CINECITY ready to hit the screens in Brighton

CINECITY, the 13th Brighton Film Festival (November 13-29), promises the very best in world cinema and a packed programme of premieres and previews, installations and treasures from the archive as well as free education screenings and special events which take place right across the city.


Tickets for all screenings are now on sale.

Spokeswoman Debbie Plentie said: “First features, coming of age and a celebration of love are at the heart of this year’s ambitious programme. Dramas, documentaries and artists’ films exploring cinema itself also form a special festival focus. A Best of British strand features work by notable Brighton-based directors Ben Wheatley and Grant Gee. And there is a major celebration of legendary BBC arts strand Arena marking its 40th anniversary and more than 600 programmes.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

“CINECITY 2015 opens on Friday, November 13 at the Duke of York’s Picturehouse with a special preview of Todd Haynes’ highly-anticipated, Carol. Starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, this is a stirring and stunningly realised adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Price of Salt, set in fifties New York. Therese (Rooney Mara) is an aspiring photographer, working in a Manhattan department store where she first encounters Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring older woman whose marriage is breaking down.

“The Closing Night film is Dheepan, winner of the top prize, the Palme d’Or, at this year’s Cannes from director Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, Rust and Bone).

“Our world cinema strand presents a host of award-winning titles from around the globe. Fresh from leading international festivals they are being shown, often several months ahead of release in the UK or have been brought over for special one-off screenings. This year’s line-up includes cinematic offerings from a diverse list of countries including Ethiopia, Guatemala, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Hungary and many more.

There will also be a first features section.

“Bringing a real sense of discovery and highlighting the new talents that help keep cinema fresh and inventive, CINECITY 2015 has a clear focus on first features. In a particularly strong line-up this year notable debuts include: brilliantly original Hungarian Holocaust drama Son of Saul, winner of the Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes; The Witch – an unsettling, supernatural horror set in the 1600s, awarded Best Director at Sundance Film Festival; Lamb, rich multi-layered drama set amidst the breathtakingly beautiful mountains of Ethiopia; Ixcanul Volcano, winner of a Silver Bear at this year’s Berlin Film Festival and lauded by a host of other major international film festivals, this distinctive debut set in Guatemala focuses on a young Mayan woman living with her family near the edge of a volcano; and Chloé Zhao’s Songs My Brothers Taught Me is a beautiful drama set on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation about the bond between a brother and his younger sister.”

Debbie offers the following guide to the festival’s other international highlights:

The Assassin. Hou Hsiao-Hsien, winner of the Best Director award at this year’s Cannes, presents his mesmerising first foray into wuxia (martial arts). Set in 9th-century China towards the end of the Tang dynasty, The Assassin is a mysterious and beautiful cinematic tour de force. The Club - Pablo Larrain’s Chilean drama won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival; The Measure of a Man – Stephane Brize’s film about a supermarket security guard is a satire of global market capitalism and won Vincent Lindon the best actor award at this year’s Cannes. Chronic is Mexican director Michel Franco’s first film in English and features an outstanding performance from Tim Roth as a home caregiver for terminally ill patients. In Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier’s follow up to his cult hit Blue Ruin, a punk band on the road find themselves besieged by neo-Nazis in a backwoods Oregon club.


There is also a strong line-up of British film-making talent. The long-awaited new drama from celebrated director Terence Davies (The House of Mirth, The Long Day Closes) is an adaptation of Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s classic novel about a farming family struggling to eke out a living in northeast Scotland. Sunset Song starring Agyness Deyn will preview at CINECITY on Sat 14 Nov ahead of going on release in December.

Ben Wheatley will attend a Q&A on Sat 28 Nov following a preview of his eagerly awaited new film High Rise, based on the novel by JG Ballard.

Another celebrated British director Peter Greenaway (The Draughtsman’s Contract, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover) screens his latest feature, Eisenstein in Guanajuato, about the famed Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein’s travels to Mexico in 1931 to direct his film Que viva México.

Couple in a Hole is a poignant and original drama about a Scottish couple living in the woods in France. Screening with Couple in a Hole will be Patriot – a short film by Brighton-based director Eva Riley - selected from 2,500 entries to screen at this year’s Cannes.

With Eyes Wide Open, CINECITY present Departure - another debut feature - from British director Andrew Steggall and starring Juliet Stevenson - and Nasty Baby, a Brooklyn-set drama starring Kristen Wiig.

As part of the BFI’s UK-wide Love season – see below - British Cinema classics such as Doctor Zhivago, Brief Encounter, My Beautiful Laundrette and Orlando screen in the stunning Music Room of the Royal Pavilion as part of a special CINECITY pop-up picture palace. The British coming of age classic Gregory’s Girl (1981) is the centrepiece of a special free, immersive cinema event for schools and colleges exploring the science of attraction.

Hove early cinema pioneer, George Albert Smith’s Kiss in the Tunnel will play on the big advertising screen at Brighton Station throughout the festival.

CINEMA itself – and films about films - is a recurring theme throughout the programme.

