Archive | Film

Keeping You Entertained


Leeds Grand Theatre, City Varieties Music Hall and Hyde Park Picture House have Christmas wrapped up! Throughout December and January there’s plenty of entertainment spread seasonal good cheer around.

On Sunday 4th December, the swinging sixties come to Leeds Grand in Sixties Gold. The sing-a-long show features a stellar line-up of 60s bands, including Gerry and The Pacemakers and The Searchers.

From Monday 5th to Sunday 17th December Northern Ballet presents The Little Mermaid. Choreographed by artistic director David Nixon, this beautiful new ballet reimagines the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale.

From Wednesday 20th December to Saturday 6th January join Mr Maddens, Mr Poppy and a heavenly host of hilarious children and unruly animals in Nativity! The Musical. This new show features all your favourite songs, including ‘Sparkle and Shine’, ‘Nazareth’ and ‘One Night One Moment’. It promises to be the perfect feel-good comedy for all the family.

At City Varieties Music Hall the Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto gives Aladdin the rock ‘n’ roll treatment. The soundtrack, played live on stage by the cast, is crammed with hit songs by well known bands and artists.  Expect familiar characters, corny jokes and the legendary ‘boulder fight’ – from Friday 24th November to Sunday 7th January.

A traditional treat at Hyde Park Picture House is the classic Christmas film It’s A Wonderful Life. Join George, Clarence and the townsfolk of Bedford Falls for another telling of this wonderful, heart-warming story from 19th to 24th December. / 0844 848 2700 / 0113 243 0808 / 0113 275 2045

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Harry Potter: A History of Magic comes to Leeds


Journey to where magic and myth began with Harry Potter: A History of Magic at Leeds Central Library.

Have you ever wanted to delve into Divination, ponder the peculiarities of Potions and discover magical creatures? Now you can. In partnership with the British Library, Leeds Central Library will be capturing the traditions of folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories. The Library will be delving deep into the archives to bring you a display of magical treasures and tales and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

The exhibition will include books on witches, fantastic beasts and all things supernatural dating back hundreds of years as well as a specially curated Herbology Room that will bring the magical world of Harry Potter to life.

Event Highlights:

Harry Potter Quiz Night

Friday 24th November, 7.30pm

Do you know your Wampus Cat from your Bowtruckle? Could you pick Hermione’s wand out of a line-up?

A special late night quiz held in our very own Harry Potter room where we will be armed with questions from the experts at Pottermore. Test your knowledge of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, see how you fare against our Curator’s Curious Conundrum and win some brilliant prizes.

Tickets: £2 per person. Book here

Licensed bar will be available from 6.30pm.


History of Magic Experience

Sunday 3rd December, 11am – 3pm

Join us for the launch of Harry Potter: A History of Magic Exhibition with  stalls, activities and special guests.

Suitable for all ages.


British Library Live Screenings

The Harry Potter Effect

Thursday 23rd November, 7pm

How have the Harry Potter books changed the landscape of children’s literature?

20 years on, journalist Nicolette Jones, author Katherine Rundell, Publishing Director of Children’s Books at Bloomsbury Rebecca McNally and social commentator Shami Chakrabati discuss the Harry Potter effect – on both literature and our cultural consciousness.


Women, Witches and Witchtrials

Tuesday 5th December, 6pm

This event includes Private View of the exhibition and Curator Tour

Anita Anand chairs a panel of expert historians including Margo Burns, the x10 great-granddaughter of one of key protagonists of the Salem Witch Trials, Malcolm Gaskill, and Ulinka Rublack as they discuss the history of witchcraft and gender roles within it.


More information about the exhibition and the accompanying events can be found here.

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Leeds Beckett & LIFF Launch Prize to Create Experimental Film

Aspiring filmmakers across the UK are being invited to submit their ideas for a new, short, experimental film as the Northern Film School and Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF) launch the first annual Louis Le Prince prize.

The Northern Film School, at Leeds Beckett University, will commission an experimental film from the winning proposal, offering a total prize equivalent of £1,000 in production and processing costs, access to equipment, and expert mentoring.

The winning film, which will be shot on 16mm celluloid film, will be presented at the 2018 Leeds International Film Festival.

The prize has been created to honour Louis Le Prince, the cinema pioneer internationally-recognised for filming the world’s first moving images in Leeds in 1888.

“Louis Le Prince’s discovery sparked a revolution that changed so much, and is still changing things today,” Robert Shail, Professor of Film in the Northern Film School, explained. “The digital revolution has changed things further but it has not destroyed celluloid – if anything it has focused attention on what it can do. Filmmakers think so too: Spielberg, Nolan, Abrams, Andrea Arnold, to name a few, all work in celluloid today.”

