3rd November 2015 newletter

1 Papers for the Annual General Meeting (this Thursday)

2 Our next two special events

3 Refreshments & discussion at ABCD screenings

4 Our charity screening

1 Papers for the Annual General Meeting (Nov 5th)

As you know, the ABCD Annual General Meeting takes place this week, starting at 7.30pm. As last year we are publishing key documents in advance. There will be a few printed copies, principally for those members who do not receive the newsletter by email, so we are relying on your doing some printing!

The agenda and the minutes of 2014 AGM etc. are appended at the foot of this message.

2 Our next two special events

On November 12th we shall be showing IDA, Pawel Pawlikowski’s most recent UK release. (We have previously screened his MY SUMMER OF LOVE and LAST RESORT). It is set in Poland in the Communist period with references to the country’s recent earlier history. The event is special because Dr Hubert Zawadzki, co-author of A Concise History of Poland, will set the film’s historical background and then discuss the
film with us. He has visited us previously when we have shown Polish films from and about the same period and his talks were very highly valued. Please note: SCREENING BEGINS AT 7.30 PM.

A week later on Nov 19 we welcome back Alex Jacoby to introduce and discuss ALONE ACROSS THE PACIFIC. Alex, who teaches Japanese language and film at Brookes, has talked about Japanese films at ABCD very expertly a number of times and this is a title that he is very fond of. Please note: SCREENING BEGINS AT 7.30 PM.

3 Refreshments & discussion at ABCD screenings

In the last newsletter, dated 20/10/15, we pointed out that it is nearly always possible for members and guests to have a cup of tea or coffee before the screening and that more of you are doing so.

There is no reason why we should not go beyond this. You could for instance have a beverage after a screening and that beverage could be something you bring along yourself. It could even be something
containing alcohol provided you do not sell it to others – we and the premises are not licensed. (BUT see the “ground rules” below).

Our hope would be that if this idea is taken up, ABCD might become even more sociable, with discussion of the film seen or whatever else people want to talk about. We don’t want to prescribe topics or discussion formats – so if you like the idea, just do it!

So, what are the “ground rules”?

– Discussion and consumption to take place in the buttery area (that you always walk through to see the film) to enable the projection team to dismantle and put away equipment unimpeded;

– Time limit of 40 minutes from when the film finishes so that the projection team can get away without undue delay;

– Washing up and tidying up of crockery and cutlery etc that you have used.

4 Our charity screening

Finally, you might be interested to know that the collection for Standing Voice UK, held October 29, the charity that supports people with albinism in Tanzania and beyond, raised just over ?201. The film
we showed, IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN, was very well received and there was lively discussion with the two charity staffers who attended the screening. We have a spare copy of the DVD for members’ home use.

The next members’ newsletter is planned for late November.

Appendix: AGM documents:


to be held at 7.30 pm., in Abingdon Health and Wellbeing Centre, on Thursday, 5 November 2015


1. Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting (20-11-14), (see below).
2. Matters arising.
3. Officers’ Report and Accounts
4. Matters arising from, and adoption of, officers’ reports.
5. Election of Officers, “other executive officers” and between 5 and 7 other members of the General Committee, and re-appointment of independent examiner of accounts.

held at 7.30 pm. at Abingdon Health and Wellbeing Centre, Audlett Drive, on Thursday 20 November 2014.

Present: Frank Allen, Geoff Bailey, Laura Barrie, John Bates, Susanne Bates, Magdalen Batten, Rosie Boyes, Colin Brough, Penny Clover, Mary Coghlan, Noeleen Farrell, Sheila Garrard, Tony Garrard, Sandra
Grainger, Caroline Harben, Martin Johnson, Jeffery Karoly, Steve Lawrence, Graham Legg, Fay Linacre, Graham Linacre, Andy Norton, Ethel Parkinson, David Pedder, Lesley Prout, Enid Reeves, Barry Reeves, Anita Rendell, Christine Robichez, Tony Rush, Claudette Simpson, Anne Smart, Richard Smart, Harry Stoopman, Margaret Stovel, Richard Stovel, Dave Thomas, Mary Welch and six others.

Apologies for absence: Mike Bloom and Chris Holt.

1. Minutes of the previous AGM (held 28 11 13) were tabled. It was proposed that the minutes be accepted as a true record. Proposed: G Legg; seconded: P Clover, accepted unanimously.

2. Matters arising: None

3. Officers’ Reports:
The reports, other than the accounts had been issued prior to the meeting. It was proposed by Sandra Grainger and seconded by Anita Rendel that these be adopted. Agreed nem con.
Accounts The Treasurer presented the annual accounts to 31 July, which had again been inspected and accepted, conditionally, by the Society’s Independent Examiner of Accounts, to whom thanks were
extended. The condition related to the claiming of Gift Aid on member’s subscriptions which the examiner considered to be outside the scope of Gift Aid. The Treasurer has already sought clarification from HMRC on this point and will take any action necessary in response to their reply. The accounts show are financial position to be satisfactory taking in to account income, including grants and expenditure. It was proposed by G Bailey and seconded by R Stovel that the Treasurer’s Report and Accounts be accepted as qualified by the independent examiner. Agreed nem con.

