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Kingston upon Thames is a vibrant, cosmopolitan borough that is undergoing massive creative-led development with new cinemas opening and a commitment from the borough’s council to leverage further major investment in the arts.

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Celebrating the launch of the Kingston International Film Festival, Rotunda commissioned a mural which is installed next to the Odeon. Everyone at KIFF would like to thank Rotunda for their generous support.

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TOWNHOUSE WINS STIRLING PRIZE

The Kingston University London - Town House designed by RIBA Gold Medal-winning studio Grafton Architects has won a Stirling Prize. Described by the RIBA Award Judges as "high quality at every scale”, the six-storey Town House in Kingston upon Thames was designed to acct as “the university front door”. The building was a surprise winner of the annual award for the UK’s best building, with Marks Barfeild’s Cambridge Mosque the bookmakers favourite to win.

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The ground floor contains a theatre. Photo by Ed Reeve

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One of the more unusual sights in Kingston is Out of Order by David Mach, depicted above in the KIFF banner, a sculpture in the form of twelve disused red telephone boxes, tipped up to lean against one another in an arrangement resembling dominoes. The work was commissioned in 1988 as part of the landscaping for the new Relief Road, and was described by its creator as “anti-minimalist.”

A notable dramatic arts venue is the Rose theatre. This theatre opened on the16th January 2008 and seats around 900 people. The audience are arranged around the semi-circler stage. A number of annual festivals are organised by the Council and Kingston Arts Council including Kingston Readers’ Festival, Think-in-Kingston and the Festival of the Voice.

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Photo by Emma Johnson

“We are delighted to welcome and be a part of the Kingston International Film Festival. Our town and local businesses will benefit hugely from the buzz, creative talent and visitors this festival will bring, helping to position Kingston as a destination for culture.” - Shareena Merzi Director of Communications and Corporate Development at Kingston First

Photo by Csilla Horvaěth

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Kingston was built at the first crossing point of the Thames upstream from London Bridge and a bridge still exists at the same site. It was this 'great bridge' that gave it its early importance in the 13th century. Kingston's main open space is the River Thames, with its lively frontage of bars and restaurants.