Tag Archives: Trustee

TRUSTEES WEEK: VICTORIA WALDEN

This week, we are celebrating Trustees Week (4-8 November)!

We are delighted to have recently welcomed 3 new Trustees to the Cinema For All Board. We asked newly Elected Trustee, Victoria Walden, some questions about her experience so far, and what advice she would give to anyone thinking of becoming a Trustee.

Why did you decide to become a trustee of Cinema For All?
I started volunteering at Deptford Cinema – a volunteer run film and art space in South East London – in 2017. I was very quickly hooked! I thought Deptford Cinema was one of a kind, but when I was introduced to Cinema for All through the annual conference and awards ceremony, I discovered there were so many more community cinemas across the country.

I have been fortunate to work with incredibly established and first time filmmakers on collaborative projects at Deptford Cinema, and to co-lead a travelling cinema for older people in our borough. When the opportunity arose to get involved with Cinema for All, I jumped at the chance to support the role of cinema in communities at a national level.

What do you enjoy most about your role as Trustee?
I was only elected as Trustee in September at the AGM at the annual conference, so I’m still very new and looking forward to completing my induction, my first board meeting, and coming out to visit community cinemas across the UK next year. If you would welcome a visit from me, please do get in touch! I’m really excited about learning what different groups are doing.

Do you have any advice for people who want to become a Trustee?
Do it! As an elected Trustee, you will be representing the voices of community cinema. There is a lot to take in during the first few months, particularly in relation to understand charity governance and regulations. However, you can’t be expected to retain it all on the first read. Keep referring back to documents regularly and most importantly never be afraid to ask questions! Even as the newbie, I have felt incredibly welcomed by the Cinema for All staff and Trustees. There is a great induction programme and you’ll get a supportive mentor too!

TRUSTEES WEEK: JANE MEHTA

This week, we are celebrating Trustees Week (4-8 November)!

We are delighted to have recently welcomed 3 new wonderful Trustees to the Cinema For All Board. We asked Board Member, Jane Mehta, some questions about her experience so far, and what advice she would give to anyone thinking of becoming a Trustee.

Why did you decide to become a trustee of Cinema For All?

I saw the advert for the trustee role, looked at the website, liked it, listened to a podcast and was hooked. It’s a great fit with the work I do for my local cinema which I helped to found. I felt it was an opportunity to use my love of cinema and my professional skills to spread and share the excitement and joy of cinema!

What do you enjoy most about your role as Trustee?

It’s early days for me. So far I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the team and understanding more about Cinema For All and what it can offer. I really enjoyed the conference in September – the films and debates were stimulating and interesting. I’m also enjoying getting to know Sheffield and I love the train trip North!

Do you have any advice for people who want to become a Trustee?

Work with something you love to do and be really clear about what you have to offer and what the organisation will get from you – it’s a partnership.

TRUSTEES WEEK: REBECCA ELLIS

This week, we are celebrating Trustees Week (4-8 November)!

We are delighted to have recently welcomed 3 new wonderful Trustees to the Cinema For All Board. We asked co-opted Board Member, Rebecca Ellis, some questions about her experience so far, and what advice she would give to anyone thinking of becoming a Trustee.

Why did you decide to become a trustee of Cinema For All?

The importance of Film Education is so important to me, particularly in today’s context where the creative arts continue to become marginalised within the curriculum. By becoming a Trustee I hoped to add value to this already thriving organisation, by helping them develop the educational strands within their strategy. Cinema for All has been an organisation I admire for so long – to be able to help them in any way is an absolute privilege.

What do you enjoy most about your role as Trustee?

Even as a new Trustee, I have already experienced a lot of enjoyment in the role. I have met some extremely dynamic individuals and some great female role models who have already, unknowingly helped me with my confidence levels and how I approach things in my daily working life. I have enjoyed experiencing what goes on behind the scenes of an organisation and figuring out how I can bridge any gaps with my skillset. Of course the Cinema for All Annual Conference and Awards has to be a highlight of my experience so far. I very much enjoyed introducing the Little Shop of Horrors welcome screening and dissecting it further with members throughout the Conference. I was very pleased to be able to shed new light on the film as a masterpiece of cult camp cinema!

