Chairman's Report 2015
I said in last year's report that the attendances over the year had dropped slightly and we didn't know why. Well, I am pleased to start this year's report by saying that the attendances were up, but we still don't know why! The average audience size for the year was 110 (up from 99). We did advertise in the Cockermouth press, but I suspect the attendance was better simply because you enjoyed the films more - the average score for the films was up from 71% to 74.81%. So all we need to do to keep the audiences high is to keep the ratings up...simple!
We had two films with an audience of over 160 – 'Beyond the Edge' and 'Charlie's Country' - and a surprise for the highest scoring film – 'Next Goal Wins' – a documentary about football (!) scored 88.82%. All 3 of these films were either made in Australasia or by Australasians so maybe that is the answer...
Our trip to Rheged was successful again, including the second largest audience of 164 and a surprise introduction by Doug Scott for our Everest docudrama 'Beyond the Edge' (I don't think Doug enjoyed the film much, but we did – it scored 87.37%!). There was another unusual introduction for 'Next Goal Wins' which was done by video from the directors' next film location on a beach in a strong wind!
There were four new activities during the year. First off was a 'film appreciation course' which John Porter (one of our members and a film guru!) lead from September to Christmas, so my thanks to him for doing that. Secondly, we had a request from the Wigton scout group to help them fund raise by putting on a film in Wigton's John Peel Theatre. This went so successfully that we did it again in the summer, and I have some hopes that the theatre may continue to show the occasional film there, thus bringing the cinema to Wigton - a real plus, I feel, for both them and our club.
The third new idea hasn't actually started yet, though the work has; our new 'Classic Tuesdays' kicks off this coming Tuesday. We think there is scope to make the club even better by showing some old classics as well as the new films we have on Sundays; let's hope we still think so on Wednesday! I hope to see you here for 'The Third Man'.
Lastly, throughout the year, some of you may have been accosted by Ian Payne, showing the Alhambra Centenary film to various organisations and interrogating you for any details you know about the Alhambra. Ian is trying to put together a history of this great cinema which will be published as a book if all goes well. It didn't go too well this week when he tried to show the Alhambra Centenary film to the local WI... only to find the projector wouldn't work. I left him there, about to attempt to give them a talk instead; a brave man! Our thanks go to Ian for all his hard work; watch this space for details of the book later in the year.
The club committee has seen some changes this year (assuming you vote for our recommendations!). Anita Leaker has stood down after several years of effort so our thanks go to her. In her place, we have 3 new volunteers; John Porter (who has been writing film reviews as well as running the appreciation course), Mike Newns and David Andrews (who both got involved during the Festival and have carried on since), so we welcome them all. My thanks goes, of course, to all the committee who keep the club running with such ease; we rarely need to meet, it just sort of... happens! Thank you all.
We did remarkably well on the money side this year, but I won't steel the thunder of Astrid Perrett who will tell you all about it in her report. Likewise there has been a lot of change and hard work around the festival organisation, but Ann Martin will tell you all about that in a minute. I would just like to record that Ann is standing down after the next Festival so we have no alternative but to find someone new to run it from 2017. Could you be that someone..? Meanwhile I will jump the gun and thank her from all of us for having made the festival the success it is. Let's hope the coming festival is her best yet. Thankyou Ann!
Lastly, as always, I thank you all for turning up week after week. You have no idea what fun it is running a film club, but it just wouldn't be the same without an audience! Thank you.
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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