Sound from the Edge of the World

Come on a journey to Orkney through sound + rare archive film footage.

Watch online – from 6pm Friday 31 July to 6pm Friday 7 August.

+ Free discussion on Mon 3 August at 6pm

Weaving together footage from 1930s onwards found in the National Library of Scotland Moving Image Archive, the FEC/SfS collective of emerging international curators, sound designers and composers test the boundaries of sound and image. 

A warm welcome awaits you at the edge of the (sound) world…


For one week only, watch this immersive film and sound voyage online. Inspired by the collective experiencing the landscape, traditions and rhythms of island life in Orkney, the programme is a quartet of themed films – Transportation > History > Food > Activity – featuring the likes of Kirkwall’s famous Ba’ game and the Old Man of Hoy. 

Originally commissioned to be performed live at Filmhouse Cinema in March 2020 as part of Edinburgh International Film Festival’s 2020 Retrospective exploring innovation in film scores, the students’ creative collaboration of curating and re-purposing archive footage and creating beautiful experimental soundtracks for the films can now be watched exclusively online for one week only. 

Curated & created by University of Edinburgh postgraduate students in: Sound Design / Composition for Screen / Film, Exhibition and Curation. 

Read the students’ introduction to the project here:


Just before 6pm on Friday 31 July we’ll send you the links to watch the film which lasts just over 50 minutes.

FREE DISCUSSION ON MON 3 AUG: When you register, you’ll also receive details of a short discussion we’ll be hosting via Zoom on Monday 3 August at 6pm. Join us to hear more from the students and partners involved in the project – what inspired them, how the collaboration worked – and to share your response to the films. Please note this event will be recorded. 

EAST SIDE CINEMA goes to Tokyo

With the Tokyo Olympics sadly being postponed, we’re marking the absence with a programme of short sports films to support the 1965 documentary TOKYO OLYMPIAD, often cited as one of the best sports documentaries of all time.

TOKYO OLYMPIAD (1965 / 163 mins) Kon Ichikawa

The 1964 Summer Olympics were seen as vitally important to the Japanese government. Much of Japan’s infrastructure had been destroyed during World War II and the Olympics were seen as a chance to re-introduce Japan to the world and show off its new modernised roads and industry as well as its burgeoning economy.

Director Kon Ichikawa’s vision of the Tokyo Olympics was controversial at the time as it was the opposite of what the government wanted and expected of the film. Ichikawa presented a film which was very much a cinematic and artistic recording of the events rather than the journalistic, historical recording that was desired by its financiers. As a result, the Japanese Olympic Committee forced Ichikawa to re-edit the picture to better suit their requirements, with the final, re-edited, version clocking in at 93 minutes rather than the original 170 minutes.

But the version you can see here on the Olympic Channel is the full length, digitally restored, directors cut. You can choose whether you want to watch it as a marathon, or a relay!

Select HERE for the full EAST SIDE CINEMA programme.

Bite Size Cinema 12 July

A soupçon of film curiosities.

This edition of Bite Size Cinema is all about hairstyles!

Long-Haired Layabouts

So many of us will be looking forward to a trip for a trim when hairdressers and barbers open this week. We wish all the best to our local snippers. But we wonder whether these fellas would be rushing back, or whether lockdown would have suited them just perfectly!

Watch Long-Haired Layabouts (1964/4m) on the BFI player.

Bite Size Cinema: Puzzle 03

It’s time for another Bite Size Cinema Puzzle. Try the challenge at 108 pieces!
This one features someone from a film all about them that we showed at West Side Cinema. Who is it? What was the film? And when did we show it? We ‘think’ you’ll like it (‘just a little bit’).

Select this link to start the puzzle.

The Gift of Sound and Vision

“I will sit right down, waiting for the gift of sound and vision
And I will sing, waiting for the gift of sound and vision
Drifting into my solitude, over my head
Don’t you wonder sometimes
‘Bout sound and vision?”
David Bowie – Sound & Vision

We’re absolutely delighted to announce that we’ve been successful in our application to Creative Scotland’s National Lottery supported Cinema Equipment Fund, meaning that we’ll be installing a new projector and…..


a new Dolby sound system.

What does all this mean we hear you cry!

Well, on the projector front, we’ll be installing an 8,000 lumens laser lamp projector – giving a 60% brighter image, with a heat free and low maintenance lamp.