Do you have any advice for people who want to become a Trustee?

My advice would be to choose an organisation that excites you, somewhere you feel like you can add value and go for it! Personally for me, the experience has enhanced my knowledge in a range of areas about how a charitable organisation functions.

SOME WORDS FROM OUR TRUSTEES…

What is the best thing about being a trustee of Cinema For All?

Sukayna Najmudin: I have two:

  1. Getting to know the staff, seeing how they work and how much they really believe in the ethos of Cinema For All.
  2. Getting the opportunity to learn about and visit member organisations and seeing the breadth of or industry.

Zoe Ellis Moore: The feeling that everyone on board is very much on the journey with together and making a real difference. I would recommend others to join.

Nadine Thomson: Seeing and hearing about the outcome of the amazing films and events that community cinema groups are creating in their communities. You feel like the work you do as a Trustee has impact on people’s lives.

What have you been involved in while a trustee? 

Sukayna Najmudin:  I always wanted to showcase the amazing work young people do in our industry, and during my time on the board, I’ve worked with the team to look at ways we can expand on how we do this.

What have you gained from the experience? 

Peter Mitchell: Creating the role of secretary which was very necessary in my opinion, recruiting staff including our present CEO. Modifying the Articles of Association to improve how C4A operates, improving admin procedures at board meetings including the actions spreadsheet.

Zoe Ellis Moore: I really feel that it opens up another level of thinking. Adding trustee to my CV is a sure way of drawing attention and validating my capabilities.

Why did you agree to be put forward as a trustee?   

Peter Mitchell: To make a difference.

Sukayna Najmudin:  Initially, I was hesitant to put myself forward, as I’m quite young, being 24 at the time, and I worried that I didn’t have the experience necessary for the position. But I am so passionate about volunteer-run cinema and I really care about the work that Cinema For All does. I think that tops anything else when running for a trustee position, and the members agreed and could see my passion at the AGM.

ELECTED TRUSTEE VACANCY

We are looking for nominations from our membership for people to stand for the position of Elected Trustee.

The election will be held at this year’s AGM on the 22 September in Sheffield and there are two positions available. Elected Trustees must be from current, fully paid-up Members of Cinema For All. Please note, you will need to find someone within your group to propose you as a nominee, as well as a seconder (this can be also from within your group or from another member group of Cinema For All).

If you would like to contribute your skills to the Board and help lead, support and grow Cinema For All we would love to hear from you! We are particularly seeking people that have experience in working at a strategic level, in fundraising, have film industry connections and are ambitious leaders.

All trustee positions are voluntary, however we pay travel expenses.

You will need your organisation to propose your nomination, as well as a seconder, who may also be from your organisation, or another fully paid up member of Cinema For All. All nominations need to be in by 22 August 2018 so please get in touch as soon as possible if you are interested. The elections itself will take place during the Community Cinema Conference on 22 September in Sheffield. In order to increase your likelihood of being successfully elected, we recommend that you attend – get your tickets here.

Elected Trustee Role Description
Nomination Form

Cinema For All is an equal opportunities employer. We welcome and encourage applications from candidates from diverse backgrounds; the BAMER community, people who identify as LGBTQI+, and people with a disability/ disabilities.

 

TRUSTEES WEEK: SUKAYNA NAJMUDIN

This week, we are celebrating National Trustees Week (12-16 November)!

We wanted to ask Sukayna Najmudin some questions about her experience of being a trustee, and why it’s important to include young people on a Board of Trustees. Sukayna has been a Cinema For All Trustee for just over a year, and is passionate about accessibility and inclusivity in the cinema.

Can you tell us a bit about your experience of being a Trustee for Cinema For All?

