From comedy to Classical Hollywood college societies have a film genre to suit everyone's tastes Hannah Mawardi with permission for Varsity

Cambridge is host to an eclectic range of college film societies to keep you entertained throughout the year. Whether you’re a sucker for a romcom, a classic movie enthusiast or keen to watch something new, they’ve got you covered. Here are just a few examples with a taste of what’s to come in Lent Term…

Film at Jesus

Film at Jesus hosts a range of free screenings in the professional yet homely settings of the college’s Frankopan Hall and Sibilla Room, equipped with projectors and quality sound systems. Last term, the society focused on dystopian cinema, ending the series with a screening of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984). This term, it’s taking quite the leap and exploring “slice-of-life” films, offering its relaxed and welcoming space to cinephiles who want to feel all the feels this Lent. The society also organises short film competitions that are free to enter and run over the holidays. Look out for the contest at the end of this term if you’re a budding filmmaker!

St John’s Picturehouse

St John’s Picturehouse has been knocking around for over a decade. It mostly shows recent releases in the college’s Palmerston room, which is the closest you’ll get to a proper cinema experience with a huge projector and extensive seating. However, this little cinema is also a social space that attracts film fanatics from across the university and they’re always open to suggestions. Tickets cost £4 but keep an eye out for giveaways for certain screenings. Season tickets are also available for £15, guaranteeing entry to any screening that term. Romcom classic When Harry Met Sally (1989) will feature at their Valentine’s Day Special, but their term card also promises plenty of opportunities to catch up on more recent movies you might have missed in the cinema.

Churchill Classic Cinema Club

This society has nearly reached its first anniversary. Every Thursday evening, classic cinema enthusiasts gather in the cosy Club Room at Churchill College for free screenings of an eclectic mix of classics made exclusively before 1960 - two Hitchcock masterpieces rounded off Michaelmas Term. Importantly, the club hosts casual, open discussions after screenings, addressing aspects of the films that do not measure up to modern social standards. It also aims to feature filmmaking that was marginalised by the Hollywood studio system. Their term card promises a selection of black and white films perfect for brightening up grey Lent days, including the earliest surviving animated feature (inspired by Javanese shadow-puppet theatre), a comedy double-bill of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin’s first independent films, and a 1930s tap dance musical.

St Catharine’s College Film Society


Mountain View

Behind the scenes at Cambridge World Cinema Society

St Catharine’s College Film Society is halfway through its second year and its setting is perhaps the chillest of the bunch. It hosts free weekly screenings on Sunday evenings in the college JCR, furnished with sofas and bean bags to ensure your every comfort. Their committee also boasts a Food and Drinks Officer so there should never be a lack of refreshments. Last term, the society took a trip to the cinema to see Killers of the Flower Moon (2023) so keep an eye out for similar expeditions in Lent, as well as their Pink Week screening later this term!