Andrew Wilsdon, Marketing Coordinator picks Wu Tsang's We hold where study in Gallery 1 

We hold where study is a one of Wu Tsang’s new works and this is the first time it’s been presented in the UK. A two-channel, single screen projection on a par with anything in our cinema screens greets you in Gallery 1. The experience, although in film format, sometimes feels more akin to physical theatre, as a stirring soundtrack fills the space, and four dancers perform two simultaneous duets. The captivating choreography proffers abstract, physical incantations that conjure up feelings about the fragility of human identity and its inherent mystery, despite our continual striving to understand it. As an artist who has recently been nominated for the 2018 Hugo Boss Award, this is a fantastic opportunity to treat your senses this Christmas by seeing some of Wu Tsang’s most renowned work. 

Roger McKinley, Head of Research and Innovation picks Future Aleppo

Future Aleppo is one 15 year old Syrian boy’s creative stand against the ravages of war that tore apart his home city. In our ground floor foyer you can see a paper model of Aleppo that was handcrafted by Mohammed Kteish, a truly beautiful and captivating object in its own right. Through collaborating with Creative Producer Alex Pearson and with funding from FACT and Sheffield Doc Fest, the model has also been turned into a VR experience. So you can also inhabit the paper city, whilst listening to the stories narrated by Mohammed and play your own part in rebuilding it. It is certainly a work that, at a time of year which too often celebrates excess, reminds us of the inherent possibilities in turning our hands and our minds to a more direct experience of making. 

Rachael White, Fundraising and Development Manager picks FACT Friends

If you’re looking for a more unusual gift (for a loved one or for yourself), that also supports the amazing work we do, both in the gallery and out in the community, then FACT Friends is for you! And with 2018 on the way, when we’ll be celebrating 15 years in the building, becoming a FACT Friend will make sure the next 15 are just as spectacular.

Lesley Taker, Producer/Curator picks Wu Tsang’s Under Cinema in Gallery 2

This is a new film work by artist Wu Tsang which centres on Kelela, the incredible American singer / songwriter who has recently released her debut album, Take Me Apart on Warp Records.

Tsang has taken a uniquely intimate look at the up-and-coming star as she goes through the process of making her first major label record, and raises questions about what it means to be an artist -particularly a black, female artist- in that world. 

Kelela's album, singles and videos are appearing all over end-of-year 'best of 2017’ lists, and I'm really looking forward to her playing on 18 February in Manchester. Which is, coincidentally, the last day of the exhibition at FACT!  

Carly Paton, Events and Hires Coordinator pick The Garden by Leaf

Whether you’re here to take in a film or on a trip to our galleries, I can’t recommend enough a trip to our cafe The Garden. At this time of year when it's cold outside and the nights are drawing in, The Garden, full of plants and basking in the winter sun that floods in through the glass fronted walls, hints at summer, whilst warming you with heart-warming treats such as my personal favourites of sweet potato toast, coupled with a comforting pot of redbush and orange tea. The menu at The Garden is not only diverse and tasty, but they excel at offering something that gives your body a boost too. At this time of year, try the turmeric golden milk - sure to keep your immune system on top form and keep you going at all those Christmas parties. 

 

FACT’s Festive Film Picks

A Christmas film list that you’re going to want to check twice. Find out what’s happening at FACT this holiday season.

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Kids’ Club - Sat 23 Dec, 11am

Autism Friendly - Sun 24 Dec, 11.30am

There have been many retellings of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol over the years, but can you believe it has been 25 years since The Muppets made the best one? Join Kermit the Frog, Gonzo the Great and the inimitable Miss Piggy in singing “there goes Mr. Humbug” at Michael Caine’s miserable old geezer, Ebenezer Scrooge.

This film plays as part of Kids' Club, which is exclusively for children and their parents or carers. Unaccompanied adults are not admitted.

Royal Opera House: The Nutcracker

Sun 24 Dec, 1pm

All Clara wants to do is play with her nutcracker doll but instead she gets caught up fighting the Mouse King and is swept away by the magical delights of the Sugar Plum Fairy. It might sound like Clara is losing her grip on reality, in fact she is simply part of one of the world’s most well loved Christmas ballets, performed by the Royal Ballet to the sumptuous orchestration of Tchaikovsky. 

It’s a Wonderful Life

Sun 24 Dec, 6pm

The only way to truly feel the spirit of Christmas is to watch Frank Capra’s charming blubfest, It’s a Wonderful Life. Jimmy Stewart plays the kind-hearted George who, after years of helping others with little to show for himself, starts to ponder if their lives would be better without him. Luckily his guardian angel comes down to save him and show him the good he has done. One of the most charming films you are ever likely to see. Also starring Gloria Grahame, whose story was recently brought to the big screen in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool.

Boxing Day Special: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Tue 26 Dec, 8.30pm

Funnily enough, Martin McDonagh’s new film shares a great deal with It’s a Wonderful Life. Both are achingly beautiful films about the human condition, set in small towns with lead characters at the end of their tether. Frances McDormand plays a gloriously foul-mouthed mother who takes action against Woody Harrelson's local police chief for not finding her daughter’s killer.

Berliner Philharmoniker: New Year’s Eve Concert

Sun 31 Dec, 4pm

End the year on a high with Berlin’s finest orchestra playing the hits at a glittering New Year’s Eve extravaganza conducted by Sir Simon Rattle. As you’re in the cinema you’ll get special back stage interviews and programme insights that the people in Berlin will be missing, whilst all will enjoy the roof raising music of Dvořák, Stravinsky, Bernstein, Shostakovich and Strauss.

New Year’s Eve Special: The Party

Sun 31 Dec, 6.30pm

Spend New Year’s Eve at a party that you actually want to go. Sally Potter’s film The Party follows a newly instated shadow cabinet minister, played by Kristin Scott Thomas, celebrating her promotion with close friends and family. As you can expect, things don’t go exactly to plan, especially after her husband makes an unexpectedly explosive revelation. Full of razor sharp one liners and a fantastic cast including Timothy Spall, Cillian Murphy and Emily Mortimer.

Before the film, show your ticket to The Party at the Bar and you can purchase a glass of Ridgeview sparkling wine for just £4.