Virtual Community Cinema: Suffragette

Many member groups of CAE Screen host community cinema screenings every month in their local village halls, screening everything form the latest blockbusters to more specialised foreign language and independent titles, and even recorded films of live theatre, dance and exhibitions. Whilst group events and gatherings are on hold for the time being, we wanted to find a way of continuing to connect our promoters, their audiences, and other community members through the magic of film.

We decided to use a popular, well-known platform for our first screening, to make it as easy as possible for others to join in, particularly those who may have less experience accessing online content. We chose the film Suffragette (starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne-Marie Duff) for our first screening, and encouraged people to set up a free account on Channel 4’s All4 Player, and all sign on to watch the film at around 7.30pm on Saturday 4th April.

As well as trying to recreate a sense of community by knowing that other people are watching the film at the same time, it was important to us to try and simulate the post-show discussion and chat that forms a vital part of community cinema screenings. To do this, we’ve launched our Community Critics Network, asking viewers to send in their comments, feedback and reviews on the film! We’ve gathered some of the comments received here – if you want to add anything then use the comment feature below!

“Thanks so much for the film. Really enjoyed it! SO important to know what we do today can change the future, no matter how difficult it seems. Very appropriate in our current circumstances! Also, a good distraction!”

 

“Thanks for organising the watch-in party. Should be shown in schools, we owe a great debt to this movement.”

 

“I know the story well but am still shocked about how these women were treated. That’s why I nag every woman I know to use their vote. We need to honour their memory.”

 

“Might not have chosen to see it but we are glad that we did. A good insight to the suffrage movement and the sacrifices that many must have made.”

 

“A good dramatic portrayal of a key time in our social history. Sobering but ultimately uplifting”.

 

Did you watch the film, or perhaps you’d seen it before? What did you think? Maybe you’ve got some family links with the suffragette movement? We want to hear from you!

New Touring Arts to Libraries Resources for Artists and Libraries! 

We have come to the end of our Arts Council England enquiry into south east libraries touring, and with the support of artists and libraries from across the south east and beyond, we have gathered a great deal of information about the current shape of libraries touring in the region. We have discovered different approaches to programming arts in library spaces from community polls to creative arts partnerships and adventurous arts selection, each approach providing new experiences for library audiences.

We are very grateful to all library service staff across the south east who engaged with our enquiry, whether that’s through completing our survey, talking us about their experience promoting touring arts events, or taking part in our reference group. This group guided the enquiry and ensured that all learning and sharing considered the unique library perspective. We heard from 21 out of the 26 south east library services and from over 100 different members of library staff, from senior managers to front line assistants and volunteers. We also spoke to many artists practising different art forms.

Using all of the information gathered, the knowledge and experience from our generous collaborators and our own 25 years’ worth of experience as a rural touring organisation, we’ve put together two handy guides to libraries touring: one for libraries looking to host touring work, and one for artists looking to tour to libraries.

Resource Links

If you work in a library then please do download our libraries resource Hosting Touring Arts Events – The Really Useful Guide For People Working In Libraries. Whether you’re a library assistant, manager, community librarian, volunteer, or anyone working with programming touring arts in libraries or hosting shows in your library space, we hope you find it helpful.

If you would like a printed version for yourself or your library service, please drop us a line.  Just let us know how many you’d like and we will get them to you as soon as possible. We want to share these resources as far and wide as we can – and hopefully provide you with some work-related reading material while lots of things are put on hold!

If you are an artist or touring company representative who is considering touring your work to libraries – whether that’s after the current situation has passed or perhaps you have an exciting digital offer to share now – download the artist’s resource The Really Useful Guide For Artists Touring to Libraries. We hope it gives you an insight into what to expect from taking your work to libraries, or if you are already well-versed in it, that it helps you approach it in a new and enriched way.

We have also created two info templates – one for libraries and one for artists and touring companies – to be used when liaising with each other. Each template contains suggested questions to ask each other and information to share, to ensure that both the artist’s touring experience, and the library’s programming and delivery experience run as smoothly as possible. These resources are based on the useful feedback we received from all the collaborators throughout the enquiry and so we hope they cover all the important areas which arise from booking through to evaluation, where libraries’ and artists’ worlds collide!

