In My Room

Film Confirmation – Zu Warriors From the Magic Mountain

Working on A Small Cinema you can come up against unforeseen challenges. For this project obtaining screening rights for our shortlist of Hong Kong classics proved especially difficult but after several long distance phone calls and email exchanges we can finally confirm tha our main feature for our Chinatown event will be Zu Warriors From the Magic Mountain (新蜀山剑侠).

The film follows Chinese soldiers in an ancient civil war who get caught up in a fantastical quest to save the universe. There quest unfolds with pioneering visual effects and lightening fast action sequences.

We are really delighted to confirm this feature as it had topped our shortlist. It was also fondly remembered by many of the people we approached throughout our research.

We are really looking forward to the 29th and hope you are as excited as we are.

Pagoda Centre

Last Thursday Re-Dock went to the Pagoda Centre to have an informal chat about our forthcoming A Small Cinema Chinatown. A group of dancers and young musicians took time out from practising and listened to our quick presentation about ASCC.

Aided by Ming Wang our translator for the afternoon, we asked the children and adults about their memories of cinema and what films they would like to appear beneath the Chinese arch. To our surprise some of the children had never been to the cinema before, whilst others had some fascinating stories to tell. Everybody at the meeting was given a memory slip and we had some great replies including ‘I remember when I went to watch Kung Fu Panda for my birthday. We had a popcorn fight all the way through. By the end of the film I didn’t even know what the film was about!’.

When we initiated the project we were concerned that choosing a Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee film may have been too obvious a choice, however after discussing the project with many different people the likes of ‘Police Story’ and ‘Drunken Master’ are repeatedly put forward. As for more contemporary cinema, Stephen Chows films ‘Kung Fu Hustle’ and ‘Shaolin Soccer’ have also been well regarded.

All of the research obtained on the day was extremely valuable and we felt really welcome at the Pagoda centre. The children from the youth orchestra had great enthusiasm for the project and although most of which may be a little young to watch the films on the night, we are looking at alternative ways of including them elsewhere. More on that to follow.

The details of which film we have selected will be announced in the next few days, so keep checking the blog for more information. We hope you are as excited about the project as we are.

Collecting Ideas and Memories

Throughout the history of A Small Cinema we have looked at ways of engaging with the local community where our projects have been based. For this project we are specifically looking for members of the Chinese community to get involved, and help us create a unique event.

On the 25th August we will be holding a drop in hour at the Pagoda Center on Henry Street at 1:30-2:30. We would like this day to be an opportunity for people to come in and chat to us about their memories of cinema, suggest their favourite films for us to screen, along with ideas for the event itself.

We have made some new memory tickets especially. If you get lost don’t hesitate to call me on 07876787070

Street Popcorn – China

I’m not sure if health and safety would allow us to do this in Liverpool but it looks and sounds incredible.

A Small Cinema in Chinatown

We are delighted to announce that we are hosting a special outdoor film event beneath the iconic Chinese arch in Liverpool. Re-Dock and ANDfest are joining together to screen a Hong Kong classic (TBA) in the heart of chinatown.

We’ll also be showing a special selection of shorts looking at Hong Kong and liverpool by local and international film-makers.

And of course, in the true Small Cinema style, we will be collecting experiences and ideas about cinema from the community.

The event is free, and begins at 8pm with a screening of shorts. The main feature will start at 9pm. If you would like to submit any memories or just genrally get in touch about the project then please email me on :

Grand Opening! Rotherham

The Grand Opening of A Small Cinema in Rotherham took place on the 21st April 2011 at the Old Market Gallery, and was attended by the Mayor of Rotherham.

A full set of the photos is viewable here on our Flickr page:

A Small Cinema – Event Timetable

Thursday 21st April

Come down and join us as the Rotherham Mayor cuts the red tape at 6:30pm and our box office opens for business. We will be screening archive footage as showcasing local shops in our specially commissioned trailers. Our main features will be ‘Hearts of Steel’ documenting memories of the Rotherham steel industry, ‘But They Like Cricket, Don’t They?’ challenging racism in football and ‘Georgia’s Angel’ a teenagers struggle with choice and destiny.

Friday 22nd April

Join us at 6:30pm when will will be joined by Small Cinema founders Sam Meech and John Oshea. They will be joined in conversation by Old Market Gallery curator Peter Martin discussing the project and the value of local cinemas. After an intermission we have two UK premiers of short documentaries ‘The Bowler’ and ‘Flotsam and Jetsam’. This will be followed by our main feature ‘Breaking Rocks’ which tells the story of Jail Guitar Doors, Billy Bragg’s independent initiative which aims to provide instruments for prison inmates to use music as a means of rehabilitation.

Saturday 23rd April

Come down early for the Kids-screen between 10-12am as we have a jam packed morning of classic cartoons and animation, after which Unravel, a 16mm workshop, will take over the length of the gallery from 2-5pm. This will be followed at 6pm by the first ever Market-Screen a showreel of artists films curated by the Old Market Gallery featuring works by Bob Levene, Jerome Harrington, Jasmine Johnson, Rebecca Ounstead, Faye Green and one more to be confirmed. Our evening feature, starting at 8pm, will be ’Dole Not Cole’ which tells the story of the 1984-85 Miner’s Strike from the perspective of the striking miners.

Local Shops Project

In March we also approached local filmmaker Sam Ratcliffe-Pinder to make a short feature about local shops in Rotherham. Our intention was to show these as adverts before our film screenings to connect with the local community and support local trade. Sam recruited Sarah Glassner to conduct the interviews and they started filming at the local Bridal Shop opposite the gallery. Sarah asked them to talk briefly about their business, what they like about Rotherham and what shop we should go and visit next. This began an unexpected passage through Rotherham with each business determining the next chapter in the film. This project will be screened in parts before our main features throughout the event.

A Film-makers Perspective

Cinema is a shared experience – you never go to the cinema as an individual. There is the common expectation of the film you watch, the hushed silence and nervous giggles as the theatre grows dark; a glance back to see the projection booth aglow with stories to display; the rustle of sweet packets and then the booming fanfare of 20th Century Fox, or the roar of the MGM lion, or the more sedate lady with the lamp that tells you this is a Columbia Pictures presentation. Whatever it is you go to watch – Disney’s cartoons, CGI from Pixar, the latest action flick from James Cameron, science fiction from Spielberg or old classics about love that never was or stories of peace and war – it all imparts the same little bit of magic that sets the pulse racing, the imagination flowing, the heart beating a little more quickly.

The cinema experience began for me when I was just four years old, at the old Scala picture house on Corporation Street. The film was Star Wars and I had pestered my father to take me all throughout the summer of 1977 until the picture’s release in the UK around Christmas time. The experience has shaped me since – in terms of the kinds of films I then grew up watching; in terms of the desire to be in the same seat as George Lucas, directing great and inspiring stories; and in terms of appreciating just what the cinema experience is.

As a film-maker I find myself with the stories to tell and cinema with its big projection and polished sound is the best platform. Since 2008 through Eye Films I have been building a team of accomplished and experienced film-makers to share those stories with the wider world, and to develop a real team of dedicated professionals operating out of Rotherham and South Yorkshire. We have some great projects ahead and are delighted our latest short film, Georgia’s Angel, is to be shown in Rotherham, where a significant part of it was filmed.

Retelling a classic story in a modern context, Georgia’s Angel is a film about choice and destiny. A vulnerable and troubled young teen, played brilliantly by Sophie Platts, leaves home and meets a grandfatherly old man on a railway station before realising that choices have consequences and making the right one in life isn’t always easy.

Jon Rosling