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Barbican Cinema in September: In the Cinema, On Demand, In Leytonstone

Barbican Cinema in September:
In the Cinema, On Demand, In Leytonstone

  • Barbican Cinema One reopens on 4 September
  • Cinema On Demand features Inner States: A series of first-person films including a free-to-stream programme of shorts made by international filmmakers during lockdown.
  • Leytonstone Loves Film 2020 returns with reimagined programme, small-scale film screenings, online Watch Parties, talks and workshops.

This September, Barbican Cinema is delighted to present a wealth of cinematic excellence in Cinema One, on Cinema on Demand, and at Leytonstone Loves Film, which is produced by the Barbican in partnership with local residents and organisations and the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

On Friday 4 September, the Barbican’s Cinema 1 is reopening its doors to the public with a 35mm presentation of Christopher Nolan’s widely anticipated Tenet. Audiences will be welcomed back to one of London’s most popular cinemas in the knowledge that safety and enjoyment are at the heart of the experience. Reduced seating will allow audiences to socially distance at two metres and fewer screenings overall will enable a regular deep-clean of the auditorium. All audiences must wear a face covering in all areas of the Barbican. Cinema tickets will be available to purchase through the Barbican website and must be shown to staff at Barbican Silk Street entrance. Cinemas 2&3 are currently undergoing refurbishment work and will reopen later in the year.

Gali Gold, Head of Barbican Cinema said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming audiences back to Cinema 1 in September to rediscover the thrill of experiencing film on the big screen in the company of others,. The safety of our audiences and staff remains our top priority and we know from the feed-back left by visitors to the Barbican Gallery and Conservatory that audiences are happy and secure with the measures we’ve put in place. Alongside our Cinema 1 programme, we’re continuing to bring our rich film programme to audiences through our newly launched digital platform and through our continuing collaboration with Beyond Barbican for Leytonstone Loves Film, working closely with local residents and organisations.”

Additional safety measures in place at the Barbican include one-way routes through the building and sanitisation points. Access to all venues will be via the main entrance on Silk Street with lifts available for those who need them.

Detailed visitor information will be available on the Barbican’s website.

To support the Barbican in reopening and offering the widest possible audience access to culture and creativity, donations can be made at

Audiences will continue to be able to access Barbican-curated films from home or on the go through the recently launched Cinema On Demand programme. From 11-24 September the streaming service will include Inner States: A series of first-person films, featuring five pivotal documentaries each expressing an interiority rarely achieved on film, plus Lockdown States an extraordinary set of short videos made by international filmmakers since the beginning of the pandemic.

All the films in this series, co-curated by Gali Gold, Head of Cinema, Barbican and Alisa Lebow, Professor of Screen Media, University of Sussex, offer a journey to the inner sanctum of the self: be it the experience of isolation, displacement, confinement, mental illness, creativity amidst political censorship, or just the simplicity of keen observation from a unique vantage point.

In David Achkar’s exquisite and rarely seen Allah Tantou (God’s Will) the filmmaker imagines his father’s experience in 1968, when he was disappeared and imprisoned in Guinea’s notorious Camp Boiro prison; in Là Bas, Chantal Akerman limits herself to the tiny interior of a rented apartment in Tel Aviv, restricting her view almost entirely to what she can see through the matchstick window blinds; Raed Andoni’s probing Fix Me is an extended meditation on what it means to be an individual—let alone an artist with a distinctive vision—in the midst of a collective struggle. Jonathan Caouette’s psychedelic, one-of-a-kind Tarnation could rival any experimental fiction film and yet, its destabilising power resides in its firm grounding in lived experience of a dysfunctional upbringing; and, in This Is Not A film, filmmaker Jafar Panahi channelled his creative drive inwards when he was placed under house arrest and banned from filmmaking, to create a personal and cinematic declaration of dissent.

The free to stream programme of shorts, Lockdown States features work from Beirut based filmmaker Carol Mansour who reveals both sides of lockdown, with its liberating and its devastating effects, and Kashmiri filmmakers, Shahzaib Naik & S M Seraj Ali, who consider the restrictions of lockdown alongside the military crackdown they’ve experienced since August 2019. For acclaimed documentarist, Brett Story, the most unexpected aspect of this unusual time is the way it has prompted people to internalise official and medical restrictions to the point of being moved to police others’ behaviours. New York student and call-centre worker, Taylor-Alexis Gillard emphasises the absurdly humorous aspects of the mind-numbing isolation produced by lockdown, and from Canada, a broad range of filmmakers have been invited by veteran film programmer Stacey Donen to participate in a capsule collection of short films, Greetings From Isolation.

Barbican Cinema on Demand is supported by the BFI FAN Resilience Fund, awarding National Lottery funding, and the Mayor of London's Culture at Risk business support fund.

From Wednesday 16 September to Sunday 4 October 2020, Leytonstone Loves Film will celebrate film culture and Leytonstone’s exciting cinema community through a reimagined programme of small-scale film screenings, online Watch Parties, talks and workshops.

The free community-powered programme will bring people together through movies and storytelling in a safe and enjoyable way and provide a platform to showcase the work of filmmakers, industry creatives and cinema enthusiasts in the local area.

Some highlights of the programme include smartphone filmmaking workshops with E17 Films, a local filmmaking project with Stow Film Lounge; a collection of 20 short films programmed by Women Over Fifty Film Festival (WOFFF), Cheap Cuts Doc Fest and Forest Film Club; a series of family-friendly digital workshops produced by Barbican Family Film Club; as well as a series of online Watch Parties hosted by We Are Parable, Sign For All CommunityLast Frame Film Club and many other partners. Since not everyone will be able to attend in person, Leytonstone Loves Film plans to work with local film exhibitors to bring a series of small film screenings to care homes, residential homes, community centres and neighbourhood locations to share a cinematic moment in some unexpected places.

Notes to Editors
For further information contact:
Ian Cuthbert, Communications Manager, Cinema 
[email protected] / 07980 925 352

Sarah Harvey, Barbican Cinema Press Consultant
[email protected] / 07958 597426

Ticket prices:

Cinema 1:
Tenet £12 standard / £9.60 members, Young Barbican £5

Inner States: A series of first-person films

Booking information for Tenet:

All features: £6, Members: £4.80, Young Barbican - £4
Lockdown States: free

Leytonstone Loves Film: free