The Keswick Alhambra cinema is one of the town’s historic treasures. It opened in 1914 with the silent Italian film Quo Vadis as its premier screening. It has had many refurbishments and additions since then, like the recent installation of a second screen, but has managed to retain its authentic reputation as an independent, family-owned cinema. 

The Keswick Alhambra hosts many special events throughout the year, such as live concerts and its annual Keswick Film Festival. This year, the owners of the cinema, Carol Rennie and Jonathan Moore, have collaborated with lead film curator Yixiang Shirley Lin from the University of Edinburgh to bring the MINT Chinese Film Festival to Keswick. It will take place over the 3rd to the 5th of February and the website details it as “The first Chinese film festival in Cumbria focussed on cross-cultural communication and women’s representation in films”. 

Furthermore, the Keswick Alhambra’s web page details an overview of the programme: “an opening gala and classic silent film with live musical accompaniment, 7 feature films (several of which are UK premieres), 1 documentary, 10-15 short films in 2 strands, in-person panel discussions, and recorded messages and Q&As with film directors”.

This will certainly be a must-see for those interested in celebrating global cultures through films. The date of the film festival also comes just after the Chinese New Year, so those wanting to do something Chinese-themed should consider heading over to the Keswick Alhambra website or the MINT Chinese Film Festival page (see below) to buy a festival pass. On sale now are the ‘Early Bird’ passes which will be available until the 10th January and are priced at £55 for a Full Festival Pass and £45 for a discounted Festival Pass for “students, under 24s, Keswick Film Club and Alhambra Members”. These prices will go up to £70 and £50 respectively after the 10th January, so be quick if you don’t want to miss out! Short Film Programme Passes are also available at £15 for a Standard Pass and £9 for a Discounted Pass. 

Please find the links for the websites below: