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Goodbye to Jay Platt

Cinema For All wishes bon voyage to Jay Platt, Cinema For All’s Office and Operations Manager after almost four years of service.

Jay has been an incredibly valued member of the Cinema For All team and has achieved a great deal in the time he’s been here. We congratulate him on his new role in Accounting and wish him all the very best for the future as a friend of Cinema For All.

Thanks to Jay, we were able to achieve a major overhaul of our e-mail system and expand our equipment scheme to reach communities across the UK. He brought a level of specialist skill from his background in exhibition and projection that was invaluable to his support to so many community cinemas nationwide—not to mention his admin speed, which will be missed almost as much as his sense of humour.

A message from Jay:

“After almost four years of working at Cinema For All, it is time for me to move on to the next opportunity. I have been constantly inspired by all of the incredible work this wonderful community does, from showcasing some of the most adventurous film programming, to bringing the magic of cinema to communities that otherwise would not have access to it. At conferences, screenings and other events I have had the privilege to meet so many great people who I won’t forget, and I hope to see you all again on the dancefloor at a conference in the future! Despite leaving the world of cinema, I will certainly continue to attend community screenings, spread the good word of community cinema, and most importantly be inspired by the amazing work you all do.”



This year, we celebrate 75 years of supporting film societies and community cinemas; 75 years of helping this incredible sector to grow. We are also launching a fundraising campaign, to help us to continue the vital work of supporting community cinema.
As we reflect on 75 years of community cinema history, we are floored by the resilience and vitality of the sector that democratises cinema exhibition.

In the lead-up to the Community Cinema Conference, we’ll be sharing tonnes of exciting content, from filmmaker interviews and community cinema stories to rare archive documents, right here on our website.

In the wake of an extremely challenging period, we are also asking for your assistance. To help secure Cinema For All’s future and cover our losses from 2020/21, we’re launching a fundraiser to generate much-needed income.

To kick off the campaign, we’re thrilled to share this heartwarming video from a good friend of Cinema For All, filmmaker, critic, and programmer Mark Cousins.

Visit our campaign page here

Text graphic reads "Launchpad" in pink on a spotted green background.

Recruiting Now: Coaching for New Community Cinemas!


Cinema For All’s popular coaching programmes for new community cinemas are back!

Are you a master cinema programmer in the making? Have you dreamed of putting on film screenings and starting your own community cinema?

As venues reopen, and as autumn approaches, there’s never been a better time to start.

Check out these three programmes to learn & kick-start your very own community cinema, with the help of a friendly expert Cinema For All coach and a bursary to help you get started without financial risk.

Text graphic reads "Launchpad" in pink on a spotted green background.

LAUNCHPAD – for everyone new!

Text graphic reads "Next Gen" in yellow on a green background with a pattern of triangles.

NEXT GEN – for new individuals and groups under 30

Text graphic reads "Access Launchpad" in pink on a spotted green background.

ACCESS LAUNCHPAD – for new individuals groups. Coaching is tailored to meet access requirements & help you host accessible screenings

Image of a family, holding hands in the sun. A still from the film Minari.

Reflecting on Minari

Reflecting on Minari: A Sociopolitical Drama with Family and Culture at its Core

“Even if I fail, I have to finish what I started”, says Jacob, the central father character, trying to persuade his wife that their life is worth fighting for in this country; he wants to prove to them all that he can succeed.

The story of a Korean family building a new life in rural ’80s Arkansas is one that might seem unrelatable, and yet director Lee Isaac Chung makes it feel as though it’s truly a part of each member of the audience. Chung dedicates time to establishing Minari‘s mid-western setting and pays close attention to its characters: the ways in which each individually struggles with uprooting their life and copes with adapting to their new one. The title ‘Minari‘ refers to a type of water parsley that grows even in the harshest of grounds—a theme that’s portrayed throughout the film in a truly humane fashion.

As the family patriarch, Jacob, Steven Yeun is a powerful lead player, taking charge with a passion that often leads to questions from his wife, played with conviction by Yeri Han. This passion finds them in the Ozarks, trying to start up a farm of their own.

