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Winter 2019 season

Tuesday 8 January at 8.30pm
Kusama: Infinity    USA 2018  |  76 mins  |  12
Yayoi Kusama was born into a conservative family in rural Japan and moved to America at the end of WWII. There, without connections and speaking only broken English, she devoted herself to her one true love, making art, and in the years that followed shot to international fame and acclaim. A blend of interviews, archive material and illuminating footage of Kusama at work and in conversation, Kusama: Infinity fascinatingly explores the life and work of this distinctive, ground-breaking and hugely popular artist.

Tuesday 15 January at 8.30pm
Reinventing Marvin [Marvin ou la belle éducation]    France 2017  |  115 mins  |  15
Sensitive Marvin is a quiet and artistic fifteen-year-old with an unwitting attraction to other boys, for which he is bullied both at school and within the confines of his impoverished home. When he discovers a love for theatre, its transformative power prompts Marvin to move to Paris in an effort to reinvent himself. Winner of the Queer Lion at the Venice International Film Festival, Reinventing Marvin is a powerful and uplifting story of a young man's quest, against all odds, to redefine his identity.

Tuesday 22 January at 8.30pm
A Prayer Before Dawn    UK | France | China | Cambodia | USA 2017  |  116 mins  |  18

Young British boxer Billy Moore fights punishing bouts in Thailand and spends his winnings on hard drugs, a self-destructive lifestyle that eventually sees him arrested and sent to one of Thailand's most notorious jails. Refusing to die inside prison, Billy studies Muay Thai boxing, and in the process becomes part of a brotherhood that could launch him on the path to possible redemption. Based closely on a true story, A Prayer Before Dawn is striking in its authenticity, a tough but compelling tale of survival and personality rebirth.


Tuesday 29 January at 8.30pm
London Unplugged     UK 2018  |  86 mins 
London Unplugged is an anthology film about modern Londoners, comprised of eleven shorts from a largely female-led pool of emerging filmmakers. The brainchild of London Film School alumna Qi Zhang, it explores themes of isolation, asylum, unmanageable rents and identity, and is a refreshing and reality-grounded take on the complexities, contradictions and compromises of modern living in the nation's vast, diverse and costly capital city.

Tuesday 5 February at 8.30pm
The Rider    USA 2017   |  104 mins  |   15
After suffering a serious head injury, a young bronco rider explores what it really means to be a man in the heartland of America. The second film from Chinese-born film-maker Chloé Zhao, The Rider eschews the stylised drama of many western-themed films for a sometimes documentary realism – lead player Brady Jandreau suffered a similar injury to the character he plays and his disabled lifelong friend Lane Scott is essentially playing himself. The result is one of the year's most critically acclaimed films, a poetic and deeply humanist study of character and identity.

Tuesday 12 February at 8.30pm
Wajib     Palestine | France | Colombia | Germany | United Arab Emirates | Qatar | Norway 2017  |  96 mins  |  15
Divorced father Abu Shadi is reunited with his Rome-based architect son, who joins his father in Nazareth to hand-deliver invitations to his sister's upcoming wedding, as is the local Palestinian custom. As the estranged pair spend time together, the tense details of their relationship come to a head, challenging their fragile and very different lives. Unfolding over the course of a single day, Wajib is a lively and smartly executed comedy-drama that examines family conflicts with perception and a wry smile.

Tuesday 19 February at 8.30pm
Skate Kitchen    USA 2018  |  106 mins  |  15
Introverted teenage Long Island skateboarder Camille (played by newcomer Rachelle Vinberg) is befriended by the members of an all-girl, New York City-based skateboarding crew called Skate Kitchen. Her new life puts her in conflict with her mother but sees a relationship develop with mysterious male skateboarder and photographer, Devon. The first narrative feature from The Wolfpack director Crystal Moselle, Skate Kitchen is a vibrant coming-of-age tale that explores the positive effect of the bonds of friendship and the importance of having a sense of belonging.

