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Press Release: Barbican Cinema 1 Reopening September 4th

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.

Image: Barbican Cinema 1, by Max Coulson

On Friday 4th of 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 the 11th to the 24th of 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.

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 Community, Last 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.

Image: Tenet, UK/ USA 2020, Dir Christopher Nolan

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

About Barbican Cinema

We connect audiences with a curated programme of international cinema; from celebrated filmmakers to ground-breaking and underheard voices from past and present. Our programme ranges from thematic seasons that respond to today’s world, to new releases, Screentalks, cross-artform collaborations, family events, access screenings, cross-artform collaborations and event cinema that presents the performing arts on screen.

We showcase the work of emerging filmmakers, as well as less familiar work of exceptional filmmakers from the UK and around the world. We champion the work of Barbican young programmers and give stage to emerging musicians in our ongoing film & live music series which includes our flagship collaboration with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

As part of a cross-arts centre, our cinemas are a cultural space for people to share the viewing experience. We strive to be inclusive in everything we do; providing platforms for the widest possible range of filmmakers and ensuring we are an open, welcoming and accessible venue for all our audiences. We programme free offsite events in east London, offer reduced price tickets to 14-25 year olds through the Young Barbican membership scheme and special student ticket prices.

About the Barbican

A world-class arts and learning organisation, that pushes the boundaries of all major art forms including dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts. Its creative learning programme further underpins everything it does.

Over a million people attend events annually, hundreds of artists and performers are featured, and more than 300 staff work onsite.

The architecturally renowned centre opened in 1982 and comprises the Barbican Hall, the Barbican Theatre, The Pit, Cinemas 1, 2 and 3, Barbican Art Gallery, a second gallery The Curve, public spaces, a library, the Lakeside Terrace, a

glasshouse conservatory, conference facilities and three restaurants.

The City of London Corporation is the founder and principal funder of the Barbican Centre. The Barbican is home to Resident Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra; Associate Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra; Associate Ensembles the Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia, Associate Producer Serious, and Artistic Partner Create. Our Artistic Associates include Boy Blue, Cheek by Jowl, Deborah Warner, Drum Works and Michael Clark Company.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic are the Barbican’s International Orchestral Partner, the Australian Chamber Orchestra are International Associate Ensemble at Milton Court, and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra are International Associate Ensemble.

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