Welcome to the blog! You can find out the latest musings, information and exciting news from Moviola HQ – right here!
On Friday 8th February, we heard of the sad passing of Albert Finney.
Many of us at Moviola HQ have very fond memories of Albert’s roles (from the most unexpected periods) crossing entire generations.
Starting off treading the boards in the ’50s, his work led him to the big screen in the early ’60s and he soon found himself to be (inadvertently) part of the emerging ‘angry young men’ movement. Playing up his northern working-class roots, his breakout role in Woodfall’s gritty Saturday Night And Sunday Morning saw him become the poster boy for disaffected British youth – a tipping point in British attitudes of class divides and changing sensibilities. “I vividly recall seeing Saturday Night & Sunday Morning during the late ’90s. Despite the passage of time by that point, Albert’s commitment to Arthur Seaton’s caddish rogue was hugely impactful on me as a young man from a working-class background, as well” recalls Moviola’s Communication & Diversity Officer, Neil, of his first encounters with Finney’s work.
From his role as Arthur Seaton, Finney’s work went from strength to strength seeing him display his capable skills as a variety of iconic characters – sleuthing as Hercule Poirot in Murder On The Orient Express (1974) to the unforgettable choreography as Daddy Warbucks dancing alongside Aileen Quinn’s Annie in 1982.
General Manager, Christina, lamented “There goes a big piece of my youth!” as she recounted Moviola’s recent screenings of Finney’s work and her own generational encounters. Our network enjoyed seeing Finney as John Newton in Michael Apted’s well-received Amazing Grace (2006) as well as his more populist work as the gruff gamesman in Skyfall (2012). Both of which were hugely embraced by Moviola audiences, no more so for the familiar face of Finney, quietly doing exceptional work as part of ensemble casts.
His body of work will be remembered not only as the ‘angry young man’ who opened the doors for other young working-class actors such as Malcolm McDowell, but by younger generations who grew up on Finney’s gentler side as the comforting Uncle Silas or the giant fibber, Ed Bloom, in Tim Burton’s Big Fish.
As droll as ever, we’ll leave the last words up to the great man.
There’s a time when a man needs to fight, and a time when he needs to accept that his destiny is lost, that the ship has sailed, and that only a fool would continue. The truth is, I’ve always been a fool.
Albert Finney Jr 1936 -2019
Tonight’s shows in Bickenhall, Stogumber and West Lydford are cancelled owing to the snow.
We’ve come to the end of yet another exciting year and all of us at the Moviola Office would like to extend our heartfelt thanks.
Whether you’re a community cinema goer, organiser, presenter or distributor – the team appreciate your support throughout 2018.
Our network now comprises over 310 independent community venues from Devon and Cornwall, via a strong Welsh contingent, all the way up to Orkney in Scotland.
We’ve brought some of the biggest films to community cinemas up and down the country, including The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society – screened in over 210 venues this year alone. Alongside the big hitters, some venues have taken up the mantle to bring some of the more challenging titles from our Cinematheque menu including A Fantastic Woman and Arcadia, bringing hard-to-find foreign language and arthouse content to big screens in villages across the UK.
In addition, Moviola launched an exciting initiative, with the support of the BFI, to bring in a Community & Diversity Officer to help community cinemas with advice and guidance of how to grow audiences, project films and market them in local areas. Neil will be working closely with as many venues as he can in 2019 – and you can always drop him a line via email or social media (those grey buttons to the side work – click one!) or on the About page if you ever need some on-the-spot help.
We have also launched the UK’s largest initiative to survey our venues to find out in-depth about community screens and their audiences. This massive piece of work will come to fruition in 2019 where we will use the results to assemble best practices, offer tailored guidance and consultancy, as well as strengthen the power of community cinemas in the face of new challenges (and distractions) which have arisen in the past 15 years.
In 2019 we look to go even further, with a carefully curated programme of films for Spring, showcasing the best of the blockbusters alongside very considered Cinematheque titles including crowdpleasers like Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!, exclusive pre-releases in the form of Mike Leigh’s Peterloo as well as awards contenders such as Steve McQueen’s Widows.
Have a restful seasonal break from all of us at Moviola and we shall see you all in 2019!
