A STOCKTON cinema has been chosen as the first North-East venue to host premiere screenings as part of the UK Asian Film Festival this spring.

The festival, now in its 22nd year, aims to celebrate and reward great films, filmmakers and artists from South Asia, and presents an eclectic mix of South Asian films for audiences across the UK.

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, March 27 Baaji will be screened at 8pm, with Axone being screened at 8pm the following day.”

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 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.

The festival is organised by not-for-profit organisation Tongues on Fire and 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 and has a rich history of championing South Asian feminist films and supporting pioneering female artists.

It will run from March 25 to 5th April 5 in venues across London, Manchester, Leicester, Coventry and Edinburgh, among others.