London SadFest is a unique film festival that celebrates and explores the world of sad films.
Blue Monday is the name given to the saddest day of the year. Some people say it is the last Monday in January, others argue that it's actually later in February when Winter is at its bitterest and the disappointments of Valentine's Day have really started to sink in.
One thing though is for sure, the saddest weekend in London this year will be the first weekend in March, because that's when the London SadFest 2017 will be taking place at the Genesis Cinema in Mile End.
Festival organiser Steve Todd says, "this is a festival for anybody that loves really sad and heartbreaking films. We've got a great line up of beautiful films and some really interesting speakers too. But above all, it is a place where you can come and cry your heart in out in great company!"
Recent research by Prof. Dunbar, an evolutionary psychologist at Oxford University, suggests that people might actually feel good after watching sad films. Higher endorphin levels leave people feeling more socially connected and stronger to deal with psychological pain.
"We seem to be scared of sadness as a society, we're always running away from it. I think we need to stop running and instead face up to and even embrace sadness. It's a big part of being human and I think it's at the heart of compassion.", says Steve Todd.
The organisers think so, "we're hoping the talks and Q&A after the screenings as well as the after show-events will really create a strong feeling of coming together as festival community. The celebration aspect is just as important as the sadness."
The festival kicks off with a launch event on Friday 3rd March, showing "The Elephant Man" by David Lynch, chosen as the world's most influential director by film critics. It is an extraordinarily beautiful and sad film and is set in the Whitechapel area where the festival is taking place.
The festival runs until Sunday evening. Other films include: Ken Loach's "Kes", a sad classic and number 7 in the BFI top 100 British Films list; "Sophie's Choice" with an amazing performance from Meryl Streep; Wong Kar Wai's "In The Mood For Love" and Lee Daniels' powerfully moving "Precious" from 2009.
Every ticket sold will also include a donation to the Samaritans charity to support their amazing work.
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Watch trailers and clips of some of the saddest films of all time.