Our North

Wuthering2011
Wuthering2011

Our North is a season of screenings celebrating stories of the North, the work of Northern filmmakers and the creativity of the region's curators and cinema programmers. 

This list of Our North selections highlights the various ways that the region has inspired filmmakers and the role cinema has played in capturing Northern history, culture and identity. It features tales from the musical hotbeds of Manchester and Liverpool, stories set against the glorious terrain of the Lake District and narratives exploring the expansive, culturally diverse county of Yorkshire.

Our North takes place from August December 2019. It is run by Film Hub North - a sector development organisation who support film culture throughout the region and help audiences enjoy a rich variety of cinema.

Kes

CertPG

Age group7+

Duration110 mins

Kes(1969)

Enchanting film from famed British social realist director Ken Loach, about a young lad with an unhappy life, who befriends and tames a kestrel hawk.

Ken Loach, who has made a career out of politically-charged dramas set in the north of England, directs this career-defining film, a Yorkshire-set parable about a bullied boy whose difficult life changes for the better after he befriends, and begins to train, a wild kestrel.

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Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit

CertU

Age groupAll ages

Duration81 mins

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit(2005)

Will the dreaded Were-Rabbit ruin the duo's chances at the annual Giant Vegetable Fete? Much-loved stop-motion animation from Aardman.

Two of Britain’s most adored animated characters (hailing from Wigan) make their feature film debut as they come to the rescue of a small Lancashire village plagued by a strange, rabbit-like creature in this Oscar-winning claymation comedy from Aardman.

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Chicken Run

CertU

Age group5–11

Duration84 mins

Chicken Run(2000)

When the chickens learn they are all to be made into pies they hatch an escape plan.

Set on an abusive poultry farm in Yorkshire, Chicken Run is more than just an animated comedy about chickens. Heartfelt messages around captivity and freedom play out against a delightfully northern backdrop in this ground-breaking work of stop-motion animation.

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Believe

CertPG

Age group7–16

Duration95 mins

Believe(2013)

Touching fictional tale about legendary Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby helping a talented but wayward young footballer fulfil his dreams.

Set in Manchester in 1984, this story of ex-Manchester United manager, Sir Matt Busby, coming out of retirement to coach a team of young working-class boys is an engaging reminder of how important football culture is to the north of England.

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Swallows and Amazons

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration97 mins

Swallows and Amazons(2016)

Adaptation of Arthur Ransome’s timeless novel about four siblings embarking on an extraordinary adventure whilst on holiday in the Lake District.

Based on the acclaimed novel by Arthur Ransome, Swallows and Amazons is a tale of unbridled youth as the children of the Walker and Blackett families play out their fantasies of adventure and piracy in the stunning surroundings of the Lake District.

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The Railway Children

CertU

Age group7–14

Duration106 mins

The Railway Children (1970)

Iconic story about three London children moving to the country after their father is falsely imprisoned, forced to live in poverty in rural Yorkshire.

A film which deftly illustrates the culture clash between the north and south of England, The Railway Children has become a British classic, following the three Waterbury siblings as they move from London to rural Yorkshire following their father's false imprisonment.

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Distant Voices, Still Lives

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration80 mins

Distant Voices, Still Lives(1988)

A highly original and impressionist telling of a family growing up in post-war Liverpool.

Liverpool-born Terrence Davies directs this incredibly evocative and melancholic period piece tracking the personal history of a working-class family in Liverpool during the 1940s and 50s, using the local dialect and popular music of the time to paint an authentic, nostalgic portrait.

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Wuthering Heights

Cert15

Age groupAll ages

Duration129 mins

Wuthering Heights(2011)

Emily Bronte's classic book is revived with a brutal intensity as a poor English boy is taken in by a wealthy family and falls for his foster sister.

None of the many adaptations of Emily Bronte’s intense, romantic struggles, which take place on the wind-battered moors of Yorkshire, have been quite as visceral as this bold and visually stunning take from acclaimed Brit director Andrea Arnold.

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Of Time and the City

Cert12

Age group14+

Duration74 mins

Of Time and the City(2008)

Poetic, nostalgia-filled documentary by Liverpool-born director Terence Davies, looking back to the harsh post-war 1950s and 1960s in his home city.

Described by director Terrence Davies as both “a love letter and a eulogy” to his hometown of Liverpool, this warm, witty and nostalgic documentary could be described as a “city symphony”. Propelled by narration from the Davies himself, it is a fresh and original look at one of the north’s great cities.

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Peterloo

Cert12

Age group16+

Duration154 mins

Peterloo(2018)

Period drama on the notorious 1819 Peterloo Massacre, where pro-democracy protesters were attacked by British forces.

Mike Leigh writes and directs this historical epic centred around the infamous Peterloo massacre of 1819 in Manchester. This richly detailed account of the political actions that led to such a tragedy are an important timely reminder of the importance of activism in the face of authoritarianism.

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Billy Liar

CertPG

Age group11+

Duration94 mins

Billy Liar(1963)

A young man with a boring job prefers to escape the real world and spend most of his time in his own wild imagination.

Billy Fisher lives in Yorkshire with his parents and works as a clerk for an Undertaker. Desperate to escape his humdrum life, he begins to daydream about a fantastic land called Ambrosia where he is King, earning himself the name Billy Liar. This blend of realist-drama and comedy has truly stood the test of time and contains a fantastic performance from Tom Courtenay.

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Whistle Down the Wind

CertPG

Age group7+

Duration95 mins

Whistle Down the Wind(1961)

When three children in a rural corner of Lancashire find a fugitive hiding in a barn on their family's farm, it begins a dramatic series of events.

After three Lancashire children mistake a convict for Jesus, a series of dramatic events begin to unfold. A religious allegory set in rural Northern England, this fine British drama is still as powerful now as it was when it was released in the 1960s.

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British Council Shorts 2016: Secondary

CertUnclassified

Age group14+

Duration96 mins

British Council Shorts 2016: Secondary(2016)

The best of British short film in 2016 for secondary ages curated by the Into Film programming team.

This collection includes 'Saturday', in which the national disaster of Hillsborough is re-examined through the eyes of a Merseyside family, particularly the youngest son, who watches his brother leave for a football match and never return. A potent and realist short film that interlinks personal and societal grief to great effect.

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SoulBoy

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration80 mins

SoulBoy(2010)

An endearing coming-of-age film set against the backdrop of 1960's British counter-culture, Northern Soul.

A romantic coming-of-age story that intertwines with the northern soul music scene of the 1970s and largely takes place in the infamous Wigan Casino, this film follows Joe, a young man whose affection for a new woman in his life sets him on a path to become a Soul Boy.

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Nowhere Boy

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration94 mins

Nowhere Boy(2009)

Biopic of Beatles music legend John Lennon, focusing on his early life as a teen in 1950s Liverpool and the complex relationship with his mother.

The adolescence of one of Liverpool’s most famous sons, John Lennon, is told here with a great tenderness and warmth. Taking place during Lennon’s teenage years (1955-1960), Nowhere Boy is an insight into the genesis and evolution of The Beatles and of one of the north’s cultural icons.

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Lady Macbeth

Cert15

Age group16+

Duration89 mins

Lady Macbeth(2016)

A young woman forced into a loveless marriage decides to take her fate into her own hands in this dark period drama.

Fronted by a star-making turn from relative newcomer Florence Pugh, Lady Macbeth (not the one from the Shakespeare play!) follows a young woman in rural England as she attempts to escape the confines of a forced marriage. Shot on location in Durham, this intensely realised feminist drama takes some very unexpected twists and turns.

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