In Culture

HOME is Manchester’s centre for international contemporary culture. This includes film, theatre and the visual arts in an open, welcoming and purpose-built complex. HOME may have opened in 2015 but its roots go much further back. It was the merger of two very well-loved Manchester institutions, Cornerhouse and The Library Theatre Company.

Cornerhouse began in 1985 as a cinema, gallery, café, bar and bookshop. It was an oasis of international creativity in what felt (at the time) like the edge of town. It fostered a sense of connection to Europe and the wider world and pride in what Manchester could be. Thankfully, Cornerhouse survived and morphed into HOME.

The Library Theatre Company was founded in 1952 and its home was the intimate 300-seat theatre in the basement of Central Library. The final curtain fell in 2010, due to major refurbishment of the library. The Lowry became their temporary home until 2015 when the company moved into HOME

HOME’s purpose is to benefit the local community through art, theatre and film. It’s in its DNA. Its existence depends on it but fulfilling such a commitment takes vision and creativity. HOME’s programming is a search for new voices and stories both at home and around the globe. In 2017-2018, HOME screened 626 films in 57 different languages.

At the time of writing, a random glance at HOME’s what’s on calendar includes films, performances and exhibitions with links to Australia, Canada, Cuba, France, Nigeria, Poland, Spain, Sweden, UK and USA. These aren’t special seasons or collaborations. It’s just typical.

But of course, HOME does special seasons and collaborations too.

¡Viva! Spanish and Latin American Festival

Congratulations to Viva! Twenty-five years young and still going strong. That’s an incredible record of bringing Spanish and Latin American cinema and culture to Manchester. Not to mention bringing countless directors, producers and actors for special screenings and Q&As over the years.

Viva has never been a one-person labour of love. While it’s led by HOME, it’s built on a long-standing collaboration with Instituto Cervantes and the University of Salford. Together they’ve been able to reach around the Spanish-speaking world (including Catalan and Basque language films) for the best on offer.

The theme for 2019’s Viva is ‘Serious Fun’ and there are 28 films, including nine UK premieres. But it’s not just cinema – it includes theatre, talks and workshops.

Not Just Bollywood

Everybody loves Bollywood. There’s something glorious about the love-triangles, the heroes and villains, the epic choreography and the superstar celebrities. It’s a wonderful world and gigantically successful. But just like Hollywood, it’s a controlled studio system. This leaves a lot of stories out and that’s where HOME steps in.

HOME has launched ‘Not Just Bollywood’. A new(ish) film season looking forward to its third year in 2019. Perhaps it’s not surprising that a country as large and complex as India creates such a variety of independent filmmakers. But themes of representation, caste, gender and social and environmental change are commonly explored. And of course, they offer a very different view on India as a society, a country and a landscape.

Celebrating Women in Global Cinema

Throughout 2019, HOME will be presenting a films, seasons, retrospectives and events to showcase the contribution women from around the world have made to cinema.

Naturally, these ground-breaking contributions have not come from one genre, one country or even one side of the camera. The year-long celebration will look at women and film from a variety of viewpoints – as a tribute to the women who achieved incredible things in the past and as an inspiration to anyone who wants shape the future of cinema.

Chinese Film Forum UK

From ancient tales, grand spectacles and heroic struggles to exiled filmmakers and underground documentaries, Chinese cinema is as interesting and intricate as the history of China itself. The Chinese Film Forum UK (CFFUK) is a Manchester-based collective. HOME lead on the film programming and screen Chinese films every quarter.

Korean Film Festival

Touring festivals also contribute to the international content at HOME. After the London Korean Film Festival runs its course in the capital, it often hits the road to bring the best in Korean cinema to Manchester. While it isn’t guaranteed to tour every year, it’s a popular season whenever it does. There’s a different emphasis every year but each carefully curated choice is an insight into a country, a history and a people that have sometimes been overlooked or misunderstood.

Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme

Japanese film and animation are admired around the world. They are, in some ways, unique genres in themselves thanks to the style and sheer imaginative scope. The Japan Foundation and its supporters bring a selection of Japanese cinematic voices to Manchester under a common theme. In 2018, the theme was how Japanese filmmakers have explored the very human habit of keeping secrets and telling lies. In 2019, the theme is Love, in all its dimensions, including a Q&A with director Hikaru Toda after a special screening of his film, Of Love and Law.

Lebanese and Palestinian film

Sometimes, great cinema comes from difficult circumstances. And it can be hugely encouraging for people in difficult circumstances to know that their stories and voices are being heard. Starting in 2019, HOME will partner with the University of Manchester to showcase talent from the Arab world, particularly women filmmakers in Lebanon and Palestine. This will also be part of the Celebrating Women in Global Cinema programme.

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