Chairman's Report 2012
When I took over from Rod Evans at the AGM last year, I felt a bit of a cheat; it was as though the tea boy had been given the job as CEO. What did I know about films, or running a club? So I was very relieved when the first film finished successfully in September. 7 months and 29 films later, I am pleased to announce that I feel a bit more confident! I should say up front that Rod has kept himself available and advised me a lot over the year; thanks for that Rod. That is not to say all has gone totally smoothly; the least said about 'Patagonia' the better from my point of view! We have had some good points this year and some not so good.
On the 'Good' side...we still exist - which is a lot to do with the Alhambra still existing. Around Christmas, neither looked too secure. We should document our thanks to Tom Rennie here for taking over the cinema; without that, we might well not be meeting at all today. When I 'volunteered' to be Chair, it was on the proviso that the committee took on a lot of the work that Rod had done. I can report that they have done so with gusto! We must thank all the committee for this work, but forgive me for singling out one person here for taking a large share of the load. Elspeth has taken over all the membership side of the club, which has saved me a lot of headaches...and given her a fair few too! Thank you Elspeth.
On the 'not so good' side of the equation, I have to report that numbers are down. Our membership as of now is 256, down 30 from last year and the average attendance is down from 113 to 98. The highest attendance, 189 - for 'The Well Digger's Daughter' - was slightly higher than last year, and I am pleased to note that the mean audience score, on our response slips after the film, remains the same at 71%. I can only assume that we have put on more films that you as members chose not to come to see; certainly 'Surviving Life' and the Shorts Night were experimental. I also suspect that the Alhambra Alternative nights have improved over the years and now offer another very good night out for Keswick Film lovers. I would be grateful for any feedback on any of this.
My Highlights for the year, then. I'll start with the Gala Night we held for Rod in November. Rod chose two films of high pedigree - 'Tree of Life', the winner of the Cannes 'Palme D'Or' and 'Incendies', nominated for the 'Best foreign film' at the Oscars. It is fair to say that the second was more popular, indeed 'Incendies' became our most popular film of the year with a score of 92.2%. We also had a very enjoyable buffet in between the films, organised by Elspeth and Ian, to make a great evening complete.
I should also mention our outing to Rheged to see 'Pina' in 3D. It was my first full length 3D film and, like most people I loved it. Again the meal afterwards was a success too. Talking of meals, our worthy 'Social Secretaries' Elspeth and Ian filled the George Hotel for our Christmas get together, which (I hope) those of you that were there will agree was a great success.
We are still taking the club on the road to both Maryport in the summer and Mungrisdale over the winter, thanks mainly to Steve Allen, Robert Royall and Michael Bohling. If you get a chance to go to the Mungrisdale evenings, I recommend them; very friendly evenings.
My final highlight has to be the Festival! Possibly our best festival ever..? Ann Martin and David Miller take great credit for this. Ann should be proud of the work she did with sponsorship and, of course with John Hurt! The programme they arranged between them was superb AND we managed to get some new student volunteers who helped a lot.
I'll finish by thanking all the committee once again, thanking John Stakes for his always interesting reviews and Johnnie Walker for his help with the short films.. AND, finally, by thanking all members for continuing to come along to see the films. We'll do our best to keep it enjoyable if you keep coming.
Vaughan Ames, Chairman
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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.
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