“Experimental film is a dynamic and essential element within the Northern Film School’s production slate, encouraging experimentation and risk-taking in our students’ filmmaking and expanding their understanding and appreciation of the potential of moving image,” said Annabelle Pangborn, Head of the Northern Film School. “We look forward to working closely with the winning filmmaker here at the Northern Film School, offering bespoke mentorship within our world class facilities.”

The competition is open to all UK-based filmmakers, including students and non-EU citizens, and applications should be submitted by the closing date of Monday 18 December. The winner will be announced in January, with the film being made between February and September 2018. For more information, and to submit an entry, please visit

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Palestinian Film Festival

This year’s Palestinian Film Festival will be the biggest yet with 11 films coming to Leeds, many for the first time between 13 November and 9 December.

Showing at eight different venues in and around Leeds ranging from the Town Hall to the Old Fire Station in Gipton, and from Otley to Wakefield, the Festival films highlight Palestinian history and politics but many will appeal to a wide audience, offering insights into unexpected aspects of everyday life: women footballers, surfers in Gaza, entering the Arab ‘X-factor’, moving a sofa, and stirring stories of resistance.

Many events are ‘pay-as-you-feel’ and so accessible to people on low incomes. At three events you can meet and talk to people who have visited Palestine and made films of what they’ve seen and at many events, Palestinian produce such as dates, olive oil, embroidery, ceramics will be on sale, making excellent gifts.

Women from the Leeds Republica football team who visited women footballers in the West Bank will be at the festival to discuss ‘Balls, Bulldozers and Barriers’, the film of their visit.

The festival launches with Gaza Surf Club (also part of the Leeds International Film Festival)

Despite strict sanctions, surfboards have been brought into Gaza offering a beleaguered community a small slice of freedom

Other highlights include:

Firefighters Under Occupation

“Our first enemy is the occupation – our second enemy is the fire”

The film-maker – a South Wales firefighter who travelled with a delegation of UK firefighters to the West Bank – will attend the showing, which is being held at the newly converted ‘Old Fire Station’ in Gipton.

The Occupation of the American Mind

“One of the most compelling and important documentaries in recent years” (John Pilger)

Narrated by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, explores Israel’s battle for the hearts, minds and dollars of Americans.

After the film Jewish Labour Party activist and former Reuters journalist Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi will discuss how and why a moral panic about ‘antisemitism’ has taken hold in the UK.

The Idol (with Otley Film Society)

A true, gripping and heart-warming story of a young man from Gaza who dreams of singing. Overcoming many challenges, he enters the Arab ‘X-factor’ – with a nail-biting finish.

For the full programme see




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Hyde Park Picture House Celebrates its 103rd Birthday and a Century of Local History



On Thursday 2nd November the Hyde Park Picture House celebrates its 103rd birthday. And to mark the occasion, together with the Yorkshire Film Archive and Leeds International Film Festival, it’s set to screen a an exciting mix of fascinating archive film, made in and around the city of Leeds over the past century.

From the kids at Ellerby Lane School, and the huge Children’s Day events in Roundhay Park, through to the 1980’s planning controversies of Leeds Market – the event offers a unique opportunity to experience some truly wonderful and rarely seen archive material, prepared and presented by the Yorkshire Film Archive.

As a city steeped in film history, with the first ever moving images shot on Leeds Bridge in 1888 by Louis Le Prince, this specially curated screening will take the audience on a trip through time with a rich and varied mix of footage revealing parts of Leeds long forgotten, to events still fresh in everyone’s memory.

Graham Relton, Archive Manager at the Yorkshire Film Archive, will also be on hand to provide introductions and context to the clips, which demonstrate just how much Leeds has changed and developed over the decades.

“As a Leeds lad the pressure is on but I’m delighted to say that this event is packed full with fantastic film heritage, taken from and about the city over the past one hundred years,” said Graham. “From home movie collections, which are steeped in local events, people and places – to award winning Yorkshire Television programmes – there is something for everyone. So whether you’re new to the city or have lived here all your life, the Leeds on Film screening is a wonderful window onto the history of Leeds, and fitting programme to bring to an historic venue like the Hyde Park Picture House!”

The Leeds on Film event also marks the beginning of the 31st Leeds International Film Festival, which from the 1st – 16th November will hold hundreds of screenings in venues right across the city, including the Hyde Park Picture House and Leeds Town Hall.

