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2020 Film Society of the Year Awards Shortlist

Cinema For All is delighted to announce the 2020 Film Society of the Year Awards shortlist!


We would like to congratulate everyone who made it. It’s been a particularly tough year for community cinemas, and the judges were so impressed by your dedication to providing great cinema for your communities.

If you didn’t make the shortlist this time, please don’t be discouraged. The standard of applications was extremely high and the judges had a very difficult job.

The ceremony will be broadcast on the evening of Saturday 19 September. If you are already coming to the Community Cinema Conference, we will send you the link closer to the time. If you’d like to watch just the awards, tickets are £5 and can be purchased here.

Community Cinema Conference 2020

Community Cinema Conference 2020 and the 51st Film Society of the Year Awards

18-20 September, 2020, Online


Join Cinema For All for an exciting weekend celebrating all things community cinema – for the very first time entirely online!

Expect workshops, panels, plenty of networking, private links to exclusive film previews, watch parties and the highlight of the year, the Film Society of the Year Awards. We’re going completely online this year via Zoom, but there will be a whole host of opportunities to share, chat, learn, network and much more.Join us if you are currently involved in volunteer-led film screening or if you’d like to know more before getting started. Cinema For All is here to help you along every step of your journey.Full programme announcement coming in August.

Apply for the Film Society of the Year Awards now.

Tickets are available on a sliding scale, from £0-£50, depending on your income level.

If you are eligible for the free ticket option, please contact rosie@cinemaforall.org.uk for the access code. Bursaries are also available to under 30s currently screening films in a voluntary capacity. Contact info@cinemaforall.org.uk to apply.

*member discounted tickets are unavailable this year in favour of a sliding scale supporting people from different income levels. Member tickets will return in 2021, when the event is back in public.


Saturday 8 September marked the 49th Film Society of the Year Awards!

Film societies and community cinemas from across the UK and beyond gathered at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield for the ceremony, which took place during the 2018 Community Cinema Conference.

This year’s awards were presented by Cinema For All Chief Executive Deborah Parker and Lord Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid. The awards celebrated the outstanding work of community cinemas, film societies and individuals, and we came away feeling so inspired by everything that you are doing.

Some images of the event can be found here:


If you want high-res versions of the images, please get in touch and we can send these to you.

We’re very happy for you to use the images in any press or publicity – but please credit Cinema For All and our photographer, Mark Epstein.


Congratulations to all of the winners of this year’s Film Society of the Year Awards! We had a fantastic time and came away from the awards feeling so inspired by each and every one of you!


Here is the full list of this year’s winners:


Dr Shaw Award for Best New Society
Sinema Sadwrn

Best Marketing and Publicity
Deptford Cinema

Community Award
Leeds Queer Film Festival

Film Society Film of the Year
A Man Called Ove

Best Student Cinema
Film Unit

Filmbankmedia Audience Award
Brightlingsea Community Cinema

Film Discovery Award
Leigh Film Society

Best Film Programming
Leigh Film Society

Best Single Event
Andro and Eve

Outstanding Contribution by an Individual
Carlos Lozada, Deptford Cinema

Roebuck Cup
The committee of Newcastle Community Cinema

Engholm Prize for Film Society of the Year
Deptford Cinema


We are so excited to release this year’s Community Cinema Conference brochure!

This year’s conference weekend is packed with a fantastic selection of films, speakers and discussion topics – accompanied by all of the food, drink, dancing, chatting and celebrating that you could ask for!

The highlight of the weekend is the 49th Film Society of the Year Awards co-hosted by Lord Mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid, where we all get the chance to celebrate the hard work of film societies and community cinemas across the UK.

Read about all of the unmissable events happening across the weekend in our brochure, and get your tickets now!



With the annual Film Society of the Year Awards just around the corner, we wanted to catch up with some of our past award winners and see what they’re up to.

Leigh Film Society, founded in 2013, are an inspiring group of film enthusiasts based in Leigh, Greater Manchester. We asked Rob Tongeman from the society a few questions about what they’ve been doing and anything that they have in the pipeline.

