Now let’s head back to the mid-2000s and take a look at Firecracker, who for a few years during that time kept the flag flying for Asian films in London with their amazing film festival and free magazine.
Firecracker was pure class from start to finish, from the superbly stylish magazine, packed with Asian film news and reviews, to their impeccably programmed festival, everything was put together to create a coherent and impressive look and feel to their organisation. Run by Erica & Nick, Firecracker launched as an online magazine first and then moved into film screenings with their festival before launching the free physical magazine which was distributed around cinemas in London.
What really made Firecracker so strong though was their great film programing, they weren’t afraid to take chance and screen films and genres that didn’t really get an attention elsewhere. From a retrospective of the Grace Chang film from Cathay studios, to a season covering the Bollywood crime films of director Ram Gopal Varma and dedicated strands looking at cinema from the Philippines and beyond, Firecracker did a great job of championing films that just didn’t pop up at any other festivals.
A far as I can remember the final Firecracker event took place in May 2007, a free double bill of films directed by Bobby Suarez – One Armed Executioner and They Call Her Cleopatra Wong. Sponsored by Tiger Beer it was a great night with a huge turnout and served as a fitting final event for a great organisation.