phone mail2 facebook twitter play whatsapp
A Guide to Unusual Film Screenings

A Guide to Unusual Film Screenings

12 May 2017 Will Rathbone

Escaping the confines of the average cinema – not that we here at London Calling don’t love our local ‘plex – and experiencing a film in a different way is a real treat. From festivals inventively programming rare and unusual movies, to atmospheric settings and orchestral accompaniments, we’ve rounded up the quirkiest and most varied film festivals and screenings out there.

Herne Hill Free Film Festival

Taking place throughout May, this free film festival features cult classics and modern masterpieces alike – situated in suitably atmospheric and site-specific locations. Highlights include the outstanding Moonlight at Brixton Lido, Little Shop of Horrors at the South London Botanical Institute and La La Land at Herne Hill Velodrome. What’s more – they’re all free! Hurrah.
 
Herne Hill Free Film Festival runs until May 29 throughout Herne Hill and surrounding areas. Entry is free.
 
East End Film Festival


Image Credit: Tim Green Smith

Now in its 17th year, the annual East End Film Festival is a popular and wide-reaching event held in esteem by the industry as well as us ordinary cinephiles. Taking place every weekend throughout June, the programme encompasses outdoor screenings, premieres of politically charged new work, shorts and cross-media. Urgent Syrian war doc City of Ghosts, SE London-based youth drama Butterfly Kisses and graphic novel-esque S/T/R/A/Y/S, about life in austerity Britain, all tickle our fancy.  
 
The East End Film Festival takes place from June 2 till July 2 throughout East London. Prices vary.
 
The Adventure Travel Film Festival


Image Credit: Altabev Photography

A must for anyone who has ever caught the travel-bug, this celebration of exploration takes place over a weekend in August. It’s very much a DIY affair, with founders Austin Vince and Lois Pryce taking inspiration from the wealth of independent travel documentaries amateur adventurers have created over the years. Highlights from this year include Rowed Trip, which follows a married couple’s 2008 cycle/rowing trip from John O’Groats to pre-war Syria, and 1934’s River of Death which tells the inspiring tale of Alhoa Wanderwell, a woman who travelled 80 countries and 6 continents during the early 20th century.
 
The Adventure Travel Film Festival takes place from August 11-13 in Mill Hill. Day/weekend tickets are available from £29.
 
Doc ‘n’ Roll Film Festival

Although the main event takes place in the autumn, the Doc ‘n’ Roll team programme screenings at various London cinemas all year round. Celebrating the music documentary, current highlights include Don’t Forget Your Music – a film following breakthrough soul star Gregory Porter over a four-year period. Keep an eye on the website for updated screenings.
 
Doc ‘n’ Roll Film Festival takes place all year round throughout London and the UK. Ticket prices vary.
 
The Barbican Centre

The Barbican hosts a rolling line-up of interesting and off-piste film seasons throughout the year. Current highlights include Shubbak 2017, celebrating contemporary Arab cinema, and Cinema Matters: The Battle for Representation, where you can see films from minorities and the marginalised such as Daughters of the Dust – an inspiration for Beyonce’s Lemonade. For sci-fi fans, their series of Sci-Fi Sundays include little-known movies like George Lucas’ dystopian debut feature THX 1138 whilst their Outdoor Cinema summer series features sci-fi classics such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and TRON showing in the Sculpture Court.
 
Shubbak 2017: A Window on Contemporary Arab Culture is on from July 4-9.
Cinema Matters: The Battle for Representation is on from May 2 – June 21.
Sci-Fi Sundays are on from June 18 – August 20.
Outdoor Cinema is on from August 25-27.
Ticket prices vary, and all take place at the Barbican Centre.
   
 
Orchestral Accompaniment


Image Credit: Paul Sanders

The feeling of watching a movie with live orchestral accompaniment comes highly recommended. The power of an orchestra can give your favourite film – even if you’ve seen it a hundred times already – a whole new life. Soundtrack is such an integral part of the best movies, and there’s nothing quite like experiencing the two in tandem. The Southbank Centre’s Film Scores Live has a Hitchcock season throughout June, whilst the Royal Albert Hall’s Films in Concert series is currently showing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, with Jaws and Fantasia later in the year.
 
Film Scores Live is on at the Southbank Centre from June 23-25. Prices vary.
Films in Concert is at the Royal Albert Hall throughout the year. Prices vary.

