Six years down, many more to go……

We had another packed house for our final screening in our WILD LIVES series and our farewell to the FILM FOCUS FESTIVAL with a screening of BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID. We’re pretty sure it would have scored very high on our ping-pongometer. But unfortunately we either had a wild bunch or a lone shooter who, by putting all the balls in the 5 basket, have made the score void!

Many thanks to The Driftwood Cowboys who played 2 great sets after the film to end the festival on a high.

And many thanks to Jared Varava from Tar+Feather for letting us play their fab short film TUMBLEWEED. If you missed it, or want to see it again, here it is.

The WILD LIVES series has been a great success with nearly 450 people through the doors. Thanks for all your support. That’s us taking a well earned rest for December. November was our 6th birthday and we’re really looking forward to kicking off our 7th year of screenings on 12 January. Have a great festive time and see you all soon @ West Side Cinema.


followed by live music with The Driftwood Cowboys

The last event in our WILD LIVES series – wild life, wild places and wild people from around the world.

Doors open 7:15 for a 7:45 start
£5 / £3 student and Young Scot card
BBFC INSIGHT Contains moderate violence and mild sex references and language

With its iconic pairing of Paul Newman and Robert Redford, jaunty screenplay and Burt Bacharach score, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid has gone down as among the defining moments in late-’60s American cinema.

Stay with us after the film for our late night end of festival party with music from those Neo-traditional cow-folk The Driftwood Cowboys

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Doors open 7:15 for a 7:45 start
£5 / £3 student and Young Scot card

The fifth event in our WILD LIVES series – wild life, wild places and wild people from around the world.

Mountain offers a visually thrilling and surprisingly affecting look at man’s relationship with some of Earth’s most imposing natural wonders.

Only three centuries ago, setting out to climb a mountain would have been considered close to lunacy. Mountains were places of peril, not beauty, an upper world to be shunned, not sought out. Why do mountains now hold us spellbound, drawing us into their dominion, often at the cost of our lives? From Tibet to Australia, Alaska to Norway armed with drones, Go-Pros and helicopters, director Jennifer Peedom has fashioned an astonishing symphony of mountaineers, ice climbers, free soloists, heliskiers, snowboarders, wingsuiters and parachuting mountain bikers. Willem Dafoe provides a narration sampled from British mountaineer Robert Macfarlane’s acclaimed memoir Mountains of the Mind , and a classical score from the Australian Chamber Orchestra accompanies this majestic cinematic experience.


Doors open 7:15 for a 7:45 start
£5 / £3 student and Young Scot card

The fourth event in our WILD LIVES series – wild life, wild places and wild people from around the world.

West Side Cinema champion short film by showing a short before every feature. For this screening they’re putting on a whole programme of short documentaries under the theme of WILD LIVES – wild life, wild places and wild people of the world.

Cinemagraphic oceanscapes, the glory of Spring in time-lapse, the plight of the Pacific Northwest young farmers, running culture in the Kenyan Rift Valley to the life cycle of Alaskan salmon. Wild, wild lives from across the world.

Confirmed Programme so far:

The Infinite Now – Ray Collins

Australian coal miner-turned-photographer Ray Collins creates mesmeric ocean imagery. His seascapes and waves, frozen in ambient backlight, have risen to a unique pedestal in the world of water photography. For THE INFINITE NOW artist Armand Dijcks has re-imagined some of his best-known stills as cinemagraphs, a blend between photography and video. Each image is painstakingly overlayed, one frame over the next, and set to an infinite loop, creating the illusion of movement. These cinemagraphs inspired André Heuvelman from the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra to get together with pianist Jeroen van Vliet to record a very moving custom soundtrack. Kick up your feet and get lost in infinite motion.

Kukimbia – Spencer MacDonald

Kukimbia – Swahili for “running”. In March of 2016 Spencer and his team travelled to the highlands of the Kenyan Rift Valley and produced this film, an experiential journey through Kenyan running culture. They stayed in the family homes of some of these athletes, documenting their daily lives as they prepared for international competition. People often wonder what makes Kenyan runners among the best in the world. In preparation for this project, they came across many different opinions on this; ranging from diet, to genetics, to initiation ceremonies. However, working on this project directly with the athletes gave them different answers.

