Saved events

Press room

Barbican Cinema March 2024

This March, the Barbican offers a bold and diverse international cinema programme, welcoming back festivals including the Oska Bright Film Festival, with work from learning disabled and autistic directors; the Human Rights Watch Film Festival; and a screening of La Chimera from the Glasgow Film Festival.

Oscar Week ® 2024 also returns this month, bringing a slice of Hollywood glamour to the cinemas. Audiences will get to enjoy the films nominated in the Best Picture and International Feature Film categories, as well as the Animated and Live Action shorts categories at this year’s 96th Academy Awards. 

Coinciding with International Women’s Dayon Fri 8 Mar, Barbican Cinema presents Disruption: Contemporary Shorts by Iranian Women Filmmakers + ScreenTalk with Mania Akbari, a selection of six short films by women directors based in Iran, which question its deeply patriarchal society and put the experiences of women and children centre stage. 

Women filmmakers will also be celebrated in the March Family Film Club programme, with a line-up of films made exclusively by women. This includes Disney’s Turning Red, the first London screening of The Exploits of Moominpappa; and a specially curated International Women’s Day shorts programme. 

Experiments in Film showcases the work of Australian filmmaker Stephen Cummins (1960-94). Very rarely screened in the UK, Cummins’ short films portray beautiful and sometimes provocative depictions of gay men in Australia in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Further highlights in March include the fourth and final screening in the Emerging Film Curators series, Changing with the Tides, a collection of short films documenting the dramatic changes in fishing industries and communities over the last seven decades. Programmed by emerging film curators Aryan Tauqeer Khawaja, Sophiya Sian and Tony Yang, the evening will also feature live poetry readings and interviews with guest speakers. 

New East Cinema presents the topical In the Rearview + ScreenTalk with director Maciek Hamela. This fly-on-the-wall film follows the journey of Ukrainians as they are forced to flee their homes and drive into the unknown. Senior Community Screenings this month include Girl, the feature debut from Adura Onashile, and the Nigerian film Mami Wata.


Festivals, Seasons and Special Events


Regular Programme strand


Event Cinema 


Festivals, Seasons and Special Events

Glasgow Film Festival: La Chimera
Italy, France & Switzerland 2023, Dir Alice Rohrwacher, 133 mins

Sun 3 Mar, 5.20pm
Cinema 1 
A joyous, masterful work of folk magic” (Sight & Sound), La Chimera is a captivating fable of lost love. This new film from Alice Rohrwacher (Happy As Lazzaro) was critically lauded after its Cannes premiere and follows a melancholic British archaeologist caught up in the illegal trafficking of ancient finds.

Riparbella, Tuscany, early ’80s. An Englishman in a grimy linen suit, Arthur (Josh O’Connor) has just been released from prison. Yearning for his old lover, Beniamina, the daughter of an ageing local aristocrat (Isabella Rossellini), he falls in with a group of tombaroli (tomb robbers), a rowdy, Fellini-esque crew of twentysomethings who claim to work as farmers and entertainers, but instead pilfer the area’s ancient burial sites for Etruscan earthenware and ornaments to sell on the black market.

Romantic and wayward La Chimera is an ode to the power and fragility of precious artefacts, and a cautionary tale about how easily they may be lost.

Disruption: Contemporary Shorts by Iranian Women Filmmakers + ScreenTalk with Curator Mania Akbari and special guests, hosted by Tiara Sahar Ataii

Dir various 
Thu 7 Mar, 6.15pm
Cinema 2 

Set against the backdrop of Iran's deeply patriarchal society, these films serve as a much-needed disruption. At the heart of this programme, two interwoven themes emerge: the experiences of women and children.

From the delicate and fragmented recollections of childhood memories to depictions of women within diverse power dynamics, this collection beckons viewers to engage with emotions often overlooked in the tapestry of everyday life.
Through the lenses of these filmmakers, the inner workings of a system that fosters vulnerability in the lives of children and women are laid bare.

Curated by Pegah Pasalar, Sadaf Sadri and Cryptofiction.

The Zoo 
Iran 2022, Dir Nafiseh Zare, 17 min 

While at the zoo, Ranaa's mother reveals that her father has left them. As they stroll past empty animal cages, Ranaa reflects on the significance of absence.

Iran 2021, Dir Payvand Eghtesadi, 10 min 

8-year-old Pouya disappears until his aunt discovers him hiding under the bed, and she uncovers the reason why he has panicked. 


Iran 2020, Dir Sepide Berenji, 14 min 

A young girl and her family are forced to evacuate their home, but she may have found another way out.

The Region

Iran 2021, Dir Asma Ebrahimzadegan, 23 min 

A film is in production but the shoot is not going well. The lead actress is nervous and must fight for her creative freedom.

Iran; Second Day

Iran 2021, Dir Kiana Montajabi, 15 min 

A girl waits to be picked up from school but her mother never arrives.


