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  Community Screen Forum


Conference 2018

The Community Screen Forum and the University of East Anglia will be hosting the third Community and Rural Cinema conference on 15 August 2018. This event will be held on the University of East Anglia campus in Norwich and is once again free to attend with lunch provided.

Please register here and let us know if you have any dietary requirements.

The Conference will be held in the Zuckerman Institute for Connective Environmental Research (ZICER) building in room 2.03. Campus directions and directions to UEA can be found here.

Conference Schedule


9.30-9.45        Welcome
                       Dr Karina Aveyard, University of East Anglia

9.45-10.45     Keynote 1: Stephen Follows, independent cinema researcher
                      ‘Speculating on Spectacle (and Specialised) Spectators’

                       Chair: Robert Livingston, Regional Screen Scotland

10.45-11.15   Morning tea

11.15-12.15  Keynote 2: Michael Pierce, Scalarama
                     ‘Community and Sustainability’

                      Chair: Christoph Warrack, Open Cinema

12.15-1.15    Panel 1: Audience Development & Communities: challenges and opportunities in non-theatrical contexts
1.15-1.45      Lunch
                      Screening of archival film from the East Anglian Film Archive

1.45-2.45     Panel 2: Local Cinema, Local Sponsors, Local Funders: revenue streams beyond ticket sales

2.45-3.15      Afternoon tea

3.15-4.00      Panel 3: Closing Discussion & Future Directions


Keynote 1:     ‘Speculating on the Spectacle (and Specialised) Spectators’

                       Stephen Follows, Independent screen industry researcher


Stephen is an established data researcher in the film industry whose work has been featured in the New York Times, The Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Evening Standard, Newsweek, The News Statesman, AV Club and Indiewire.

He acted as an industry consultant and guest on the BBC Radio 4 series The Business of Film, which was topped the iTunes podcast chart, and has consulted for a wide variety of clients, including the Smithsonian in Washington. He has been commissioned to write reports for key film industry bodies and his most recent study, looking at gender inequity in the UK film industry, was launched on the BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ program.

Stephen is a leading trainer and thought-leader in how storytelling can be used to change hearts and minds. He has created UK-wide campaigns for major charities including Scope and Unicef, his online video work has been seen by over 35 million people and he regularly teaches storytelling to staff at institutions such as the BBC, the National Trust and Amnesty International. His scriptwriting has won Virgin Media Shorts, the Reed Film Competition and IVCA awards; has been nominated at the British Independent Film Awards, Viral Video Awards, LA Movie Awards and long- listed for a BAFTA.

Stephen has produced over 100 short films and two features and has taught at major film schools, normal business schools and minor primary schools.

Keynote 2:     ‘The Four Elements of Community Cinema’

                        Michael Pierce, Co-founder Scalarama and Big Adventure Cinema, Liverpool. Co-director Cinema Nation

In his keynote Michael will present a new model for mapping the work that community cinemas do and how, by looking at innovative new structures from outside the cultural sector, organisations can start internal conversations on development and sustainability. Looking at research and teachings from the last three years and his experience with the open-source Scalarama model, Michael will show how working and collaborating at scale can help enhance networks, invent new distribution patterns and improve inclusivity.

Originally from Kent, Michael discovered his passion for film through VHS stores, local cinemas in leisure centres (with intervals!) and at the high street MGM multiplex. Escaping to the big city to take up a BA in Classical Studies with Film Studies at Kings College, Michael meanwhile volunteered and then worked for the BFI London Film Festival’s Industry team. He landed a dream job at the Phoenix Cinema learning the art of 35mm projection and took courses with the Independent Cinema Office. Michael then joined Curzon Cinemas, working in Events and then Marketing and then eventually project managing the Curzon Home Cinema initiative.

Wanting to return to his studies, he did the MA in Film Curating from the London Consortium/London Film School before starting his own company Cinema Nation with Philip Foxwood. Together the duo created the Scalarama annual film season, worked on evaluation and research projects for the BFI, Film London and This Way Up and started a monthly cinema radio show on Resonance FM. 

Michael now lives in Liverpool, and alongside Scalarama, works as a producer and consultant for Food for Real Film Festival as well as being a co-founder of Big Adventure Cinema, an initiative to start a community cinema in the city. He has worked as regional marketing coordinator for I, Daniel Blake for eOne Entertainment, teaches film programming to 16-25 years olds at Storyhouse in Chester.

Panel 1 - Audience Development and Communities

This panel will focus on widening audience engagement with different screen experiences and will consider the particular challenges of doing so on a small scale and in non-theatrical contexts.


(Chair) Karina Aveyard, University of East Anglia

·                Sarah-Jane Meredith, British Film Institute

·                Hugh Odling Smee, Northern Ireland Film Hub

·                Jennie Carlsten, Northern Ireland Film Hub

·                Natalie Jode, Creative Arts East

·                Matt Kitson, Driftwood Cinema


Panel 2 – Local Cinema, Local Sponsors, Local Funders

Initiated by the Independent Cinema Office, this panel of will focus on the ways in which community cinemas can diversity revenue streams and increase sustainability. Panelists will draw on their real world/practical experiences. 


(Chair) Duncan Carson, Independent Cinema Office 

·                Rebecca del Tufo, Programming Manager, Saffron Screen

·                Richard Hall, Chairman, Lincoln Film Society

·                Catherine Mugonyi, Director, Aunty Social CIC and Winter Gardens Film Festival


Panel 3 – Future Directions

This final session will begin with a presentation of some recent audience research (by Stuart Hanson, Demontfort University), followed by a short presentation on the Community Screen Forum’s Evidence Library initiative (led by Christoph Warrack, Open Cinema) to enhance the accessibility of research and resources for non-theatrical cinema.

The session will also provide opportunity for reflection on the day’s discussions and forward-thinking opportunities to come out of these.