I am one of nine members of the Cinema For All Board of Trustees, a requirement of every charity has to ensure it is governed correctly. We work with the staff at the charity to ensure all the work they do fulfills Cinema For All’s charitable objectives focusing on our Strategic Directions. Each Trustee has a different background, skill set and approach to the role that together ensures the charity is well. We meet quarterly to review finance, approve members and discuss any developments in relation to fundraising and operations. This last year on the board has been a great opportunity for me to learn about the running of the charity, which I had previously only experienced from the point of view of a member, and governance in general. It has inspired me to be open to new opportunities and further champion Community Cinema.

Why did you decide to become a Trustee?

I had been a member of my University’s Student Cinema for a few years but it wasn’t until I was invited by Cinema For All to be a panellist at the 2017 Student Cinema Day that I really learnt that community cinemas existed. From then my interest in the community cinema movement continued to grow and I really began to appreciate the impact these organisations can have on their local communities. With this in mind, I wanted to play a more active role in encouraging and supporting these groups so when the the position on the board opened up, I decided to put myself forward.

What do you enjoy most about your role as Trustee?

One thing I’ve been passionate about is accessibility in cinema. Film is something that everyone has some sort of connection to, so therefore it really holds the ability to bring people together. The unique nature of community cinema is that it can provide safe and accessible spaces for all community members to come together to share the viewing experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed attending the conferences held by Cinema For All and hearing about the wonderful screenings held by our members, such as relaxed screenings that are autism and dementia friendly, and the work they are all doing to engage with the community, whether it be collaborating with charities or going into local colleges and universities.

“The unique nature of community cinema is that it can provide safe and accessible spaces for all community members to come together to share the viewing experience.”

Why do you think that it’s important for young people to become Trustees?

More often than not, Trustees are those who are settled in their lives and their careers looking for a side project or charity work. But every person a charity supports doesn’t fall within that bracket. Charities serve people from all different backgrounds but usually the Members of Boards don’t reflect the groups they serve. An effective board is one that ensures our charity is serving all of our members. As a young Trustee, I am able to bring a different perspective to the table. I bring a point of view to reflect all the young people involved the community cinema world, as well understanding how things can affect younger members of staff. I am able to question things from this perspective so we as a board can come to a balanced conclusion. Recently I have been working with our wonderful Community Impact Officer, Ellie, to engage our younger members and provide a platform where we can better support them, and by falling within that category, I can empathise with what they might want from Cinema For All.

 “As a young Trustee, I am able to bring a different perspective to the table. I bring a point of view to reflect all the young people involved the community cinema world, as well understanding how things can affect younger members of staff.”

Do you have any advice for other young people interested in applying for Trustee roles?

My advice is that if you are interested in applying for a Trustee position, or any role where you take on more responsibility, you should go for it. It’s so easy to second guess yourself and feel like you don’t have the experience needed but let the people voting or appointing you make that decision. They might well see qualities in you that you may not have valued as highly. When I decided to run to be a Trustee, I was constantly trying to convince myself that it was a mistake, but the members saw value in me joining the board and it’s been an absolutely wonderful experience where I have gained skills and an insight that I can benefit from in the future. End of the day, what have you got to lose?

COULD YOU HELP LEAD CINEMA FOR ALL? – ELECTED TRUSTEE VACANCY

We are looking for nominations from our membership for people to stand for the position of Elected Trustee.

The election will be held at this year’s AGM on the 9 September in Sheffield and there is one position available. Elected Trustees must be from current, fully paid-up Members of Cinema For All. Please note, you will need to find someone within your group to propose you as a nominee, as well as a seconder (this can be also from within your group or from another member group of Cinema For All).

If you would like to contribute your skills to the Board and help lead, support and grow Cinema For All we would love to hear from you! We are particularly seeking people that have experience in working at a strategic level, in fundraising, have film industry connections and are ambitious leaders.

All trustee positions are voluntary, however we pay reasonable expenses.

Please find attached a role description and nomination form to email back to jaq@cinemaforall.org.uk.

You will need your organisation to propose your nomination, and to find another member organisation to second it. All nominations need to be in by 10 August 2018 so please get in touch as soon as possible if you are interested.

