Film Society of the Year Awards 2012
UK film societies and community cinemas saw their hard work and dedication rewarded at the BFFS Film Society of the Year Awards 2012, which took place at the Ciné Lumière, London on Saturday 22 September.
The awards are hosted by the British Federation of Film Societies (BFFS), and celebrate the achievements of volunteer-led community cinema, recognising the strength and diversity of a sector that is the backbone of UK film exhibition.
The awards were presented by BFFS Managing Director Deborah Parker and were announced by Amanda Nevill, Chief Executive of the BFI. In her address, Amanda commented on the significance of film societies and community cinemas in the UK, ‘[Film Societies] should remember with considerable pride that not only are [they] bringing joy to the people in [their] local communities but [they] are also a lynch pin in one of the industries that is keeping Britain afloat at the moment.’
The Engholm Prize for Film Society of the Year was awarded to Newcastle Community Cinema – the first Northern Irish organisation to win the honour. Newcastle Community Cinema also walked away with the Best Marketing and Publicity Award and the Community Award as well as a commendation for their film programme. BFFS MD Deborah Parker said, ‘Newcastle Community Cinema knows how to put on a great film show – how to get people off their sofas and watching, sharing and talking about film. They know how to reach out to others, how to engage filmmakers and most of all how to show a town with no other way of watching films together why it’s worth spending an evening sitting next to a stranger watching a film. At this community cinema, there are no strangers by the end.’
For her dedication to the film society movement, the Roebuck Cup was awarded to BFFS General Operations Manager Jacqueline Chell. In the Roebuck Cup citation, Mike McKenny of Minicine paid tribute to Jaq’s role, ‘She makes what is already an incredibly helpful service that much more human… She's been integral to the survival and growth of Minicine, is a pleasure to be associated with, and a credit to the film exhibition industry.’
The Film Society of the Year Awards were generously sponsored by non-theatrical licensing specialists, the Motion Picture Licensing Company (MPLC). MPLC Commercial Manager, David Taylor said, ‘We were delighted to again sponsor the BFFS Film Society of the Year Awards and in doing so recognise the dedication, creativity and passion of its members who demonstrated their skill in creating innovative and enjoyable film programmes for local communities.’
In recognition of the work the volunteers do in their communities, non-theatrical distributors Filmbank again presented one lucky winner with £1000 towards developing their future activities. Majella Griffin, Filmbank General Manager, presented this year’s winner Colinsburgh Community Cinema. Their Chair, Peter Marshall said: 'Apart from the generous cash donation from Filmbank, the Audience Award is special as it comes from our membership and is tangible proof that what we are doing is appreciated and that we are getting some things right.’
The Filmbank Audience Award was sponsored by Filmbank, the Student Cinema award was sponsored by Sheffield Hallam University and the Best New Society Award was sponsored by WRS Insurance.
Other event supporters included the BFI, AVCOM and Institut Français.
Prizes were kindly donated by Network Releasing, Peccadillo Pictures and Dogwoof.
Read the full list of winners