Bristol’s Summer Film Takeover

Get ready to venture out and explore the city through a different lens with Bristol’s Summer Film Takeover, presented by Bristol UNESCO City of Film and partners!

Featuring nine free film events taking place across the city centre between June and September 2023, Bristol’s Summer Film Takeover will celebrate unique aspects of Bristol’s culture and identity through a range of different screen experiences. 

The programme is being delivered as one of the activities under the City Centre and High Streets Recovery and Renewal programme, funded by Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority’s Love our High Streets project.

Natalie Moore, Bristol UNESCO City of Film Manager says:

We’re delighted to present Bristol’s Summer Film Takeover with the help of our fantastic partners! Our line-up of free events has something for everyone – from bicycle-powered screenings and family-friendly animation workshops to night-time projections onto our city’s walls, block parties and immersive film installations.

“We’ll be marking milestones including the 75th anniversary of Windrush, 100 years of 16mm film and 50 years of hip hop influence on Bristol’s culture, all through different screen experiences. Film has the power to convey stories we wouldn’t usually encounter, and we hope this programme will give the public the chance to explore the city from different perspectives whilst sampling excellent work from world-leading creatives and curators working in Bristol UNESCO City of Film.”

The nine free events are:

Windrush 75: Stories Through Film (Thurs 22nd – Sat 24th Jun)
Locations: Vintage Mobile Cinema Bus, Broadmead West BS1 3DS
& Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Queens Road BS8 1RL

Celebrate the contribution of Bristol’s Afrikan-Caribbean community to the city through films that mark the 75th anniversary of Windrush. From 22-24 June, come on board the Vintage Mobile Cinema Bus at Broadmead to see a specially curated programme of films. Plus, on the evening of 22 June, join us at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery for the premiere screening of award-winning filmmaker Clive Smith’s Bristol’s Afrikan-Caribbean Legends of Martial Arts. Presented by Bristol Museums.

A Wall is a Screen: Secrets of the Old City (Fri 30th Jun)
Location: Bristol’s Old City, starting on Corn Street BS1 1HT
Join Encounters Festival and Hamburg-based collective A Wall is a Screen for a film night like no other! The first of two guided evening walking tours (the second on 16th September) exploring hidden architectural gems of Bristol’s Old City streets and featuring a curated selection of short films projected onto nearby buildings to watch along the way.

Bristol Cycle Cinema (Sat 22nd – Sun 23rd July)
Location: College Green BS1 5TR
Local expanded cinema curators Compass Presents will be programming a weekend of free outdoor cinema on College Green, with something to suit all ages. In addition to back-to-back cult classics, audiences will be invited to hop on one of 40 static bikes that will generate electricity to contribute to powering the screen.

Summer of Soul Expanded Screening & Afterparty (Sat 29th July)
Location: The Galleries Car Park Basement, Broadmead BS1 3DT
Join us for an expanded cinema screening of Sundance award winner Summer of Soul, followed by an underground funk ‘n’ soul party. Far from being televised, and just a few months before Woodstock, a musical revolution was happening on the streets of NYC. Celebrate the music, artists and culture that sprang from 60s Harlem and landed under a glitterball in downtown Bristol! Presented by Compass Presents as part of the 7th edition of Cinema Rediscovered, the UK’s leading festival of classic cinema.

100 Years of 16mm (Sun 30th July)
Location: The Crypt of St John, St John on the Wall, Broad Street BS1 2EZ
Lovers of analogue, immerse yourself in the sensory splendour of 16mm in its centenary year! Step inside the darkness of the Crypt, to the click and whirr of the projector! Workshops in splicing, dicing and projecting your own 16mm film will roll alongside a programme of short films. Plus, live score performance activations from a very special guest. Presented by Compass Presents as part of the 7th edition of Cinema Rediscovered, the UK’s leading festival of classic cinema.

The 4 Pillars: 50 Years of Hip Hop (Sat 12th Aug)
Location: Sparks Bristol, 74-78 Broadmead BS1 3DS
Film, music and more… Freestyle CIC and Bris-Story present a day of free screenings and activities to celebrate Hip Hop’s 50th birthday, exploring its four pillars – breakdancing, graffiti, DJing and rap – and how it has helped influence Bristol’s culture, leaving a lasting legacy.

Aardman@Sparks (Fri 18th – Sun 20th Aug)
Location: Sparks Bristol, 74-78 Broadmead BS1 3DS
An exciting weekend of free Aardman workshops and film screenings, taking place in Bristol’s new sustainability hub – fun for all the family! Presented by Global Goals Centre and Aardman Animations.

Illusions of Movement (Fri 15th – Sat 16th Sept)
Location: Broadmead Baptist Church, Union Street, Broadmead BS1 3HY
An innovative film installation. Experience how humans explore animation and film to bring imagination and storytelling to life. Created by Limbic Cinema, this immersive projection uses multi-screen visuals, light and sound to celebrate the power of moving image.

A Wall is a Screen: Secrets of the Old City (Sat 16th Sept)
Location: Bristol’s Old City, starting on Corn Street BS1 1HT
Another chance to catch this unique ‘film night’ meets ‘guided city tour’. Spend the evening touring lesser-known corners of the Old City’s streets, watching a curated selection of short films projected onto Bristol buildings as you go. Presented by Encounters Festival and Hamburg-based collective A Wall is a Screen.

View the full programme at

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