 
Backyard Cinema

Opening in June, Backyard Cinema’s Miami Beach setting combines an indoor beach with a wide selection of crowd-pleasing films. From Back to the Future to Clueless via Scarface and Mrs Doubtfire, there’s something for everyone here. Plus you can dig your toes in the sand whilst sipping a Piña Colada and marvelling at the fact that you’re still in Borough. An indoor, urban beach cinema - only in London, eh? 
 
Backyard Cinema: Miami Beach is currently programming from June 2-25 in Borough. Ticket prices vary.

Tell us what you think

You may also like

Top 5 Wine Bars in London

Top 5 Wine Bars in London

We’re all about the grape at London Calling, so we thought we’d round up the city’s Top 5 wine bars for you. So, whether you’re savvy with…

An interview with Thomasina Miers

An interview with Thomasina Miers

Thomasina Miers has had a life-long relationship with food. She spent the first part of her career in various jobs – from journalism to digital consultancy…

The Best Family Events in London this June

The Best Family Events in London this June

There’s a buzz in the air, and London is starting to come alive after a period of hibernation, so it’s a great month to take the…

Ricardo Ribeiro at Songlines Encounters Festival

Ricardo Ribeiro at Songlines Encounters Festival

A star in his native Portugal, Ricardo Ribeiro is one of the best known fado singers of his generation. His haunting and melodic vocals are…

Win two tickets to an outdoor cinema screening of your choice!

Pop Up Screens - Win two tickets to an outdoor cinema screening of your choice!

We have three pairs of tickets to give away to a Pop Up Screens outdoor film screening of your choice.

This Week June 5-11

This Week June 5-11

There’s plenty to put a smile on your face this week in London. Literally, in the case of Dr. Mark Williamson. He runs Action for Happiness,…

Morning Gloryville Sky High Solstice

Morning Gloryville Sky High Solstice

An sunrise rave at the top of The Shard

An interview with filmmaker Charlie Lyne

An interview with filmmaker Charlie Lyne

London Calling speaks to filmmaker Charlie Lyne about his new short film, Fish Story, as well as his creative process, his previous films and why…

The Last Ever Secret Garden Party

The Last Ever Secret Garden Party

Spring 2017 brought with it one of the UK’s most important – and upsetting – announcements for the UK festival scene. The great institution that is the…

This Week June 19-25

This Week June 19-25

The big news this week is the start of the 2017 Greenwich and Docklands International Festival – three weekends of outdoor performance and theatre from international…

Most popular

Win a 3 Course Dinner, Cocktail & River Cruise For 2 People

London Day Out - Win a 3 Course Dinner, Cocktail & River Cruise For 2 People

See a different side of London with an exciting and unlimited cruise down the Thames, followed by a delightful meal.
Win four tickets to a Dustin Hoffman screening plus cocktails!

BFI - Win four tickets to a Dustin Hoffman screening plus cocktails!

Your chance to win four tickets to a Dustin Hoffman film screening, with two cocktails, throughout June/July.
Win Cream Cakes and Cocktails for Two!

Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour - Win Cream Cakes and Cocktails for Two!

Indulge yourself at this sumptuous London spot perfect for gin lovers.
Win Dinner for 2 and Entry to Gilded Interiors

Wallace Collection - Win Dinner for 2 and Entry to Gilded Interiors

We're giving away dinner for two in the beautiful Wallace Collection Restaurant, with entry to their Gilded Interiors exhibition
Win two weekend passes to a celebration of Japanese culture

HYPER JAPAN - Win two weekend passes to a celebration of Japanese culture

Tobacco Dock hosts a weekend of food, music, performance and more
Win a copy of the artist’s new book Arctic Light!

David Bellamy - Win a copy of the artist’s new book Arctic Light!

David Bellamy's new book documents his travels round the Arctic though watercolour
Win Tickets a Fringe Comedy Show

The Pleasance - Win Tickets a Fringe Comedy Show

Catch Nina Conti, Tim Key, Jayde Adams, Geins Family Giftshop, Adam Riches & more great comedy at The Pleasance this summer.
BRICKLIVE 2017

BRICKLIVE 2017

Get ready for the return of the fantastic BRICKLIVE this summer - on tour for 2017!
An interview with comedian Tom Green

An interview with comedian Tom Green

We talk Trump, comedy and counter-culture with Tom Green

Your inbox deserves a little culture!!