Tony, Christina, Toby, Neil & Ben
As with every month, our programme director, Toby Walkley, curates a title from a vast array of short films especially for Moviola audiences across the UK. Playing exclusively in over 120 Moviola venues for November, we introduce a short by Gemma Wilks entitled Daffodil.
Inspired by personal loss, Gemma has written and starred in this poignant short film, reflecting on childhood memories, determination and happenstance. Based in the south of England and currently working on a first feature, Gemma is excited that her short will be available to view on a big screen by Moviola audiences:
“I am so grateful to everyone who supported me in making this film through their time, skills, assets and encouragement. I am delighted this film will be seen (and hopefully enjoyed!) by so many people – it is evidence of what you can achieve if you put yourself out there and work hard.”
We are very pleased to bring this gentle, thoughtful British short to your Moviola screens, playing nationwide for the duration of November 2018.
You can find out more about Daffodil and Gemma’s work here https://www.facebook.com/DaffodilFilm/
A new addition to Moviola’s October Cinematheque menu, a list of films comprising of exciting left-of-centre titles, includes Chloe Zhao’s touching tale, The Rider.
Based on the real-life story of a young rodeo cowboy, Brady Jandreau, who feels lost in the world after suffering a head injury from a horse. The film follows Brady in an attempt to reconfigure his place in the world as a man whose one true passion has been removed along with his sense of identity in a macho-drenched Midwest America.
All the more astounding, Brady and the majority of the cast are played by the real counterparts who endured this brittle and uplifting true story, having had no prior acting experience. Without exception, all actors do a fine job of convincing the audience that they are old hands, with an air of realism in their mannerisms, the capable handling of wild animals and a weighty heft to the delivery of dialogue.
Nikki Baughan of BFI’s Sight & Sound Magazine praises Zhao’s direction:
“The strength of her approach is in her expert walking of the line between fact and fiction. While she is working with real-life characters beautifully playing versions of themselves… she also takes time in the Western’s cinematic heritage.”
Venues may want to consider programming this film if you have a local riding school or perhaps a small group of rodeo enthusiasts! The film deals with issues of rehabilitation, brain trauma, autism, strong-willed positive role models and an unshakable bond between a human and their horse.
The Rider is now available to book for all Moviola venues.
Please contact Programme Director Toby for more details about how you can bring this astounding story to your audience.
A little nudge to any associates and partners (or even anyone with a casual interest), just to let you know you can now sign up to the forums. The Forums were set up after consultation groups were run with fellow Moviola Exhibitors to find a better way to interact and share best practices & ideas. They are an informal way to interact with other exhibitors, projectionists, patrons and Moviola team members with the ability the gain knowledge from everyone who is on them.
Community & Diversity Officer, Neil, has started the conversations on our five boards (introductions, films, technical, publicity, general talk) to get the ball rolling and he awaits your sage-like wisdom!
Why not join the conversation and see how much you can learn and share?
You can join in by easily signing up here:
The Inclusive Cinema website was launched by the BFI supported Film Hub Wales this week. We think this is a fantastic piece of work that is worth its weight in gold for all Moviola Partner & Associate venues.
Inclusive Cinema is a resource to get your minds thinking about who comes to your venues… and who doesn’t.
Perhaps we can already read some of your minds… “it’s correctness gone mad!”, “my venue is happy to screen films with Judi Dench/Bill Nighy/etc – people come for them!”, “We like our cinema the way it is”.
This may very well be the case, and of course, your venues are yours to run the way you see fit, but inclusivity covers a spectrum of issues that affect many audiences.
Consider the scenario:
Sally has lived near your venue for the last two years. She once worked as a cinema manager but had a terrible accident on holiday before her retirement. She now uses a wheelchair and has developed early onset Alzheimer’s.
Her husband, Steven, is still in part-time work and has help once a week but cannot afford to pay £12 for both of them to attend the local screening, even as a rare treat. In addition, what little parking that is available, soon is swallowed up very quickly by the venue’s helpers and Steven didn’t see anyone approachable near the entrance to the doors to help them get the wheelchair in and out.
Steven knows that Sally perks up when she sees films – it’s in her lifeblood, and it triggers positive memories from her past. The last time they saw a film was last year at the multiplex – momentarily, everything appeared to have returned to normality. Sally starts conversations about the film and reminds Steven of when she used to kick people out for not having a ticket!
