Somewhere on the other side of the world….

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…there’s a quirky cinema that encompasses (almost) all the Pop Up Docs values. And this year I finally got to go there!

At Pop Up Docs we spend a lot of time blue-sky thinking about unusual and alternative venues for our films. We choose each venue specific to the film we are screening and we’re always on the lookout for new and exciting spaces.

But when travelling around New Zealand earlier this year I came across a fantastic cinema that seemed to have that quirkiness, comfort and affordability we try and achieve at each screening – all wrapped up in one venue… the Cinema Paradiso.


This twin screen classic movie theatre is in the resort town of Wanaka on New Zealand’s South Island. Sandwiched between a stunning lake and dramatic mountains – it is a breathtaking location.


But even for all its natural beauty, one of the area’s biggest tourist attractions is actually a small cinema on the edge of the centre of town. As you walk in the door it felt like walking into the cinema version of the Empire Records store. The staff know their films, they bake fresh cookies for their customers and you get the feeling that this is more than just a ‘job’.

In the cinema itself you can choose to watch the film from a comfy old sofa or even from inside an old Morris Minor. Halfway through the film there is a short interval when you can sit down and have some food – before taking your drinks back in for the second half of the film. It was almost like being round someone’s house – and a far cry from the modern, faceless, overpriced cinemas we are so used to these days. This was ‘hugge’ cinema!


And the Paradiso doesn’t just show art house films – their schedule was an eclectic mix of Hollywood blockbusters, indie films and even feature docs. Literally something for everyone.

I came away inspired and hope we can include a little bit of the Paradiso spirit in to some of our future screenings…



We’ve been littering….

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… for a good cause!

Sat 22nd April marked World Earth Day. First celebrated in 1970, Earth Day events take place in more than 193 countries and are held to demonstrate support for and educate others about environmental protection.


Pop Up Docs were fortunate to be able to screen the recently released film A PLASTIC OCEAN which highlights the plight of marine animals living among the estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic rubbish generated by humans. Our team created a trail of plastic waste from Bath Spa station to the secret venue.


The film itself was a shocking watch. And if that didn’t get us riled up enough the film was introduced by DOP Mike Pitts who revealed how horrifying it was to have to watch many of these tragedies unfold before his eyes. Pitts believed the film should have been made several years ago – and indeed it feels like a tragedy that has been unfolding for some time.


Mike and the PLASTIC OCEAN team traveled the world to bring us this incredible story. But in fact it’s as much a local story as it is an international one.

Filmmaker Dan Wiseman of Wiseman Productions was inspired by the actions of the Ado Shorland in Bude, North Cornwall. He started a collective when he realised that instead of collecting driftwood, maybe he should be collecting all the plastic being washed up on the beaches and so began Widemouth Bay Task Force..

Dan’s short film LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE documents the team, who spend their down time tackling the deluge of waste washed up on North Cornish beaches – come rain, shine or gale force winds! But the clean up has had more of an impact on the community than they imagined – inspiring and facilitating artwork, decorating the homes of locals and even helping to rehabilitate a woman with a debilitating condition…

Watch Dan’s inspiring film here

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Monday 23rd January, 8pm at the Boston Tea Party, Bath
Dir. Sean McAllister | 78min | 2015 | 12A

This next Pop Up Docs screening is a fundraiser for Bath Welcomes Refugees, get your tickets from our home page: £6 adult | £5 student | £4 unwaged/single parent | FREE refugees/carers

We hope to see many people at this screening, to raise funds and awareness too. Please do come, bring a friend, and tell your neighbours too…

£30 pays for a child’s school uniform, £100 for a pushchair: these are simple things some take for granted, which for others are essential to accessing an education or getting out of the house with the kids. When you think of what is going on across the whole country of Syria (most of the refugees in Bath are from Syria, hence the film choice) as well as the much-covered devastation of Aleppo, a school uniform or a buggy don’t seem like much to ask for, and your donations, any donation, can make a huge difference here.

Bath Welcomes Refugees is a friendly group for anyone in the area who would like to be involved with welcoming refugee families. We have invited a guest speaker to share a glimpse of life as a refugee, the experience of displacement from home, being unable to return to the place where you belong.