ABCD Film Society Newsletter 7th November 2016

1: AGM

As you know, this Thursday evening (Nov 10th) we are holding our annual general meeting. It is timed to start at 7.30, with the films (The Band’s Visit & a six minute short, The Coat) to follow without undue delay.

AGMs entail a certain amount of paperwork. You will find below (appended following all the other items in this newsletter) the notice of meeting, the agenda, the minutes of the last AGM (held 5th November 2015); and the officers’ report for the year 2015-6. There will be a few printed copied of these documents – principally for those who don’t do IT – so we would ask you to print out your own copies and bring them to the meeting.

2: Helping to run ABCD

In the last newsletter we asked you to consider helping ABCD to run, either by joining the committee or by volunteering to do specific things. In terms of the “Other members of the committee” category, we have been two short this last year (and by the constitution we could have had four more). Furthermore, one of these “other members” is standing down this year after many years’ service. So it looks as if we have space for up to five new committee members.

We have had a couple of positive responses to the last newsletter, for which many thanks. There are two areas in which we could do with some extra help. On the film presentation side, we don’t really have much strength in depth. So if you would like to learn how to get an image onto the screen and a sound signal into the loudspeakers, we will show you, as gradually as you would like, how it’s done in our set-up. Incidentally, it’s not a one person task, especially bearing in mind the getting out of the equipment and putting it away after the show. The answer of course is teamwork.

The other field of endeavour is publicising the society. At present this is no-one’s job, but it sort of happens, if rather inadequately. Yes, we survive and the annual accounts don’t look at all bad. But please note that the numbers of half and whole year members is some 15% lower than it used to be. This means that we rely more on one week members and guests than in the past; and we did really well in this respect last season, especially between Christmas and the end of the season. If that’s how it has to be, so be it. But that in turn means working hard week by week to get an audience. We probably need people who will make contact with schools sixth-form heads and film studies teachers; who will enter our screenings into myriad newspaper and other websites; who will look at our upcoming films and identify and make contact with groups who might (ought to?) be tempted; who will make a list of workplaces and premises which would accept posters – and other things that you might think of that haven’t occurred to us. All this is most definitely not a one person job, but the more people do a bit of it, the easier it becomes.

3: Power in our Hands – amount collected

This was screened on Oct 27th (or, if you follow our annual brochure closely, on October 27nd). The attendance was 26 and we more or less covered our basic costs. And very gratifyingly the voluntary collection for the British Deaf Association raised £71. But 26 is not a high attendance for us and we would be interested to know why this was so, as we usually attract an audience of between 40 and 55. We can think of various explanations. The event took place in schools half-term week and it was an additional event. Were the non-attenders away, doing child-care, or simply wanting a week without a film? Was this film not an appealing prospect ? Please tell us why you think the screening wasn’t a bigger draw – either by sending us a message ( or in person at a film night.


to be held at 7.30 pm., in Abingdon Health and Wellbeing Centre ,
on Thursday, 10 November 2016


1. Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting (05-11-15), (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.

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING held at 7.30 pm. at Abingdon Health and Wellbeing Centre, Audlett Drive, on Thursday 5 November 2015.

Present: 41 members

Apologies for absence: None

1. Minutes of the previous AGM (held 20 11 14) which had been previously circulated to members were accepted as a true record. (Proposed Dave Thomas Seconded Barry Reeves and agreed nem con.

2. Matters arising: None

3. Officers’ Reports:
The reports, other than the accounts had been issued prior to the meeting. It was proposed by Penny Clover and seconded by Tony Rush 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 explained that he had been in contact with HMRC about this and was waiting for them to make a request for any Gift Aid which should not have been claimed. In response to a question the Treasurer explained that the change in “cash” was due to a “bonus” on interest in the Deposit Account plus the Grant we received from Film Hub Southeast. 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 G Legge that the Treasurer’s Report and Accounts be accepted as qualified by the independent examiner. Agreed nem con.

4. Matters Arising None

5. Election of Officers and Committee Members:
All the outgoing Committee Members had confirmed they are willing to stand for re-election and there were no new nominations. It was proposed by Dr Steven Fisher and seconded by Anita Rendell that all members of the committee be re-elected. It was pointed out by Martin Johnso that there was no need to vote on this as there are still vacancies on the committee
Committee as last year.

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

Executive Officers Membership Secretary Barry Reeves
Programme Co-ordinator Noeleen Farrell

Other Committee Members Geoff Bailey
Mike Bloom
Andy Norton

Independent Examiner of Accounts. Steve Lawrence was willing to undertake this again and it was proposed by Penny Clover and seconded by Harry Stoopman & Richard Stovell that Steve Lawrence be re-appointed. This was agreed unanimously.

6 AOB 1. Tony Rush proposed a vote of thanks to the Committee for their hard work. This was endorsed by all other members.
2. Penny Clover advised the meeting that the Town Council will be holding another Clubs & Societies Day
3. Barry Reeves reminded the meeting that we are publicizing the Society at the Abingdon “Free Space”
shop in the precinct and he called for volunteers to sign on the she to attend various time slots.
4. Dave Thomas informed the meeting that the building we are in – the Health and Wellbeing Centre is at threat from closure due to the budget constraints on the county Council. All members need to sign up to the various places on line and petitions to request the building stays open.

The meeting closed at 8.18 pm


Summary of the main activities
We held 13 Committee Meetings to manage the Society’s business in accordance with Charity Commission guidance, and select the next season’s films. These included the AGM on 5 November 2015 and the Member’s Meeting on 12 May 2016.
We showed a main programme of 22 films including 4 which were introduced by specialist speakers, Susannah Brough, Hubert Zawadzki, Alex Jacoby and Dr Ann Miller, with discussions post-screening. We again showed our traditional Silent classic in St Nicolas’ Church, this year Our Hospitality starring Buster Keaton, with piano accompaniment by Andrew Youdell. We showed 9 short films and Pride as an additional special event sponsored by Film Hub South East, in lieu of the talk by Ian Christie. In addition to the main programme we screened In the Shadow of the Sun in support of the charity Standing Voice. We also showed the Oscar nominated animated shorts as an additional event at which we got to make our own selection of winners prior to the Oscar awards ceremony announcement.

Audience numbers ranged from 31 to 60 with an average of 45. Although the maximum audience was two less than last year the average was up by four.

Summary of the main achievements of the Society during the year
The season commenced on 1 October with The Grand Budapest Hotel and ended on 24 March with Emil and the Detectives, the film shown at our regular joint event with the Abingdon and District Twin Towns Society and again included in the main programme.

We again supplied our audiences with reaction slips to record their ratings and comments on the films. The highest scoring feature at 98% was In the Shadow of the Sun, our film in support of the charity Standing Voice. The highest scoring film in the main programme was Our Hospitality, the silent shown in St Nicolas’ Church which scored 96%. The lowest was I’m Going Home which scored 55%. Of the short films Car Park was the most popular (with or without the sound). Audience satisfaction for the feature films was slightly down on last year (77% cf 79%). Full programme and details of reaction slips (scoring) for each film, are posted on our Website

As usual, we commenced work on preparing our annual programme of 22 films for the next season (2016/17) in January of 2016. We invited members to a meeting to review the selection process in May and finalised the programme in July when all bookings were confirmed, and the brochure text and images prepared for printing. Copies of the brochure 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 2016/17 season.
We continued our membership of Cinema For All, previously the British Federation of Film Societies (BFFS). We did not seek any special grants this year.

Membership at the end of the season was 54 versus 59 at the end of the previous season. While this is viable, it remains the committee’s objective to attract more new recruits, so that we can continue to show films at attractive subscription rates.

(Note: The Treasurer’s Report is presented as a spreadsheet to be issued at the meeting.)