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A Winning Start for The Circle
UK – A lively new community cinema has made a remarkable start, thanks to the generosity of the BFI (British Film Institute) and Saville Audio Visual.
The BFI allocated Lottery funding of £2 million over four years between 2013 and 2017 to the BFI Neighbourhood Cinema Fund. Backed by sponsorship and technical support from Saville, this enables community groups to offer a quality local cinema experience using high level, DVD-based equipment to audiences who may not otherwise be able to easily access a cinema.
Situated in Harborne, about four miles from Birmingham, the Moor Pool community is home to a range of thriving activities, sports clubs and societies. However despite having a well-established theatre company, the estate had never had its own society dedicated to film.
This was addressed last October, when residents got together in the village hall to form a cinema club called The Circle Cinema, where members receive discounted ticket prices and a vote in the choice of films.
In February this year, the club entered the annual competition run by BFI and Saville Audio Visual and won a new NEC projector with a complete digital cinema package, just in time for their planned Film Festival Weekend
“We could not believe our luck!” said Andrew Hackett, chairman of the Circle Cinema club, adding: “We expected to take several years to raise the funds for a state-of-the art system, so winning this brilliant prize could not have worked out better. We’ve already got the assembly of the big screen down to under twenty minutes!”
The Festival commenced with a matinee performance of “He Named Me Malala”, a film about the young Pakistani girl Malala, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 and now lives in Birmingham. The club invited her parents, Ziauddin and Toor Pekai to open the festival as guests of honour.
BFI’s head of UK wide audiences, Ben Luxford,said: “We want audiences everywhere to be able to come together to enjoy great films so it’s fantastic to see this equipment making such a difference to the community in Moor Pool.”
15th June 2016
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