Steven would love to take Sally to the community venue to experience the big screen magic in a relaxed setting, but it just doesn’t seem possible.
An inclusive cinema is a space where everyone feels welcome.
A large part of the Moviola network is comprised of community venues who cater to older audiences, and if Sally’s venue had access to the relevant information, then maybe they could have put measures in place to reassure first-timers that they had facilities to help them enjoy what could be a positively life-changing experience for a couple. Of course, they’ll be back again and possibly with some friends.
Resources that are available on the Inclusive Cinema website are thoroughly researched and easy to access. Throughout September and October, venues across the country are taking part in World Alzheimer’sMonth – you can find further details here along with comprehensive notes and suggestions.
Next month we’ll take a dip into how we publicise our venues and films – with some best practices and how to save your ink cartridges (maybe).
If you have any particular subjects you would like to discuss on the noticeboard or would like to give us some feedback – drop Neil an email by clicking here.
We implore you to visit the Inclusive Cinema website – it is quite an experience to think about your venues and programmes and how you can continuously improve your offering.
The Moviola Newsletter went live this week and was sent to inboxes up and down the country.
We want to say thank you to everyone who connected with us through it, asked to join our forums and even sign up new members!
The support is greatly appreciated and we hope that you find the newsletter a helpful & entertaining tool to help you get the most out of your Moviola Screenings. Please spread the good word (and someone pleeeease post in the forums!). We are looking for any feedback, big or small – from either yourselves or your audiences. Photos, videos or even helpful tips for other venues – we want to hear it!
The newsletter is a brilliant way of establishing a wider community and sharing industry new, cinema experiences and support for all Moviola venues.
What do you mean you didn’t receive the amazing newsletter? All Partners and Associates should have received a copy – please email our Communication & Diversity Officer if you didn’t get it, as well as checking your spam and junk mail folder (unfortunately newsletters do end up in here, too).
The October Newsletter will be out in a few weeks and there will be some exciting news involving the new programme and something for all venues … yes, that includes you.
You won’t know what that is unless you subscribe. Go to our homepage and scroll down the side and you’ll see a familiar face who will allow you to sign up there.
In a regular feature, we want to let our Partners & Associates know a little bit more about titles we think you should be looking at for your Moviola venues.
These can be challenging films that are satisfying and can stimulate debate among your audiences. Known as Cinematheque films, these are titles which can draw out new audiences who have never been to your venue and create a wider community for you to screen your films.
This month we highlight Nora Twomey’s award-winning: THE BREADWINNER.
Leading critic for The Observer and BBC, Mark Kermode gave the film 5-stars, describing it as “further proof that we are living through a golden age of animation”.
Produced by Angelina Jolie, and based on the best-selling novel by Deborah Ellis, THE BREADWINNER is more than an animated story. It is a rich tale of the pressures put upon a 12-year old girl who takes drastic measures to ensure her family survives when her father, a local teacher, is left physically impaired by the after-effects of the Soviet-Afghan War.
A story steeped in equal measures of delight and distrust, following the travails of young Parvana, The Breadwinner often subverts pre-conceptions of life in war-torn countries. Her journey is fraught with the dangers of living under a brutal regime, and the contrasting creative imagination of a child recalling the stories passed onto us from our parents as a way of self-assurance.
It is a story which humanises and subverts our expectations, as we follow young Parvana suddenly thrust into the role of the titular ‘breadwinner’.
If you’re a member of a Moviola cinema, why not speak to your local organiser about a showing of this groundbreaking and Golden Globe-winning film.
Partners and Associates could consider this film as a way of introducing new audiences to your venue.
Animations can often be seen as solely appealing to young children, but The Breadwinner goes some way to turn this on its head. It is a drama interwoven with the innocence of a lost childhood. While it may be a little tough for very young audiences (hence the 12A rating), here at Moviola we genuinely feel it is a strong life-affirming family film which has universal appeal to our community venues. Perhaps you were considering opening your venue for half-term screenings where younger audiences would be more available to view this breathtaking feat in animated films.
Thanks to the British Film Institute, there is a generous discount available for screening this title, as with all of our Cinematheque films on the current programming menu.
If you would like to book this film or find out more about our Cinematheque titles, please contact our Programme Director Toby here.