19:00 WED 13 NOV



Join us in the reception lounge of the newly restored Robert Rendall building (which most folk will know as the old Stromness Primary School!) for a West Side Cinema compilation of short films and readings on the themes of LAND & SEA.

Readings from:

John Cumming
Cal Flynn
Duncan McLean
Alison Miller

WEST FEST Birthday Party

Wow! Just Wow! What a fantastic way to end our WEST FEST and celebrate our 7th Birthday.
THE ADVENTURES OF PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT was packed to the rafters. It was the most amazing audience participation we’ve ever experienced, and an incredible two and a half hours of dancing at the after screening disco. One to remember for a long, long time.
We reckon the night would have scored a near perfect 5 out of 5 on our ping-pongometer, but again we had some over zealous folk that may have skewed the result. Never mind, we’re going to score it 4.9 as we think that’s a fair reflection on how things stood for most of the night, and verbal feedback was so positive.
Many thanks to Alan from Garriock’s Disco Orkney for spinning the decks and providing a fabulous lighting display, to Duncan and the team from Kirkness & Gorie for keeping us well refreshed with the Strangely Delicious pop up bar, and to Cooke Aquaculture Scotland for sponsoring the event. A special thanks to the committee and volunteers of West Side Cinema for not just last night, but for the whole 9 days of events, working tirelessly to bring the best of cinema to Stromness.
We’re taking a well earned holiday now from our regular cinema nights until SAT 11 JAN. Until then, thanks to everyone for another fantastic year of cinema experience, West Side.

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To commemorate the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet in 1919, West Side Cinema and Stromness Museum ran a series of community workshops during Stromness Shopping Week with London based animator Lizzy Hobbs.
Fifty people attended four half day sessions and worked with themes of Underwater, Life on board, Scuttle and Salvage, inspired heavily by first person accounts in German Torpedo Boat Captain Friedrich Ruge’s book ‘Scapa Flow 1919’. Participants ages ranged from 6 to over 60, and they produced 40 small animations focusing on the more playful aspects of this remarkable incident. The final film was edited by Stromness based editor Mark Jenkins.

The project was made possible through funding from Orkney Islands Council Culture Fund, Cooke Aquaculture, West Side Cinema and Heritage Lottery Fund.


The FILM FOCUS FESTIVAL 2019 is a celebration of film in Orkney running 01 – 23 November. It will run in 22 venues across 13 islands and parishes featuring a diverse range of films and events with something for everyone. The festival saw more than 4,000 people attend film events last year, and we hope this year will be just as popular.

Events are happening across the length and breadth of Orkney with something for everyone. There are two mini film festivals – Out Of This World in Shapinsay and West Fest in Stromness – the mobile Screen Machine, silent cinema, local short films, a film quiz, talks and readings, student films, new film commissions celebrating the life and work of Margaret Tait, Take One Action (Orkney), Into Film Festival screenings for young people, and even a film-themed disco!

Mark Jenkins, chair of West Side Cinema and project manager of the festival, said, ‘The festival helps organisations focus their programming ideas. Last year was a great success and it’s fantastic to see ideas develop year on year. It’s also an opportunity for new organisations to try things out, and the community screening sponsorship we get allows some of those places that can’t advertise year round do that during the festival.’

The Screen Machine is returning once again for 15 days, visiting six islands: Eday, Rousay, Sandy, Shapinsay, Stronsay and Westray. The Phoenix Cinema will be running for all 23 days including a silent Laurel & Hardy show with piano accompaniment from Neil Brand. The Screen In The Square in St. Margaret’s Hope has three film screenings including a Projectionist’s Choice. The Gable End Theatre in Hoy has five events including a film and suite of new music. The Graand Owld Byre in Westray and the Kelp Store in Papay are involved again this year. Both have recently organised more regular community cinemas, as have Shapinsay Soond Cinema, who this year are running the Out of This World film festival with seven screenings under a space/sci-fi theme. Pop-up community cinemas are in Burray Hall and North Ronaldsay Bird Observatory. The Pier Arts Centre is continuing its Margaret Tait 100 celebrations with new film commissions on show and a visit to Sunnybrae Centre. Take One Action (Orkney) is a new venture. The UK-wide Into Film Festival for 5 to 19-year-olds has three local screenings including an after-screening writing activity on how to analyse film. The libraries in Kirkwall and Stromness will have iPads on display showcasing the recent Orkney Story Stack project. West Side Cinema celebrates its 7th birthday with a bumper West Fest programme of seven feature films over nine days, plus a West Fest hub at The Royal Hotel with evening events including local short films, a film quiz and an Orkney Arts Society talk. Its birthday and the end of the festival will be celebrated in style with a 25-year anniversary screening of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert, followed by a glam disco and pop-up bar.

This year’s festival has been made possible by strategic support from Film Hub Scotland, which is part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network, led by Glasgow Film and funded by BFI and Creative Scotland. Further support comes from West Side Cinema and Orkney Islands Council. The Screen Machine has been supported locally by Pentland Ferries and Orkney Ferries. Cooke Aquaculture have sponsored six community screenings and two special events.

