Independent world cinema right here on your doorstep

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Published: Wednesday 11th January 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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With their first screening taking place back in 2014, Hull Independent Cinema has grown significantly in popularity. Known for being dedicated to discovery, the team brings exclusive screenings of alternative, thought-provoking and often award-winning films to Hull.

The charity organisation is run by skilled volunteers, who all share a passion for the silver screen. We caught up with Damien Greco, trustee and Head of Programming, to find out what the first season of 2017 has in store for us.

“Our aim is to show the best art house, world and independent cinema that isn’t being shown elsewhere in the city,” Damien explains.

“Since starting, we’ve really grown our audience. It’s great to see that Hull has taken so well to different types of movies.”

Hull Independent Cinema puts on one to two film screenings a week in venues that include Fruit, Hull Truck Theatre and Middleton Hall at The University of Hull. HIC also incorporates the Cult Cinema Sunday and WeWatchFilms programming strands, as well as organising the annual Hull Film Festival.

“These give audiences a chance to see cult and classic films on the big screen,” Damien enthuses. “The only thing that’s limiting us is our current capacity.”

Each member works full-time, putting on film screenings twice a week in their spare time. The idea is for HIC to grow until it can afford its own space, instead of hiring out local venues.

“Eventually, we would like to have our own building, where we’ll show three or four films a day, on multiple screens. We want to make it about the experience of cinema, allowing people to make a night of it with a nice meal followed by a film.”

In the meantime, things are looking exciting for the year of Hull UK City of Culture: “We’ve got quite a lot coming up in the next few months, including several special screenings with regional film partners, celebrating 2017,” Damien tells us.

“We’ve partnered up with Yorkshire Silent Film Festival to bring classic silent films such as Safety Last! (pictured above) to the city.

Simultaneously, their regular schedule will include new films like Christine, The Birth of a Nation (pictured below) and Jackie: “All of which you’ll be hearing about in the general press in the next few months,” the movie buff assures us.

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Clearly a fan of the big screen, we wanted to know what Damien would recommend to anyone new to the world of independent film: “On Valentine’s Day we’re showing We Are the Flesh, it’s an alternative to the rom-com you’d normally watch.”

“My personal favourite and the film I’m most excited about is Moonlight, which will be shown in March at Middleton Hall.”

With mainstream cinemas struggling in recent years, it’s quite surprising how popular Hull Independent Cinema nights are:

“We’re often sold out,” says Damien. “I truly believe the way you should enjoy a film is on a big screen, with good sound and an audience.”

We asked him if he doesn’t just like to chill in front of the telly now and then: “Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of Netflix, but I think that cinema is all about the experience.”

“Independent cinema allows for less explored storylines and characters to be shown on the big screen. You can really sit down, take it in ,and perhaps discuss it over a coffee afterwards.”

Summing it up nicely is Hull Independent Cinema’s strapline: Discover Something Different. And that’s exactly what you’ll do if you head down to one of their screenings.

You can find out more, including show times, venues and prices, at hullindependentcinema.com.

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Published: Wednesday 11th January 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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