Base Camp Cinema Supporting Ten Feet Tall through our Ignition Awards

Bringing independent cinema to Middlesbrough.

Base Camp is one of Middlesbrough’s freshest creative spaces and the new home of local event promotion polymaths Ten Feet Tall. The venue, housed in a revived Grade II listed former Post Office, opened its doors in late-2018 and made its first foray into film exhibition in January 2019. After a sellout screening of So, Which Band is Your Boyfriend In? on a cold, wet winter’s night, the Ten Feet Tall team spotted an opportunity: to bring independent cinema to the people of Middlesbrough on a regular basis, and to transform their flexible venue space into a community hub for local cinephiles.

Enter Base Camp Cinema: a new project funded by Film Hub North’s Ignition Awards that has seen Ten Feet Tall deliver a pilot programme of film events from June – December 2019. Hub support has allowed Base Camp to incorporate regular film screenings into their varied arts and community programmes – where it sits alongside gigs, yoga sessions and social events – and to begin to develop long-term audiences for film in Middlesbrough.

Many of Base Camp Cinema’s events have followed the pattern of their debut screening by tapping into the venue’s core music programme. Music inspired screenings have included docs such as Cobain: Montage of Heck, B-Movie: Lust & Sound in West Berlin and The Punk Singer. And a partnership with Teesside’s Sad For Life Records has produced a programme of morose movies that have informed the label’s sound and outlook – from the obsessive collectors of High Fidelity and its stacked crate of stone-cold rock classics, to the odd romance of Her; Spike Jonze’s melancholic sci-fi set in a sterile near-future and scored with a sombre, sobering soundtrack from Arcade Fire.

Elsewhere, Base Camp have used their intimate space to experiment with screenings both immersive and overwhelming. Sensory overload is a recurring theme in a trio of audio-visual assaults showcased during this first season: Gaspar Noé’s bad acid trip, Climax; fish eye view trawler documentary, Leviathan; and Stanley Kubrick’s mind-bending epic, 2001: A Space Odyssey. And special events have ranged from the extravagant – transforming the venue into Summerisle for a solstice screening of The Wicker Man – to the humble addition of a PS2 and Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 to complement the nostalgia rush of Mid90s.

Ten Feet Tall have made a strong start with the Base Camp Cinema pilot project. They've programmed bold film choices and offered audiences additional activity like filmmaker Q&As and a sense of cinema community where there wasn't one before. It's hopefully the start of bigger and better things for film fans in Middlesbrough.

Visit the Base Camp website

Ten Feet Tall have produced the pilot Base Camp Cinema programme with support from our Ignition Awards. For more information of how we can help your next project, contact our team or visit our Exhibition Funding homepage.