Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Day School: Exploring Iranian Cinema

IT’S WINTER, (aka ZEMESTAN aka ZEMASTAN), Mitra Hajjar, 2006.©Artificial Eye


Mechanics Institute Library – Bradford

Saturday 14 September, 10.30am – 4.30pm

Tutor: Roy Stafford


Iran is a large country of strategic importance in Western Asia with a population of over 80 million. Cinema did not develop rapidly in what was then Persia until the 1950s. Production was considerably restricted after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and during the Iran-Iraq War. Since then Iranian cinema has split between a local commercial popular cinema mostly unseen in the West and a more art-orientated or ‘social’ cinema which has had considerable success internationally. The work of four filmmakers, Abbas Kiarostami, Mohsen Makhmalbaf (and family members Samara, Hana and Marziyeh), Jafar Panahi and Asghar Farhadi has been prominent in overseas distribution, even when it has been banned at home.


Our event will try to look at examples of work by the four celebrated filmmakers, but also extend to include a wider range of directors and types of film. This exploration will provide useful background for our screening of a new Iranian film, Permission at Kala Sangam on September 24th.


Tea and coffee are available in the Mechanics Institute Library. There are places nearby to buy lunch but you are also welcome to bring your own.

Tickets are £18 and £12 concessions.


 Book Tickets



Posted in General by / August 15th, 2019 / No Comments »

Day School: Moving Away and Coming Home – Contemporary Polish Cinema


Mechanics Institute Library – Bradford

Saturday 22 June, 10.30am – 4.30pm

Tutor: Dr. Rona Murray


Film scholar Ewa Mazierska once asked whether, post communism, Polish films had changed.  “What is parochial and what is universal [ . . . ] what is only of local interest and what appeals to international audiences”, she asked. Our study day will focus on contemporary Polish cinema as it tells a story of moving away and coming home, of films that turn constantly from past to present, from outside to inside the country.  

Perhaps this mobile perspective is not surprising considering how Polish artists have left and returned, such as Pawel Pawlikowski, Agnieszka Holland and Jerzy Skolimowski. Despite their exile (self-imposed or otherwise), their perspective has stayed uniquely Polish, by turns poetic, surreal and blackly humorous. The day will examine how Polish filmmakers (including these auteurs) bring history and the modern world together in stories which are strongly rooted in national subjects and places, but which vibrantly capture a universal state of flux and uncertainty.

The day includes a screening of Agnieszka Holland’s Spoor (Pokot) (2017). Described as an ‘eco-thriller’ it is a beautifully-filmed, at times darkly comic, tale of hunting and activism, community and seclusion, past and present in central Europe set in Poland’s Kłodzko Valley. Co-directed with her daughter, Kasia Adamik, it is a modern and radical story from a well-established auteur.

Tea and coffee are available in the Mechanics Institute Library. There are places nearby to buy lunch but you are also welcome to bring your own.


Tickets are £18 and £12 concessions.


Book Tickets



Posted in General by / June 3rd, 2019 / No Comments »

Day School: A Star is Born – Barbara Stanwyck and Hollywood


Square Chapel – Halifax

Saturday 24 May, 10.30am – 4.30pm

Tutor: Dr Rona Murray


Barbara Stanwyck was a Hollywood star, one who apparently inspired the classic story of a woman’s rise to fame. In modern times, star seems an overused term for a devalued commodity, Stanwyck and her female contemporaries appear even more to represent a gold standard now consigned to the past.


The day will include a full screening of The Lady Eve (1941), directed by Preston Sturges and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda.  Sturges’ film is a Classical Hollywood screwball comedy, a description that steals a term from baseball for a ball thrown ’fast and with a twist’ to confuse the batsman. It’s a perfect vehicle for Stanwyck to take up the pitching position in the battle of the sexes and show us all of her best moves!


Our day spent in Stanwyck’s company will celebrate her unique talent, her importance as a female film star and, briefly, her work in television. The presentation will include the shift from a pre-code to a Hays-code Hollywood, the complex constitution of the studio system and its people and how women negotiated their position within it.  We will be able to consider how women’s work then is still important to understand today, and is being reassessed further for its enormous cultural contribution.


Square Chapel boasts an excellent cafe/bar on site.

Tickets are £18 and £12 concessions and must be purchased directly from Square Chapel box office.


Book Tickets



Posted in General by / May 10th, 2019 / No Comments »

Day School: Acting and Performance in Cinema


Mechanics Institute Library – Bradford

Saturday 4 May, 10.30am – 4.30pm

Tutor: Roy Stafford


Cinema audiences are entertained and moved/stimulated by actors and performers and some star names attract large numbers of fans. But do we really know why some performances resonate more than others? Film ‘theory’ has some things to say about acting styles and the role of the actor (and the singer, dancer and martial arts performer), but can film studies explain why someone is awarded a prize for ‘acting’ and others are ignored?


We’ll use a number of case studies and short narratives to explore a wide range of questions such as do forms of acting differ between cultures (and what happens if we bring them together) and how does acting change over time? Are some forms of performance ‘timeless’? What has given longevity to Laurel and Hardy, but perhaps not to some other performers who were once household names? Will Juliette Binoche always be thought to be a ‘great actress’?


Tea and coffee are available in the Mechanics Institute Library. There are places nearby to buy lunch but you are also welcome to bring your own.


Tickets are £18 and £12 concessions.


