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Short Films Make the Cut at The Duke's After Dark
Duke of York’s Picturehouse have ditched trailers and adverts in favour of showing short films from local filmmakers before late-night screenings of cult classics in The Duke's After Dark.
The night has proven popular with audiences, with a strong turnout both for crowd pleasers like 'Alien' and 'The Thing', as well as for underground hits such as 'The Warriors'.
After an overwhelming positive audience response to the short films, the cinema plans to continue the showings as part of The Duke's After Dark with a view to expanding this over time to other late-night events.
Toby King, who has programmed The Duke’s After Dark since last summer, said:
"The short film idea came from a conversation with one of Picturehouse cinema's programmers, and it was a great idea. Anyone can make a short film now, but most of these will only live on YouTube. So it's nice to be able to get someone's work up there on a massive screen in front of a real life crowd. It's also a nod back to old days when cinema used to screen shorts before films instead of twenty minutes of car adverts."
The move gains much needed exposure for independent and student filmmakers and introduces their work to an appreciative audience. Short films shown so far have included a music video from Esben and The Witch, Kasia Kasanova, Tiny Dancer, and Moon Egg, which was an entry in the Straight 8 competition.
Sam Hiscox, a filmmaker and photographer who's had two films shown at The Duke's After Dark, said:
"Having your own short shown in front of a sold out crowd at the UK's oldest cinema is pretty cool alone. What made me up was when everyone actually laughed, I was sinking back into my seat with a huge grin on my face. I know it's a bad look to be laughing at your own jokes but when you're sat there and two hundred and fifty other people are laughing you can't help it."
Duke of York's Picturehouse is Britain's oldest picturehouse and has long been established as a film-lover's cinema. When asked about their experience at the Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Brighton residents spoke in favour of supporting independent cinema and said that the short film screenings provided a great community service.
Most customers still wanted to experience film on the big screen, but felt short-changed by the multiplexes, and preferred the venue because it had a less corporate image and provided an enjoyable cinema-going experience.
Kelly Longhurst, bar manager at The Robin Hood, Norfolk Square, said:
“I could have seen it elsewhere, but when I saw it was on at the Duke of York’s, I made it a priority to see it here. I’m pleased we’ve still got it. My Dad was a member about fifty years ago. I remember being really impressed when I saw his membership card.”
Upcoming Duke’s After Dark showings include 'Fight Club' and 'The Day the Earth Caught Fire.'
Read the full interview with Toby King online.
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