This is a film still from FUTURE-WORLD-EXV (2019).

THE BALLY #100: Special edition

Welcome to THE BALLY where we’ll update you on some special developments at RADIANT CIRCUS…

Twitter @radiantcircus | Instagram @radiantcircus

This is a special edition of THE BALLY. We’ve (accidentally…) sent out 100 of these things and show no sign of stopping. Firstly, thank you for signing up and playing along. We keep blogging to help Londoner’s find great things to do in the dark. This has been, understandably enough, incredibly difficult over the last 12 months….

Last week, we all heard the announcements about possible reopening dates for shared cinema experiences (even home movie nights have been difficult with legal bans on household mixing). The dates we have are 12th April for outdoor events like drive-ins (of which there were a bumper crop last year) and 17th May for indoor events in venues like cinemas. Then, we have the Hollywood blockbuster of all franchise finales – the end of legal limits on social contact on 21 June. It’s important to stress these are all “no earlier than” dates, and are dependent upon a whole host of COVID conditions being fulfilled. But there’s good reason to hope.

As soon as the announcements were made, social media was awash with angst about the logic (or otherwise) of this timetable. We think this is wasted effort as there are urgent issues that need to be prepared for, not least of which is how independent exhibitors will be able to return to the darkness so that we all get a rich, varied and safe diet of attractions. Projecting moving pictures can’t only be the luxury of those with deep enough pockets to bankroll their own events, or default to proven programming to get enough bums on the proverbial seats.

Last year, some indie cinemas were already offering challenging deals for exhibitors, either moving to private hire rates (almost impossible for many promoters to cover) or 70/30 splits on revenues in favour of the venue (ditto). Whist this is profoundly understandable given the existential crisis the sector has faced, it also erects barriers to the range of curatorial voices that can take audiences on a wild ride when the lights go down. And we’re all about that wild ride…

Which is exactly why we will be launching our Revive The Dark campaign in earnest very soon. It turns our monthly subscription into a rolling crowdfunder so that RADIANT CIRCUS can directly sponsor adventurous screen events across Greater London and celebrate outstanding acts of exhibition in an annual awards ceremony. We will say more about this campaign in the coming weeks as we get up to speed, but you can read the headline ideas (and simple ways to get involved) here:

As a special sneak preview of how we will launch the campaign, I’ve been editing a volume of screen diaries from across the history of RADIANT CIRCUS. SCREEN DIARIES vol:1 includes a series of reports from a cross-section of the many diverse and intelligent screen events I’ve had the good fortune to attend over the last 4 years (and yes, that includes the recent ‘lost’ one…).

This is an image of the cover of a new e-book from RADIANT CIRCUS titled SCREEN DIARIES VOLUME 1.

SCREEN DIARIES vol:1 // Reports from London’s alternative cinema scene (2017-2020).

> COMING SOON! All proceeds to the RADIANT CIRCUS Revive The Dark Exhibitor & Awards Fund.

This volume of 20+ articles will be the first in a series of new content initiatives from RADIANT CIRCUS and is part of a plan to come out of lockdown fighting hard for the alternative screen culture we love (and depend upon). All proceeds from the sale of this first e-book will go to our Revive The Dark Fund. We hope you will buy a copy when it’s released and share the campaign with your friends and followers so that, together, we can raise considerable funds to protect the shared rituals of cinema.

If you want to get ahead with supporting our campaign, start a monthly subscription at Patreon. You’ll be amongst the first to get a free copy of our SCREEN DIARIES as part of your monthly fee, and 40% of every monthly payment will go directly to sponsoring adventurous screen events across Greater London.

See you in darkness soon.


Barker-In-Chief // RADIANT CIRCUS.

Main featured image: FUTURE – WORLD – EXV d. Wilfred Ukpong, 2019 + Discussion, Essay Film Festival 2021 Prelude 2 (12 MAR 18:00 – FREE!).

This is a film still from REBEL DYKES (2021).

NOW BOOKING: BFI Flare 2021 (17 to 28 MAR)

It’s great to see London’s legendary BFI Flare LGBTIQ+ Film Festival zooming back into focus as we all plan our coming out of lockdown. Booking already open for BFI members and from 02 MAR for general admission. Here’s our pick of this year’s online event. READ MORE

NOW BOOKING: Essay Film Festival Preludes 1-3

Ahead of their Essay Film Festival 2021, Birkbeck Institute Of The Moving Image (BIMI) hosts a trio of FREE online events to get your juices flowing (05-19 MAR). READ MORE

A Listening Eye – The Films of Mike Dibb (08 JAN to 26 MAR 2021)

A new season of free films & live events streaming from The Whitechapel Gallery. New content every Friday. The latest programme is CONVERSATION PIECES (26 FEB to 26 MAR), demonstrating “the sheer range of engaged intellectual lives & ideas that Mike Dibb has documented.” READ MORE

Sick, Tired & Angry – Unite!

Other Ways To Care presents a streaming season of films “in solidarity with university communities fighting the hostile environment in neoliberal times” (10 FEB to 19 MAR 2021 – FREE!). Next Up: #3 Occupation: THE HORNSEY FILM d. Pat Holland, 1970 (WED 10 MAR 19:30). READ MORE

x3 French films for International Women’s Day (FREE until 10 MAR)

Champions of French culture, Institut Français (home of Ciné Lumière in London), has relaunched their global streaming platform in time for International Women’s Day (08 MAR). READ MORE

Sweden Cineclub: GIRLS LOST

South Social Film Festival heads to another country, adding Sweden to their expanding itinerary of streaming Cineclubs. The series of 3 films starts with Alexandra-Therese Keining’s 2015 film, GIRLS LOST (11 MAR 19:00). READ MORE

NOW BOOKING: Human Rights Watch Film Festival

Human Rights Watch Film Festival & Barbican Cinema On Demand have announced the streaming programme for this year’s online event (18 to 26 MAR 2021). READ MORE

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. //.