It was the 2nd year for No Gloss Film Festival which was held at Canal Mills, a creative space used for lots of different creative outputs, on the 19th  & 20th October 2013. The film festival proposed two days of independent films, art, music and culture. It did not disappoint.




The artistic location is a perfect setting for the No Gloss Festival as it appears like an abandoned warehouse, hard to locate, but the art and culture I met with inside was beautiful.

There were such a huge array of films to choose from equaled out between two rooms, luckily I had read up on the films beforehand so I knew which ones I definitely didn’t want to miss. If I had the chance I would have seen all of them.


The first film I saw was ‘One Toke Under The Line’ directed by Alastair Collinson and Stephen James, who both were available for a Q&A afterwards. I thoroughly enjoyed One Toke Under The Line as it was both comedic and real at the same time, with some Shaun of the Dead type under tones. The 14 minute film follows two guys who can’t find a lighter to light their joint, and through trying to find a lighter all that they experience in life and underlying troubles in their friendship. Brilliant.

Next I saw was, ‘Come in See the Bed’ directed by Simon Aeppli. This film was very moving but juxtaposed with the audience not completely understanding what was actually happening. We were brought into the story so elegantly through telling the story by cinematic shots and wonderful animation. The seven minute film is about a man’s grieving mother starting to receive notes from her elderly neighbour and after five years she had collected over a hundred notes. Wonderful.

‘Above Water’ was next, directed by Jeff Norton, explores an experimental story about a chance encounter with two lost souls. The film was seven minutes long and was written and directed in 24 hours in the City of London during the Occupy LSX movement. Classic.

‘From Brighouse to Cannes, Le Tour De Tan’ is an inspirational film about a team cycling from Brighouse to Cannes to raise money, awareness and dedication to filmmaking. The film was five minutes, directed by Tim Ackroyd and Paul Anthony Drury, and shows the struggles and the fun the team had. The team showed up to answer some Q&A’s. One to watch.

‘Barking Night’ is a 21 minute long thriller, directed by Jesse Koan Smith, about a party that takes a turn for the worst. A paranoia filled dark night really makes you think about the people we know. Great.

I then stuck around for the official selection film ‘Quite a Conundrum’ which was directed by Thomas L Phillips and was eighty five minutes long. I absolutely loved this film it was like Scream crossed with The Hangover.  It’s a dark indie comedy thriller that really does keep you watching till the last minute; definitely deserves to be in the Official Selection. Award-worthy.

Before I left I stuck around for the short film, that followed Quite a Conundrum, called ‘K & P’ directed by Claudio Ravanelli. The eleven minute short film tells the powerful story of two men that are suffering lonely lives and fall in love. The ending is a shock and disheartening, but fits perfectly with the story and the realism of the world. Beautiful.


On day two, I saw a thirty minute film called ‘Madison Branches’ directed by Pieter Peruch. The film was a brilliant mystery drama, that had everyone thinking from the word go. A young woman awakes to find she is strapped to a chair and locked in a small room and cannot remember anything. One to watch definitely.

Six minute film ‘Luminaris’ directed by Juan Pablo Zaramella changed my life! I have never been a big fan of animation or this type of film, you’d have to see it to believe it, but it was beautifully executed. Cinematography and direction was perfect to tell the story. Amazed.

‘Frankenstorm’ is a five minute film that uses footage from people absorbing the impending superstorm. It’s directed by John Mattiuzzi and is a wonderful showcase of Mother Nature. Scary.

Twenty minute film, directed by Matthew Haschiguchi, ‘The Lower 9’ follows four people’s lives following the devastation that was Hurricane Katrina. The documentary is truthful but heartfelt. Inspiring.

I would highly recommend heading to No Gloss next year; it is an amazing arrangement atmosphere, people, culture and films. If you love film, head down to No Gloss.