The St Leonards Film Society is a volunteer-run organisation set-up in 2009 to make films accessible to the whole of the local community. To do this we plan to screen some of the best films from around the world at fair prices and in easily accessible local community venues.
The Big Picture
Central St Leonards will be our starting point from which we plan to show films at a number of community venues (all of which have disabled access and facilities). We plan to offer reasonably priced films that cater to all sectors of the community, e.g. kids, adults, seniors, people with disabilities, different cultural backgrounds, etc. We will also showcase films made by local film-makers at designated venues as main features or prior to main features for short films.
We want to bring film to the wider community as part of the Community Film Network, by providing greater film choices and experiences. Part of this process will be to develop a network of venues and volunteers, especially in more marginalised areas. We will provide the resources for these local people/groups to run their own film screenings so that we can truly feel that we are reaching "the heart of the community".
The idea of the scheme is to train local volunteers in more marginalised parts of the town to run their own screenings. We would then loan out the equipment to be used in specific community centres located in other parts of St Leonards, thereby providing people in those areas an opportunity to see films locally.
One of the ways in which we can introduce new filmic experiences is (when possible) by screening short films made by local film-makers/students. These would be shown at special screenings or prior to our main screenings around the town. In this way we hope to introduce film-goers to something new and the film-maker's work will have reached a new and greater audience.
As part of our commitment to learning, we hope to liaise with educational establishments to provide films as an aid to the curriculum. We have access to a large amount of World Cinema and Archive material which could be screened in conjunction with the schools' syllabus, or to assist language/media studies.
To make film more accessible to everyone we also plan to offer film production (e.g. camera work, editing, animation, sound, make-up, etc.) workshops, open to all ages taught by industry professionals.
Part of the support process would involve showcasing films produced by the participants of these workshops and by local film-makers. This could be done by having screenings at special events, or by showing them prior to main film society feature films. In this way we would be promoting the work of local people and introducing them to a new audience.
By offering films in a number of community venues around the town, we hope to bring people together to enjoy themselves and, in some instances, reduce isolation. Our goal is to be both a source of entertainment and the inspiration for new people to get involved in community events, the volunteer sector, further education and/or the film industry.
If you would like to get involved in setting up / running a workshop, would like to discuss creating an educational partnership, or know of a community venue that would be suitable for screening films and could be part of our network, or for any other queries please send us an e-mail.