Iran 2022, Dir Samaneh Yadollahi, 15 min 

In Iran, an elderly woman experiences hair loss. However, her husband forbids her from entering the kitchen, fearing her hair might fall into the food…

Oscar® Week 2024
Fri 8 Mar – Thu 14 Mar
Cinema 2 & 3

The red carpet will be rolled out in the foyers and film fans will have the chance to catch up with this year’s nominees – on the big screen – at the 96th Academy Awards.
Full programme to be announced Thu 1 Feb

Oska Bright Film Festival
Mon 11 Mar, 6.30pm
Cinema 3 
A pick n mix of some of the highlights from Oska Bright Film Festival, the world's biggest international film festival featuring work by learning disabled and autistic directors. The screening is a great way to see a little bit of everything and celebrate Oska Bright Film Festival 2024.
Full programme info:

Human Rights Watch Film Festival, London

Thu 14 - Fri 22 Mar
Cinema 1, 2 & 3

Human Rights Watch Film Festival returns to London with a programme of 10 vital films - with four premiere screenings at the Barbican including Opening and Closing nights. 

The festival highlights human rights issues across the world with screenings accompanied by live Q&As with filmmakers, film participants, Human Rights Watch researchers and advocates allowing deeper understanding about the films’ subjects and themes. 
Full programme to be announced on Thu 8 Feb.

Emerging Film Curators Series 
Changing with the Tides (12A*) + live poetry

Sun 24 Mar 3.30pm
Cinema 2

Changing with the Tides is an immersive journey across coastal communities in the UK and beyond, traces technological, social and economic changes in the fishing industry and how it has affected the workers that partake in it. Beginning with the poetic rhythms of traditional swordfish-hunting in Vittorio De Seta’s The Age of Swordfish (1954), the programme traces how cinematic portrayals of the lives of fishermen have been affected by the globalisation of the industry across three key time periods.

Beginning on the coasts of 1950s Sicily and ending on the Northeast shores of Scotland in 2021, these powerful short films are accompanied by live poetry readings and guest speakers. Curated by Aryan Tauqeer KhawajaSophiya SianTony Yang.

The Age of Swordfish

Italy 1954, Dir Vittorio De Seta, 11 min

In this exhilarating and evocative documentary, fishermen hunt swordfish from the shores of Sicily.

The Last Fisherman

UK 1958, 17 min
Aberdeenshire’s last line fisherman, Norman Grant, demonstrates his skills and tough, exhausting work in the last days of a dying industry.

Trawling North Sea: Dicketa, 1974 (extract)

UK 1974, Paul Meen, 5 min

Super 8 colour film offering a unique and personal view of fishermen’s lives, filmed on board a North Sea Trawler by a Lowestoft skipper.

The Bayview

UK 2021, Dir Daniel Cook, 18 min
On the Northeast Coast of Scotland, an extraordinary family have turned a previously derelict hotel into a place of respite for international fishermen when they come to land.

To view the full press release: 

Regular Programme Strands

Family Film Club

Turning Red (PG)
US 2022 Dir Domee Shi 100min

Sat 2 Mar, 11am

Cinema 2 
This joyous Pixar creation is based on director Domee Shi’s own upbringing in Toronto and is a glorious journey back to 2002 complete with boy bands, grunge and Tamagotchi!

Age recommendation: 7+

International Women’s Day Shorts Programme (U*)
Dir various, approx 60 min
Sat 9 Mar, 11 am

Cinema 2
For International Women’s Day this week, Susie Evans, the Family Film Club Curator, is putting together  a line-up of short films all directed by female filmmakers from around the world. This is an ideal way to introduce young ones to international cinema in bite-sized chunks.

Full programme to be announced in late Feb. Age recommendation: 5+

Encanto (PG)
US 2021, Dirs Jared Bush, Byron Howard and Charise Castro Smith, 102min

Sat 16 Mar, 11am
Cinema 2

With triumphant songs from Lin Manuel Miranda and peerless Oscar-winning Disney animation, this story is a heart-warming adventure for all the family. 

Age recommendation: 6+

Superworm + The Smeds and the Smoos (U*)
UK 2021 Dirs. Jac Hamman & Sarah Screimeour 25min 

UK 2022 Dirs. Samantha Cutler & Daniel Snaddon 25min

Sat 23 Mar, 11am 
Cinema 2 

Animated by the legendary Magic Light Pictures – who have won countless awards for their work – and featuring the voice talent of Sally Hawkins, Bill Bailey, Meera Syal and Olivia Colman – to name but a few, this rhyme-filled double bill is a gentle introduction to the big screen experience for young film fans.

Age recommendation: 3+ 

10am Free pre-film workshop
Sat 30 Mar

Come along and get crafty before the film with our free making activity inspired by the morning’s film. 

The Exploits of Moominpappa (U*) + pre film workshop
Poland/Finland 2023, Dir Ira Carpelan, 74min
Sat 30 Mar, 11am 
Cinema 2 

Family Film Club is  delighted to present the first London screening of this gentle story from Tove Jannson’s Moomin series. Moominpappa is the star of this story as he regales the audience with tales of his adventurous youth – escaping an orphanage, meeting with an inventor, finding a ghost and sailing a boat out on the ocean.

Age recommendation: 4+

Senior Community Screenings 
Welcoming 60+ cinema goers to watch the latest new releases every other Monday morning. 

