Cinema for All Annual Conference 2018

Film Hub South West bursaries support members to attend a range of events or professional development opportunities to gain experience or skills, to view films in preview to assist with programming decisions or to network with other exhibitors and work towards a more connected sector. Celia Young from Portsmouth Film Society received a bursary to attend this year’s Cinema For All annual Conference and shares her experience below:

This was my second Cinema for All Annual Conference.  It was an enjoyable experience and very worthwhile for first time attendees for gathering information about running a community cinema and an excellent chance to view a broad mix of films.  I saw several films that I will recommend to our committee member upon my return.

The networking event at the Fusion Organic Café was excellent.  The mix of attendees from students to well-seasoned operators of world class community cinemas is very motivating.  The opportunity to network for me is the key benefit of the conference.

The creativity in engaging diverse community groups was of particular interest; taking film to community halls, engaging charities supporting autistic people and putting their talents to work giving them purpose and providing a service to the cinema group.  I will make a point of visiting several of the community cinemas in the London area including Wimbledon and Deptford.

The film selection both years that I attended has ranged from warm hearted to disturbing and thought provoking.  The only problem with the film selection is that it is difficult to make the decision to attend worthwhile sessions rather than spend the entire weekend watching films.

  • Harvey was a wonderful way to kick off the conference. Though it was a thoroughly delightful, warm hearted comedy, it none the less deals with the issue of alcoholism.  Last year’s My Life As Courgette (a favourite of mine) set in an orphanage dealt with issues of family trauma and isolation.
  • 3000 Nights offered a complete contrast with a gritty documentary of life in a prison housing Israelis and Palestinians.
  • C’est La Vie was a fun but for me not funny enough or a fresh enough story. I felt like I have seen the same movie several times before, different setting, different actors but same old story.

 

  • L’Apparition was interesting but a bit drawn out and I don’t think it would appeal to our audience.

 

It is always a pleasure to share the joys of awardees at the Awards for All ceremony and this year was no exception.  The winners are awesome.  The level of commitment to each other and to the society is as commendable as their achievements.  However, it seems that there could be some awards need a different type of segmentation that still retain high standards for community engagement and attracting younger audiences.

For example;

  • best society with revenues in certain ranges
  • societies who have their own centre versus smaller societies renting space
  • based on the number of films screened per year

Overall it is an enjoyable weekend.  Since we are a film society it would be nice if footage that was included in awards applications were shown on screens throughout the conference over the course of the weekend.  This gives recognition to all applicants even those who did not receive an award or commendation.

 

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