Beyond Boundaries Success Stories

Working towards a more inclusive and representative film exhibition sector, our rolling Beyond Boundaries programme has been helping individuals from across the South West to put on their own film events since 2018, with bespoke support including 1-to-1 mentoring and introductions to FAN member organisations. 

In response to demand and with the support of BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery, we launched Beyond Boundaries 360 in 2019, a more structured biennial development programme offering a small cohort of individuals with a focus on those that are currently under-represented in the creative sector a chance to access a series of in-depth training sessions and a peer group. Since then, Beyond Boundaries 360 has gone from strength to strength, supporting 37 creative practitioners many of which have gone on to put on film events here in the South West.

Recent highlights from Beyond Boundaries included:

  • Trace Mulzac (DET Entertainment) delivered her first (sold-out) Cinema Jam event, House Party at The Cube cinema and has since gone on to collaborate with organisations such as Watershed, Trinity and Cables & Cameras on other film events. As part of Bristol’s Summer of Film takeover, DET entertainment partnered up with Bristol Museums to produce Windrush 75: Stories Through Film, a specially curated film programme in a Vintage Mobile Cinema Bus, delivered as one of the activities under the City Centre and High Streets Recovery and Renewal programme, funded by Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority’s Love our High Streets project.
  • Hana Nour-Elmi was referred to us by programme alumnus Gary Thompson (Cables & Cameras.) she set up Bristol Kino Club, a film community to talk about arthouse and independent cinema. Hana put on her first sold out screening (The Watermelon Woman) at The Cube with mentoring from Cables & Cameras under the banner of Beyond Boundaries. Follow Bristol Kino Club on socials FacebookTwitter & Instagram to find out about upcoming events. Read an interview with Hana in
  • Esther Afikiruweh was matched up with Afrika Eye Festival under the banner of Beyond Boundaries and has since become the Festival Producer and was selected as one of (Bristol) Rife’s 30 under 30 for 2022. As a Creative Producer, Esther specialises in combined arts and has built up a portfolio with a whole range of organisations such as Trinity Arts, St Pauls Carnival and Compass Presents. Her focus lie in producing, project ideation and coordinating artistic offerings across live events and cultural programming.
  • Emmeline Rodman created a new Sci-fi initiative Screens of Matter with a specific focus on neurodiverse audiences (i.e. those living with a range of conditions including Attention Deficit Disorders, Autism, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia.) With a long-term ambition to create a dedicated science fiction cinema, Emmeline took a first step towards that vision by putting on a Judge Dredd/Dredd double-bill at the former Bristol IMAX cinema inside the Aquarium as featured in Bristol 24/7.
  • Adam Murray built on his exhibition practice as part of the Come The Revolution collective to develop his own very personal curatorial venture and company Bristol Black Horror Club in August 2021. He has since collaborated with a whole range of organisations including Forbidden World, Abertoir Horror Festival, South West Silents, Watershed and Cinema Rediscovered on a range of programme initiatives.

Here are just some of the comments from previous Beyond Boundaries 360 participants and also see three short case studies spotlighted below:

I’ve really enjoyed working with a community of like-minded practitioners.

Everything felt so tangible and doable, ALL sessions felt so useful, and action orientated. For me really did feel like it was cracking open things I wouldn’t have had any idea about.

Beyond Boundaries provided a place of reassurance, supporting my understanding that I was on the right path.

Not only they are giving me training, also support on different levels, networking opportunities and something unique, that is always finding a way I get paid for my work in a fair/professional way! 

Bristol Kino Club's Hana Nour-Elmi presents The Watermelon Woman at The Cube

Anne-Marie Dames

Coming from a background of television production and enthusiasm for film, Bournemouth-based participant, Anne-Marie Dames took part in Beyond Boundaries 360 cohort in 2021. 

Anne-Marie successfully partnered with BEAF – Bournemouth Emerging Arts collective – to produce and curate an event targeted at harnessing the growing Polish community in the area, which she felt were underserved. 

Her ‘BOSKINO’ evening comprised of a screening of ‘The In-Laws’ (2020), with a post-screening discussion, delivered in both English and Polish, in addition to communal sharing of Polish cuisine. 

The event was a sell-out, with Anne-Marie now in conversation with other Hub member organisations to further BOSKINO in her new locale of Southampton. 

Meeting other creative people and that the weekly sessions kept my project on track. The Hub team were very helpful, inspiring, encouraging, insightful and accessible.

Gary Thompson

Gary Thompson built on his already successful series of events at The Cube to launch Inspired, a weekend-long takeover of Watershed, showcasing films by Black and POC creatives and offering a whole range of events to inspire filmmakers to find their path into the industry. The inaugural Inspired was supported by Watershed, BFI FAN, BFI NETWORK and BFI South West Academy (awarding funds from National Lottery funding) and included a sold-out premiere screening of South West backed BFI NETWORK short film Pickney with a Q&A with the writer-director Michael Jenkins and lead actor Ajani Cabey (Image ©Rickey Thompson.) 69% of overall Inspired attendees surveyed had never been to Watershed before. 80% felt they were introduced to a new type of film and 73% were inspired to watch more films like the one they have seen. 100% of surveyed audiences rated their experience of the event a very good/good. The event has since happened annually with a growing range of partners and sponsors. Cables & Cameras was also successful in securing funding for a new development programme for budding documentary filmmakers DOC2DOC from the BFI Doc Society Ripple Effect Fund, a National Lottery funded initiative that enables and empowers communities, networks and organisations to build their own inclusive vision for the independent UK documentary sector from the ground up.

“We need more representation like this!”

Lorena Pino 

Building on her previous experience working for a film distribution company in Venezuela, freelance programmer Lorena Pino started her film exhibition journey in the UK volunteering for Bath Film Festival. In 2017, she started organising one off film events in her own community at Trowbridge Townhall in Wiltshire under the banner of Getting Together Through Film using cinema to build bridges between communities and explore topics like migration and identity.   

In 2020, Lorena took part in Beyond Boundaries 360%, a BFI FAN supported skills development programme aimed at voices that are underrepresented in the sector. 

In 2021, with a larger award from the BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund, Lorena Pino’s collaboration with Trowbridge Townhall expanded from one off community events to a more regular film programme including new independent films and rep cinema.  

With new investment from the government’s Future High Street Fund, Trowbridge’s historic Town Hall is planning to bring an even richer mixed arts programme of activities in the future to its community in collaboration with Lorena. 

This was an eye-opening experience, an invaluable networking opportunity with both fellow participants and highly qualified specialists who delivered varied workshops; sharing their professional experiences in the complex distribution and exhibition sector. One of the best parts for me was organising our own film events.

Sauda Kyalambuka

African Voices Forum (AVF)’s Sauda Kyalambuka and everyone involved in recently putting on a packed screening of Queen of Katwe at the Malcolm X Community Centre, with partners Come the Revolution, Into Film, Bristol is the New Black and Watershed.

This was an uplifting get together to watch the beautifully shot, true story of a young Phiona’s struggle to escape the poverty of Kampala’s Katwe district using her talent for Chess. It’s a classic Disney film tinged with surprising realism, and with free popcorn and the opportunity to suggest ideas for future screenings and the potential for a new film club in St. Pauls, this was a great community event.

If you’re feeling inspired by these stories, and have a new idea for an audience-facing cinema project, then follow the link to learn more about Beyond Boundaries.

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