We love film
but often wonder – with the wealth of independent film making from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, South America – why do so few of the diverse communities on our doorstep access it?
That’s the question we had in mind when we started a grassroots Film Club back in 2004. Founded by our Director, the Film Club has been organising ground-up, accessible screenings for over 14 years, working in familiar community settings, and hosting spaces to talk about our lives, histories and struggles, through film. We show the best of international independent cinema to those who rarely access it, can’t afford it, or don’t feel arthouse or mainstream cultural spaces take them into account as audiences. We don’t like to use the term ‘world cinema’, but we do show films made by some of the most interesting and radical international film makers on the planet.
In addition to daytime screenings for BAME women, youth-focused screenings, and events for elders, we host evening and weekend mixed-gender events aimed at creating opportunities for different people to meet each other. Food, invited speakers and discussion are key. Our events are about bringing groups into spaces who wouldn’t ordinarily meet – so integration is no longer just a term, but something real we build together.