As 2014 winds to a close we take a look back at what has been a fantastic year for the Cinema For All Booking Scheme. With several new distributors joining the scheme and loads of new titles it’s been a bumper year for bookings and we’re hugely grateful to all the film societies and community cinemas who have helped make the scheme such a success. But what were the most popular films of the year?
Relaunched last year the Film Society Film of the Year Award celebrates the most popular film among film society and community cinema audiences. Voted for by community exhibitors across the UK the award is presented at our annual Film Society of the Year Awards.
We invite all community exhibitors and their audience to nominate their favourite film from the 2013/14 season and the film with the most votes will be awarded the Film Society Film of the Year. The only restriction is that the film must have been shown at your community cinema after 1st September 2013. To register your vote click here.
This year’s ceremony will take place on the 27 September during the Cinema For All National Conference. To book your place check out our Eventbrite page here.
Last year Untouchable was the winner, after proving to be a huge hit with audiences up and down the country. The multi award-winning French drama was based on the true story of Phillippe Pozzo di Borgi, a businessmen who was left severely paralysed after a para-gliding accident and who hires a young man from the projects to be his carer – against the advice of his family. The directors, Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, sent in a lovely video message accepting the award and thanking community cinemas for supporting the film.
The last year has seen a tremendous number of great films screened across the community cinema sector and we can’t wait to find out which ones have been the favourites. To get you thinking about your favourite film we’ve selected several highlights below – but don’t forgot to tell us which was your Film Society Film of the Year!
A Hijacking | Tobias Lindholm | Denmark | 2012 | 99 mins
Arriving several months before Hollywood’s own piracy drama Captain Philips, A Hijacking is a perfectly crafted, achingly tense hostage thriller. When the crew of the MV Rosen are taken hostage by Somalian pirates the CEO of the shipping company lurches into a protracted and exasperating negotiation process. While he tries to resolve the situation the crew of the ship suffer in cramped and humid conditions with the threat of a violence constantly hanging over them.
No | Pablo Larrain | 2012 | Chile, France, USA | 118 mins
A Booking Scheme smash hit, No stars Gael Garcia Bernal in the final part of Pablo Larrain’s loose Pinochet trilogy. Bernal is Saavedra an advertising executive who is reluctantly convinced to take on the No campaign in the upcoming referendum on Pinochet’s continuing presidency. Though the election was widely viewed as a corrupt and empty show of the democratic process the No campaign very quickly picks up a startling level of support and the possibility of ending Pinochet’s dictatorship starts to seem within sight.
The Great Beauty | Paolo Sorrentino | 2013 | Italy, France | 135 mins
Winner of the Foreign Language at this year’s Oscar ceremony, Paolo Sorrentino’s latest film is a sumptuous and glorious achievement. Toni Servillo, Sorrentino’s regular collaborator stars as Jep Gambardella, a talented but lazy writer who after a phenomenal debut novel has neglected his art and set about dominating Rome’s decadent nightlife. On the cusp of his 65th birthday though he begins to take stock of his life and of his city.
Gloria | Sebastian Lelio | 2013 | Chile | 110 mins
Receiving a rapturous reception on the festival circuit, particularly for Paulina Garcia, the eponymous Gloria, Sebastian Lelio’s film is a triumphant celebration of the indefatigable Gloria. Divorced and with her grown up kids growing distant Gloria is determined not to remain alone and starts attending Santiago’s nightclubs. She soon meets a retired naval officer Rodolfo with whom she shares an immediate attraction. But Rodolfo’s own divorce has left him markedly less free-spirited than Gloria and their relationship starts to falter.
Gravity | Alfonso Cuaron | 2013 | USA, UK | 88 mins
Alfonso’s Cuaron’s space disaster was equally adored for its photo-real special effects which allowed for one of the most immersive space-set films ever, and it’s crucial central performance from Sandra Bullock. Eschewing the stereotype that films so reliant on special effects skimp on strong characters, Bullock’s Dr Stone is the perfect anchor around which the action circles. Kicking off with a jaw-dropping 20 minute take, Gravity starts with a routine spacewalk that turns into a desperate fight for survival when a satellite crash leaves Stone stranded in space.
