What YOU can do to help save the Belmont Cinema

The closure of the Belmont Cinema was a major loss for Aberdeen's cultural scene. The city's only independent cinema was a beloved institution and a hub for film lovers.

News of the closure sparked outrage and sadness among the community. Many people took to social media to express their disappointment and memories of the cinema. They described it as a special place, with a cosy and welcoming atmosphere.


A cultural hub for film lovers

Since opening its doors in 2010, the Belmont Cinema established itself as a cultural hub for film lovers, offering a wide range of films from all around the world, including independent productions, foreign-language films, and classic movies.

One of the things that set The Belmont apart from other cinemas was its commitment to showcasing a diverse range of films. The cinema regularly hosted special events and film festivals which celebrated the best of Scottish and international cinema.

Save the Belmont Cinema screening of 'Its a Wonderful Life'

The Belmont Cinema was an essential destination

Overall, the Belmont Cinema was an essential destination for anyone who loves film and culture. Whether you were a film buff looking to discover the latest independent productions, or simply wanted to relax and enjoy a classic movie in beautiful surroundings, The Belmont had something for everyone.

The reasons for the closure were not immediately clear, but it is thought that the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic played a role. The cinema had been closed for several months due to lockdown measures, and it is possible that it was unable to recover financially.

The first meeting of Save the Belmont Cinema

A vital role in fostering a sense of community

The loss of the Belmont Cinema is a blow not just to film lovers, but to the city as a whole. Independent cinemas like The Belmont play a vital role in fostering a sense of community. They provide a platform for underrepresented voices and alternative perspectives.

The closure of the Belmont serves as a reminder of the importance of supporting independent cultural institutions. They play a hugely vital role in our communities.

How can YOU help save the Belmont Cinema?

There have been calls for the cinema to be saved. A petition has been launched and a crowdfunding campaign set up to try and raise funds to keep it open. It remains to be seen whether these efforts will be successful. However, you can play your part in efforts to save the Belmont Cinema.

We've put together some ideas of things you can take part in to help save the Belmont Cinema.

  1. Join the "Save the Belmont Cinema" group on Facebook. Fellow fans of the cinema regularly share news about how the campaign is progressing as well as treasured memories of the venue. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter and check out the campaign website.
  2. Attend events organised by the campaign including film screenings. This helps raise awareness and keeps the spirit of the Belmont Cinema alive and well.
  3. Reach out to your local councillor or MSP to advocate for the Belmont Cinema and its importance to the community. This could involve writing letters and emails or contacting them on social media. Be passionate…but be polite. They Work for You is a great place to find your elected representative.
  4. Volunteer your time to help the campaign directly. This can be done by reaching out on social media and explaining what skills you may have to share. The campaign is in its early stages at the time of writing, so they may not need you immediately, but your help will be appreciated.
  5. Share your memories of the cinema online, using the hashtag #SaveBelmont. This will help keep the benefits of The Belmont fresh in your community's heads. Also, like, comment and share when you see others posting their memories.

Filmmaker crowdfunds supernatural 'Nights'

Nights is a feature-length crime drama currently being filmed in Aberdeen. It explores addiction, broken relationships, and the supernatural. This passion project has been self-funded until this point, but writer/director Omid Farkhondeh is now crowdfunding the film, with hopes to complete it later this year.

Production is currently about halfway through. A bank, nightclub, and train are among the more expensive locations in the next half of the project. This is why the team are asking for help from the public. Donations will go towards paying the cast and crew, finding locations, and arranging travel.

Director Omid Omid Farkhondeh on the set of Nights

The importance of teamwork on Nights

Teamwork plays a big role in bringing Nights to life. Together with cinematographer Alex Thomson, producer Rachel Venturini, editor Matthew Lukowski and sound operator Colin Harris, the group has thrived since they attended the same college. They have collaborated on a number of projects over the years, but this is their biggest one yet. It’s hoped that Nights will kick-start their careers in the industry.

With Nights, the team hope to create something unique by combining aspects of genres we all know and love. It aims to be as moving as it is exciting in tackling topics that we all care about, from relationships to toxic masculinity to addiction.

In addition to donations from the public, the filming will be supported by Creative Scotland, which has teamed up with Crowdfunder to offer up to £80,000 in funding to 20 creative projects throughout the country.


We loved hearing about this project. Our old friend Chef shared a post about it on Instagram. Intrigued, we reached out to ask a few questions.

The challenge of a project spanning several years

Making a feature film is a big bold undertaking. Who is Omid Farkhondeh and why have you embarked on this project?

I’m a filmmaker based in Aberdeen. Having studied a variety of media-related courses in Nescol and in there, found a strong passion for film. I quickly found I wanted to be a writer/director and I'm determined to make that a reality.

I find short films are a great way to tell short-form stories, enhance filmmaking skills and are quickly achievable (at least compared to a feature film), however, I find myself more attracted to feature-length stories where we can live through different experiences that our normal life may not offer - or on the flip side, it can be very personal, giving space to think more about deeper subjects.

One reason I'm making this film is it's less likely a career can thrive off of short films. Feature filmmaking can be employment potential for hundreds of people, depending on the size of production. I also enjoy the challenge of a project spanning several years, rather than weeks - the story I wrote in 2018 earned my commitment to see it as a finished film.

Crime, relationships and things that go bump in the night

Having watched the teaser trailer, we’re excited to see Nights once it’s finished. Without giving too much away, what is the film about?

It’s crime/drama with a supernatural twist. Crime, addiction, broken relationships and things that go bump in the night. Our protagonist, Adam, delves deeper into the world of crime to gain money in an attempt to save his girlfriend Sarah from her drug addiction. However, a sudden betrayal leads to supernatural consequences.

It's about a lot of different things that are important to me, relationships, what people do for love, mental health, addiction. It also has some more "fun" genre elements like supernatural and revenge thriller, but to me, it's a drama more than anything, supported by the other elements.

The process of making a film is by no means a smooth one. Can you tell us about the challenges you’ve encountered?

It has been a difficult project to keep alive, and moments, when it came to a stop, have been heartbreaking. Covid, recasting, struggling with finance to fund it and more have all been major challenges. But with the Crowdfunder, and finding a team as passionate as me, I'm confident we'll see it through to the best it can be.

I'm lucky to have found such talented, good people who are as passionate as me, so I want to give them their due and create something we're all proud of.  Definitely a team effort in getting over the hurdles though.

Something beautiful and personal

How has Aberdeen played a backdrop for this project?

Aberdeen has worked well as a backdrop for the film and will continue to add to the story. I treat it as a playground for us - a gothic "unknown" city in the film that could have all types of characters, but also something beautiful and personal comes with that - using places I've known for years as a fictional space has led to more creativity, not less.

You clearly have a lot of hopes and dreams attached to this project. What are your ambitions for the film?

I hope the film is something we're proud of as a team, but I do have hopes for it to succeed in film festivals across the world. We also plan to have the Nights premiere in a local cinema, that will be the day I can say "we've done it", although there will be more work in getting it to streaming services such as Amazon Prime.


Showing support, and staying in touch

How can people help and get updates on the filming?

The Crowdfunder is the best way to support us. If you donate you'll have an option to receive updates we put out. However, following @Nightsfilm on Instagram, or UNRealityFilms on Facebook is another good way to keep up to date over the next few months.

Thanks very much to Omid for telling us all about Nights. It's a brilliant project and we can't wait to see it at the cinema. The team successfully achieved over double their initial target, but the Crowdfunder remains open until mid-April. Further donations will help the film reach its full potential, and it's a great way to be part of the project yourself.

Steph Poster

Rob Poster