Not sure whether you’d like to apply this year? Read these words from Matthew Grainger of Newcastle Community Cinema, who explains just how important winning a Film Society of the Year Award can be.
‘There is no doubt that our successes at the Film Society Of The Year Awards in 2012 and 2013 meant an enormous amount to Newcastle Community Cinema (NCC) in a variety of ways, in terms of boosting our collective confidence in what we were doing, and reaffirming the importance of delivering cinema to the community. We had been screening films here in County Down on a monthly basis for over 3 years, before we decided on a whim to enter ourselves in for the awards, little thinking we would be successful in any of the categories up against some very established film societies and clubs across the UK. We just thought it would be a good networking opportunity, to meet like-minded, film crazy volunteers to swap ideas. It soon transpired that it was to be so much more, as we were (unbelievably!) acknowledged for our endeavours, and somehow took the coveted Film Society of the Year award home to Northern Ireland 2 years in a row, the first time in the Awards’ history that this had happened.
The profile and platform that these awards afforded us is difficult to put into words, but it reaffirmed the value of what we were putting our spare time into. It has also acted as a springboard, enabled us to spread the message of Cinema For All across the wider community beyond our own, and we have seen new film societies spring up across Northern Ireland since, with none finer than our friends at Dungannon Film Club, current holder of the Film Society of the Year Award 2014 !
Cinema For All has been hugely supportive and influential in encouraging us to go bigger and better in what we do, and we have no question that our results in the Awards was a turning point in our journey. But you have to be in it to win it – we genuinely had no idea of what was about to happen for us when submitted our first applications, but the hard work we put in more than paid off for us when we were up on stage picking up the awards we had won. It reminds you why you fell in love with doing community cinema in the first place, and that can be really important sometimes!’
Matthew Grainger, Newcastle Community Cinema