Philomena | Stephen Frears | 2013 | UK, USA, France | 97 mins
Telling the true story of Philomena Lee and her 50 year search for the son that was forcibly adopted from her Philomena was one of the most successful British films this year. Judi Dench stars as Philomena whose son was given up for adoption by the convent that she went to to give birth. Working on her own Philomena spent nearly 50 years searching for her son until her daughter contacted the journalist Martin Sixsmith who agreed to help Philomena with the search. Their investigation takes them to America and where they encounter a series of dramatic revelations.
The Act of Killing | Joshua Oppenheimer | 2012 | Denmark, Norway, UK | 115/159 mins
A surreal, unforgettable documentary that gets at the very question of man’s capacity for evil, Oppenheimer’s extraordinary film raises pertinent and uncomfortable questions. When his attempts to document the stories of the survivors of the Indonesian genocide were thwarted by the government Oppenheimer turned the camera on the perpetrators themselves, many of whom remain in positions of power. Startlingly comfortable talking about the horrific actions they undertook Oppenheimer plays on their love of American movies and invites them to re-enact their actions in the style of their favourite films. In the process the killers inadvertently force themselves to see their actions from the viewpoint of their victims.
Like Father, Like Son | Hirokazu Kore-eda | 2013 | Japan | 121 mins
Two families are notified by the hospital that their children were accidentally swapped at birth, 6 years before. The hospital recommends they slowly reintroduce their son’s to their biological families. The fable-like set-up allows Kore-eda to contrast different styles of upbringing – Ryota is a wealthy but strict father while Yudai struggles to keep his shop open but keeps his large family constantly entertained. While the parents try to determine what the best outcome is the children get on with enjoying their new extended families. A rewarding and touching drama with a huge heart.
The Selfish Giant | Clio Barnard | 2013 | UK | 87 mins
Updating Oscar Wilde’s story to working class England, The Selfish Giant is a brilliant social-realist tale. Arbor and Swifty are two working class kids who are expelled from school after Arbor intercedes in a fight between Swifty and the school bullies. The expulsion gives them more times to pursue their hobby/job – stealing scrap metal to sell to the terrifying dealer Kitten, who inhabits a fenced off scrap heap. Kitten spies an opportunity to take advantage of the kids who are forced to rely on him for much needed cash.
Make your nomination for the Film Society Film of the Year Award here – and we hope to see you in Sheffield in September!
Thanks to Julia Vickers of Bracknell Film Society for contributing this suggested programme of Booking Scheme titles, if you’d like to suggest a programme please get in touch…
An autumn season programme for an established Film Society showing twice a month plus occasional special screenings. Located in a suburban area with a multiplex cinema in easy reach and independent exhibition a bit further away. Unapologetically taken from the ever-expanding BFFS Booking Scheme Catalogue!
A season ‘launch’ after the summer break, a popular world cinema title that your audience may have missed:
The start of your educational themed season; this autumn features 3 films by director Roberto Rossellini. The season is introduced by a talk from your friendly local university lecturer.
- Rome, Open City | Roberto Rossellini | Italy | 1945
Rossellini season second and final films:
- Germany Year Zero | Roberto Rossellini | Italy, France, Germany | 1948
- Il Generale della Rovere | Roberto Rossellini | Italy | 1959
Plus Halloween Special:
- Young Frankenstein | Mel Brooks | US | 1974
- + The Shed (award-winning Osprey short from Keswick Film Festival)
Your annual silent with live piano accompaniment:
A recent title unlikely to have been seen by your audience:
- Margaret | Kenneth Lonergan | US | 2011 (critically admired, disgracefully neglected)
- + Our Ordered Lives (award-winning Osprey short from Keswick Film Festival)
Plus Kid’s Club/Family Film:
- The Prince and the Pauper | William Keighley | US | 1937
Your documentary slot, this year tying in with World Aids Day:
- We Were Here | David Weissman, Bill Weber | US | 2011
A recent title unlikely to have been seen by your audience:
- I Wish | Hirokazu Koreeda | Japan | 2011
- +Recovery – The Slow Road (award-winning Osprey short from Keswick Film Festival)
Christmas Social Special:
I had the absolute pleasure of spending time with Network Releasing this week in the run up to the release of Chile’s first Oscar Nominated Film NO.
Gael Garcia Bernal, the star of the film and Eugenio Garcia on whom his character was partly based were also in London to promote the film – you may have seen them on Newsnight or Channel 4 News but they also found time to record a special Q&A with Amnesty International
Remember Film Societies and Community Cinemas can screen NO from 22nd February through the BFFS Booking Scheme.
