14th October 2014 newsletter

We’ve now had two screenings since the new season began which we think you will agree have gone well. Here’s the latest news. Last Thursday ABOUT ELLY was accompanied by an electronic noise, not obtrusive enough to spoil the film, but a bit annoying. We thought at first it might be the burglar alarm, but finally we concluded that it was a signal from the emergency lighting system that a battery was running out of charge.

Actually, we learned later that this, too, was incorrect. It turned out that one of our members had on his person an electronic violin tuning gadget. It had accidentally been switched on, so had we all had our fiddles with us, we could have done Mantovani proud. The moral of the tale: for classy company, join ABCD – you’ll be irritated by musicians, but not by morons with mobiles.

Cinema For All (CFA)– ABCD commended for its programming

Cinema For All (formerly the British Federation of Film Societies) held its annual general meeting on September 28th, and we were one of six societies shortlisted for the Film Society of the Year Best Programme of Films award.

The overall winner was Bracknell Film Society, with distinctions going to Edinburgh Film Guild, Shrewsbury Film Society and Minicine. ABCD, along with Forest Row Film Society and Newcastle Community Cinema, received commendations.

This is what CFA says about the “Best Programme of Films Award”:
“Film societies and community cinemas have some of the most innovative, far-reaching and challenging programmes in UK exhibition. This award aims to recognise the film societies and community cinemas that deliver an excellent selection of films to their community, treating audiences to a broad programme of films selected with intelligence, freshness and originality”.

Bracknell shows its films in the South Hill Park arts centre. You might be interested to see its web-site at http://homepage.ntlworld.com/barnett.family/FILM_LISTINGS/BFS_FILM_LISTINGS.htm .

Edinburgh Film Guild, who say that they have been continually running for 84 years (The Windmill award for them?), are to be found at http://edinburghfilmguild.org.uk/wordpress/ .

Another piece of good news – grant award from Film Hub South East (FHSE)

We have in the last few days learned that ABCD has been awarded a grant of several hundred pounds by Film Hub South East for our “Cinema Plus Activities 2014/15” project. The activities referred to are, broadly speaking, some of the things that we do that public cinemas generally do not do, such as have expert speakers and silent films with piano accompaniment. We trust you will be as pleased at this news as we are.

The background- you may need to concentrate now. At the top of the pyramid sits the National Lottery. It funds the British Film Institute to do lots of things. One of them was to create the “BFI Film Audience Network” (known as BFI FAN) a little while ago. The BFI describes it as “a major [BFI] initiative to enable film and events experts to work in partnership to boost film audiences across the UK, particularly in the areas of specialised and independent British film” … “The Network is made up of nine Film Hubs which cover the whole of the UK. Each Film Hub is led by a Film Hub Lead Organisation (FHLO) that will receive funding from the BFI to deliver extensive programming, audience development activity and support sector training in their region.” And if this structure leads to a richer film culture for us all to enjoy, it must surely be a very good thing.

Go to http://www.bfi.org.uk/what-s/around-uk/film-audience-network for more information.

First special event of the season on October 23rd

We will be screening Andrei Tarkovsky’s MIRROR (Zerkalo) on this date, when John Riley will introduce the film and discuss it with us afterwards. It’s labelled a special event, because John is a expert speaker making a special journey to talk us us. If you heard him introduce DEFENCE COUNSEL SEDOV last season, you will know how good he is on Soviet cinema. He has visited us many times previously. This screening will begin at the usual time of 7.45pm.

BAFTA 2014 shorts programme November 6th

This compilation consists of eight films and runs for 118 minutes. However, we have decided to have a short break at roughly the mid-point. For that reason the programme will begin at 7.30pm – earlier than usual.

Join the ABCD committee – or help in some other way?

Clubs and societies often call for members to step forward and do things to help, either by joining the committee or not. We have made such appeals, and if they hadn’t been successful on occasion, well, ABCD would probably now be defunct. The key fact is that it doesn’t run itself and we are definitely a little short of working committee members and volunteers. The AGM is set for November 20th. More information on known committee vacancies will follow, but you should know that we do not at present have a full committee, so it’s highly likely there will be vacancies.

More specifically, one very hard-working member of the committee has been our membership officer for several years. He keeps and updates detailed records, liaises with the treasurer and with members generally. He would now like to take up the vacant job of publicity officer, but he can’t until there is a new membership officer.

As we say above, at present we do not have a publicity officer and frankly this situation is untenable. It’s too early to say how we are going to do financially this season, but we may well make a small loss, whereas we should be planning to make a surplus to put towards future equipment purchases. (A modern projector, for example, can easily cost in the region of £4000). We have enough reserves to cover this eventuality without difficulty, but every year in the nature of things we lose a few members and thus need a sprinkling of new ones. And that’s where the publicity officer comes in. Enough said.

Please think about this and talk to one of the committee if you would like to discuss it or just to have more information.

The next newsletter is planned for mid-November.