Leeds on Film, presented by the Yorkshire Film Archive, takes place at the Hyde Park Picture House on Thursday 02nd November, with performances at 3pm and 7pm. Tickets are £5 for adults and £3.50 for concessions, and can be booked via the Hyde Park Picture House website:

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New “INDI” Festival Geared at Young Film-makers & Fans


Independent Directions (the INDIs) is a brand new film festival taking place 14-16 July across venues in Leeds. The festival will include specialist screenings of films, including independent British and International cinema, industry sessions, panel discussions and other installations entirely curated for an audience of 16-30 year olds.




From a panel talk with professionals across the industry on how to get your foot in the door or advance your career, to UK premieres and previews of the best upcoming films such as provocative Australian LGBT* film Pulse, and Brakes, an improv bittersweet comedy starring Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding. The prestigious INDIs Awards takes centre-stage on Saturday 15 July at Headrow House, which champions up and coming filmmakers who are in with a chance of winning up to £750 worth of prizes.



Full programme:

Friday 14 July

Workshop: Studio12 Drop-In Studio 12 – 13:00-16:00 – Free

Networking: Meet + Greet The Reliance – 16:00-late – Free

Film: The Beguiled (cert. 15) Hyde Park Picture House – 17:30 + 20:30 –  £7.50 /£6 conc. / £5 (16-19)

Film: Spaceship Headrow House – 20:00 – £5 / £3


Saturday 15 July

Film: Random Acts Programme (cert. 15) Headrow House – 11:00-12:30 – Free

Exhibition: Viral Video TBA – 11:00-late – Free

Panel: A Career in the Film Industry Headrow House – 13:30-15:00 – Free

Film Preview: Queerama (cert. 15) Hyde Park Picture House – 14:00 – £6.50 / £5

INDIs Awards Headrow House – 16:00-19:00 – Free

Networking: Post-Awards Headrow House – 19:00-late – Free

Film Preview: Brakes (cert. 15 TBC) Headrow House – 20:00 – £6.50 / £5


Sunday 16 July

Workshop: Screenwriting The Reliance – 13:30-16:00 – Free

Film UK Premiere: Pulse (cert. 15 TBC) Hyde Park Picture House – 14:00 – £5 / £3


For further information on the INDIs check out their Facebook and Twitter.

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Dead Rat Orchestra Brings Hanging Back to Leeds



The Dead Rat Orchestra brings its acclaimed live film score to James Holcombe’s film Tyburnia to HEART in Headingley on 14th July.

It will be joined by singer Lisa Knapp, and Holcombe, who will perform the film live. Using multiple projectors and screens, locally sourced footage and stories, he will create a new ‘Directors Cut’ at each location – which will be staged as close to a place of execution as possible.

Shot on 8mm and 16mm film Tyburnia is both visually and thematically engrossing, demonstrating how, despite the gallows having long since vanished, we still stand in the shadow of its punitive ideology.


For over 700 years there was a site of execution at Tyburn in London. Those who fell foul of political, religious and judicial reforms were executed for public entertainment and instruction. These executions chart a history illustrating the twists and turns of monarchical and political whimsy, church and state, and the birth of capitalism. In the current climate of enforced austerity and social reform, Tyburnia explores the parallels between contemporary and historical notions of crime in relation to business and property, the spectacular nature of punishment, and the state’s use of the body as a site for political control.

Dead Rat Orchestra has created an evocative soundtrack using peculiar and rare folk songs. With its gritty, rough hewn interpretations and dextrous multi-instrumentalism, the three-piece performs songs composed by, or for, those condemned to ‘dance the Tyburn jig’. Many of these broadside ballads have become a staple of folk music, but here their power and resonance can be appreciated in a new light. DRO has also crafted contemporary versions of long forgotten songs in the luridly descriptive ‘thieves cant’ (a secret language used by thieves, beggars and hustlers of various disciplines).

Lisa Knapp

“Tyburnia is one of the most challenging and important projects we have undertaken”, said DRO’s Daniel Merrill. “We’ve been working on it for three years, and it keeps getting more intense. The addition of Lisa’s voice opens up new avenues of song, enabling us to really do justice to James’ extraordinary film.”

The band releases a special edition of its score featuring the original album packaged with new text and cuttings of the film stock used in the creation of Tyburnia (Antigen Records) on 13th July.

See a short sample video of Tyburnia from the Spill Festival is available here

Tickets from HEART (£10) on 0113 275 4548,      





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Green Film Festival Screening at Hyde Park This Week

This Thursday, May 4th, as part of the UK Green Film Festival, Hyde Park Picture House is screening ‘How To Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can’t Change’, the new film from Josh Fox.

Best known as the Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning writer/director of Gasland, Josh Fox is internationally recognized as a spokesperson and leader on the issue of fracking and extreme energy development.