Cinema For All – Trustee Role Description
Nomination Form

Cinema For All is an equal opportunities employer. We welcome and encourage applications from candidates from diverse backgrounds; the BAMER community, people who identify as LGBTQI+, and people with a disability.

What does BFI2022 mean for Cinema For All?

What does BFI2022 mean for Cinema For All? A message from Tim Swanwick, Cinema For All Chair of the Board of Trustees.

This week Deborah and I attended the launch of the BFI’s new Five Year Strategy, BFI2022.  This is a significant moment in the history of Cinema For All as around half our income currently flows from the BFI as a result of our strategic partnership with the Institute.  An arrangement that comes to an end on 31st March 2017.

The new strategy is underpinned by a wider interpretation of film to embrace new forms, a sustained commitment to diversity and a series of new initiatives devolving more decision-making and funding outside the capital.  Although the devil is in the detail, the new strategy positions the BFI as an ‘enabler’ and a ‘catalyst for change’ and is built around three themes: Future Audiences, Future Learning and Skills and Future Talent.  The full plan can be found here.

As far as Future Audiences is concerned, the BFI is committed to ensuring that funding and decision making will be shifted out of London through a reshaped Film Hub network.  There will be an emphasis on the 16-30 year old age group and on widening access to film for an increasingly diverse audience.  There are also exciting new developments in relation to restoration, digitisation and major cultural programmes.  But of particular relevance to us is a ‘simpler, more accessible and responsive Audience Fund, able to support distributors, exhibitors, festivals, national and touring programmes, multi-year projects and strategic partners.’  Cinema For All will be applying to this fund next year, an offer which we anticipate will be more flexible in terms of what we can do with the money, but also much more competitive to access. Therefore we must ensure our fundraising efforts increase: new initiatives such as Pay It Forward and support from our members can help this significantly.

Next spring also sees the end of our own three year strategy and over the next 2-3 months we will be consulting with members on how they would like to see Cinema For All develop, serve and represent the growing network of community film exhibitors in future.  It is vital to our future that we are clear about our strategic intent, that we represent the full breadth and depth of the sector and that we move forward in a direction that aligns with BFI2022, not to do so would jeopardise our currently healthy relationship with a major funder.

So a plea from the Board of Trustees of Cinema For All: when you are approached in the New Year to input into our new strategy, either face-to face or through a short survey, please take the time to let us know your thoughts.  We really do want to hear from you. Adapting to the BFI’s new directions and funding arrangements will be challenging, but Cinema For All is already well aligned with many of the BFI’s aspirations and we welcome the opportunities that BFI2022 presents.

Tim Swanwick

Chair of the Board of Trustees,  Cinema For All

Trustees Week: Nadine Thomson

Following on from Trustee’s Week  (7-13 November) we interviewed Cinema For All Trustee, Nadine Thomson about the importance of a Board of Trustees and about some of her highlights in her role so far.

Tell us about your role as a Trustee.

Every charity has a Board of Trustees. As a Trustee, I, along with my fellow Trustees, am responsible for ensuring the proper governance of Cinema For All. In conjunction with our very talented staff, we ensure the charity stays focused on its objectives, set the strategic direction of Cinema For All and ratify major decisions. We meet formally as a Board four times a year. In addition, each Trustee is involved in working groups which focus on certain areas such as fundraising, education or industry partnerships.

Cinema For All has nine Trustees on the Board each with different skillsets and backgrounds. Many of our Board members have extensive backgrounds and experience in community cinema and film which is important when we are evaluating issues and making decisions. My background is in technology in the commercial world so I bring a different perspective to the Board. It’s important to have diversity of thought so we consider issues and opportunities from all angles. 

One of the working groups I’m involved in is Marketing and Communications. In conjunction with our Operations and Development Manager, Jaq Chell, I  produced our 2015-2016 infographic which is a snapshot of our annual report.

Why did you want to be a Trustee for Cinema For All?

