This is a film still from documentary WHITE RIOT.

THE BALLY #77: What to see in London this week (virtual edition)

[19 TO 25 JUN]: The free weekly newsletter from RADIANT CIRCUS about what to see on London’s alternative cinema scene (from a safe virtual distance). We’ve been relatively quiet since cinemas, film clubs & festivals were plunged into darkness, but it’s time we started projecting again…


Twitter @radiantcircus | Instagram @radiantcircus

Welcome back (or simply ‘hi again’ if you never went away)! This is the first regular post in a long while and it’s still a prototype as I work out how to best keep track of London’s unruly outbreak of digital screening events.

Not having flexed these muscles in a while (and there are fresh challenges keeping abreast of the proliferation of streaming parties across social media) it will take a week or two for the RADIANT CIRCUS listings service to settle down into anything approaching its familiar, comprehensive form.

My simple aim is to have everything back ready for when cinemas start opening in the first weeks of July, although we will continue to promote a blend of on- and off-line events for the foreseeable future. Perhaps that’s what I’ve always meant by RADIANT CIRCUS’ commitment to ‘screen culture’, which has many more attractions than just the films we get to see.

Stick with us, stay alert safe, & see you in darkness again soon…

Richard – Barker-In-Chief, RADIANT CIRCUS


Getting ready for July and onwards, we’ve updated our A to Z about how to support your favourite indies with news about venue reopenings (even if it’s just cafés and libraries for now). We’ll keep checking and updating this post so you always know where to find the latest information.

Thinking about what cinema’s might be like when they reopen? General Manager of Battersea’s Archlight Cinema, Chris Swney, was interviewed by The Bigger Picture about the venue’s plans for re-opening. As you can see, there’s a whole lot of known unknowns… Guidelines for safe operation have been published for drive-in cinemas (more of those in future editions) but the rest of the industry will need to wait a while longer. Spanning the gap, many indie screens are conducting audience surveys about reopening plans. The Prince Charles Cinema poll was live at the time of posting: help them reopen with the power of your mind!

Given that many cinemas are anticipating that they might need to remain shut for some considerable time after July (see our coverage of the ICO’s Reopening Cinemas: The Indie Way report for more on this), the BFI Film Audience Network has announced the exhibitors who will receive money from their COVID-19 Resilience Fund. We’ve tagged all the London indie cinemas getting funding on our A to Z of reopenings but much-needed financial support has also reached film festivals and other exhibitors including We Are Parable, London International Animation Festival and UK Jewish Film.

One of the recipients of resilience funding, Screen25 Cinema in South Norwood, will be using their grant of £8.5k to keep themselves going whilst doors remain shut. Currently projecting online as Stream25, the team have paused their monthly membership payments and will be resuming those again in January 2021.

If you’ve wondered what goes into taking your film viewing experiences online, a longterm friend of RADIANT CIRCUS, Nuala O’Sullivan (Director of the Women Over 50 Film Festival), has been speaking to BFI FAN about doing just that. Catch WOFFS’s special Pride edition on Wednesday and the next #WOFFFWatchalong on Thursday (both events are listed below).

Finally, for some take-out sustenance and inspiration, we’d recommend you pop into Ripley & Lambert specialist bookstore & café for film-related refreshment. For similarly minded inspiration – without the new book aromas! – Close-Up Film Centre has re-opened their Library, and the Genesis Cinema Grindhouse Café is doing fine business once more.


This is a section header graphic containing the text: "What to see in London this Friday".

WHITE RIOT (d. Rubika Shah, 2019) preview event inc. Panel & Performances (FRI 19 FEB 20:00):

  • Birds’ Eye View are partnering with Meltdown Festival, Spiritland and Everyman Cinemas to host a special preview event for Rubika Shah’s new doc about the Rock Against Racism movement and the fight against the National Front during the late 1970s. Tune in on Friday for a discussion with director Rubika Shah plus a performance from The Libertines’ Gary Powell. The film is then available to stream on Modern Film’s virtual platform.

This is a section header graphic containing the text: "What to see in London this Saturday".

  • Catch up with Ciné Lumière, RBKC and Migrants Organise for their free online presentation of Mary McGuckian’s A GIRL FROM MOGADISHU (18 to 20 JUN – online registration closes at 21:00 on the 20 JUN). Screened to commemorate Refugee Week.
  • OR… take the opportunity to stream something that gives back to London’s indie cinemas. See our article about Second Run On Demand below (pro tip: there’s a refreshingly compact selection of films and every one of them is outrageously brilliant…).

This is a section header graphic containing the text: "What to see in London this Sunday".

