Opening preview THE WOMAN KING starring Viola Davis,
closing gala PURE GRIT
Sept 29th – Oct 2nd, Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road, London E1 4UJ
Voted #1 in Time Out’s Best Cinemas In London 2021, the Genesis Cinema screens everything
from huge blockbusters to small indie films, cult classics to modern hidden gems, as well as hosting
numerous film festivals, Q&As, premieres, and talks – and in 2019 as part of the cinema’s 20th
anniversary year, the Genesis team created and programmed Fragments, their very own film festival.
Recognizing that there is a general lack of diversity in many film festivals, Fragments was intentionally
conceived as a platform for underrepresented filmmakers to exhibit their work: a showcase of films
with unique individuals and minority groups as their focus.
The second Fragments Festival runs over the weekend of September 29 – October 2 with a
program of premieres and special previews of visionary new films. Some are big studio titles, some
have been lauded on the international film festival circuit, some are undiscovered gems you may not
yet have heard of – and they all have women, non-binary, ethnically diverse, disabled, disadvantaged, and LGBTQIA+ individuals at their forefront. The result is a range of stories that celebrate the scope
and possibilities of cinema.
“Cinema has always attracted diverse audiences, but the films themselves haven’t always reflected
that diversity,” says Tyrone Walker-Hebborn, owner of the Genesis Cinema. “The industry is trying
to change, but more needs to be done – and we all have a part to play. I’m thrilled that Fragments
Festival is returning to the Genesis Cinema for its second edition.”
OPENING AND CLOSING FILMS
Fragments Festival opens on September 29 with a special preview screening of THE WOMAN KING
(dir: Gina Prince-Bythewood, USA/Can), following its world premiere at the Toronto International Film
Festival. Inspired by true events, it’s the remarkable story of the Agojie, the all-female warrior unit who
protected the African kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s. It follows the emotionally epic journey of
General Nanisca as she trains the next generation of recruits and readies them for battle against an
enemy determined to destroy their way of life. The film stars Oscar® winner Viola Davis as Nanisca
alongside Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, and John Boyega.
The festival closes on October 2 with the UK Premiere of PURE GRIT (dir: Kim Bartley, Ireland/USA),
both a thrilling tale of extreme bareback horse racing and an intimate love story. Documenting three
years in the life of a young Native American bareback horse racer, it chronicles former champion Sharmaine quit racing to care for her sister after she was paralyzed in a catastrophic accident on
the track. Now, supported by her new girlfriend, she’s once again determined to ride and win.
A champion at many film festivals including Toronto and Marrakech, and a multi-award winner at the
Africa Movie Academy Awards, THE GRAVEDIGGER’S WIFE (dir: Khadar Ahmed, Djibouti) is a
poetic, moving portrayal of a loving family who is facing difficult times, and must push themselves to
the limits to find a way out.
An enigmatic, jungle-set mystery exploring gender and self-discovery, the UK Premiere of TO KILL
THE BEAST (dir: Agustina San Martín, Argentina) follows a teenage girl on the hunt for her long-
missing brother. This leads her to a remote hostel owned by her aunt on the Argentina/Brazil border,
where local myths tell of a dangerous shape-shifting beast. Followed by a recorded Q&A.
A winner at Sundance Film Festival, FRAMING AGNES (dir: Chase Joynt, Canada/USA) adopts a talk
show format to explore six previously unknown stories from the archives of the UCLA Gender Clinic in
the 1950s. Chase Joynt combines re-enactments with an all-star cast of transgender artists and
performers including Jen Richards, Zackary Drucker, and Pose star Angelica Ross, along with
archive footage featuring the likes of Laverne Cox, Carmen Carrera, and Joan Rivers. Followed by
a recorded Q&A.
Nominated at SXSW for a Grand Jury Award, the UK Premiere of MAMA BEARS (dir: Daresha Kyi,
USA) is an intimate, thought-provoking story of women whose profound love for their LGBTQIA+
children have turned them into fierce advocates for the entire queer community – joining thousands of
other mothers who call themselves “mama bears” as they fight to make the world kinder and safer for
all LGBTQIA+ people. Followed by a recorded Q&A.