On the sound front, a little bit of tech overview – We currently have 2.0 Stereo sound. That’s 2 channels, left and right. An ever increasing amount of Blu Ray discs are producing film soundtracks with surround sound, which means all those extra channel effects are getting pushed onto our 2 channels and drowning out important things like dialogue. Due to the infrastructure of the Town Hall, it’s not practical for us to install full surround sound, so we will be installing what’s called a 3.1 (4 channel) system – a front left and right, a centre speaker and a sub woofer. This will allow us to tweak the surround sound to the left and right speakers and the dialogue to the centre speaker – to give a far superior and intelligible soundtrack.

We’d like to stress that the announcement of our success on Radio Orkney which was followed by a statement that cinemas in Scotland were able to open on 15th July are not connected. We are still some way off being able to open our doors and will need to follow advice from Orkney Islands Council as they own the venue. The current situation also means that the installation of the new equipment will probably be slightly delayed from the original August schedule, but we will proceed as soon as practical to do so.

We’d like to send a big thank you to the National Lottery and Creative Scotland for awarding us this grant, to our committee members that spent their own time on the application, and to our loyal audience, as you are the reason for our success. We’re really looking forward to when we can reopen our doors, welcome you back and continue the West Side journey.

You can see the full press release from Screen Scotland and all the other successful applicants HERE

Bite Size Cinema 28 June

A soupçon of film curiosities.

Slow Sea TV by Chris Lewis

An hour of the ocean in motion. Sea vibes to relax, contemplate or just have on in the background. Don’t worry about following any narrative with this. Just imagine it as your own private fish tank. Dip in and out whenever you feel the need. And relax……

‘For every moment the sea is peace and relief, there is another when it shivers and stirs to become chaos. It’s just as ready to claim as it is to offer.’ – Tim Winton

Filmed in Western Australia.


Bite Size Cinema

We think people are maybe spending too much time on the screen. So rather than curating whole film programmes, we thought you might prefer things in more manageable portions.

Introducing BITE SIZE CINEMA, a soupçon of film curiosities.

It could be a short film, an article, a news item. Or a JIGSAW!

With due respect to Orkney Library & Archive, where we first came across this fabulous on line jigsaw challenge.

So here’s one for starters.

Bite Size Cinema: Puzzle 01

Select this link to start the puzzle.

This person starred in a film at West Side Cinema. Who is it? What was the film? And when did we show it?

West Side Support

We’re very thankful to Voluntary Action Orkney (VAO) for nominating us for a Corra Foundation Wellbeing Fund grant. We’re delighted to announce that our proposal was successful!

The grant will enable us to continue our on line initiatives, as well as ideas further down the line in our road to reopening. As usual, everything will have that West Side spin!

Watch this space for what’s coming soon……….


We’re proud to announce the winner of the West Side Globe Award for West Side goes to We Are One, our own crafted event for the We Are One film festival. It’s an audience award, voted by you, via our on line Ping-Pongometer.

There was a handful of films that stood out with 4 out of 5 scores – RUDEBOY: THE STORY OF TROJAN RECORDS, SISTERHOOD, THE EPIC OF EVEREST and EEB ALLAY OOO.

But the leader of the pack, with 4.6 out of 5 …………

Drum roll………….


by co-directors Giorgio Ferrero and Federico Biasin

The movie

Giorgio and Federico, we at West Side think your film was an absolute masterpiece – a beautifully sculpted symphonic meditation with enchanting cinematography, imaginative sound design and innovative editing. Please accept our West Side Globe Award, and place it with pride on your virtual mantelpiece.

( p.s.- We honestly feel the small screen doesn’t do the film justice, so we look forward to inviting ‘Beautiful Things’, and perhaps yourselves, to our big screen once we’re able to open again).



Got a little bit lost? Click HERE to ask at the Check In Desk.

West Side Stories 03: 13 JUNE 2020

Welcome to West Side Stories, a Film & Music show from West Side Cinema in Stromness, Orkney.
This week, a What’s On At Home on Freeview channels guide with music from the films available this coming week.

To see the full guide, which includes films available On Demand click HERE

If You’ll Be The Teacher from ‘Election’ – Bonnie Guitar
Walk Don’t Rango from ‘Rango’ – Los Lobos
The Fallen Idol 9 Suite from ‘The Fallen Idol’ – William Alwyn/London Symphony Orchestra
Main Title from ‘Bullit’ – Lalo Schiffrin
End Title from ‘Bullit’ – Lalo Schiffrin
Masters Of War – Odetta