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All films start at 7.45pm unless otherwise stated.

Saturday 24 and Thursday 29 June


Toivon tuolla puolen (original title)

Six years after the award-winning Le Havre, Aki Kaurismäki directs the second in his planned port city trilogy. Kaurismaki regular Sakari Kuosmann stars as Wikstrom, restaurateur and former travelling salesman who crosses paths with a Syrian refugee (Sherwan Haji) after his inadvertent arrival in Finland as a stowaway.

Kaurismaki brings his delightfully lugubrious comedy to address the plight of the refugee with style, compassion and wit, winning the Silver Bear for Best Director at the recent Berlin Film Festival in the process.

Finland/Germany (Finnish, English, Arabic and Swedish dialogue with English subtitles), 2017, 98 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

Friday 30 June 7.45pm and Saturday 1 July 3.00pm


Storms and grey waves engulf a small island and a nameless man is washed up on a beach alongside the remnants of his boat. Finding the inquisitive crabs scant company, he resolves to escape from the island on a makeshift bamboo raft; only to encounter a mysterious underwater force impeding his departure. Thus begins Studio Ghibli’s first international co-production, a ravishing castaway fable that combines beauty, mystery, drama and heartbreak – all without a word being spoken.

Michael Dudok de Wit directs a sublime, Academy Award nominated, animation, conjuring a charming tale from deceptively simple pencil drawings and watercolour washes.

France/Belgium/Japan, 2016, 81 mins

Reviews: :: The Guardian :: The Observer :: The Telegraph ::

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Stoke Film Theatre, College Road, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire ST4 2EH Registered Charity no. 504600