Tuesday 26 February at 8.30pm
A Sicilian Ghost Story    Italy | France | Switzerland 2017  |  122 mins  |   15
12-year-old Luna has a crush on the similarly aged Giuseppe, a sensitive boy with a passion for horse riding. When Giuseppe disappears, Luna is determined to track him down, unaware that his fate is linked to his father's criminal connections. Based partly on the true-life abduction of the young son of a mafia informant, A Sicilian Ghost Story beguilingly blends reality with Luna's hallucinatory fantasies, a poetic, gorgeously photographed work bolstered further by two excellent lead performances from young newcomers Julia Jedlikowska and Gaetano Fernandez.

Tuesday 5 March at 8.30pm
Nae Pasaran     UK 2018  |  96 mins  |  12A
In 1974, the democratically elected Chilean president Salvador Allende was overthrown by a military junta led by Augusto Pinochet. When a Glasgow factory shop steward realised that some of the engines they were servicing were for planes being used by the junta to bomb its own people, he and his fellow workers began a boycott that lasted for four years. Comprised of interviews, discussions, archive news footage and animated recreations of actual events, Nae Pasaran is an inspiring and revealing record of a bold and principled act of international solidarity.

Tuesday 12 March at 8.30pm
Waru     New Zealand 2017  |  86 mins  |  15
Taking its title from the Maori word for eight, Waru is constructed from eight ten-minute vignettes that unfold around the funeral of a young boy who died at the hands of his caregiver. Each follows a separate Maori female character as they come to terms with the boy's death, each is handled by a different female Maori filmmaker, and all are subtly linked to the segments that follow and precede them. The result is emotionally affecting, impeccably performed and one of the strongest New Zealand films to hit cinemas in years.

Tuesday 19 March at 8.30pm
Pili     UK 2017  |  85 mins  |  12
In rural Tanzania, Pili works the fields for a pitiful daily wage in order to feed her two children whilst struggling to keep secret the fact that she is HIV-positive. When she is offered the chance to rent a sought-after market stall but given only two days to raise the deposit, Pili is forced to make difficult decisions that could have serious consequences for her and her family. The first feature from British filmmaker Leanne Welham is an uncompromising but poetic and moving work that has documentary origins, and a timely reminder of a still-serious issue that too rarely hits the headlines any more.

Tuesday 26 March at 8.30pm
Beautiful Boy     USA 2018  |  120 mins  |  15
Based on the best-selling memoirs by father and son David and Nic Sheff, Flemish director Felix van Groeningen's Beautiful Boy chronicles the impact Nic's difficult and painful addiction to alcohol and drugs has on his family and how his devoted father works tirelessly to help him. With its nonlinear storytelling and powerhouse performances from Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell as Nic and David, this is a revealing and emotionally impactful experience, and has been acclaimed as one of the most honest films about addiction since Requiem for a Dream.

Tuesday 2 April at 8.30pm
Return of the Hero [Le retour du héros]     France / Belgium 2018  |  90 mins  |  12
In 1809 France, the charming Captain Charles-Grégoire Neuville (The Artist's Jean Dujardin) is shipped off to war just as he is set to marry his true love Pauline. When his long absence starts to impact on Pauline's health, her sister Elisabeth begins writing fake letters to her from Neuville, but when he unexpectedly returns this is not the only damaging secret in danger of being exposed. Strong performances and a vibrant period feel, complement an intriguing tale of love and deception that asks some still pertinent questions about the true nature of heroism.

Tuesday 9 April at 8.30pm
A Northern Soul     UK / France 2017  |  54 mins 
Warehouse worker Steve Arnott nursed a long-standing dream to become a rapper, and when his home city of Hull was selected as the UK's City of Culture in 2017, the opportunity arose to realise his dream. After converting a bus into a mobile recording studio, Arnott began visiting primary schools in an area where one in three children live in poverty, in the hope of inspiring young students to pursue their own dreams. Steve's valiant efforts to make a success of the project are chronicled by documentary filmmaker Sean McAllister, and the result is a sobering but fascinating and ultimately inspirational portrait of defiance and determination in broken Britain.