A unique pop-up cinema experience is coming to Exchange Station on Tithebarn Street this February. FACT announces the return of Cinema in the City, a nomadic film project that brings the best of independent cinema to unusual and unique locations across the Liverpool City Region. Each event presents an acclaimed feature film, preceded by a short film from a local filmmaker, accompanied by food and drink from some of the city’s best restaurants, cafés and pop-ups.

FACT launched Cinema in the City in 2021 to present more independent film outside of its art centre on Wood Street. Previous Cinema in the City events include watching Saoirse Ronan and Kate Winslet in Francis Lee’s Ammonite beneath the stars on the rooftop of Cotton Exchange, experiencing Oscar-nominated Irish coming-of-age drama The Quiet Girl at Carnival Brewery’s microbrewery and tasting room, and gathering the family together for a matinee special of Pete’s Dragon in a converted Victorian warehouse.

Cinema in the City returns with a weekend of screenings from 16-18 February 2024 with a curated film programme for LGBTQ+ History Month. The screenings take place at Exchange Station on Tithebarn Street, located at the very heart of Liverpool’s Pride Quarter. The weekend-long cinematic takeover will present three nights of captivating shorts and feature lengths that examine the power of art as activism, and themes of acceptance and redemption.

● Friday 16 February 2024: Monica is an intimate portrait of a woman who returns home after a long absence to confront the wounds of her past. Reconnecting with her mother and the rest of her family for the first time since leaving as a teenager, Monica embarks on a path of healing and acceptance. The film delves into Monica’s internal world and state of mind, her pain and fears, her needs and desires, to explore the universal themes of abandonment and forgiveness. Co-written and directed by Andrea Pallaoro, Monica stars Trace Lysette, Patricia Clarkson and Emily Browning in what is set to be one of the best performances of 2023.

● Saturday 17 February 2024: Queendom follows the remarkable story of Gena Marvin, an artist from a small town in Russia who dresses in otherworldly costumes and protests on the streets of Moscow. She stages radical performances in public, which becomes a new form of art and activism and puts her life in danger. Director Agniia Galdanova’s stirring documentary spotlights how a trans performance artist can stand up to the Russian government, serving as “an urgent reminder that art can be dangerous”.

● Sunday 18 February 2024: FACT have teamed up with The Iris Prize, an international LGBTQ+ film prize and festival, to bring their ‘Best of Fest’ short film programme to Liverpool. Watch a curated collection of extraordinary short films that have been honored and celebrated at the 2023 Iris Prize Film Festival. The back-to-back short film night will be introduced by Iris Prize Festival Manager, Grant Vidgen, and conclude with a Q&A from Realness with a Twist director, Cass Virdee and lead actor, Kenzo Miyake-Mugler.

Cinema in the City screenings will continue until 2026, with an ever-changing list of films and locations. Thanks to the generous support of Film Hub North, FACT will expand the project to more boroughs across the Liverpool City Region, creating more opportunities to watch independent film outside of the city centre. FACT plan to work closely with collaborators and partners across the region to shape what the future of cinema could look like.

Maitreyi Maheshwari, Head of Programme at FACT, said:

“Cinema in the City is a wonderful opportunity to curate singular experiences for audiences that bring the immersive storytelling of independent film to unusual locations around Liverpool. As we celebrate LGBTQ+ history month this February, our programme showcases recent feature-length and short-form films by some of the most exciting filmmakers working in the UK and internationally.”

Grant Vidgen, Festival Manager at Iris Prize, said:

“We have been taking Iris on the Move for the last eight years and we always love visiting Liverpool. We are very proud of all our Iris alumni and their short films, so it is an absolute joy to support FACT with our two programmes: Best of Iris 2023 and Falling in Love with Iris. Excellence in storytelling is at the core of the Iris Prize, and our two programmes of shorts will certainly fill your hearts with joy and emotion.”

Manon Euler, Head of Film Hub North, said:

“We’re really pleased to be supporting FACT in bringing an original and ambitious enhanced film offer to the Liverpool city region. Cinema in the City is such a brilliant programme! It’s all about expanding the film experience beyond the cinema space, and in doing so engaging with a wide range of audiences. It’s also great to see a programme that champions work by both local and International talents.”

Tickets for each screening are £10 (£7.50 concessions) and are on sale now. All films at Cinema in the City are screened with open captions to provide an inclusive viewing experience. Open captions help to ensure that all viewers, regardless of their hearing abilities, can fully experience and engage with the film screening.