When I was a student at Glasgow University, I found an abandoned box on the pavement near my flat on West Princes Street. The box contained notebooks, gig and cinema tickets, and lots of photographs. I was of course immediately fascinated my with my new treasure and tried to join dots and build a story around those discarded fragments. Who were those people? Why had the box been chucked?
Although a bit less dreamy, the spirit behind the Found Footage Festival is in a similar vein. Founded in 2004 by Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, the festival is essentially a comedy event that features VHS tapes gathered at second-hand shops, flea markets and jumble sales. The videos are often comical (a highlight of the current tour is a 1996 tape that teaches viewers how to care for their ferret), and sometimes very weird (I am personally intrigued by The Sexy Treadmill Workout).
The FFF has been growing steadily for the past 9 years, and it easy to see where its charm lies. It is a celebration of how bizarre the everyday lives of ordinary people can be. Those VHS tapes are, in the words of organiser Nick Prueher, "A more truthful representation of who we are as a people than the greatest films of the last 75 years".