We would like to thank you all again if you have engaged with our enquiry and helped us to put these resources together. We are reporting back to Arts Council England with our enquiry findings and we hope our recommendations will support the future development of the south east libraries touring offer.

What A Year! Our Highlights of 2018

2018 was a huge year for us here at CAE. We’ve been shouting much louder about the significant and transformative impact the arts can have on rural communities, particularly in terms of health, wellbeing and aspirations, and have been committed as always to demonstrating this throughout all of our work. This culminated in us being crowned ‘Rural Social Enterprise, Charity or Community Project of the Year’ at the East of England Regional Finals of the Rural Business Awards, and we’ll be heading to the National Finals in February 2019 to compete against the winners of the other regions. The team have so many other highlights of 2018, and we’ve picked out a few of them to share below!

Our Day Out Celebration Events: One of our favourite parts of running the Spirit of 2012-funded Our Day Out project (participatory music and dance workshops for isolated older people in Norfolk), is when we bring all the groups together to meet up, sing and dance as one. In 2018 we had two fantastic events with our 6 groups: The Big Sing in March with musicians Mary and Kim, and the Sharing Day at Cley Wildlife Centre in October with Glass House Dance and Les Chappell. It’s such a joy to see our participants share in creativity and see just how much they get out of attending the sessions.

Films With Friends: We teamed up with South Norfolk Council and East of England Co-op to deliver the Films With Friends Project – an initiative aimed at making village cinema more accessible for people living with dementia and to raise awareness about the condition. Seven of our South Norfolk cinema groups took part – they received Dementia Friends sessions at their screenings; a ‘how to’ guide and training from academic specialists; and bespoke marketing to increase awareness amongst the wider community that these groups are taking steps to become more dementia friendly.

Take On Me: This was definitely one of the most exciting projects we got involved with last year! We teamed up with award-winning theatre company Dante or Die as they toured their 80s themed show ‘Take On Me’ to leisure centres across the country. We helped them bring it to Alive Oasis in Hunstanton, West Norfolk, and worked with an amazing Local Coordinator Debbie and an outstanding community cast to make the show happen. Our favourite outcome was the life-changing impact the experience had on the community cast, with many telling us how taking part had improved their confidence enormously.

Writers’ Residencies and Commissions with Inn Crowd: Last year, we’ve worked with the National Centre for Writing to commission two writers’ residencies in rural Norfolk pubs, as part of the Inn Crowd project. Inn Crowd supports rural pubs to host live spoken-word inspired performances and to engage different audiences that perhaps wouldn’t normally attend arts events, and reinforces the pub as an important community hub. Acclaimed spoken-word artists Byron Vincent and Luke Wright both spent time in different rural communities in Norfolk in 2018, observing rural life and how the pub functions as part of this. Their observations have formed part of new work, which will be touring pubs in 2019.

Our First Fundraiser: In December, we held our first ever fundraising quiz! We’re aiming to raise £25,000 during our anniversary year to ensure we can continue to make a difference to rural communities for another 25 years, and our Christmas Quiz was the first big event we’ve done to help us reach this target. It was a fantastic night, with friends, family, staff and board members joining in on the fun. Keep an eye on our social media and newsletter for the total amount raised!

So that’s some of our highlights of 2018… what are yours? Were you involved with or did you attend any Creative Arts East-supported projects last year? What were your favourites?

We’re looking forward to an exciting 2019 ahead, so do keep up to date with all of our news, content and upcoming events via our blog, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and monthly e-newsletter.

Our Cinema Groups Commemorate Remembrance Day with Special Film Screenings

This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the signing of the Armistice in 1918, which signalled the end of World War One. With a week to go before Remembrance Day 2018, Sunday 11th November, we wanted to highlight some of our CAE Screen groups that are showing specially selected films around the theme of war and conflict. Join our cinema promoters in remembering those who lost their lives in wartime, by attending one of the following screenings this November:

World War One

Journey’s End: Led by young officer Stanhope, whose mental health is rapidly disintegrating, a group of British soldiers await their fate in an Aisne dugout during the end of World War One. Given 4 stars in The Guardian earlier this year, this film brought out specifically to make the centenary brings “horror, humour and humanity to the trenches”, and injects “new passion” in to one of the 20th Century’s “oldest, grimmest tales of futility and slaughter”.