Renowned musician, composer and film director (and CINECITY patron) Barry Adamson has created a trailer for this year’s festival, a series of imaginary ‘micro-movies’.

In a special live AV event, People Like Us will present

Citation City (Sat 21 Nov). Pieced together by audiovisual artist Vicki Bennett (aka People Like Us), this is a time-travelling voyage assembled from over 300 feature films filmed or set in London. A documentary about People Like Us will also screen on Wed 18 Nov.

Lighthouse presents The Sound of Story, an exploration of sound and music in storytelling. This two-day event showcases critically acclaimed and innovative projects with talks, workshops and masterclasses by leading sound and film professionals including Anna Bertmark (Lilting, The Goob), Glenn Freemantle (Gravity, Slumdog Millionaire, Everest) and Joakim Sundström (Berberian Sound Studio, Seven Psychopaths).

Hallucinogenic Visions

Screenwriter and actor Graham Duff (Ideal, Hebburn) presents an illustrated talk examining the numerous ways hallucinations are depicted on screen. There will be examples encompassing both cinematic masterpieces and cult TV, from Dumbo to A Field In England. (Sat 21 Nov).

There is also a sub section devoted to the ‘master of suspense’ Alfred Hitchcock. New documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut features a multitude of clips from Hitch’s films based around the famous interview with and book by French director Francois Truffaut. A must see for film fans of all ages, there are also contributions from the likes of Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson and David Fincher. Also screening are Phoenix Tapes, a 45-minute film from artists Christoph Girardet and Matthias Müller featuring re-edited excerpts from 40 Hitchcock films. Composer and musician Barry Adamson will introduce a screening of Hitchcock’s Vertigo as part of the LOVE PICTURE PALACE screenings at Brighton’s Royal Pavilion – see below. Hitchcock’s timeless thriller about obsession, sexual desire, phobia and identity was considered the ‘greatest film ever made’ in the most recent Sight and Sound critics poll.

There is also a screening of Guy Maddin’s delirious and deranged The Forbidden Room which evolved from the interactive Seances project, with Maddin as the director/medium channeling the spirits of silent films, lost to the archives, through improvised live ‘happenings’. They took place in temporary sets at Montreal’s Phi Center and The Pompidou Centre in Paris, and featured participants such as Geraldine Chaplin, Mathieu Amalric, Charlotte Rampling and Ariane Labed.

The Woods Movie (Director Russ Gomm) uses archive footage from the late 1990s to tell the story of the making of groundbreaking horror The Blair Witch Project. From never-before-seen recordings of pre-production meetings, audition tapes and test footage to the actual filming, editing and preview screenings, this is a revealing anatomy of a horror classic.

Arena: Night and Day

As BBC’s Arena celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, we explore this famous arts documentary series by creating an immersive experience within the University of Brigthon’s Gallery. Arena: Night and Day is a 24 hour visual journey that follows the pattern of day and night in sync with British winter time. Drawn exclusively from Arena’s rich and varied archive of over 600 films, the series has featured the most significant cultural figures (high and low) of our time including Nelson Mandela, Orson Welles, The Beatles, Lilian Baylis and Dame Edna Everage. Its many directors have included Julien Temple, Martin Scorsese and Jana Bokava. The first gallery introduces the series and its subjects and the second gallery presents the entire the 24 hour sequence which can be viewed from the street at all hours and within the gallery during opening hours.

Presented by CINECITY in partnership with BBC Arena and the Series Editor, Anthony Wall. Arena: Night and Day will run for free at the University of Brighton Gallery from Sat 21 Nov until Sat 12 Dec.

Complementing the celebration of Arena will be a CINECITY programme of contemporary ART DOCS, documentaries exploring arts and culture.

Renowned multidisciplinary artist Laurie Anderson’s essay film Heart of a Dog, is about love, death and language and also pays tribute to the artists, writers, musicians and thinkers who inspire her.

The UK Premiere of Dreams Rewired features a narration by Tilda Swinton and a treasure trove of rare archival footage culled from hundreds of films from the 1880s through to the 1930s —much of it previously unseen – combining to trace the anxieties of today’s hyper-connected world back to the advent of the telephone, film and television.

Brighton-based director Grant Gee presents the UK Premiere of his new documentary Innocence of Memories, made with Turkey’s Nobel prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk - a mesmerising, original meditation on love and Istanbul, which recently premiered in Venice to great acclaim with The Guardian saying Gee has ‘joined British film-making’s premier league’.

Inspired by the book Taste Buds and Molecules: The Art and Science of Food and Win, The Empire of Scents is a fascinating, kaleidoscopic portrait of our sense of smell.

Bolshoi Babylon, another UK premiere, is a visually stunning documentary taking the viewer inside the legendary ballet company.

CINECITY is presented in partnership with Screen Archive South East, University of Brighton and Picturehouse Brighton

CINECITY is supported by Arts Council England, Brighton & Hove City Council, British Film Institute.

[email protected] Tel 01273 644713.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage

2) Like our Facebook page

3) Follow us on Twitter

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

Always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.