4. Matters Arising
The Chairman gave some additional information about reactions last year and a brief resume of them so far this season.
The Membership secretary said that membership is growing above last year.
The Secretary commented that given the poor acoustics of the room the sound quality is about as good as can be achieved, but we will continue to look for ways to improve it. A lot of the problems relate to poor sound tracks on some of the films eg on the evening we screened 8 short films the sound was good on all except one which must be down to the recording.
P Clover asked about the heating in the hall. The Secretary commented that it is a lot better now than in the past and we will continue to monitor it.

5. Election of Officers and Committee Members:
All the outgoing Committee Members had confirmed they are willing to stand for re-election. In addition Noeleen Farrell wished to stand for election. It was proposed by M Johnson and seconded by D Thomas that
all members of the outgoing committee and Noeleen Farrell be elected. This was agreed unanimously.

Chair: Martin Johnson
Treasurer: Jeffrey Karoly
Secretary: Dave Thomas

Executive Officers

Membership Secretary Barry Reeves
Deputy Treasurer Penny Clover
Programme Co-ordinator Noeleen Farrell

Other Committee Members

Geoff Bailey
Mike Bloom
Chris Holt and
Andy Norton

Independent Examiner of Accounts. Steve Lawrence was willing to undertake this again and it was proposed by Caroline Harben and seconded by Dave Thomas that Steve Lawrence be re-appointed. This was
agreed unanimously.

Amendments to the Constitution Two amendments to the Constitution had been proposed by the outgoing Committee a) a simplification of item 3 (iii) to make it clearer and b) a change of officer title from Chairman to Chair in item 4(i).
An amendment to the proposal for item 3(iii) was proposed by Andy Norton and seconded by Harry Stoopman. The revised wording proposed for item 3(iii) being “Only members of any category, and their guests shall be admitted to film showings. Guests shall be admitted at the discretion of the Committee.”
This was agreed unanimously
The change to item 4(i) was proposed adopted by Penny Clover and seconded by Martin Johnson and agreed unanimously.

AOB Anita Rendell proposed a vote of thanks to the Committee for their hard work. This was endorsed by all other members.

The meeting closed at 8.10 pm


Summary of the main activities
We held 14 Committee Meetings to manage the charity’s business in accordance with Charity Commission guidance, and select the next season’s films. These included the AGM on 20 November 2014 and the
Member’s Meeting on 14 May 2015.
We showed a main programme of 22 films including 2 which were introduced by specialist speakers, John Riley and Dr Ann Miller, with discussions post-screening. We again showed our traditional Silent classic in St Nicolas’ Church, this year Sparrows starring Mary Pickford, with live piano accompaniment by Andrew Youdell. Professor Ian Christie was unable to attend to speak at our screening of The Horse’s Mouth due to an accident in Italy. In addition we showed 4 short films and the feature Pride as an additional special event sponsored by Film Hub Southeast in lieu of the talk by Ian Christie.

Audience numbers ranged from 62 to 29 with a mean attendance of 41.

Summary of the main achievements of the charity during the year.

The season commenced on 1 October with Much Ado About Nothing and ended on 26 March with Life is a Long Quiet River, the film shown at our regular joint event with the Abingdon Twin Towns Association which
was included in the main programme this year. This arrangement seems to work well and will be continued.

We again supplied our audiences with reaction slips to record their ratings and comments on the films. The highest scoring feature was Pride (93%) and the lowest Gloria (61%). Of the short films I am a Litter Basket scored highest (83%) and, surprisingly A Trip to the Moon was lowest (71%). Overall audience ratings were up on last year.
Full programme and details of reaction slips (scoring) for each film, are posted on our web site www.abfilms.org.uk

As usual, we commenced work on preparing our annual programme of 22 films for the next season (2015/16) in January of 2015. We invited members to a meeting to review the selection process in May and finalised the programme in July when all bookings were confirmed, with some being subject to late changes, and the brochure prepared for printing. Copies of the brochure and were sent out in early September 2015 to existing members, past members and potential new members who had expressed an interest with a letter inviting them to become members for the 2015/16 season. We were pleased with the number of people who expressed an interest in joining from our publicity on the StreetLife web site.

We continued our membership of Cinema For All, previously the British Federation of Film Societies (BFFS). We applied for and received a grant from Film Hub Southeast (part of BFI Neighbourhood Cinema) towards the cost of visiting speakers and the costs of screening the silent film in St Nicolas’ Church
Membership was up on last year and we will strive to maintain and improve membership numbers. Maintaining membership at a viable number is a key objective of the Committee.

Note. – The Treasurer’s Finance Report is to be issued at the meeting.