We recently brought you the very exciting news that BFFS Members and Associates have the opportunity to screen Oscar Nominated NO as part of the theatrical release so here is a clip to whet your appetite
If you want to screen NO from the 22nd of Febuary, you can download a Booking Form and see the terms and conditions on the BFFS Website
OSCAR™ MEMBERS SAY YES TO GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL IN “NO” FOR ‘BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM’
Exclusive Opportunity to take part in the Theatrical Release for BFFS Members & Associates!
Following the news that Pablo Larraín’s compelling drama NO has been shortlisted at the 85th Academy Awards® for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’, we are delighted to announce that working hand in hand with Network Releasing, BFFS is bringing you the chance to show NO to your audiences as part of the film’s 2013 UK national release.
The film was previewed at the BFFS National Conference last September and received an exceptionally high audience reaction of 80%
NO is being backed in the UK by a heavy-weight advertising and publicity campaign supported by Gael García Bernal himself, so booking it early will take advantage of members’ awareness of the film.
In addition, Network is supporting BFFS audience screenings of this gripping film with posters, social media support and a BFFS-Exclusive Director Introduction by Pablo Larraín to play before the feature.
The True Story of Chile’s “Mad Men” Who Fought A Dictator with Happiness.
****Little White Lies **** Empire **** Total Film
“A brilliant study of Pinochet era politics” Jason Solomons, The Observer
“The best film I have seen all year” Mike McCahill, Sunday Telegraph
Winner of the Art Cinema Prize in Cannes 2012 and now shortlisted at the 85th Academy Awards® for ‘Best Foreign Language Film’, NO stars Gael García Bernal in the true story about one of the most unlikely outcomes in world history. How did a small group of media executives and people opposing Pinochet’s regime manage to remove Chile’s dictator with only 15 minutes of TV exposure in the early hours of the morning? NO is one of the most inspirational films you will see this year. Filled with intrigue and drama, NO opens in the UK on 8th February 2013 at cinemas.
Please get in touch NOW to book if you’d like to screen NO from Friday 22nd February 2013.
Email Bryony at BFFS for more information
From Oscar fodder to surreal animations, these are the top 10 films we’re looking forward to arriving on the BFFS Booking Scheme in the coming months:
- No – nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at this years Oscars we are thrilled to be able to offer BFFS Members and Associates the chance to be part of it’s theatrical release from the 22nd of February. Gael Garcia Bernal is astounding as the advertising mogul who helps to brings down the Pinochet regime with a simple message: happiness.
- The Hunt – BAFTA nominated Danish film starring Mads Mikkelsen as a man accused of abusing a child in his care. He gives a stunning performance in this critically acclaimed film, available to screen from 25th February.
- Chasing Ice – Years are turned into minutes in this stunning documentary from environmental photographer James Balog who deploys the latest time-lapse cameras to chart shocking changes to the worlds glaciers. Available in Spring.
- Alois Nebel – Based on the comic book trilogy by Jaroslav Rudiš this beautiful rotoscope animation won the European Film Award for Best Animated Feature in 2012. Available from January.
- The Women on the 6th Floor – Jean-Louis’ peaceful but boring Parisian life is turned upside down when a group of Spanish maids move into his building. This sweet French comedy is available from January.
- The Snows of Kilimanjaro – Michel has been made redundant but still lives a happy life with with Marie-Claire. Their happiness is shaken when they are brutally robbed and Michel discovers it was carried out by a former collegue. Available from January.
- Our Children – stunning performances from a steller cast that unites A Prophet duo Tahar Rahim and Niels Arestrup with an award winning performance from Emilie Dequenne makes this heartbreaking but absorbing drama a must see. Available in the Summer.
- A Liar’s Autobiography – the anarchic animated movie of Graham Chapman’s life. Chapman was most famous for being part of the legendary Monty Python and this film sees the team reunite for the first time in 23 years. Available in the Summer.
- The Comedian – a raw, honest and beautiful film about an aspiring comedian caught between beautiful housemate Elisa and Ed, a young artist he meets on a bus. Available in late 2013
- Side By Side – Keanu Reeves’ exploration on the history and future of film-making sees him talking to legendary directors from Martin Scorsese to David Lynch. Available in the Summer.