We’d like to share our response to the Black Lives Matter movement. As an organisation, we remain committed to being better allies to our Black members, Black community cinema organisers and Black audiences. Our first step is to listen, and uplift their voices wherever we can. We recognise racism, inequality and bias within the film industry at large and within film exhibition. We want to address this by being an actively anti-racist organisation and challenging bias wherever we see it.
Since changing our name from the British Federation of Film Societies to Cinema For All in 2014, we committed ourselves to working towards a future where all people have access to the films they want to see – locally, affordably and safely. As a membership organisation, it is important that we as a staff team and board of trustees, reflect the volunteer cinema movement, to better support all volunteers in their journey to bring cinema to everyone in their communities. While we have achieved much change in the past six years, there is more that we need to do to live up to our name.
We are committed to making meaningful, lasting and accountable change – the first steps of which we’d like to share with you today.
- We have four upcoming vacancies on the Cinema For All board of trustees (1 appointed/ 3 elected). We will run a strong recruitment campaign, encouraging applications from Black and POC candidates for both the appointed role (which will be done using blind application methods) and for the elected role which means we will actively encourage Black people and people of colour from the Cinema For All membership to stand for the elected positions. The roles will be advertised very soon and will be elected at our AGM in September, which will be held virtually.
- Moving forward, we are committed to ensuring all event and podcast contributors are paid for their time and their stories. Though we represent volunteers, we recognise that the sharing of their stories is of huge value and we also recognise that the burden of free labour often falls on people of colour, especially women of colour.
- We will continue to actively recruit Black people and people of colour to our coaching and bursary programmes, through our own channels and through the support of our partners. Our coaching programmes set up brand new community cinemas and support existing ones, ensuring audiences better access the films that they want to see.
- We will continue to advocate for the rights, representation and safety of community cinema organisations and audiences, especially when it comes to post-Lockdown cinema reopening.
- We will continue to share and uplift the voices of Black people and people of colour within the community cinema movement through all of our communication channels and at our events.
- We will continue to offer bursaries for young people from all backgrounds to attend our events, as well as external events, and will be introducing a sliding pay-as-you-feel scale for the 2020 Community Cinema Conference.
There is more that we plan to do, and we will be holding an extraordinary board meeting in two weeks’ time to plan what more we can achieve, particularly with a focus on our operations team and staff diversity.
We are conscious that it is not the job of Black people to educate allies on what we should be doing organisationally – but we want you to know that we are here to listen if you would like to talk to us about anything in this statement. Please contact us on email@example.com.
Cinema For All truly believes that Black Lives Matter. We are proud carriers of the BFI Diversity Standards mark and we commit to better supporting Black organisers, Black audiences and Black people as much as we possibly can – for a better future and for cinema for all.