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BAFTA-nominated writer and director for film, theatre and television, Amit Gupta is named as Leicester’s Phoenix Cinema and Art Centre’s first honorary patron.

Born in Leicester and currently living in London, the renowned director has been a lifelong supporter of Phoenix.

Amit Gupta. Image Credit: Mark Lord

As a Patron, Amit will be an advocate for the cinemas work, helping to raise the charity’s profile, and support fundraising for its Phoenix 2020 expansion plans.

The 1,200 square metre expansion will provide space for two further cinema screens, a larger digital art gallery, a green roof terrace, bigger café bar, and further spaces for learning and creativity.

Amit Gupta has written and directed three feature films: Resistance, which starred Michael Sheen and Andrea Riseborough and was nominated for three BAFTAs; Jadoo which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival; and One Crazy Thing released theatrically in 2018.

Growing up in Leicester, Amit has first-hand experience of the value of an independent cinema like Phoenix. He said: “Without Phoenix I know I would not be a filmmaker today. It opened my eyes to a world I did not know existed.

“It’s why independent cinemas like the Phoenix are so important. They allow people from diverse social backgrounds to dream and – perhaps more importantly – to find like-minded people who have similar dreams, because cinemas are about much more than the films themselves. They are about the community. They bring people together. They help build a more cohesive society.

“A world-class independent cinema is an essential part of a thriving city. Phoenix 2020 is an amazing opportunity for Phoenix and everybody in Leicester, and I’m really excited to be able to contribute to making it happen.”

As a Patron, the director will work with the Phoenix film programming team to help develop and endorse a number of events in their cultural calendar. He will also become a seat sponsor – with his name on a cinema seat in one of the new screens – as part of Phoenix’s 2020 BE PART OF IT fundraising campaign.


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