On Sunday 28th July 2019 hundreds of people gathered at Rich Mix, Shoreditch for the inaugural London Cannabis Film Festival.
The festival was split into two primary functional areas; the screening room and the exhibition area. The screening room hosted 5 full screenings encompassing all aspects of cannabis - from the cultural and comedic through to emotive hard hitting stories demonstrating the therapeutic benefits of the plant; highlighting the need for immediate worldwide decriminalisation.
In addition to the film screenings three panel discussions took place covering a myriad of issues relating to cannabis; from its influence in popular culture through to the current challenges of hemp farmers in the UK. This was timely as Hempen were on hand to discuss their recent issues with the Home Office revoking their hemp licence.
The exhibition area of the festival that was free and open to the public, consisting of various artworks including original pieces from veteran cannabis campaigner Lee Harris, and some beautiful pieces from up and coming talent in the UK.
In addition to the exhibited artwork there was a chance for guests to contribute to the community art piece. We were pleased that guests rose to the challenge magnificently and the finished piece is a beautiful memento of the day and a reminder of what we can achieve when we work with - not against - each other.
There were a wide range of vendors present, all of which were local and independent businesses. From activist communities such as We The Undersigned and UKCSC, herbal vaporiser specialists Urbanistic; CBD vendor Graces London; delicious treats from Hempress Rising and MyShrooms and us, Kushtopia.
With so many excellent submissions it was a real challenge having to pick five winners. With that being said, the chosen winners were:
Best Feature - Breaking Habits (Sisters of the Valley)
Best Short - Cheer Up Charlie
Best Foreign Film - Grassroots (Wrestler)
Best Documentary (sponsored by Ma App) - The Secret Story
Trailblazer - Extinction Rebellion
A special thanks to the judges Callie Blackwell, Simpa Carter, Mila Janssen, Carly Barton, Greg De Hoedt and Lee Harris for providing their input.
Source: The LCFF