CINECITY presents the 19th edition of the festival this November with the very
best in world cinema and a diverse programme of premieres and previews,
treasures from the archive, artists’ moving image, talks and special events. The
festival gives audiences first sight of highly anticipated titles ahead of UK
release and showcases many others brought to Brighton from around the
world for one-off screenings.
CINECITY is the region’s biggest celebration of cinema and is presented in
partnership with the University of Brighton. Main cinema venues are Duke of
York’s Picturehouse and Depot, Lewes but screenings and events take place at
venues across the city including Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts,
Fabrica and Duke’s at Komedia.
Previews of two films from leading British female directors bookend this year’s
festival. CINECITY 2021 opens on Fri 5 Nov (Duke of York’s) with a special
preview of Ali & Ava, the latest feature from British director Clio Barnard (The
Selfish Giant, Dark River) which charts an unlikely but heartwarming romance.
The film goes on general release on 4 th February 2022.
CINECITY closes on Sun 14 Nov (Duke of York’s) with the latest feature from
Joanna Hogg, The Souvenir: Part II, starring Tilda Swinton. (The film is released
into UK cinemas on Jan 21 st)
ADVENTURES IN WORLD CINEMA
The festival presents a host of award-laden international films all screening in
the region for the first time, and ahead of UK release. Just some of the
highlights include Petite Maman, the latest from Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a
Lady on Fire, Girlhood), Titane from director Julia Ducournau, provocative
winner of the Palme d’or at this year’s Cannes and Drive My Car, winner of the
Best Screenplay at the same festival. Animated feature Flee won the World
Cinema Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. Memoria directed by the acclaimed Thai
director Apichatpong Weerasethakul and also starring Tilda Swinton, won the
Jury Prize at Cannes.
CINECITY also presents a double helping of two highly anticipated films starring
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power of the Dog directed by Jane Campion (The
Piano, Bright Star) and The Electrical Life of Louis Wain directed by Will
Sharpe. The Power of The Dog is Jane Campion’s first feature since 2009 and
Cumberbatch’s role as a tough, bullying cowboy in 1920s Montana is already
being tipped for success at the Oscars. In stark contrast he stars as the
Victorian artist Louis Wain, best known for his drawings of cats and kittens, in
the colourful and charming biopic from Will Sharpe, director of Channel 4’s
There are premieres of features from directors based in Brighton & Hove –
Record, Clay & Bone, Ghost Amber and Maisie. In Lee Cooper’s debut
documentary feature, we follow ‘Maisie Trollette’, alter-ego of Brighton’s own
David Raven, at 85 the UK’s oldest Drag Artist. Record traces director Joanna
Callaghan’s journey from Australia to the UK and back again, weaving together
her own personal history with a wider story of colonisation, forced migration
and identity. Clay & Bone from Brian McClave – with narration from Will Self –
excavates the rich archive of footage captured during the construction of the
Crossrail Project. Ghost Amber from Tim Grabham blends animation,
documentary, archive material and fantasy elements as it reflects on the slow
vanishing of celluloid film. All four screenings will be followed by Q&As with
the directors and special guests.
The showcase for regional talent continues, selected from open submissions to
the festival with CINECITY Open and the New Voices programme for those
aged 25 and under supported by Screen and Film School, Brighton.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Moon and the Sledgehammer, a
documentary dedicated to the Page family who lived off-grid in a six-acre
wood near Chiddingly, East Sussex. In a special event at Depot, Lewes on Sat 13
Nov, a screening of the film will be followed by a discussion with Barney Snow,
a TV factual and documentary film-maker interested in folk stories and rural
themes, and Joanna Pocock, author of the award-winning Surrender (2018) and
part of the Dark Mountain Project – a cultural movement that is engaged with
our current ecological, social and cultural unravelling. The event is chaired by
Frank Gray, Director of Screen Archive South East at the University of Brighton.
Screening as part of Japan 2021: 100 years of Japanese Cinema, a UK-wide film
season supported by National Lottery and BFI Film Audience Network, CINECITY
presents the haunting 1964 masterpiece Woman of the Dunes directed by
Hiroshi Teshigahara. This rare screening on the big screen, on 35mm film at the
Duke of York’s, will be introduced by the renowned musician and writer
Stephen Mallinder (Wrangler, Cabaret Voltaire). There are two previews of
new features from Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi – Drive My Car and
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy.
With cinemas closed for so much of the last couple of years, we have all missed the
experience of watching a film on the big screen with an audience. As part of a
celebration of the collective cinema experience, CINECITY have launched a
crowd-sourced online exhibition called Cine Fiction which explores how
cinema-going has been portrayed in literature over the last century. We are
inviting audiences to make their own suggestions for extracts from novels to
feature on the website. Please see www.cinefiction.org for full details.