I joined the Board in 2014. I was looking for a Trustee opportunity with a charity so I could give back to the community. I also wanted to gain experience of working on a Board as I plan to play a part in governing commercial organisations in years to come. I came across Cinema For All and had initial conversations with Katherine Sellar (then Chair and current Trustee) and Jaq Chell (Operations and Development Manager). I was struck by their passion for the organisation, depth of knowledge of the sector and their professionalism. I knew then that I wanted to be a part of Cinema For All.

What have you found particularly enjoyable or satisfying whilst being a Trustee at Cinema For All?

Listening to the staff updates at each Board meeting is always inspiring. The staff achieve so much on a small amount of funds. Recently we reviewed the Reaching Communities project which brings together diverse and marginalised communities through community cinema. Hearing about the difference the project has made to people’s lives was heart-warming.

The annual conference which brings together community cinemas and film societies from all over the country is a fantastic event. The awards ceremony recognises achievements of community cinemas and the panels allow different community cinema groups to share both their mistakes and successes with others. 

Why is it important for someone like you to be a Trustee?

It’s important to give back to the community and share your skills and experience. A strong, organised Board will give a charity a much greater chance of success and long term existence. I’m proud to support Cinema For All as it works to broaden access to diverse cinema to diverse communities. I’ve learnt a lot about film and community cinema and met inspiring and talented people through my involvement in the organisation.

Trustees Week: Gemma Bird

To celebrate Trustees Week (7-13 November) we interviewed Cinema For All’s Vice Chair, Gemma Bird about her role as a Trustee and what inspired her to become one.

Tell us about your role as a Trustee.

I became a trustee in March 2014 after volunteering for Cinema For All in the past and coming to learn how important I felt the organisation was to supporting and growing the community cinema movement. This is something I felt I really wanted to be a part of and I felt I had skills and experience that would be helpful to the organisation. I first got involved in film societies and community cinema whilst completing my PhD and joining the University of Sheffield student cinema Film Unit. During my time at Film Unit I came to understand how important film societies could be, not only in bringing communities together through the enjoyment of film but also for fundraising, raising awareness of issues and teaching children and youth groups key skills through getting to run their own cinema for a day.

Since joining the board of Cinema For All I have had two roles: I took on the role of acting Treasurer whilst we looked for a replacement which was a really helpful (and steep) learning curve for better understanding charity finance and governance, before becoming Vice Chair in 2015. As part of my role I get involved in strategy (I lead on the Board’s Education and Culture Working Group feeding into discussions with the staff about how to meet this key charitable objective), I also try to support the staff team as much as possible when needed as well as supporting the Chair. I also get to be involved in the yearly Community Cinema Conference and Film Society of the Year awards which is always a privilege. 

Why did you want to be a Trustee for Cinema For All?

I wanted to be a trustee because I think the work of the organisation is so important. I wanted to be able to help and support this work in some small way, especially as we are focusing more and more on the All in our name really meaning All. Beyond believing in the important work of the organisation, I also really enjoy community cinema and I want to continue to be a part of and support the movement and I felt this was the right way for me to do this at this time. 

What have you found particularly enjoyable or satisfying whilst being a Trustee at Cinema For All?

The opportunity to work with and support our fantastic staff team is always an honor, as is working with the rest of the board. What I find particularly special though is the opportunity to hear about all the fantastic volunteers giving up their time to be a part of the community cinema and film society movement; to learn about their events and stories, and to be inspired by all the amazing things they achieve. Thus, my most enjoyable moments are probably at the Film Society of the Year Awards and Community Cinema Conference, when every year I can learn more about the fantastic things people are achieving and to be truly humbled and inspired by them. 

Why is it important for someone like you to be a Trustee?

It is important to make the most of the skill set you have and to use it help and develop charitable organisations. You won’t always have the answer, and you will always be learning from the amazing team around you, but the arts and voluntary sectors are a vital part of our wider society. If you can help in any small way to make sure they continue to flourish it is important to do so. Beyond that, I think it is important for younger people to join boards, in particular younger women who have been under represented in the past. The different types of knowledge, experience and understanding you bring to a situation may not have been built up over the same length of time but is still important because the more  perspectives you have on a board, the better prepared you will be and hopefully the more representative.