Cinema Curator at Watershed and Chair of the Film Hub South West, Mark Cosgrove feeds back on the cinema’s programming challenges and successes of the last week…
Last week’s blog got lost in the lead up to Watershed’s Cinema Rediscovered festival, but in short: Leave no Trace and First Reformed continues to do good business – ‘good’ is a relative term in these strange times for non-mainstream cinema – but they were our best performing films and still attracting healthy audiences in their 4th and 5th weeks.
A Prayer Before Dawn and The Receptionist were certainly always going to be tough propositions at this time of year. The former is worth looking at for one-offs at festivals/themed programmes. It’s an intense piece of filmmaking and the casting of Joe Cole should help appeal. It should also please Watershed’s audience to discover that the director was a graduate of University of West of England.
Moving on to the weekend just passed, it has been pleasing to see Daniel Kokotajlo’s debut feature Apostasy get strong audiences and responses. The preview screening last week was extraordinary with over 120 admissions with a large percentage of disfellowed Jehovah’s Witnesses, whose responses to the film was emotional and immediate. I had initially thought of the film as a powerful but small (box-office wise) film, however it has been fantastic to see it receive better than I was expecting audiences, as well as across-the-board critical acclaim. If it weren’t for Cinema Rediscovered that weekend, we would have moved it to a bigger screen. It was heartening to see it working well and I have kept it for a 2nd week.
I’m away for the next couple of weeks but will be updating you on my return.
Apply to be part of this Festival Strategy Workshop for Filmmakers with international programmer and selector Liz Harkman.
Apply to be part of this South West Producer’s Lab and receive training and support as a new and emerging producer in the region.