WEDNESDAY'S 8.30pm screening of Mark Hayes' American documentary Skid Row Marathon at City Screen, York, will be followed by a discussion in the bar afterwards.

Hayes' film heads to the "Skid Row" district of Los Angeles, where thousands of addicts and homeless live rough or in shelters. Day after day, Superior Court Judge Craig Mitchell was required by law to lock up criminals and throw away the key, but he became determined to find a way to help those who had slipped through the cracks in society.

He had a passion for running and so he founded a club, training volunteers to run. If they stayed clean, he offered them an opportunity to run a marathon of their choosing, anywhere in the world.

Skid Row Marathon (12A) charts the uplifting true story of five runners whose lives have hit rock bottom. Running gives them a second chance, and while training, they begin to realise that dreams they once thought impossible might come to fruition, but the perilous streets of Skid Row are brimming with temptation and relapse lurks around every corner. Hayes explores whether they can keep their lives on track and cross the finish line.

Dave Taylor, City Screen's marketing manager, says: "I was approached by a customer who saw that we’d be showing this documentary who questioned whether it might be possible to replicate Judge Craig Mitchell's idea here in York.”

Ardent runner Simon Middleton explains further: "After reading about Skid Row Marathon in Runner’s World magazine, local runners have been eagerly awaiting the screening in York. Two of us in particular were inspired by what Judge Craig Mitchell has achieved in LA and our ambition is to set up something similar in York.

"We know it won’t be easy but we’re encouraged by the support from the charity Changing Lives and we're excited about the prospect of helping homeless people and those suffering from addictions in the city. While our plan is to start off low key, we're keen to raise support locally and we would encourage anyone attending the screening who would like to find out more to meet in the City Screen bar immediately after the film."

Tickets for Wednesday's Picturehouse Docs' screening are on sale on 0871 902 5726 or at