‘The range of events is fantastic and we have a super infrastructure of venues and organisations to work with. We also have MSc Film, Exhibition & Curation students from the University of Edinburgh visiting for four days and we hope to be able to work with them for next year’s programme. But for this year, I hope folk enjoy the festival wherever, and whenever, they can make it.’ Mark Jenkins


For this years FILM FOCUS FESTIVAL we’ve a bumper programme of events from 01 – 09 NOV.

We’re celebrating our 7th birthday with 7 feature films, a special after screening birthday party DISCO, and we’ll have a film festival hub for three nights at the Royal Hotel.


Our WEST FEST series kicks off tonight with a thrilling must-watch documentary!

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

Brilliantly capturing a remarkable performer near the peak of her prodigious power, Amazing Grace is a thrilling must-watch documentary for Aretha Franklin fans.

By 1971, Aretha Franklin was known as the Queen of Soul. In the culmination of five years of chart-topping hits, she and her producer, Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records, decided her next recording would take her back to the music of her youth, to the world of American Gospel music.

Amazing Grace was not intended as a swan song, but it would turn out to be an elegiac moment in American musical history as well as a salute to the gospel heritage that had transformed American music in the 1960s.

Recorded live at Rev James Cleveland’s church in Watts, California in front of a lively audience/congregation, Amazing Grace would become the highest selling album of Franklin’s career and the most popular Gospel album of all time.

However, the film was never released publicly. Until now.



The second feature film in our WEST FEST series

Doors open 1:30 for a 2PM start
Pay on the way out what you think it’s worth!
Ratings Info mild fantasy action violence, infrequent mild bad language

The endearing Iron Giant tackles ambitious topics and complex human relationships with a steady hand and beautifully animated direction from Brad Bird.

Something huge is on the horizon. Hogarth Hughes just rescued an enormous robot that fell from the stars to Earth. Now young Hogarth has one very big friend and an even bigger problem: How do you keep at 50-foot-tall, steel-eating (junkyard cars are especially tasty) giant a secret? It’s even harder when a nosy government agent arrives in town to hunt down the ‘alien invader’ and the combined land, sea and air might of the US military is sent to demolish the giant. The result: an incredible adventure that’s part metal, part magic, all heart.



The third feature film in our WEST FEST series

Doors open 7:15 for a 7:45 start
£5 / £3 student and Young Scot card
Ratings Info strong language, racist language, violence, nudity

Smart, vibrant, and urgent without being didactic, Do the Right Thing is one of Spike Lee’s most fully realised efforts and one of the most important films of the 1980s.

It’s the hottest day of the year in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood of Brooklyn, and tensions are growing there, with the only local businesses being a Korean grocery and Sal’s Pizzeria. Mookie, Sal’s delivery boy, manages to always be at the center of the action.


7:30pm -11pm
Free entrance
Upstairs function room
The Royal Hotel
Victoria St

Join us at the West Side Hub for a mix of local short films and music.


7:30pm -11pm
Free entrance
Upstairs function room
The Royal Hotel
Victoria St

Join us at the West Side Hub for a mix of short films, music and a FILM QUIZ.


7:30pm -11pm
Upstairs function room
The Royal Hotel
Victoria St

Join us at the West Side Hub for an Orkney Arts Society talk (60 mins) followed by a mix of short films and music.


Local filmmaker and editor Mark Jenkins will discuss how rhythm and structure have such an influence on his filmmaking practice.


The fourth feature film in our WEST FEST series

Doors open 7:15 for a 7:45 start
£5 / £3 student and Young Scot card
Ratings Info infrequent strong language

Follow Alex Honnold as he becomes the first person to ever free solo climb Yosemite’s 3,000ft high El Capitan Wall. With no ropes or safety gear, he completed arguably the greatest feat in rock climbing history. From award-winning documentary filmmaker E. Chai Vasarhelyi and world-renowned photographer and mountaineer Jimmy Chin, comes FREE SOLO, a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of free soloist climber Alex Honnold, as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock… the 3,200ft El Capitan in Yosemite National Park… without a rope.


The fifth feature film in our WEST FEST series

Doors open 7:15 for a 7:45 start
£5 / £3 student and Young Scot card
Ratings Info very strong language, discriminatory terms, sexualised nudity

Diamantino casts a singularly surreal eye on an ambitious array of subjects, emerging with a cinematic experience as inscrutable as it is unforgettable.

Diamantino (Carloto Cotta), the world’s premiere soccer star, loses his special touch and ends his career in disgrace. Searching for a new purpose, he sets out on a delirious odyssey in which he must confront neo-fascism, the refugee crisis, genetic modification, and abuse at the hands of his evil twin sisters, all part of a deranged hunt for the source of genius.


The sixth feature film in our WEST FEST series


The sixth feature film in our FILM FOCUS series.

Doors open 2:30 for a 3PM start
Ratings Info: Contains mild threat and scary scenes

A film chosen by our Young Film Programmers Callum and Finlay Edmonds.

