Sunderland has plenty of fantastic venues and we were spoilt for choice when it came to selecting the locations for our screenings.

After much deliberation, we came up with a line up that we feel really reflects the city’s diverse creative offerings, and will allow our audience to experience some great films in unexpected places.

Read on to find out more!

Sunderland Minster

Located in the heart of Sunderland's burgeoning cultural quarter, Sunderland Minster will host our first screening and festival launch party on Thursday 2nd July.

Dating back to around 900AD, the Minster is a beautiful, historic building that remains very much at the heart of the city. As well as being a religious focal point and acting as a centre of worship on a daily basis, the Minster aims to be supportive of Sunderland’s economical, industrial, educational, and creative activities.

The Minster frequently hosts a wide range of events for the entire community to get involved in – making it the perfect venue to open the festival.

VFor more information about the Minster, please visit their website


On Friday 3rd July, our screenings will take place at INDEPENDENT, Sunderland's only dedicated live music venue and club, and home to Sunderland's finest coffee shop - Holmeside Coffee

Nestled in the heart of the Holmeside area of the city, Independent is a go to venue for music fans from across the North East and beyond – providing a stage for some of the music industry’s most established names as well as up and coming acts.

Together with Holmeside Coffee, they also host a number of arts and cultural events including the Holmeside Film Club and monthly SOLO Arts Shows.

So come down, grab yourself a coffee or a pint, and enjoy one of our screenings in laid back, creative, and welcoming surroundings!

To find out more about Independent and their up-coming gigs and events, visit: Independent Sunderland

Empire Theatre

The Empire Theatre will host three screenings on Saturday 4th July in its Cinema room.

A local institution with over 100 years of history, The Empire is the largest theatre between Manchester and Edinburgh, and regularly features the biggest West End musicals.

As a venue, The Empire has a rich history, and has played host to some of the entertainment industry’s biggest names – The Beatles performed at The Empire as a support act in 1963, and Sid James died on stage in 1976. Legend has it that, when Les Dawson was performing in The Empire’s pantomime in 1989, he heard Sid’s laugh in his dressing room and he was so spooked that he never returned to the theatre!

Of course, this is not the first time that The Empire has been used as a cinema, in fact, during the 1970’s the former Music Hall was converted into a cinema and, although it has since been converted into a function room, holding our screenings in this room offers a fitting nod to the building’s history.

To find out more about The Sunderland Empire, visit:

Sunderland Software Centre

Last but not least, our Awards brunch and final screening on Sunday 5th July will be held in Sunderland Software Centre.

The Software Centre is the North East's newest technology hub and events space and we think the fresh, modern setting will be the perfect place for us to bring the festival to a close.

Offering space for over 60 businesses, the state-of-the-art building houses many of Sunderland’s big businesses, ambitious SMEs and progressive entrepreneurs – providing the connectivity, infrastructure, and cutting edge facilities to help them prosper and grow.

To find out more about the Sunderland Software Centre, visit:

Event Map

We've compiled all our festival venues, nearby travel and parking points, and some local friends onto a handy map!

Head to our box office to pick up your tickets now!

Visit the box office

Be sure to read our Seating and Ticket Policies.

Our Partners

  • Sunderland City Council
  • Maxim Brewery
  • Proper Corn
  • MAD Communications
  • Northern Bear Films
  • Bureau
  • FilmFreeway