Mami Wata (12A)
Nigeria 2023, Dir C.J ‘Fiery’ Obasi, 147 min
Mon 4 Mar, 11am 
Cinema 2
A harmonious and matriarchal ocean village comes under threat when spiritual beliefs and traditions come into question. Said to be championing a new wave of Nigerian filmmaking, C.J “Fiery” Obasi’s third feature film presents as a futuristic fable which addresses inter-generational tensions and challenges the viewer to think about the role of tradition in modern society.

Girl (12A) 
UK 2023, Dir Adura Onashile, 87 min
Mon 18 Mar, 11am 
Cinema 2

Set in Glasgow, the feature debut by Adura Onashile sees a young mother forced to face the truth of her past life as her daughter approaches adolescence and strives for new freedom.

New East Cinema: In the Rearview (15*) + ScreenTalk with director Maciek Hamela (via Zoom), hosted by BBC World Service journalist Kateryna Khinkulova (on stage).

Poland/Ukraine & France 2023, Dir Maciek Hamela, 86 mins
Tue 5 Mar, 6.20pm
Cinema 3

In February 2022, days after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Polish director Maciek Hamela bought a van to help evacuate civilians in neighbouring Ukraine. At some point during his many trips to the Polish border and back, the director-turned-driver, along with friend and cinematographer Piotr Grawender, decided to document the people getting in his van in search of safety.

The hundreds of hours of footage, skilfully edited into 86 minutes, amount to a humane portrait of Ukrainians in crisis where compassion, joy, and sometimes even humour, still find their way amidst the horror.

A composed driver determined to help, Hamela’s directorial role always comes second. Yet, the contained observational documentary is a compelling cinematic achievement whose artistic virtues, from stunning cinematography to brilliant editing and score, are on par with the powerful stories it documents.

Experiments in Film: The Gay Short Films of Stephen Cummins (18*) + intro by Cinema Curator Alex Davidson
Wed 27 Mar, 6.30pm 
Cinema 2 
Discover the beautiful and haunting shorts of Australian filmmaker Stephen Cummins (1960-94) who portrayed beautiful, yet sometimes provocative depictions of gay men in the 1980s and early 1990s.

These nine shorts by Australian filmmaker, curator and artist Stephen Cummins, newly digitised and restored by the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia and Cummins’ collaborator Simon Hunt, offer an evocative, provocative depiction of gay male lives in the 1980s and early 90s. From early student films to his later, mature works, which often embrace dance and movement, this retrospective celebrates the works of a great queer talent, whose films are almost unknown in the UK.

Highlights include Resonance, his award-winning short exploring the aftermath of a homophobic attack, featuring two gorgeous dance sequences, the unashamedly saucy Elevation, climaxing in a sex scene and a shower of champagne, and the joyous Body Corporate, in which a construction worker trips the light fantastic – in heels.

Co-presented with the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.


Australia 1991, Dir Stephen Cummins, Simon Hunt 11, min

An act of homophobic violence has a profound effect on the men involved, culminating in a beautiful moment of sexual intimacy and two extraordinary dance performances.

Australia 1984,  Dir Stephen Cummins, 5 min

A haunting snapshot of homoerotic passion.

Blue Movie
Australia 1984, Dir Stephen Cummins, 3 min

Shadows, whispers and a dizzying dance.


Australia 1985, Dir Stephen Cummins, 5 min
A slow pan around a room becomes increasingly unnerving.

Le Corps Imagé
Australia 1987, Dir Stephen Cummins, 10 min

Classical Greek male torsos merge into ambiguous gender zones as they are projected onto performers’ bodies.

Australia 1989, Dir Stephen Cummins, 10 min

Two men kiss passionately in an elevator, to the disapproval of members of the public, leading to an unapologetic celebration of gay sex.

Taste the Difference

Australia1989, Dir Stephen Cummins , 1 min
This very short film of two men kissing was banned for being too hot for TV.

Body Corporate
Australia 1993, Dir Stephen Cummins,10 min
A construction worker breaks into a delightful dance number in kitten heels, despite the taunts of a hostile choreographer.

The HIV Game Show

Australia 1995, Dir Stephen Cummins (posthumous) with Simon Hunt and Brad Miller, 2 min

A wry commentary on the treatment of people with HIV, adapted from an uncompleted film by Cummins.

Relaxed Screenings

Relaxed screenings take place in an environment that is specially tailored for a neurodiverse audience, as well as those who find a more informal setting beneficial.

Pay What You Can Screenings
Every Friday one of the new release film screenings is priced Pay What You Can
This is for customers where ticket price may be a barrier, or for those who want to help others enjoy a visit to the cinema; audience members are invited to pay between £3-£15. 

Event Cinema

MET Opera in HD: La Forza Del Destino (12A)

Sat 16 Mar, 5pm, Cinema 1

NT Live: The Motive and the Cue (15)
Thu 21 Mar, 7pm, Cinema 1

MET Opera Live in HD: Romeo et Juliette (12A)
Sat 23 Mar, 4.55pm, Cinema 1

Royal Opera House Live: Madama Butterfly (12A)

Sun 31 Mar, 2pm, Cinema 3