This is a film still from CAT IN THE WALL (2019) streaming at Barbican Cinema On Demand.

NOW STREAMING: Try Barbican Cinema On Demand for £1

In the next of our series of posts about the streaming services that benefit London’s indie venues, we take a look at Barbican’s Cinema On Demand.

By RADIANT CIRCUS // Twitter @radiantcircus | Instagram @radiantcircus

There can be now doubt that these are tough economic times, for indie film exhibition in all its permutations and the audiences the industry relies on to keep the projector bulbs burning. Which means we must do what we can to stay safe (of course…) and support our venues so that they can reopen when the time’s right (where we have the cash in our wallets to do so…).

Barbican Cinema On Demand has been up and running for a while and serves a combination of new releases, curated programmes and special events. There’s a new release every Wednesday (currently, Ebs Burnough’s doc THE CAPOTE TAPES) and you’ll love the smart picks from the venue’s curatorial team and programme partners.

If you’re looking for special events, we’ll make a future post about the Human Rights Watch Film Festival which comes to the Barbican’s streaming service from 18 to 26 MAR 2021. This could well be one of those rare advantages of the cinema shutdown as this event normally sells out way in advance. This year, you might get more of a chance to sample their global programme of films from the comfort of your sofa…

Scroll on to find out what’s streaming now (and how you can get more of it).


Quick links to the venue/box office.

Barbican Cinema On Demand is straightforward to use. Browse the films on offer, add a film to your basket and log in or create an account to then rent your chosen titles. You’ll have 48-hours to watch each rental once you’ve paid for it.

A new release like THE CAPOTE TAPES costs £10, whilst THE ORPHANAGE and the Reframing The Fat shorts collection (see below for details) cost just £3.50. Some titles are free for Barbican members. There’s no long-term commitment. You only pay for the film you want to see.

If you’ve never tried Barbican Cinema On Demand before, you can start streaming by watching one of three handpicked films by Barbican Cinema Team for just £1. Choose from THE CAPOTE TAPES, THE ORPHANAGE or CAT IN THE WALL (the latter presented by the always brilliant New East Cinema collective).

Use code FIRSTFILM1 at the checkout to claim the offer (available at the time of posting).


What’s streaming right now.


d. Ebs Burnough, 2021/USA

“Through audio archive and interviews with Truman Capote’s friends and enemies, this intimate documentary reveals the rise and fall of the iconic American writer.”

WATCH NOW (Until 28 FEB)


d. Shahrbanoo Sadat, 2019/Afghanistan

“A young boy in 1980s Afghanistan is sent to a Soviet orphanage and finds himself in a complex social hierarchy with the other boys in Shahrbanoo Sadat’s tender drama.”

WATCH NOW (Until 28 FEB)


d. Bogdan Theodor Olteanu, 2018/Romania

“Two young women – one out and proud, the other less confident in their sexuality – begin a tentative affair in this sensitive Romanian drama.”

Part of Forbidden Colours, a strand celebrating queer films from countries where LGBTQ+ people face oppression.

WATCH NOW (Until 28 FEB)

This is a film still from CAT IN THE WALL (2019) streaming at Barbican Cinema On Demand.

CAT IN THE WALL + Recorded Q&A with the directors

d. Mina Mileva & Vesela Kazakova, 2018/Bulgaria

New East Cinema presents: “A cat, stuck in a wall, changes the lives of a Bulgarian family living alongside gentrified Brexiteers in a southeast London council estate.”

WATCH NOW (Until 28 FEB)

Shorts: Reframing the Fat Body + Recorded Q&A with Tara Brown & Chloe Sheppard

“In this programme of shorts, fat bodies are freed from the restraints put upon them by modern society and allowed to be fluid, free, sexy and radical.” Curated by Grace Barber-Plentie.

WATCH NOW (Until 28 FEB)




RADIANT CIRCUS is powered by monthly subscribers. 40% of fees now directly supports indie cinema events across London.

The indie screen culture we love has taken a battering. Coronavirus has closed venues, silenced exhibitors & isolated audiences.

To help reanimate movies beyond the mainstream, we’ve relaunched our subscription service as a crowdfunder called REVIVE THE DARK. With the backing of enough subscribers we will be able to:

  • Sponsor DIY, indie & alternative cinema
  • Celebrate outstanding acts of exhibition
  • Expand our scene content & coverage


*THE SMALL PRINT: Opinions author’s own. // As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any errors. Updates & corrections will be made to the online version only. // Event dates/times/formats are subject to change by the venue/organiser. Events may already be sold out at the time of posting, so please click quickly. // We try to list as many original format screenings as we can (8 to 70MM), but sometimes formats change due to age of the print, availability, logistics etc, so please check ahead with your venue if the format is your thing. // All images are used in the spirit of fair use for reporting & review – no ownership is implied or intended / unless otherwise credited to RADIANT CIRCUS as the original rights holder. We will remove any images immediately upon request – just get in touch. // We don’t filter our listings by age/certification: all readers & subscribers should therefore be 18+. // Finally, we always try to follow The Carny Code by “not screwing up anyone else’s game”, but everyone can make mistakes… If something does go wrong, we will always do our best to put it right. //.