Reel Equality go to Cinema For All Conference
Posted: Wed, 14 Oct 2015 12:34
A bursary from Film Hub Central East allowed us to send a volunteer from the Reel Equality Film Club Committee to the Cinema For All 2015 Community Cinema Conference (2-4 Oct 2015). The conference is a chance for community cinema and film clubs from around the UK to gather, network and learn about issues relevant to running successful community cinema – from programming to marketing, audience development and accessing and inspiring communities. It was all geared at meeting the needs of film clubs and societies so we were really thrilled to be able to attend and use the learning opportunity.
The conference was also a precursor to the 2015 Cinema For All Film Society of the Year Awards, for which Reel Equality Film Club was shortlisted to win the prize of Best New Film Society. We were excited to be able to attend the award ceremony and enjoy the motivational experience of being recognised for all the hard work we've put into the past 2 years of screening events in Nottingham.
It was a great day to meet film societies from all around the country and learn tips and ideas from them about audience development, programming and accessing diverse communities. The conference was particularly relevant to us because the theme was "diverse people, diverse stories." Reel Equality is a campaigning film club focused on ending media sexism, so it was helpful and inspiring to be able to meet film clubs and societies interested in achieving similar goals. We were particularly happy to be able to meet the organisers of the Bechdel Test Fest (http://bechdeltestfest.com/) in London and the New Black Film Collective (www.tnbfc.co.uk), who have aims completely aligned with ours and are doing great work. Reel Equality coordinator Chloe Cheeseman took part on a panel about programming diverse films with them, which was a great opportunity to share our learning with other film clubs. After the panel it was really useful to be able to brainstorm collaboration ideas and swap contact details.
The highlight of the event for us had to be the evening, when we were crowned Best New Film Society of the Year. It was great that we were able to use our acceptance speech to reiterate our campaign messages; to speak out for the importance of film programmers acting to increase non-sexist representation of women in cinema, as a crucial means of working against sexist media messaging and the gender inequality that underpins domestic violence and abuse. That we were able to share this with an audience of 200 people from film societies and clubs throughout the UK was priceless. We were really proud and very appreciative of the recognition.
We would definitely recommend that film societies are members of Cinema For All and take advantage of the many support and networking opportunities they provide, such as this conference; we've found it invaluable to our development as a successful film club.
Chloe Cheeseman, Reel Equality as part of Equation