Faith and ambition are the true central themes of this film, from the moment Yeun’s character Jacob refuses the help of a man who proclaims himself a ‘water diviner’, due to his strong faith that he will be able to work this land to his advantage on his own. It tells a story of the ambition necessary to survive in this world.

Cinematography and performance bring this film together. Meticulous acting, combined with the greys and greens of the scenery, creates a peaceful and striking visual. There is a whole world, it feels like, for the audience to delve into—and it feels real. These characters are played genuinely, and with care; even the youngest members of the cast live up to a very high acting calibre—Alan Kim and Noel Kate Cho truly stand up amongst their castmates.

A real scene-stealer is Yoon Yuh-jung, who plays the family’s grandmother who moves to the USA to live with her family. While there, she teaches her grandson about the water parsley and how to grow it. Yuh-jung won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in this film, becoming the first Korean actress to do so. As Soonja, she created a warm, genuine character that reads as a truly kind member of the family.

Minari feels like a real story; the viewer feels that Chung has taken his own experiences in life and thrust them to the forefront of this film. Visually stunning, performed with extraordinary care and skill, and written and directed like a story from the heart, Minari is a film for any kind of film lover.

The reviewer, Elle, is a talented 17-year-old student who has recently completed a work placement with Cinema For All via Arts Emergency.

Minari is available to book via the Cinema For All Booking Scheme now.

A man stands, looking at the camera, holding a cow. A still from the film First Cow.

Reflecting on First Cow

Reflecting on First Cow: A Bizarrely Poetic Turn-of-the-Century Tale

First Cow is a masterpiece of independent cinema by the mind who brought us Certain Women (2016) and Wendy and Lucy (2008), Kelly Reichardt. Reichardt creates a strange little world that belongs in the history books, following a man who abandons his trapping party and befriends a like-minded outsider as they try to survive in an Oregon-based tale. It’s an intimate exploration of humanity, the desire to live, and a deep discovery of the world at large.

Striking visuals and close-ups of the two lead actors remind the audience of the personal side of this story. It feels like a discovery, tracking two outcasts on a path of survival. It strikes the audience with emotional moments and an acting performance from John Magaro that is truly memorable.

Humorous moments really pull this film together; quiet jokes and moments of entertainment stand out against dull colours. Everything feels muted visually, while some natural colours explode across the screen. However, it’s the acting that really draws us into the story, with performances that are truly extraordinary.

Our two heroes are trying to make a living, making oil cakes with milk stolen from a cow that belongs to Chief Factor, played magnificently by Toby Jones in a scene-chewing performance. The Factor’s cow is the first to be brought to the region, making its milk incredibly rare. As such, the two leads’ cakes are highly sought-after once they begin to sell them to the people of the village. Their cakes become legendary in the town, and even the Chief Factor himself wants to try one. This is how the film develops tension. A slow-burn story develops and it is so strange and captivating, it really pulls in the audience and makes them follow the story. The cast delivers a well-cultivated collection of understated and overstated performances, that make this a striking story.

First Cow is cleverly written, visually beautiful, and captivatingly performed—a near-perfect beast of independent cinema.

The reviewer, Elle, is a talented 17-year-old student who has recently completed a work placement with Cinema For All via Arts Emergency.

First Cow is available to book via the Cinema For All Booking Scheme now.

Graphic image: "Back to the Big Screen" shows on a cinema screen in a garden. Two girls sit in the foreground eating popcorn.

Back to the Big Screen: Reopening Inspiration from Cinema For All


Cinema For All is pleased to present a new brochure, to help inspire your next screening season!

There’s been a lot of anticipation for reopening. Whether you’re going full-steam-ahead or taking things slowly, we’re here to help you get back up and running with a bang.

From Limbo to Minari, our new brochure is full of screen fillers to suit your needs.

Download the brochure below.


Graphic: A woman sits in front of a laptop, between a coffee and a plant.

Community Exhibitor Survey 2020-2021

It’s that time of year when we open up our survey satchels to gather as much information about the sector as we possibly can. This year, there are also some stellar prizes up for grabs.

Why do we run the survey? Well, although we are in regular contact with members, the survey allows us to gather data to identify important trends, and to hear new feedback about key issues in the sector. It helps us to celebrate successes and to find the ways we can best support community exhibition going forward. Each year, we create a report from our findings. This becomes an important record of how the sector adapts to change.

