to place since many people associate the documentary genre to social issues, or art history. TAKING OVER THE KING’S LAND is a portrait of an artist, and of a remarkable project set in the world’s greatest metropolis.
What on earth is an Egyptian doing painting the walls of a condemned block of flats in East London? As the city prepares for the 2012 Olympics, the Kingsland social housing estate lies in ruins, synonymous with crime and brutality. Taking Over The King’s Land follows artist Nazir Tanbouli and his self appointed task to take over the condemned housing estate and cover it with art. He battles the endless rain and the bitter weather of the “British summer.” Can art counter the urban atmosphere of deprivation, blight and neglect? Can it help Naz come to terms with life as an émigré Egyptian in London?