With the popularity of the London Film Festival continuing to grow year-on-year, there’s a unique and intimate charm in attending smaller, more focused regional film festivals. And of them all, Brighton’s CineCity Film Festival is consistently one of the most appealing. After all, what better place is there to watch some of World Cinema’s finest upcoming releases, than in the heart of England’s cultural hub, at the oldest cinema in the country?
This year the programme is bigger and better than ever, with a host of special screenings and events being presented alongside various premieres and debuts. Between the 20th of Nov & the 7th of Dec there is literally something being shown for everyone at CineCity. And in order to make sure you don’t miss the best of the best, here is a list of the top fives films you need to see if you’re attending the festival this year.
1: Birdman (Dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu) – Thurs 20th Nov
Despite a jam-packed programme of inspiring films being shown at this year’s CineCity, there was only ever one choice for our top pick. The Opening Night sees the UK Premiere of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman. It’s a film that follows a washed up actor, who used to play the eponymous and fictitious superhero ‘Birdman’, as he tries to stage a Broadway play. Word on the film has been almost unanimously positive since it screened at Venice earlier in the year, so let us hope that Birdman manages to fly high.
2: The Tribe (Dir. Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy) – Tues 2nd Dec
Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s audacious debut seeks to defy cinematic convention by telling its story using sign language, but without subtitles to aid the audience. Challenging our innate perceptions of those who are deaf, Slaboshpytskiy compounds punchy violence with intense sexual intimacy, and in the process breaks the boundaries of the medium. With no distribution deal announced as of yet, make sure you don’t miss the chance to see this incredible cinematic experiment.
3: The Duke Of Burgundy (Dir. Peter Strickland) – Sat 29th Nov
With two decidedly diverse directorial achievements to his name already, Peter Strickland is quickly becoming one of the most exciting voices in contemporary cinema. His latest film, The Duke Of Burgundy, promises to be another powerful and perplexing picture. Charting an increasingly intense lesbian relationship, Strickland’s film daringly examines the dynamics of power and intimacy of a relationship from within a period setting. As with his previous two projects, this is a film that you will have to see to believe.
4: Animal Farm (Dir. John Hales & Joy Batchelor) – Sun 7th Dec
It’s almost impossible to comprehend the realization that Animal Farm, the UK’s first animated feature, is now 60 years old. This bold and beguiling adaptation of George Orwell’s novel manages to retain much of the book’s satirically sharp wit, while remaining accessible for a younger audience. There are many who love it, and many more who hate it. Why not decide for yourself and come see it on the big screen when it kicks off the final day of the Festival.
5: Edible Cinema presents The Great Beauty (Dir. Paolo Sorrentino) – Sat 22nd Nov
CineCity isn’t just an opportunity to watch films; it’s a chance to experience them in a whole new way. This exciting cinematic collaboration between Soho House chef Jake Rigby Wilson and Bombay Sapphire mixologist Sean Ware is a unique chance to undergo a multi-sensory cinema experience like no other. Audiences members will each be given a selection of numbered boxes that they will then be instructed to open and consume during carefully selected moments of Sorrentino’s widely successful The Great Beauty. The concept is designed to enhance the cinematic experience through taste, aroma and texture. The results are likely to be both delicious and delightful.
CineCity runs from Nov. 20th to Dec. 7th. For details on how to book tickets, just follow the link here.