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Stockton cinema to host UK Asian Film Festival as it heads to the North East for the first time.

This March ARC in Stockton will host the first ever screenings in the UK Asian Film Festival to take place in the North East. The festival now in its 22nd year, aims to celebrate, award and reward great films, filmmakers and artists from South Asia, and presents an eclectic mix of South Asian films for audiences across the UK. The festival has a rich history of championing South Asian feminist films and supporting pioneering female artists.

Two films will screened at ARC's cinema before their general UK release, giving audiences in the Tees Valley the opportunity to see them before anyone else in the country. On Friday 27 March Dolly Kitty and Those Twinkling Stars will be screened at 8pm, with Axone being screened at 8pm on Saturday 28 March. Both films are in Hindi with English subtitles, and can be booked by ARC's Box Office or website.

Daniel Michelson, Producer at ARC, said: "We're extremely excited to be taking part in this national event. The festival has a brilliant reputation for sourcing the most interesting South Asian films. It's a real privilege to be the first North East cinema to be invited into the festival, and we have a really interesting programme to share with our audiences."

ARC is home to the only independent cinema in the Tees Valley and provides its audiences with an intimate film experience unlike anywhere else in the area. The screenings as part of the UK Asian Film Festival are the latest edition to a varied programme of recognised titles and independent cinema from around the globe screened at the Stockton based cinema.

Dr Pushpinder Chowdhry, one of the festival founding directors said: “Tongues on Fire looks forward to welcoming new audiences to our annual film festival and we are very excited to showcase some of our 2020 film festival’s best films at the ARC, Stockton reflecting this year’s festival theme ‘Uprooted.’ This year’s theme aims to showcase films that shine light on and spark debate addressing current and controversial topics affecting South Asia and post Brexit Britain.”

The UK Asian Film Festival is the longest running South Asian film festival outside India. The festival will run from 25th March – 5th April 2020 in venues across London, Manchester, Leicester, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stockton. UKAFF is supported by a BFI Audience Award, using funding from the National Lottery.

Tickets for the festival are on sale now, but capacity for the Stockton screenings are limited so early booking is highly recommended. Tickets are priced at £8 full price, £6 concessions, £4 students and income support.