Showing at: Reedham Village Hall on 7th November, Welborne Village Hall on 9th November, Barton Bendish Village Hall on 10th November, Postwick Village Hall on 10th November, Banham Church on 10th November, Hethersett Village Hall on 11th November, North Creake Village Hall on 13th November, Alburgh Village Hall on 16th November, and Marlingford Village Hall on 17th November.

The Battles of Coronel and Falkland Islands – The Great War At Sea: This 1927 British documentary film is a dramatic reconstruction of the naval warfare around the Battle of Coronel and Battle of the Falkland Islands, two 1914 battles faced by the Royal Navy during the First World War. The BFI restored the film in 2014 for the centenary of the events, and added a new score.

Showing at: Gorleston Library on 8th November.

Oh! What A Lovely War: Richard Attenborough directs a stellar ensemble cast in this musical satire of The Great War, featuring Maggie Smith, Lawrence Olivier and Vanessa Redgrave. Causing some controversy at the time due to its black humour and criticism of the commanding forces behind the conflict, this film uses popular songs of the time to portray the most famous moments of World War One, and is regarded as one of the best anti-war films of all time.

Showing at: Downham Market Town Hall on 9th November.

World War Two

Spitfire: Charles Dance narrates this soaring and dramatic documentary of the fighter plane and pilots that helped win the Battle of Britain in World War Two. Breath-taking aerial footage and digitally remastered 1940s archive footage makes this a not to be missed cinematic documentary that celebrates a true story of courage, determination and triumph.

Showing at: Amy Robsart Village Hall, Syderstone, on 10th November.

Darkest Hour: This Churchill biopic starring Gary Oldman as Britain’s Second World War leader picked up a bounty of nominations and honours during this year’s awards season, including the Academy Award and BAFTA for Oldman’s turn as the iconic figure. Darkest Hour offers unrestricted access to both Churchill himself and the inner workings of the British government during World War Two, in particular Operation Dynamo, which went on to evacuate 300,000 allied troops from Dunkirk.

Showing at: Three Holes Village Hall on Sunday 4th November.

For more info on what else is coming up, visit our website.

Our Pick of This Year’s Oscar Nominations

We’re huge cinema fans here at Creative Arts East, which means we’ve been keeping an eye on the big films of the moment nominated for the most prestigious awards in Hollywood – the 90th Academy Awards. The ceremony, otherwise known as ‘The Oscars’, takes places this Sunday 4th March, so let’s take a look at the some of the nominated films our team have been raving about. You never know, they could be hitting a community cinema screen near you next season!

SophieBest Picture: ‘Call Me By Your Name’

Stunning visuals of rural Italy, a fantastic soundtrack and a real tale of true romance! I found this film mesmerising and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I saw it at the cinema. Your heart will ache and break for these characters, you can’t not see this film!

 

ZoeBest Director: Paul Thomas Anderson for ‘Phantom Thread’

Part gothic romance, part crime and part period drama, this is a film that resists categorisation. It’s an exquisitely crafted, Hitchcockian character study, in which director Paul Thomas Anderson transports us into the decadent and glamorous world of 1950s haute couture. Allow yourself to be taken in by the fairy-tale enchantment, but watch out for something darker lurking beneath the service.

 

Sheila

Best Animated Feature: ‘Ferdinand’

Ferdinand is a gripping, big-hearted adventure that my children loved, and yet has jokes for the parents too. It’s easy watching fun with a simple storyline, and my girls liked it so much that they came out wanting a pet bull!

 

Karen

Best Actress: Sally Hawkins in ‘The Shape of Water’

The film has stunning visuals and cinematography throughout, but I was most struck by Sally Hawkins’ portrayal of Elisa. Her character is mute and as a result is often over-looked.  The emotion portrayed without dialogue, through not only expression and manner, but also physicality stayed with me and captured my interest. I was instantly captivated by her. 

 

LeaBest Cinematography: Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner was a visual treat! You will be submerged in an expansive cyberpunk cityscape of neon colour and amazing special effects of the future, including massive holographic projections and virtual reality. It perfectly reflects when a new world meets the old – from gritty scenes of a ruined past in the desert to an excitingly new but ominous new technological world lit up in the dark.

 

Check out the full list of nominations here. Let us know which films you’ve been enjoying lately!