Spring – Jamie Scott

Spring is a stunning time-lapse piece shot in stunning 4k, a collaboration between filmmaker Jamie Scott and composer Jim Perkins. It’s a captivating close-up look at the birth and life of the beautiful flowers found in and around New York. The music and the film were created in conjunction with each other with each element informing and directing the other, to create a truly integrated audio and visual experience.

Age Of The Farmer – Spencer MacDonald

“65 is the average age of farmers, and there are not enough young farmers to replace them. How did we get here?”

In the summer of 2015, Eva Verbeeck asked Spencer MacDonald to join her on a trip throughout the Pacific Northwest to produce a short film on young farmers, that would accompany her photo story for a variety of publications. Having spent much time WWOOFing on organic farms, Spencer knew the importance of this mission. So they loaded their iPods with old bluegrass music and set off in a 1990 Nissan truck, heading from Portland to British Columbia. They offered their labor in exchange for room and board at the farms that they made it to. This film is an attempt to express some of the thoughts and feelings of the young farmers that they stayed with.

Transient – Dustin Farrell

Storm chasing adventures of summer 2017.

Filmmaker and photographer Dustin Farrell spent over 30 days and travelled 20K miles to make this film, shooting on a Phantom Flex4K at 1,000 frames per second. The result is a hugely impressive and atmospheric film that shows the remarkable complexity of electricity in the atmosphere.

‘My respect and admiration for storm chasers became even stronger this year. This is one of the most difficult projects I have ever attempted in my career. On several occasions I found myself uncomfortable either mentally or physically. Chasing storms with a Phantom Flex4K is stressful even when things are going well. There were at least 10 days where I returned home with my tail between my legs and nothing to show after a ten hour chase and 500 miles. There were also a couple of days that I drove home with an ear to ear smile that lasted for hours’. Dustin Farrell

Alaska The Nutrient Cycle – Paul Klaver

Wildlife filmmaker Paul Klaver has created a meditative, quietly-paced perspective on the circle-of-life saga on Earth.  Once they enter fresh water, chum salmon stop feeding and morph into an aggressive creature intent only on mating. After spawning, they die and their bodies become a source of nutrients for everything in the forest and sea.

‘I will never forget sitting down near a stream the day after arriving in this new world. It couldn’t have been more than five minutes when a black bear came out of the forest, snatched up a salmon and disappeared again in the thicket. I was speechless’. Paul Klaver

FRI 09 NOV – RAYMOND BESANT Illustrated talk

The third event in our WILD LIVES series – wild life, wild places and wild people from around the world.

Doors open 7:15 for a 7:45 start

Wolves at 16,000ft, Hyenas under lighting storms and sparring jungle Elephants. Join Orcadian wildlife cameraman Raymond Besant for an evening of ‘behind the scene’ stories on what it takes to make wildlife documentaries.

SAT 03 NOV – ‘THE PIANO’ (15)


With live piano intro from Steven Flett

The second event in our WILD LIVES series – wild life, wild places and wild people from around the world.

Doors open 7:00 with live piano intro from Steven Flett
Programme starts 7:45
£5 / £3 student and Young Scot card
BBFC INSIGHT strong sex, nudity, sexual assault

Jane Campion became the first female director to win the Palme d’Or for The Piano, her extraordinary, triumphant masterpiece about a mute woman’s rebellion in a newly colonised, Victorian-era New Zealand. Soundtracked by Michael Nyman’s evocative score, it won Oscars for Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin in career-defining roles and Best Screenplay for Campion’s typically individualistic, female-centric script. We are delighted to be re-releasing a digital restoration, approved by Campion, in the film’s 25th anniversary year.

Hunter (who has an impressive three screen credits; besides her starring role, she played all of the piano pieces and served as sign language teacher for Paquin) gives a majestic silent performance as Ada McGrath, the mute Scotswoman and talented pianist who arrives with her strong-willed young daughter Flora (Paquin) in the New Zealand wilderness.

