LOCO in lights

Why we are here

LOCO is a not-for-profit foundation that discovers, develops and screens the world’s most original comedy film-makers. We champion the craft of comedy film-making through training, screenings, outreach and funding. We also run the LOCO London Comedy Film Festival, the UK’s only international comedy film festival, which returns to BFI Southbank and selected cinemas in April 2016.

Why comedy?

This trailer from our 2015 festival explains what LOCO is for, and why we do what we do:

More than any other genre, comedy bridges social divides. Since the beginning of film, comedy has united generations, cultures and classes: the Lumiere Brothers included a comedy in the first ever public film screening in 1895. And more than any other country, Britain has a great tradition of film comedy, from Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel and Cary Grant through to Ealing, Carry On and Monty Python, and to Sacha Baron Cohen, Edgar Wright, Armando Iannucci and Chris Morris.

Comedy is also at the heart of our independent film industry, with movies like Skeletons, Sightseers and our LOCO Discovery Award winners SuperBob, Gone Too Far!, Black Pond and Wizard’s Way creating distinctive, original takes on British life. But for all its artistic and commercial success, comedy is critically overlooked; only five comedies have ever won Best Picture at the Academy Awards: It Happened One Night, You Can’t Take It With YouThe Apartment, Annie Hall and The Artist.

LOCO campaigns for better recognition of the craft of comedy film-making by illuminating the techniques behind the movies, by celebrating great work, and by helping to train the next generation of comedy film-makers.

Why go LOCO?

For everyone…

LOCO offers the world’s most original comedy films and film-makers, and the opportunity to share an unforgettable film experience.

If you’re a comedy film fan…

LOCO offers a chance to meet and interact with your comedy film heroes and to share your love of comedy film with other fans.

If you’re an established filmmaker…

LOCO offers the chance to promote your work, build a lasting relationship with your audience, and the space to network with other filmmakers and industry members.

If you’re an emerging filmmaker…

LOCO offers the opportunity to learn at first-hand from established talent, connecting you to those who can help you to hone your craft.

If you’re a producer or distributor…

LOCO are specialists in comedy, working with a wide range of actors, writers, distributors, exhibitors and other areas of the industry. As the only British feature film festival that specialises in comedy, the LOCO London Comedy Film Festival gives comedy films a chance to shine, and to attract extra public and media attention. We also create one-off events around comedy film screenings, and of course have a large network of comedy film lovers.

Partnership Opportunities

Partnership can be anything from co-promoted products or services to co-producing events, sharing TV rights or becoming headline sponsors: we’re happy to discuss a wide range of options and commitments, rather than confine you to a pre-packaged deal. For more information, get in touch with us here.

Meet the team

Denise Hicks: Co-founder and Director

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As the youngest of five children, Denise’s passion for comedy film stems from its ability to bring people together. In addition to LOCO, Denise has recently been involved in the launch of The Odyssey – an 450-seat art deco cinema in St.Albans which she helped to save from demolition in 2010. She has also worked with the Rich Mix centre in East London, Branchage Film Festival in Jersey and the London Short Film Festival. Denise also works as a consultant in brand & communications planning for a wide variety of clients including The Guardian, NBC, Sky, The Church of England, The Concrete Centre and Cadbury. Her favourite comedy actor is Buster Keaton, who she still has a serious crush on.

Jonathan Wakeham: Co-founder and Programmer

Jonathan has written two award-winning short films and the upcoming feature films The Arbitrator (with Fred Hogge), John Macnab and The Nile. He is represented by Independent. Jonathan is a Trustee of Arts Emergency, a charity that campaigns for and supports arts education, and Camden People’s Theatre, London’s most adventurous theatre. He is also a member of the development council at Battersea Arts Centre. Jonathan’s favourite comedy film is Harold and Maude, partly because he can’t decide which Woody Allen movie to choose.

Helen Jack: Producer

Lighouse Profile

Helen is a freelance Film Curator and Creative Producer. In a previous life, Helen was Head of Documentary at Cork Film Festival, Co-Director of UnderWire Festival, Director of Operations at Shooting People and Event Producer at BAFTA. She has curated film programmes Birds Eye View, Flatpack Festival and Branchage International Film Festival, and has also worked as a programme consultant for Vimeo Festival in NYC, and as a Screening Committee Member for Sheffield Doc/Fest. She has worked as Blog Editor for Channel 4’s 4docs and has written about film culture for The Huffington Post, Soho House Magazine, The Quietus and Aesthetica Magazine. She has a penchant for transgressive women in comedy.

Stu Hallybone: Creative Director

Long before school, Stu was already getting an education – his teachers were Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin, Tom and Jerry and King Kong (PE/Home economics). Each morning his father’s Super8 projector would stay firmly pointed at the kitchen cupboards as he chomped through bowls of Sugar Puffs and reels of silent film. This early introduction to comedy has stuck with him, inspiring his love of cinema and lifelong mission to have fun. Also an experienced marketeer, he has helped produce iconic campaigns with the likes of Coca Cola, Boots, Sky, Hugo Boss and Cadbury. You’ll find him playing around the social web, mobile and new technologies, creating branded content, and TV commercials including shoots in the UK and US.

Kevin Maynard: Short Film Programmer 

Kevin is a filmmaker who specialises in exciting and curious comedy shorts. His films have received screenings at international festivals including the London Short Film Festival, Branchage Film Festival, Porto7 Film Festival and Ohne Kohle Experimental Film Festival in Vienna. Kevin has also worked on a number of comedy and film events and as a short film programmer for the London Independent Film Festival. He provides an insight into low budget filmmaking with a particular attention to short film and sits in LOCO’s programming team.

Wolf & Diva: Industry Programme

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With a shared passion for cinema, visual arts, music and live events – Wolf + Diva curate high quality content which challenges, inspires and empowers. Founded by Rachael Castell and Rachel King in 2014, Wolf + Diva combines their shared experiences in content generation and experience management for organisations as diverse as ENO, TEDxLondon, 3D print show, Mercury Awards, East End Film Festival, RIBA and many more.

Rachael Castell was previously Head of Cinema at Digital Theatre, and prior to this spent two years at the helm of an EU research study into the effect of Digital Technology on independent cinemas. Rachael was formerly English National Opera’s Interactive Producer, Head of New Media for Adventure Pictures, and spent four years as Producer of the East End Film Festival (2003 – 2007). Rachel King is an experienced photographer and art director with an impressive portfolio of clients, an international roster of exhibitors spanning the UK, Europe, North and Central America, and an excellent reputation. Her work has been celebrated by publications as diverse as The Independent and the NME, Time Out and Billionaire.com as well as The Telegraph and The Guardian.

Collectively they have managed, produced or production managed respected live and live streamed events including TEDxLondon, 3D Print Show, Mercury Awards and more.

LOCO Branding and design of festival materials by Alex Fowkes www.alexfowkes.com

PATRON: Jerry Zucker

LOCO is a not-for-profit organisation. We do it for the love of it 

Registered office: 131 Percival Road, London, EN1 1QT

Registered in England and Wales under registration No. 7414563