From short film festivals to silver screen gems, this city’s screens are more eclectic than most
This post-industrial Yorkshire city once relied on its fishing industry for sustenance, but with a £1.6 million regeneration programme underway (albeit hampered slightly by the world’s economic woes), there are fashionable ‘quarters’ springing up and a cultural buzz taking hold. It’s a city that might not spring immediately to mind when you mention cutting-edge experimental film, but Hull has plenty of cinematic surprises in store for those seeking something beyond the boring blockbusters of the multiplex.
This year sees Hull play host to its tenth International Short Film Festival. Glimmer 2012 kicks off on 4th October with the aim of showcasing the latest in short film, as well as helping budding Kubricks and Orsons create their own films for the first time. The submissions process is open to all, making for a truly eclectic cinematic mix. This year features talks from the likes of Art Director Sarah Jenneson, short film masterclasses, screenings around the city, culminating in their annual awards ceremony, where the coveted prize is the Anthony Minghella Best UK Short. Run by the dedicated team of movie-lovers that is Hull Film, the group stages screenings, film-related talks and educational events regularly throughout Hull, and runs the Hull Film Study Collection too.
The Reel cinema is home to Hull’s arthouse haven, Hull Screen. Relocated to The Reel picturehouse in 2008, it screens the latest indie releases and the finest in world cinema, and you’ll also find plenty of cult classics and forgotten gems on show alongside more mainstream Hollywood fare. Located in the St. Stephen’s Shopping Centre, they host regular film quizzes and one-off events, movie marathons and early Saturday morning movies for kids.
Hull Truck Theatre
If it’s more classic you’re after, in a more refined setting than the St. Stephen’s mall, then Hull Truck Theatre’s the place. Dedicated to theatre and the performing arts, it’s also home to the Hull Truck Studio, which hosts regular screenings of oldies to contemporary classic. Alongside a range of experimental theatre, the Studio also runs a regular play/screenwriting workshop, for all those budding Raymond Chandlers looking to make their mark, but not sure where to start. If you’re a Buster Keaton fan, look out for their regular Silent Night, an ongoing programme of the best in silent cinema.
I know, I know, it’s a multiplex, but this Vue branch gets an honourable mention for playing host to the fabulous Film Club initiative. A charity that runs programmes nationwide, it’s dedicated to enriching the lives of young people through cinema. With over 7,000 Film Clubs in the UK, screening specially selected movies, old and new, to over 220,000 children every week, their work is nothing short of remarkable. Championed by schools and LOVEFILM, with Mike Leigh firmly onboard too, Hull’s Vue cinema is a motion picture haven for little ones, allowing them to see a far more eclectic range of movies than the multiplexes tend to offer, encouraging them to write about, review and discuss films too.
And if you’re looking to stay in Hull this summer, consider the Holiday Inn Hull Marina for a great value accommodation option.