Given the challenges of the last year, it’s extremely important to us that we gather a wide range of responses so that we can represent the sector accurately and advocate for its interests. No matter how active or inactive your group has been over the last year, we would love to hear from you.

Not only will you be pitching in with important work, you also have a chance to win one of three fantastic prizes in our survey prize draw.

Prizes include:

  • A £50 John Lewis voucher
  • A six-month subscription to Sight and Sound magazine
  • A Blu-ray/DVD boxset selected by Cinema For All

To take part in the prize draw, be sure to fill in your contact details at the end of the survey. This information will be stored separately so that all survey responses will remain completely anonymous.

Previous Community Exhibitor Survey reports can be read HERE.

Please, take some time to fill in our survey HERE. If you have hosted screenings between April 2020-March 2021, please have records to hand.

Thank you!

Cheltenham International Film Festival / Cinema For All Audience Award: 

Cinema For All is also delighted to announce the ‘CIFF Cinema For All Audience Award’. Cinema For All members are encouraged to take part in the Audience Award by voting for their favourite of five films, selected from the festival programme for their outstanding appeal to community cinema audiences.

We invite community cinemas and their members to vote for their favourite Cheltenham IFF film from a shortlist of titles, highlighted for their outstanding appeal to community cinema audiences. The final shortlist will be announced in next month’s Newsreel e-newsletter.


All CIFF Cinema For All Audience Award votes will be entered into a prize draw, eligible to win a range of prizes.

All prizes can be redeemed on films included in Season 5 at the YourScreen Virtual Cinema, launching at the start of September.

First Prize: The winning voter will be able to watch ALL Season 5 films for free!

Second Prize: Two second-prize winners will be able to watch any THREE Season 5 films for free!

Third Prize: Five third-prize winners will be able to watch any ONE Season 5 film for free!

Only members who have watched their favoured film at Cheltenham International Film Festival are eligible to vote. The winning entrants will be chosen at random via a draw by Cinema For All. Terms and conditions apply.

VOTING DEADLINE: Midnight, Sunday 4 July.

Browse the full festival programme, then buy your pass and get watching!

See Cinema For All’s e-newsletter with special offers on passes and ticket prices for Cinema For All members, or get in touch for more information.


For: existing community cinemas & film societies, active for 1 year +

Application Deadline: 30th May 2021

Coaching sessions will run Online, June – August 2021

Accessible application options available


We are now recruiting for the Summer 2021 round of our popular coaching programme ‘SUSTAIN’.

These programmes are designed to help community cinemas return to screening after lockdown with some extra coaching and bursary support.

Whether you’ve been around the block two times or twenty, these programmes can help you reach your next goal.

‘SUSTAIN’ is broken down into three exciting programmes:

Sustain SHINE:

Reflect on what you’ve achieved and where you want to go next.

3 x coaching sessions, tools & advice

+ £200 bursary towards your sustainability

Sustain DEVELOP:

Develop a specific project with a clearly defined goal in mind.

3 x bespoke, targeted sessions

+ £600 bursary to realise this ambition


Supports groups with interesting ideas to collaborate with other community cinemas.

+ £1000 bursary to realise your project, in person or online.

All coaching is delivered by Cinema for All with the support of the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery.

Coaching Topics Covered:

  • Outdoor/online screenings
  • Reopening – safely & successfully
  • Fundraising
  • Audience development
  • Programming
  • Marketing
  • Equipment
  • Venue hire
  • Outreach
  • Accessibility & more


“In these isolated times, the training made all our efforts feel valued and supported.  Making contact with Cinema For All was so helpful and the endorsements that you gave for our work provided such a boost when we needed that most… the training also gave us the courage to try different models… where otherwise we might not have felt able to tackle them.” – Sustain Shine Spring 2021 participant

“I cannot overstate how much I am grateful for the support… Sustain has given me & therefore benefited our community. It has gone from having half an idea to a megaproject with a long-term legacy.” – Sustain Develop 2020 Participant

For more information and to apply, visit:



Alternative application formats available.

Our website includes audio recordings of programme copy, application forms and guidance notes.

For any other access needs, please contact: (Sustain Shine) (Sustain Develop & Collaborate)

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