How we choose our films
For this season, we have chosen 15 films from around the world. But how we reach our final selection is a fairly long and arduous process.
We start with a long list made up of suggestions from our committee members and anyone who offers something for consideration. This is frequently in excess of 120 films. To be worth considering, we are generally looking for films from around the globe, some award winning and some obscure. Usually less than 5 years old; our aim is to show a variety of films, lighter films among the more intense, different genres, with a wide enough geographical spread.
We can all agree that it is virtually impossible to satisfy all of the people all of the time, and we accept that not everyone will like every choice that we make. We do not shy from including films and subject matter that is sometimes seen as more challenging.
Achieving a varied, balanced programme involves countless hours of research and watching films by those on the committee who agree to be part of our viewing panel, followed by hours of animated discussion to whittle the list down, several times.
Once we have agreed a short list of perhaps 20 to 25 films, we then have to start sourcing the licences from each film's distributors. Since we have moved to the Odeon, our costs for film licences have risen dramatically. Firstly, we are screening our films in a theatrical setting (automatically more expensive) and secondly, both the distributors and the Odeon prefer that we use a digital format rather than old school DVDs and Blu-ray discs. This costs more but reduces the risks involved with physical discs such as scratches and sticky finger marks.
There are so many distributors each with a separate and distinct process, with whom we have to liaise. Then in financial terms, each licence can cost anywhere between £90 and £500, and budgets can influence our decision making process.
Eventually, we make our final selection, choose dates and the running order, order brochures and prepare copy for advertising, book the films, deal with the Odeon and finally get in touch with our members for the big reveal.
If you would like to influence our future film choices and selection, please get in touch by email or speak with any committee member at one of our screenings. We'd love to welcome new faces to the volunteer team.