Which award did you win?

Film Discovery Award
Community Cinema Award
Film Society of the Year

How did winning an award at Film Society of the Year impact Leigh Film Society?

We have had increased interest from both members of the public (which means busier screenings) and the press. It has raised our profile within the community. Please see our website’s “Press Coverage” page.

What was the highlight of the past year for Leigh Film Society?

Our society winning the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This is a massive honour to be recognised in this manner.

Do you have any upcoming screenings for us to look forward to?

We are holding a charity screening of Toy Story for the local Action4Alfie charity which is for a little boy with Duchennes Muscular Distrophy. We are also holding a screening of 24 Hour Party People to conicide with the 40th Anniversary of Factory Records, Manchester this year. As part of our normal programme we are screening, The Shape of Water, Airplane (our annual retro comedy month), Downsizing, Prevenge (Halloween film) & Journey’s End.

We are also in the planning stage of a “cozy” Christmas screening of a classic film (undecided right now) for our members & regulars which will have food and drinks before and during the event.

Anything else that you’d like to tell us about?

We held a screening of Suffragette earlier this year in support of our Leigh based WASPI ladies. This was an event they approached us to do.

We held a sing-a-long event screening of the Sound of Music. This was very well attended including 2 local ladies choirs.

We have also already this year screened, A Man Called Ove, Jawbone, OSS 117 Lost in Rio, Land of Mine & Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

We collect audience ratings (when able) after our film screenings and place the scores on our “Past Screenings” page of the website.

You can see further pictures and video from some of the events on the “Gallery” page of the website.



Application forms for the 49th Film Society of the Year Awards are now available! The Awards are our proudest tradition, and celebrate the hard work of the volunteers who bring film to communities all across the UK.

Apply now
Read the Guidance Notes

There are 11 awards to apply for, from our newest award Best Single Event, to the overall prize of Film Society or Community Cinema of the Year.  Your audience can also take part through the Filmbankmedia Award, in which you can be in with a chance of being awarded £1000 to support your activities!

The awards are open to all volunteer-led community cinemas, film societies, film clubs, pop-ups and community festivals.  To apply, simply fill in the form for the relevant category. Each form asks 4-5 simple questions, which will help you give the information the judges are looking for. We encourage you to try your hand at several categories to increase your chances of winning!

Each application form also invites you to submit a response to the following question:

‘What is it that makes your group special?’

The purpose of this question is help you get across the special qualities of your organisation, in a way that you may have been unable to express in your previous answers. You may submit this as 200 word text response, or a 2 minute audio file, or a 2 minute video file.

Return your completed application to awards@cinemaforall.org.uk by 30 June *extension until 4 July*.  Be sure to carefully read our Guidance Notes, as these will help you with your application significantly. You can also find out more about the judging process and how we select our panel here.

The awards take place on Saturday 8 September at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield, as part of our Community Cinema Conference weekend. Tickets will be available very soon – we cannot wait to celebrate with you!


Saturday 11 November marked the 48th Film Society of the Year Awards. Film societies, community cinemas and friends from across the UK and beyond gathered at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield for the ceremony, which took place during the 2017 Community Cinema Conference.

Presented by Cinema For All Chief Executive Deborah Parker and writer and broadcaster Danny Leigh, this year’s awards celebrated some outstanding and exciting community cinema groups and individuals.

Some high quality images of the event can be found here:

We’re very happy for you to use the images in any press or publicity – please credit Cinema For All/ Peter Martin.

More to come soon!


2017 Community Cinema Conference and Film Society of the Year Awards

Eventbrite - Community Cinema Conference and Film Society of the Year Awards 2017

Download the draft programme (timings subject to change)

10-12 November, Showroom Workstation and The Void, Sheffield Hallam University
Join Cinema For All in Sheffield on 10-12 November for the UK’s biggest gathering of film societies, community cinemas, village screens and film clubs for a weekend-long celebration of volunteer-led cinema! This year’s theme is Your Audience and You – we’ll be really delving into important issues such as building taste, marketing and publicity, audience research and reactions, reaching young people and making risky film choices.