A Chat With Nathan Theys on Instagram Live (SUN 21 JUN 19:00):

  • Shorts On Tap: “Join us for a live chat and Q&A with writer/director Nathan Theys from Film Creatives Productions, hosted by Jess Iszatt. Nathan will be presenting the short film MY RIOT as part of Shorts On Tap’s ‘Shorts On Lockdown’ series.”

This is a section header graphic containing the text: "What to see in London this Monday".

13TH d. Ava DuVernay, 2016 + Virtual Chat at Documentary Mania & The Lexi Cinema’s Facebook Page (MON 22 JUN 18:30 + 20:15).

  • #LexiOClock: “A chance to (virtually) watch a film together, then have a chat about it after. Just like when the Lexi’s doors are open! This week we will all be watching this “fiercely radical documentary” on MON 22 JUN at 18:30 & then we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on our Facebook page at 20:15 to discuss it.”

DC ON DEMAND at (Every MON & THU):

  • Deptford Cinema: “A new streaming service curated by volunteers at Deptford Cinema. The platform features a wide variety of content each week from student and indie films to artists’ moving image and experimental practice. A new feature film is posted every Monday, with a new Shorts Collection posted every Thursday.

This is a section header graphic containing the text: "What to see in London this Tuesday".

WOMAN AT WAR d. Benedikt Erlingsson, 2018 + Virtual Chat at MUBI & Wimbledon Film Club’s Facebook Page (TUE 23 JUN 20:00 + 21:40):

  • Wimbledon Film Club: “Our next home film is a feelgood comedy-drama from Icelan, WOMAN AT WAR (12) available online via Catch it before the upcoming Hollywood remake! Discuss on our Facebook page from 21:40.”

This is a section header graphic containing the text: "What to see in London this Wednesday".

LGBTQ+ PRIDE Watchalong with Women Over 50 Film Festival & East London Out Project (WED 24 JUN 19:00+):

  • WOFFF: “Our LGBTQ+ watchalong, co-hosted by ELOP (East London Out Project), is filled with a fabulous selection of films made by and about older queer women and a live online Q&A and discussion. Films can be seen via To join in the online chat (24 JUN 19:00) you need a password. Email LGBTFORUM@ELOP.ORG for this.”

This is a section header graphic containing the text: "What to see in London this Thursday".

WOFFF + Reframed Film Watchalong: Shorts x2: IN ORBIT d. Rony Khoubieh + ARTEMIS & THE ASTRONAUT d. A. L. Lee + Q&A with A. L. Lee + HIGH LIFE d. Clare Denis + Tweet chat (THU 25 JUN 19:00+):

  • WOFFF + Reframed Film: “Our feature film is HIGH LIFE a dystopian near-future where criminals serving death sentences are sent on a mission in space to extract energy from a black hole. Our space-related shorts are an American drama ARTEMIS & THE ASTRONAUT which examines one woman’s grief after her husband’s death and the French drama IN ORBIT which sees a woman auditioning for the part of an astronaut for a director who can’t see her in the role.”


YOUNG MAN WITH A CAMERA by Rodrigo Andrés Durán at Cheap Cuts Doc Fest 2020.

RADIANT CIRCUS is delighted to be a judge and award sponsor for Cheap Cuts Doc Fest 2020, the UK’s only film festival dedicated to documentary short film. Taking place on line with a ‘pay what you can’ festival pass, this year’s event looks set to be a truly global one. The festival runs from 29 JUN to 05 JUL including 11 programme strands that you can watch at any time and a series of live / timed events with both films and filmmakers.


This is a film still from DAISIES by director Vera Chytilová.
DAISIES by Věra Chytilová, available on Second Run On Demand.

As we get up and running again we thought we’d look at the initiatives that are supporting London’s indie film scene through this time of crisis. First up is a new streaming service from legendary distributors Second Run On Demand. Every £4.99 film hire pays something back to struggling venues.


 “Indispensable to the London film scene.” (Ripley & Lambert)

RADIANT CIRCUS is supported entirely by readers’ monthly subscriptions. Subscribers get our unique listings emailed as well as other great rewards. They are a dedicated community of adventurous film fans supporting what they love so that many more can discover it. With enough subscribers backing us, we will be able to: 1) keep listing far into the future, 2) expand our content & coverage, 3) recruit & reward new writers, & 4) create more beautiful things. > Subscribe now.

*THE SMALL PRINT: As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any errors. Updates & corrections will be made to the online version. Event dates/times are subject to change by the venue/organiser. We try to only list events you can book for at the time of posting: however, some events may still be sold out. Please click quickly! We don’t filter by age/certification: all readers & subscribers should be 18+.

Main featured image: WHITE RIOT (d. Rubika Shah, 2019).