She is to marry frontiersman Alistair Stewart (Sam Neill), having been sold him by her father, but takes an immediate dislike to him after he refuses to carry her beloved piano home with them, instead selling it to his overseer George Baines (Harvey Keitel). Attracted to Ada, Baines agrees to return the piano in exchange for lessons that gradually become a series of erotically charged sexual encounters. As the story unfolds like a Greek tragedy, complete with a chorus of Maori tribes, all of the characters’ long suppressed emotions come to the fore, as if elicited by the wildness of the natural world around them.

Concerning itself with Campion’s prevailing theme – women on the edge of societal norms (arriving after 1989’s Sweetie and An Angel at My Table and before Portrait of a LadyHoly Smoke, In the Cut, Bright Star and her acclaimed HBO/BBC TV series Top of the Lake) – it remains perhaps her most definitive work, a tale of immediate urgency and tremendous expressive power by one of the most compelling filmmakers at work today, and long overdue for revisiting in cinemas.


Doors open 1:30pm for a 2pm start
ADMISSION £1 on the door

The first event in our WILD LIVES series – wild life, wild places and wild people from around the world.
And we’re going wild with our admission price, just £1!

The Red Turtle adds to Studio Ghibli’s estimable legacy with a beautifully animated effort whose deceptively simple story boasts narrative layers as richly absorbing as its lovely visuals.

Through the story of a man shipwrecked on a tropical island inhabited by turtles, crabs and birds, The Red Turtle recounts the milestones in the life of a human being.


We’re super excited to release our programme for our themed series of films for November: WILD LIVES  – wild life, wild places and wild people of the world. The programme is part of the Orkney wide FILM FOCUS FESTIVAL, details coming soon…..


Doors open 7:15 for a 7:45 start
£5 / £3 student and Young Scot card
BBFC INSIGHT moderate sex reference, infrequent strong language

Chela and Chiquita, both descended from wealthy families in Asunción, Paraguay, have been together for over 30 years. But recently their financial situation has worsened and they begin selling off their inherited possessions. But when their debts lead to Chiquita being imprisoned on fraud charges, Chela is forced to face a new reality. Driving for the first time in years, she begins to provide a local taxi service to a group of elderly wealthy ladies. As Chela settles into her new life, she encounters the much younger Angy, forging a fresh and invigorating new connection. Chela finally begins to break out of her shell and engage with the world, embarking on her own personal, intimate revolution.

‘A stunning central performance from Ana Brun’. THE LIST

‘An empathetic and assured debut from Marcelo Martinessi’. LITTLE WHITE LIES

‘This is definitely the best film about an ageing Paraguayan lesbian couple you’ll see this year. It’s also one of the best films of any sort you’ll see’. THE TIMES

‘A tickling, near-perfect tragicomedy from Paraguay. The nuances are so fine you could slip them between adjacent atoms’. FINANCIAL TIMES


Doors open 7:15 for a 7:45 start
£5 / £3 student and Young Scot card
BBFC INSIGHT strong language, injury detail, violence, racism theme


Sweet Country makes brilliant use of the Australian outback as the setting for a hard-hitting story that satisfies as a character study as well as a sociopolitical statement.

Sam, a middle-aged Aboriginal man, works for a preacher in the outback of Australia’s Northern Territory. When Harry, a bitter war veteran, moves into a neighbouring outpost, the preacher sends Sam and his family to help Harry renovate his cattle yards. But Sam’s relationship with the cruel and ill-tempered Harry quickly deteriorates. As a result, Sam becomes a wanted criminal and is forced to flee with his wife across the deadly outback, through glorious but harsh desert country. A hunting party led by the local lawman Sergeant Fletcher is formed to track Sam down.

‘Australia now has its High Noon’. Time Out

‘A drama of imposing breadth and emotional depth’. Hollywood Reporter

‘The spare, classical chase drama that ensues is seeded with barbed observations on colonialism, cultural erasure and rough justice, kept poetically succinct by Thornton’s lithe, soaring visual storytelling’. Variety