‘How To Let Go of the World’… follows Josh to 12 countries to investigate the greatest threat our world has ever known in his deeply personal style. Traveling to six different continents, the film acknowledges that it may be too late to stop some of the worst consequences, but asks what is so deep within us that climate change can’t destroy?





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Found Footage Festival Returns to Hyde Park Picture House


Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher are bringing their Found Footage Festival back to the Hyde Park Picture House on Saturday 25th March, starting at 9pm.

Volume 8 of their latest live show, features newly unearthed VHS gems found at thrift stores, warehouses and dumpsters across the US.

Nick and Joe, whose credits include The Onion and The Late Show with David Letterman, began collecting found videotapes in 1991 after stumbling across a training video entitled, ‘Inside and Outside Custodial Duties’ at a McDonald’s in Wisconsin. Since then, they have compiled an impressive collection of strange, outrageous and profoundly stupid videos.

This year’s highlights include a collection of satanic panic videos from the 80s including ‘The Law Enforcement Guide to Satanic Cults’, outtakes and on-air bloopers from North Dakota local news, and a star-studded Desert Storm parade sponsored by Taco Bell. There will also be highlights from David Letterman’s Video Collection, inherited by the Found Footage Festival when he retired.

“Some of the funniest events we’ve ever held here are thanks to the brilliant Found Footage Festival”, says Wendy Cook, General Manager at the Hyde Park Picture House. “So we’re so excited to welcome Joe and Nick back to Leeds and cannot wait to see what hilarious gems they’ve unearthed for us this time around!”

Tickets are £12 and booking is advisable via 0113 275 2045 or



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Over-60s Film Project Premiers at Hyde Park Picture House


Still from ‘Do Not Disturb’

A series of original short films made by teams of over-60s in collaboration with filmmaking students at Leeds Beckett University will be premiered at the Hyde Park Picture House on Sunday 11 December.

Created as part of the 2016 CINAGE: Filmmaking for Active Ageing project, the four short films will be shown from 1–2.30pm followed by a question and answer session with the participants.

The films, which incorporate drama, animation and documentary, were produced over the course of 10 months. A total of 18 people over the age of 60 with no previous filmmaking experience took part in an immersive programme of specialist workshops in scriptwriting, directing, producing and editing at the Northern Film School at Leeds Beckett.


Still from ‘Papiyon Vole!’

With access to state-of-the-art equipment and learning environments, participants were asked to reflect on their own personal experiences through activities including performance and creative writing. Each participant used their reflections and life memories as a platform to develop and write short film screenplays. Four scripts were then selected by the group to move forward into film production with the films being shot at locations across West Yorkshire and, for the first time in the project, using green screen technology.

The four films to be screened are: Stormy Weather, a real-life drama set inside a hospice, capturing the connection between two daughters coming to terms with loss and grief; Do Not Disturb, a comedy set inside a fictitious retirement home, following the antics of three elderly residents and their relationship with the site manager who has eyes for the aerobics instructor; the drama Swans Are Not The Only Birds, which follows George, a retired widower as he attempts to get used to his newly-installed hearing aids whilst establishing a new life for himself in a different-sounding world; and Papiyon Vole!, a fantasy drama/animation which follows the story of Theo and a surprise magical journey of discovery in Martinique. A short documentary about the making of the CINAGE 2016 films will follow.


Still from ‘Stormy Weather’

Jennifer Granville, Principal Lecturer in the Northern Film School and CINAGE Project Leader, commented: “CINAGE started life as an EU-funded, later life learning project, between partners in Slovenia, Italy, the UK and Portugal. The original research was concerned with exploring the competencies consistent with a healthier, more active, later life. The project used film as a driver for the discussion of ageing themes and as a platform to empower senior individuals to tell their own stories of ageing through short film. That project was a huge success, with the films made by seniors being screened internationally and seeing members of the course embarking of MAs and PhDs in Filmmaking!


Still from ‘Swans are not the Only Birds’


“Now in its second year, we are delighted to present four original short films written and produced by over 60s with no previous filmmaking experience. Our group have received support by academics from across the School of Film, Music and Performing Arts and our Northern Film School students and alumni have been integral in the production of the four short films, as well as professional animation studio SHERBET, making CINAGE a truly intergenerational and collaborative learning experience. We are very excited about screening the films at the beautiful Hyde Park Picture House.”

Applications are now being accepted for two new cohorts of CINAGE for 2017: one in filmmaking and one in contemporary performance. For more information about both the screening and how to get involved with CINAGE 2017, please contact David Turner on 0113 812 3330 or email

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