Cinecity returns this November for its 14th consecutive year having cemented its rightful place as the south east’s premier film festival. Partnering up with the now ubiquitous but ever-cool Picturehouse Cinemas and the University of Brighton, Cinecity promises a veritable feast of independent film from around the globe, this year showing the very best in original filmmaking from some of the lesser-known parts of the world.
Last year the festival presented advance previews of an eclectic mix of major releases, first-time features and more obscure but nonetheless captivating film, many of which gained immense critical acclaim on general release. The heart-rending romance Carolfeatured in the line-up alongside the harrowing hard-hitter Son of Saul, horror film The Witch and docudrama masterpiece Heart of a Dog, a poetic musing by Laurie Anderson on the fleetingness of life and love. This year Cinecity opens with a special preview of Free Fire, the new action thriller from Ben Wheatley. Rather intriguingly, Free Fire was shot entirely on location in a Brighton warehouse and features an impressive cast including the Academy Award-winner Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, Sharlto Copley and Armie Hammer. Intending to end on the high they began with, Cinecity closes with Toni Erdmann, the highly acclaimed comedy from director Maren Ade that explores the struggles of family in modern life with an awkward and charming candidness. Having just been reviewed by The Economist as ‘surreal and hilarious’, Toni Erdmann continues to soar in its critical reception, having been the standout film this year at Cannes and receiving the highest-ever star rating from critics.
This year the festival continues their exploration of Adventures in World Cinema, featuring their most international line-up to date. Cinecity will present award-winning films such as Wolf and Sheep, a Danish-Afghan film from debut filmmaker Shahrbanoo Sadat. She captures with meta-fictional flair the esotericism and mystique of rural Afghanistan and the all-encompassing power of storytelling, drawing on elements of magical realism in her depiction of Afghan folklore and tradition. Through her tale of mountain shepherd children, Sadat traverses cultural boundaries and speaks a universal language in her account of childhood friendship in a society governed by the same customs that have been in place for centuries. Other international previews include the erotically charged, psychological thriller The Handmaiden from South Korean Park Chan-wook, inspired by Sarah Waters’ 2002 novel Fingersmith and Iranian film The Salesman from director Asghar Farhadi, winner of the Best Screenplay and Best Actor at this year’s Cannes.
In honour of its location, Cinecity will also exhibit a series of special Brighton screenings, which will feature short dramas, art documentaries and explore and celebrate Brighton & Hove’s success at the forefront of experimental filmmaking. In addition to premiers and previews in a variety of venues around Brighton, the festival exhibits live soundtracks, artists’ cinema and installations, exhibitions and more special events in their unerring mission to educate, enlighten and excite the region in all things film. With the likes of Nick Cave, Ben Wheatley, Paddy Considine and Steve Coogan as their patrons and described by the Guardian as ‘eclectic and imaginative’, Cinecity promises distinction in its selection of film and cinematic experience planned for this year’s festival.
Why not make the most of the festival with their 4-for-3 deal, offering a fourth film free when you buy tickets for three films.