We are absolutely delighted that Amitava Ghosh from Jamshedpur, India, representing the Federation of Film Societies of India will be joining us to talk about their experiences of film society life on the Indian subcontinent.



  • We welcome you to Sheffield with a feminist fresh look atGentlemen Prefer Blondes and an F Rating Masterclass from Rebecca Ellis from Little White Lies. Followed by complimentary wine and nibbles at Fusion Organic Café.


  • Session 1: Young Audiences and How to Find Them – a forum and Q&A session featuring a group of 16-30 year olds, all at varying levels of engagement with community cinema. Really want to know why you have been unable to attract younger audiences? This is your chance to ask them! Led by Mikaela Smith of Showroom Cinema.
  • Session 2: Enriching and Growing Your Audience – a panel session exploring how community cinema organisers have been reaching out to new audiences through community connections, dementia friendly activities and specialised film choices. Led by Deborah Parker and featuring Kat Smith of Lost in Film. More panellists TBC.
  • Session 3: The Film Discovery Masterclass with Danny Leigh – our patron Danny Leigh joins us to walk us through a selection of film education activities and how to introduce them to your audience.


  • Session 4: Knowing Your Audience Better – a panel session exploring audience research and engagement, featuring both community cinema organisers and audience members! Led by Gemma Bird, Vice Chair of Cinema For All and featuring Elizabeth Costello of Leigh Film Society. More panellists TBC.
  • The Cinema For All AGM – meet the trustees and team
  • Session 5: A Marketing and Social Media Masterclass with Jaq Chell and Abi Standish – an extended version of our popular coaching session. Learn how to really connect with your audience as well as expanding to reach new people.

+ Bookable fundraising one-to-ones with Katherine Seller of People’s Postcode Lottery (more info about how to book coming soon).

A selection of upcoming titles from the Cinema For All Booking Scheme, including shorts, docs and the best in world cinema.

Do not miss the highlight of the weekend, the Film Society of the Year Awards and after party. We’ll be putting on some delicious evening food and dancing ’til midnight! If you want to just join us for the awards, tickets are only £5 – which includes all refreshments and access to the after party!

By meeting other film societies we felt part of something much bigger and that our efforts are appreciated and recognised more widely.” – Lost In Film

Average ticket price for the whole weekend is just £85 (Member rate) – all lunches, morning refreshments and evening nibbles are included! We are very grateful to our event supporters and sponsors for helping us subsidise our ticket price and offer you even more than ever before! Their support helps us reduce the average cost of a weekend pass by a massive 50%.

We’re also happy to introduce a new discounted ticket for students and under 26s which is just £65.

Eventbrite - Community Cinema Conference and Film Society of the Year Awards 2017


  • delicious lunches on Saturday and Sunday by our good friends Homemade by Thelma’s
  • evening nibbles on Friday night
  • evening pizza party on Saturday night (courtesy of our generous sponsors Octagon Films)
  • morning refreshments
  • access to the awards after-party on Saturday night, where you can dance, chat, drink and nibble with us until midnight (drinks courtesy of our generous supporters Magic Rock)

*day passes are available on request

Cinema For All operates a Safe Spaces policy at all our events.

If you are a member of your local Film Hub, you may apply to them for a bursary towards the cost of the conference. To find out who your local Hub is and to get in touch visit:http://cinemaforall.org.uk/about-cinema-for-all/partners/film-audience-network/

To book a room for just £69 per night at the Jury’s Inn, head to https://www.jurysinns.com and pop in the offer code CINEMA1011.

The Community Cinema Conference and Film Society of the Year Awards are supported by Filmbankmedia, MPLC, Sheffield Hallam University, Cinegi, Magic Rock, Octagon Films and with the support of the BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery. More supporters TBC