Chairman's Report 2007
I'm very happy to be able to report another good year for the Club, in terms of a strong response from members to the Sunday screenings, a pleasing recovery from a tricky situation over the Festival, and continued service to the rural communities via 'KFC on the Road'. And having just come to the end of our reign as BFFS Film Society of the Year, it's very heartening to be declared winners for 2007 of Best Website, and to gain a Distinction in Best Programme and a Commendation for Best Marketing. Well done to Stephen Brown, Nick Graham, Richard Stead and Alex Moores for all the skill and commitment they showed in those achievements.
At present the Club has 257 members, almost exactly the same as the two previous years, although members come and go - and sometimes return after a lengthy gap. And in all 3 of those years, it is interesting to note that the average audience size has hovered around the 100 mark, but the number of members attending has been creeping up slightly, from 63 to 65 and this year 69. The programme cannot keep all of them happy all of the time, of course, but our policy of selecting the best films we can find, whatever the genre, seems to throw up enough enjoyable, intelligent and thought-provoking fare to not stray far from that path. Will we say the same, I wonder, after our Bollywood movie which rounds off the season.
In a few minutes our Treasurer Tom Rennie will be reporting on the financial year up to last August, but he may have an indication for you about how things have been going over the course of the 2006-7 season. I would guess that we can be quite happy about the financial health of our regular Sunday films. At this point I'd like to say thank you to Tom for projection and everything else he does, and to Robert Royall who has taken over most of the DVD and 35mm projection on Sundays.
As for the Festival, the departure of four of the five person organising committee that ran our Seventh Festival in 2006 occasioned a mini-crisis which threatened a gap year or even an abandonment of the event, but Ann Martin came along in the nick of time and offered to lead us out of the wilderness. Her confidence and competence inspired others to volunteer help, funding was obtained, passes and tickets were sold in similar numbers to 2006, costs were cut significantly and the whole event became a resounding success both financially and in terms of the enjoyment which festival-goers derived from their experience. So much so that Ann and her team are very willing to give it another go in 2008. Her team of David, Tom, Mike, Deborah, Robert, Vian, Richard, Alex, Janine, Stephen, Margaret, and Gemma, plus Nick who agreed to carry on with the Festival website, and Darren who came to chair the evening with Ken Loach was in fact very impressive in its willingness and enthusiasm to respond to the challenge - their help was invaluable, and we should congratulate them all.
Our screenings for village halls have carried on quietly compared to those two major components of the Club, but 'KFC on the Road' has spread the good word, encouraged people from rural communities to get back into enjoying good cinema, and justified the grants from Lottery and UK Film Council which allowed us to purchase our kit - and look how useful all of that was in the Studio at the Theatre during the Festival. It has largely been Mungrisdale and Brigham since last September, but Portinscale are after us again, and Glenridding is a possible addition. Robert's technical know-how and muscle-power never cease to amaze, and I'm grateful to Richard and Alex too for lending welcome support.
There have been quite a few expressions of thanks already, but it's not quite such a pleasure to thank Irena - for the simple reason that we also have to accept her resignation as Secretary. She really has too much on her plate, with increasing professional calls, and feels it is time to call it a day. We shall miss her helpful contributions to the committee and her efficiency as a trustworthy secretary, and we thank her for a good year's contribution to KFC.
I'd like to say the same for the rest of the Committee: I am very grateful to them for their support over an encouraging year: they are all busy people, but they are generously finding time to contribute greatly to the well-being of the Club.
And finally thank you to all the members who faithfully come to watch whatever we throw at them: they keep coming back, so I suppose they must like what they find. We shall look forward to nourishing minds and offering catharsis, or amazement, or laughter or any kind of emotional and intellectual stimulus that cinema can provide - long may it continue!
R.F.E. 25th March 2007
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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.
Since then, the club has won Film Society Of The Year and awards for Best Programme four times and Best Website twice.
We have also received numerous Distinctions and Commendations in categories including marketing, programming and website.
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