Rango is a smart, giddily creative burst of beautifully animated entertainment, and Johnny Depp gives a colorful vocal performance as a household pet in an unfamiliar world.

Rango is a sheltered chameleon living as an ordinary family pet, while facing a major identity crisis. After all, how high can you aim when your whole purpose in life is to blend in? When Rango accidentally winds up in the gritty, gun-slinging town of Dirt – a lawless outpost populated by the desert’s most wily and whimsical creatures – the less-than-courageous lizard suddenly finds he stands out. Welcomed as the last hope the town has been waiting for, new Sheriff Rango is forced to play his new role to the hilt.



The seventh and last feature film in our WEST FEST series

And we’re celebrating big time as it’s West Side’s 7th BIRTHDAY PARTY!

Join us for an after screening disco, with DJ West Side playing all the top disco tracks, so dress GLAM  and remember your dancing shoes.

and no need to BYO, we have the Strangely Delicious Bar

Late opening until 12PM! 

This event is kindly supported by Cooke Aquaculture

Doors open 7:15 for a 7:45 start
£5 / £3 student and Young Scot card
Ratings Info Contains strong language, sex references and threat

A cult classic that combines the sequined sensations of drag culture with the thrills and conflicts of an unlikely adventure on the road.

The usually menacing British actor Terence Stamp does a complete turnaround as Bernadette, an aging transsexual who tours the backwaters of Australia with her stage partners, Mitzi (Hugo Weaving) and Adam/Felicia (Guy Pearce). Their act, well-known in Sydney, involves wearing lots of makeup and gowns and lip-synching to records, but Bernadette is getting a bit tired of it all and is also haunted by the bizarre death of an old loved one. Nevertheless, when Mitzi and Felicia get an offer to perform in the remote town of Alice Springs at a casino, Bernadette decides to tag along. The threesome ventures into the outback with Priscilla, a lavender-colored school bus that doubles as dressing room and home on the road. Along the way, the act encounters any number of strange characters, as well as incidents of homophobia, while Bernadette becomes increasingly concerned about the path her life has taken.


Doors open 7:15 for a 7:45 start
£5 / £3 student and Young Scot card
Ratings Info: moderate threat, infrequent strong language

We’re tying in with the Stromness Museum conference SCAPA 100: The Orkney Story, to bring you this nail biting documentary.

A commercial diver is stranded on the seabed with 5 minutes of oxygen, but no chance of rescue for more than 30 minutes. With access to amazing archive, this is the true story of one man’s impossible fight for survival.


Doors open 7:15 for a 7:45 start
£5 / £3 student and Young Scot card
Ratings Info: infrequent moderate injury detail

Treating its timely themes with a deceptively light touch, Woman at War is easy to enjoy in the moment, yet its impact lingers long after the closing credits roll.

Halla is a fifty-year-old independent woman. But behind the scenes of a quiet routine, she leads a double life as a passionate environmental activist. Known to others only by her alias “The Woman of the Mountain,” Halla secretly wages a one-woman-war on the local aluminum industry. As Halla’s actions grow bolder, from petty vandalism to outright industrial sabotage, she succeeds in pausing the negotiations between the Icelandic government and the corporation building a new aluminum smelter. But right as she begins planning her biggest and boldest operation yet, she receives an unexpected letter that changes everything.



We’re on the road taking this film to our friends at Hoy Kirk Heritage Centre.

What’s the connection? The score was arranged by Peter Maxwell Davies while he was staying at Muckle Hoose in Rackwick, Hoy.

There will be the usual warm welcome at Hoy Kirk Heritage Centre with refreshments and nibbles from 6:30pm. The event ties in with the Friday evening ferry from Stromness to Moaness departing 5:45pm and returning at 10pm. Make sure to book with Orkney Ferries.

The Boy Friend began life as Sandy Wilson’s small-scale pastiche of British musical comedies of the 1920s. But director Ken Russell, notorious for his onscreen excesses, fashioned a humongous parody of the Busby Berkeley film musicals of the 1930s, staged on a scale that made Berkeley seem stylistically modest.

Fashion model Twiggy plays Polly Browne, an aspiring musical comedy star, working as stage manager of a production of The Boy Friend. She is transformed into a star when she replaces leading lady Rita Monroe (Glenda Jackson, unbilled), who twists her ankle seconds before the curtain goes up. Before the evening is over, Polly is scampering over outsized sets, and ducking around seemingly thousands of chorus girls and boys. Christopher Gable, who plays Polly’s on-stage leading man, also choreographed the lavish musical numbers.


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

A tragicomedy initially set in the jianghu-criminal underworld-setting, ASH IS PUREST WHITE is less a gangster movie than a melodrama. With a three-part structure, it begins by following the quick-witted Qiao (Tao Zhao) and her mobster boyfriend Bin (Fan Liao) as they stake out their turf against rivals and upstarts in 2001 postindustrial Datong before expanding out into an epic narrative of how abstract forces shape individual lives, and continues Jia Zhangke’s body of work as a record of 21st-century China and its warp-speed transformations.