Book Tickets



Posted in General by / April 10th, 2019 / No Comments »

Day School: An Introduction to Italian Cinema + Happy as Lazzaro


Square Chapel – Halifax

Saturday 13 April, 11.00am – 5.00pm

Tutor: Roy Stafford

Our next Saturday event on April 13th takes us ‘on the road’ to Square Chapel Arts Centre in Halifax. We will take advantage of Square Chapel’s screening programme to offer you an Introduction to Italian Cinema and a full screening of Alice Rohrwacher’s new film Happy as Lazzaro.
Alice Rohrwacher’s previous film The Wonders was warmly received when we showed it at Kala Sangam a few years ago and this new film shared the Scriptwriting Prize at Cannes in 2018. It’s a truly magical film that is strongly recommended and our Introductory session will help you to get the most from it by exploring how it draws on the history of Italian Cinema.
The usual ticket prices of £18 and £12 concessions apply for this event (and include the price of the screening) but the timings are slightly different. The event runs from 11.00 am to 5pm with one hour for lunch at 1pm. The screening is at 2pm as part of the public screening programme.
Square Chapel is very close to Halifax Railway Station and not far from the Bus Station. There are several car parks not far away. 
Please note: You must book your tickets for the event direct from the Square Chapel website, using the link below. 
If you can’t book online or have any queries about the venue, the box office telephone no. is 01422 349 422





Posted in General by / March 25th, 2019 / No Comments »

Day School: Our Land and Our Stories on Screen


Mechanics Institute Library – Bradford

Saturday 16 March, 10.30am – 4.30pm

Tutor: Roy Stafford


In the long history of British (and Irish) Cinema, most production has taken place in London and the South East where the studios were built and the West End theatre was close by. But at various times and especially in the last thirty years, productions have taken place in all parts of the British Isles. This event focuses mainly on films made outside the major urban conurbations and considers how landscapes, local people and local cultures might provide the material for different kinds of films.


Can landscapes conjure up a feeling of belonging and a feel for the natural leading to romanticism? Documentary has been important in British cinema – can location shooting be ‘realist’ and/or ‘poetic’ and/or ‘psychological’ in its presentation of characters and stories? We’ll screen a short feature, title tbc, and look at a wide range of examples. 


Rona Murray will also be joining us to explore how women as directors have approached stories set in different parts of the British Isles.


Tea and coffee are available in the Mechanics Institute Library. There are places nearby to buy lunch but you are also welcome to bring your own.


Tickets: £18 and £12 concession.


Book Tickets

Posted in General by / February 28th, 2019 / No Comments »

Day School: Ida Lupino – Working Both Sides of the Camera


Mechanics Institute Library – Bradford

Saturday 8 December, 10.30am – 4.30pm

Tutors: Roy Stafford & Rona Murray


Between 1931 and 1978 Ida Lupino was credited on more than 130 films and TV programmes. Already a Hollywood star, she set up her own company and established a successful career behind the camera as producer, writer and director, known to her crew simply as ‘mother’. She tackled social themes at a time when these were rare onscreen, combining an eye for documentary reality with an assured dramatic flair. Her remarkable story is still an inspiration to filmmakers today.

Join us to celebrate Ida Lupino’s remarkable career in her centenary year.

Tea and coffee are available in the Mechanics Institute Library. There are places nearby to buy lunch but you are also welcome to bring your own.

Tickets are £18 and £12 concessions.


Book Tickets

Posted in General by / November 29th, 2018 / No Comments »

BFI Film Academy Bradford and Chester – Applications Now Open!



16-19 years? Passionate about film? Want a career in the film industry? Applications are now OPEN for the BFI Film Academy in Bradford delivered by Reel Solutions.


This autumn we are also delivering first BFI Film Academy to focus on the new fields of 360° filmmaking, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for a second year in Chester.


Click the button below to find out more information and apply.


What some of our previous participants said about the Academy:


‘’One of the most brilliant things I have done’


‘…a very valuable, interesting and exciting experience’


The best experience for a young person who wants to lead diversity changes in the film industry… the BFI has given us the opportunity to show that people of colour can make a difference.’


Apply Now!



Posted in General by / July 2nd, 2018 / No Comments »

Culture Sector Industry Day


The inaugural Culture Sector Industry Day, curated and delivered by Bradford Literature Festival, in association with Provident Financial Group, taking place at The University of Bradford campus, on Friday 29th June.

The conference will be open to organisations operating in any discipline or on any scale, and welcomes delegates from local, regional, and national organisations. Whilst the sessions may be of most use to management and director level individuals, there is no set requirement of seniority for delegates.

Showcasing best practice, considering the challenges that lie ahead for the sector, and offering the opportunity for relationship building between organisations, the Industry Day will open with a keynote from Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, followed be panel discussions, Q&A sessions, workshops and round table events.


Book Tickets




Posted in General by / June 26th, 2018 / No Comments »

Phendulani’s Story



Phendulani lives in Vosloorus in the Ekurhuleni Municipality of the Gauteng Region in South Africa, to the East of Johannesburg.

Over the last year, the Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures at the University of Leeds and the Bishop Simeon Trust have been working with a great young South African filmmaker, Phendulani, so that he can tell you his remarkable story, as well as the vision he has for the future of South Africa.

The full film was released on 15th May 2018 – the International Day of Families. You will want to hear Phendulani’s story.

See the trailer for the film here.



Posted in General by / May 16th, 2018 / No Comments »
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