Global film scene coming to Wigan arts hub

The image from Magnolia Pictures depicts a scene from "The Square"
The image from Magnolia Pictures depicts a scene from "The Square"

Film fans in Wigan will be able to explore the world of cutting-edge cinema as a group of culture fans bring an exciting new project to town.

Leigh Film Society is launching a programme of international films next year to be screened at top local arts hub The Old Courts.

The not-for-profit group wants to offer movie enthusiasts from the borough something completely different to the multiplexes, with unusual arthouse films and award winners from the major European festivals on the circuit being brought to the town centre.

Leigh Film Society is also running a project with Cross Street Arts called Inspired By Film and last week launched both that scheme and the international programme by screening Swedish art world satire The Square.

Leigh Film Society development director Elizabeth Costello said: “We’re really excited about starting a new venture at The Old Courts which will run alongside Inspired By Film with Cross Street Arts.

“It will feature films from around the world and we are thrilled to bring Leigh Film Society to Wigan.

“The future is exciting and we are really looking forward to the new challenges ahead with film.”

The audience at The Old Courts last week got a sneak preview of what to expect from the full project in 2019 with Ruben Ostlund’s uncompromising work which won the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017.

The Square focuses on a gallery in Sweden where the troubled chief curator must deal both with the disastrous launch of a high-profile new exhibition and spiralling circumstances in his personal life.

The Square is not the only film feted in the south of France to be coming to Wigan, with Japanese master director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s 2018 victor Shoplifters being shown in April.

The international film programme kicks off in February with Zama, a film set in the era of colonialism by cult South American film-maker Lucrecia Martel.

Also on the schedule are Chilean Oscar-winner A Fantastic Woman about prejudice and hatred against transgender people, The Miseducation of Cameron Post which looks at evangelical gay conversion camps in America, At Eternity’s Gate about painter Vincent van Gogh and the new film from US alternative favourites The Coen Brothers, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

The programme runs on alternate months to Inspired By Film, in which artists working out of the Standish studios and exhibition space pick movies which have particularly inspired them and talk about them beforehand.

Inspired By Film kicks off in January with The Colour of Pomegranates, a visual feast created by unique Russian director Sergei Paradjanov.

The artists have also chosen Heathers, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Kes, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and They Live, with The Forbidden Room getting the 2020 programme under way.

To find out more about any of the screenings or book tickets, visit www.leighfilmsociety.com

More information is also available at www.theoldcourts.com or crossstreetarts.com/