Film Societies have been operating in the UK since the early days of cinema. Even before the first society officially set up in 1925, film fans were catching the ferry to France to pick up the latest film reels and bring them back to their communities. Below is a timeline of the film society and community cinema movement in the UK, from 1925 to the present day.
1925 THE MEETING OF THE FIRST UK FILM SOCIETY Find out More
On 25th October 1925, The Film Society held its first meeting at the New Gallery Kinema in Regent Street, London. Founder members of The Film Society included Anthony Asquith, Sidney Bernstein, Ivor Montagu, H G Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Augustus John and John Maynard Keynes. The first show included the feature film The Waxworks and Champion Charlie, a Chaplin short. The primary objective of the society was to screen more of the avant-garde material which had not found an outlet in the commercial cinema.
1946 BFFS is formed Find out More
After manly attempts to federate, the film societies of England come together to form The British Federation of Film Societies. The very first Viewing Session are held that same year.
1954 THE FIRST ISSUE OF 'FILM' IS PUBLISHED Find out More
For several decades, the British Federation of Film Societies published it's own magazine, Film, featuring reviews, opinion pieces and news of the activities of film societies both at home and abroad.
1969 The English and Scottish Federations merge Find out More
In 1969, the Federation of Scottish Film Societies amalgamated with the English Federation to form the British Federation of Film Societies (BFFS). In that same year, the first Film Society of the Year Award was announced - the winner was Southport Film Guild.
1987 TONY CURTIS PRESENTS THE FILM SOCIETY OF THE YEAR AWARDS Find out More
On a trip to London, legendary film star Tony Curtis took time out to present the 1987 Film Society of the Year Awards causing many a star-struck moment. Tom Ainsworth (pictured), of Manchester and Salford Film Society, was awarded the Roebuck Cup for his dedication to the film society movement.
2014 BFFS becomes Cinema For All Find out More
Following a long consultation with the membership, it was decided that BFFS's long held mission statement 'Cinema For All' would replace British Federation of Film Societies as the organisation's trading name.