Fragments Festival Announcement

Fragments Festival Announcement


Opening preview THE WOMAN KING starring Viola Davis, closing gala PURE GRIT, Black History Month reggae gala, UK premieres & screenings of diverse films from the international festival circuit.

Sept 29th – Oct 2nd, Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road, London E1 4UJ Click Here for more details.

Voted #1 in Time Out’s Best Cinema’s 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. Recognising 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 programme 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.”


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 who quit racing to care for her sister after she was paralysed 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 are 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 RichardsZackary Drucker and Pose star Angelica Ross, along with archive footage featuring the likes of Laverne CoxCarmen 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 has 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. Afterwards, 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 present a special Black History Month gala screening ofSTUDIO 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 many more. 

With gender-bending and queerness at its core, By Royal Appointment: A movie-themed Drag King Life Drawing is an evening of mingling, drink and film-themed life drawing at Genesis Cinema’s Bar Paragon. Drag Kings invite us to question our relationship to gender expression, showing us the myriad of ways masculinity and femininity can be twisted, turned, 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 programme 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.


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. 

Leave a Reply