Pop-up cinema screenings to be staged across Edinburgh for the next six months
Pop-up cinema events are to be staged across Edinburgh a year after the city's much-loved Filmhouse was forced to close its doors when its operator collapsed.
Arts and community centres will be playing host to a mix of classic, new and independent films over the course of the next six months
Venues in the Old Town, Leith, Craigmillar, Granton and Wester Hailes will be part of the new Community Cinema Hubs Project, which will have at least 19 events. It is hoped it will be repeated and extended in future after an initial city council-funded pilot.
Many of the films in the programme, which has been developed with local community groups, have connections with Scottish actors, writers and directors. Themes explored are the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers, working class communities and LGBTQ+ people.
The project launches on Friday with a screening at The Crannie community hub, in the Old Town, of Limbo, the BAFTA Scotland-winning feature by Edinburgh filmmaker Ben Sharrock, which focuses on a group of asylum seekers staying on a remote Scottish island.
A 40th anniversary screening of Bill Forsyth’s classic Scottish comedy Local Hero, about a Texan oil tycoon’s bid to buy up a Highland coastal village, will be shown on Sunday at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith, which has its own Freeze Frame Film Club.
Other venues include the Craigmillar Now arts centre, the Whale Arts Agency in Wester Hailes, the Duncan Place community hub and McDonald Road Library in Leith, and the Granton Hub.
The pilot programme includes several screenings of The Old Oak, Ken Loach's new film about a struggling pub in a former mining community which sees an influx of Syrian refugees, Sweetheart, a queer love story set at a holiday park, and Edinburgh director Paul Sng’s documentary on photographer Tish Murtha.
Other highlights include festive screenings of Arthur Christmas and A Muppet Christmas Carol, a revival of Edinburgh director Bill Douglas's 1970s trilogy, and comedy horror Shaun of the Dead.
Project coordinator Morvern Cunningham said: “I'm very proud of the programme the hubs have collaboratively come up with.
“Edinburgh now has a really diverse and interesting programme of local cinema as a result of the project, at a time when the lack of independent cinema is so keenly felt in the city.
“It’s vital these screenings are taking place in hubs that cater directly to their communities.”
Stephanie Haigh, who runs the Freeze Frame Film Club in Leith, said: “The injection of support and shared enthusiasm for bringing great films into community venues is a very exciting development.
“We’ve chosen a selection of films that are open-hearted and fun - some might argue sentimental - but even though our first choice, Local Hero, is 40 years old, it remains relevant with its themes about home, community, money and our environment.”
Council culture convener Val Walker said: “I’m delighted the project’s getting off the ground and that there will be screenings at seven community hubs around the city.
“We’re a globally recognised cultural city and it's right that this should be spread to all areas of the capital. From Wester Hailes to Leith and beyond, I’ve no doubt this pilot will be a great success and serve as a springboard for further similar projects.”
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