Film Society of the Year Awards 2013
For the second year in a row, Northern Ireland’s Newcastle Community Cinema scooped the Engholm Prize for Film Society of the Year at the prestigious BFFS Film Society of the Year Awards in London on Sunday 22 September.
The awards recognise and reward the hard work and dedication of volunteer-led community cinemas and film societies, and are hosted by the British Federation of Film Societies. In the awards’ 44 year history, no organisation has ever been awarded the Engholm Prize in two consecutive years. BFFS Managing Director Deborah Parker said:
‘The judges were blown away with the level of work done by NCC. We’re not sure if they’ve had any sleep since their first win, as they’ve managed to double, even triple their efforts. They’ve engaged with every group that has come to them with offers of collaboration, have made every single screening an event not to be missed and have made their film nights the talk of the town, the country and even the whole of the UK. Beyond all this hard work, they have been doing an exceptional job of representing the community of community cinemas – shouting about the power of volunteer-led cinema and making sure that their impact will last a lifetime.’< /i>
Those who attended the awards were treated to an annual address from BFFS President and renowned film critic, Derek Malcolm, as well as a surprise video message from new BFFS Patron, Warp Films’ Mark Herbert. French directors Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano also sent a delightful video message in which they accepted the Film Society Film of the Year Award for their film Untouchable (Intouchables), which was voted for by film society audiences and organisers from all across the UK.
For his dedication to the film society movement, the Roebuck Cup was awarded to BFFS Scotland Chair Neil Chue Hong. BFFS are proud to be able to pay tribute to such a great man who works tirelessly towards the ideal of Cinema For All.
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 would like to thank BFFS for allowing us to again sponsor the Film Society of the Year Awards. Not only is it a wonderful event, but the members’ enthusiasm, dedication and creativity is both refreshing and really quite infectious.'
In recognition of the work 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 Llancarfan Community Cinema with the prize.
On behalf of Llancarfan Community Cinema volunteers, Jim Barratt said, ‘Our audience drives everything we do, so we're hugely happy and proud to win the Filmbank Audience Award. In our first year we've benefited from fabulous local support, and we plan to put the prize money to good use improving our screen and sound system. High quality presentation leads to happier audiences, which makes it all worthwhile.’
The Film Society of the Year Awards were sponsored by MPLC. The Filmbank Audience Award and celebratory drinks reception were sponsored by Filmbank. The Student Cinema award was sponsored by Sheffield Hallam University and the Best New Society Award was sponsored by WRS Insurance.
Prizes were kindly donated by Network Releasing, Axiom Films,Trinity Films, FILMCLUB, Dogwoof and Warp Films.
Pictures of the ceremony, as well as the BFFS National Conference for Community Cinemas can be found here. Please credit Mark Epstein for all photos.