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Cinema in the City Pops up at Pagoda Arts this May

FACT’s pop-up cinema experience, Cinema in the City, is coming to Pagoda Arts this May. From Thursday 16 until Sunday 19 May 2024, film lovers can enjoy four evenings of Chinese and Vietnamese cinema, music and food at the Chinese community centre on Henry Street (L1). 

Expanding storytelling beyond the screen, the film programme is accompanied by a series of special cinematic experiences including a live score, musical performances, a Q&A with a director, and a panel of expert filmmakers. Cinephiles can choose from a curated selection of dramas, documentaries and vintage classics whilst enjoying food and drink from locally loved restaurants Big Bowl Noodle Bar (Berry Street, L1) and Doux Chaton (Renshaw Street, L1).

  • Thursday 16 May 2024: Ran Dong (The Breaking Ice) (2023) is set in Yanji, a border city in the north of China where over half of its inhabitants are of Korean ancestry. The story follows the blossoming relationship among three young adults in their twenties, set over a few short days in the winter snow. The Chinese-Singaporean romantic drama film written and directed by Anthony Chen was selected for the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.
  • Friday 17 May 2024: The Little Girl of Hanoi (1974) is a compelling drama that depicts a poignant portrayal of the 1972 US bombing campaign over Hanoi, infused with a message of hope. Directed by Hải Ninh, this screening will be complemented by an original live musical response from Nammy Wams, a London-based music producer and DJ specialising in Grime and UK Drill.
  • Saturday 18 May 2024: Ping Pong (1986) will be screened for the very first time in high-definition thanks to a recent re-release. Leong Po Chih’s 1986 mystery-comedy stars Lucy Sheen and (Liverpool-born) David Yip as they navigate their way through the fallout after a London Chinatown restaurateur is found dead in a phone box. This one-off screening will be followed by a Q&A with lead actor David Yip and host Rosa Fong, Senior Lecturer in Film, Liverpool John Moores University. For those interested in British East and Southeast Asian stories on screen, there will also be a free event earlier in the day at 4pm with a panel of East and South East Asian artists and creatives.
  • Sunday 19 May 2024: Dust & Metal (2022) is director Esther Johnson’s archive essay film, showcasing films from across Vietnamese cinematic history, stemming from her field research in archives of the Vietnamese Film Institute. This special screening will be transformed into a unique and immersive experience with an accompanying live score from Xo Xinh, an electronic music composer and performer. Following the screening, Xo Xinh will join director Esther Johnson for an in-person Q&A. 

Locally loved Chinese restaurant Big Bowl Noodle Bar will be serving up delicious curries, dumplings, spring rolls and fluffy bento sponge cakes for those attending screenings of Ran Dong (The Breaking Ice) and Ping Pong. Vietnamese restaurant Doux Chaton will be treating guests to a choice of pork or tofu bánh mì, Vietnamese iced coffees and a selection of bubble teas at the unique screenings of The Little Girl of Hanoi and Dust & Metal

Lewis Eyles, Film & Events Officer at FACT said: “We’re really excited to be working with Pagoda Arts to bring Cinema in the City to the Chinese community centre this May. The four-day cinema event is filled with firsts including the UK debut of two Vietnamese films, the first high definition screening of the newly remastered Ping Pong, and the brand new addition of live music to selected film screenings. This season brings together lots of local, regional and national partners including venue Pagoda Arts, Liverpool restaurants Big Bowl Noodle Bar and Doux Chaton, ESEA salon series Moongate Mix North, and Vietnamese film tour Star Nhà Ease.

Zi Lan Liao, Chief Executive of Pagoda Arts, said: “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to FACT for this partnership, and we look forward to welcoming audiences to experience the magic of Cinema in the City at Pagoda Arts. This immersive experience promises to captivate audiences, celebrating the rich tapestry of storytelling from across ESEA. Join us as we delve into captivating narratives, accompanied by delicious food, and engaging discussions, creating unforgettable memories right here in our community.”

Tickets for Cinema in the City at Pagoda Arts range from £7.50-13 and are on sale now. All films will be screened with English subtitles. All events including the panel discussion will take place at Pagoda Arts on Henry Street.

For more information, visit FACT’s website: