"Members of the community come up with fantastic ideas"
The morning was a chance for Film Hub London members - ranging from cinemas and festivals to art centres and film clubs - to network, share best practice and explore ways to engage, boost and broaden audiences.
Paul Bowman, Head of Film Culture at Film London welcomed attendees to the Breakfast, alongside Nik Grantham, Operations Manager at Catford Mews, who shared insight into the development of the independent cinema and event space. Nik spoke about how intrinsic the Catford community has been and is, in informing the organisation's wide-ranging programme; “We want to bring a real cultural mix”. No idea is off limits, with a member of the Catford Mews team always on the ground to talk to about potential events and use for the space.
Involving the local community was also reiterated by Kellie Blake, Senior Producer for We Are Lewisham. Kellie outlined the programme for the London Borough of Culture 2022 which ranged from opera performances and art exhibitions to mass dance events, film screenings and cultural training opportunities.
We show radical cinema that might not get shown elsewhere. We get to build a space of our own and create an impactful presence in our host venues.
Martha Kate Margetson
Next up was Yi Wang of Queer East Film Festival - funded with the FAN Film Exhibition Fund 2021 - who discussed how regularly surveying and directly interacting with your audience can help inform future events and approaches. For example, Yi made sure to attend Queer East Film Festival screenings and chat to the audience to evaluate whether initial perceptions they had, rang true. The five W's (and 1 H) were also considered - Why/What/Where/Who/When/How - when developing the Festival, with Yi expandig on these further; "Where are your audience from, but also Where to situate the event? Why are you doing this, Why is it needed? What hole are you 'filling'?"
Following suit, Martha Kate Margetson of Fringe! Queer Film and Arts Fest (also funded by the FAN Film Exhibition Fund 2021) touched upon the Festival's inclusive activity; “To gain an audience they must be reflected throughout a festival’s production.” For the 2021 edition, the Festival managed the accessible film offer from day one, enlisting Access Coordinators, creating a dedicated access budget to hire BSL interpreters and outsource closed captioning and audio description to enabling a welcoming experience for all. Martha also touched upon how incentives helped generate vital audience feedback, creating a number of one-off Festival badges for those who filled out a feedback form.
Film Hub London is a collaborative network of film exhibitors in the capital aiming to ensure cinema is accessible to as many people across the city as possible. Film Hub London membership is free to qualifying organisations and offers a range of benefits.