The UK Premiere of IT WORKS II (dir: Fridolin Schönwiese, Austria) tells the story of Gerald, Valentin, and Michael. The film documents their will to create and accomplish something, and reach out for their
dreams with determination. It’s an absorbing testament to living full lives regardless of disabilities.
Committed to uplifting and amplifying the voices of all female directors, CINESISTERS collaborate
with Genesis Cinema for the special Fragments event CINESISTERS x Genesis Cinema present
BODY OF WATER (dir: Lucy Brydon, UK). The film is a frank and resolute story of a woman with an
eating disorder, trying to balance her relationship with her mother and her teenage daughter, with a
cast including Sian Brooke and award-winning Silent Witness star Amanda Burton. Afterward, an
industry panel will explore how this powerful debut feature secured UK distribution.
In celebration of Jamaica’s 60th Year Independence Anniversary, Kush Films in association with
Genesis Cinema presents a special Black History Month gala screening of STUDIO 17: THE LOST
REGGAE TAPES (dir: Mark James, UK) plus Q&A and reggae party featuring a guest live
performance. The film tells the remarkable story of the Chins, the Chinese-Jamaican family behind
the legendary Studio 17 recording studio in Kingston, Jamaica – an integral part of the music
revolution that began after Jamaican independence from Great Britain in 1962. Including interviews
with Jimmy Cliff, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Dave Stewart, Sly Dunbar, Levi Roots, Maxi Priest, and
With gender-bending and queerness at its core, By Royal Appointment: A movie-themed Drag
King Life Drawing is an evening of mingling, drinks, and film-themed life drawing at Genesis Cinema’s
Bar Paragon. Drag Kings invites us to question our relationship to gender expression, showing us the
myriad of ways masculinity and femininity can be twisted, turned, and changed. Includes a complimentary glass of wine, beer, or soft drink.
From the cities of Northern Iran to the suburbs of Birmingham, BRAVING IT is a program of short
films showcasing resilience, spirit, and the diversity of our struggles. The short films in LONDON
BELONGS TO US illustrate the power of love and community, as well as the problems we face
together. WHO YOU ARE looks within ourselves: our identity, the body, and the way we perceive
each other. Altogether, 88% of these short filmmakers are female-identifying, non-binary, LGBTQIA+,
low-income, or from ethnic minority backgrounds.
ACCESSIBLE TO ALL
Fragments Festival is not only about inclusivity on screen and behind the camera – it’s also about
inclusivity in the cinema auditorium. Fragments will welcome diverse audiences by being as
accessible as possible. All films will be shown in wheelchair-accessible screens. All films supplied with
subtitles will be shown in the subtitled format. Gender-neutral toilet facilities will be available. To
encourage further dialogue, Q&As will follow many of the screenings, including accessible recorded
Q&As. To keep the festival accessible to all, including low-income households, Opening, Closing and
Reggae Gala screenings are £10, and all other screenings are £6. An allocation of free tickets for
those who can’t afford to attend will also be made available – more details announced soon.
Festival films will screen in competition, with awards presented for Best Feature and Best Short.
Details of the jury and the shortlisted films will be announced soon.
About Genesis Cinema
London’s award-winning Genesis Cinema celebrated its 20th year in 2019. Having been a cinema since 1912, the building stood derelict for a decade until current owner Tyrone Walker-Hebborn took it over in 1999. An independent, family-run cinema, Genesis won the Screen Award for Best Cinema in the UK (24 screens or under) in 2016, as well as being voted #1 in Time Out’s Best Cinema In London in 2021.
Tickets for Fragments Festival are available via Genesis Cinema. Opening, Closing, and special Reggae Gala:£10. All other festival screenings: £6. A Festival Pass gives access to all screenings and events: £25 full price,£20 concession (student, low income, OAP) www.genesiscinema.co.uk