Bring European Cinema to Your Neighbourhood

It’s all very well reaching out to Leavers and EU27 citizens locally, but you need to have something to offer them. In the summer, that could be a fête with a European twist. In winter or in a town, that’s more difficult.

The British Film Institute (BFI) has an initiative called BFI Neighbourhood Cinema with the strapline ‘Your Neighbourhood. Your Cinema’, and the website proclaims:

” Community cinema brings local people together to watch great films. ”

There’s a handy search engine so that you can use to find out if there is a regular or touring community cinema locally, which your group might be able to hook up with.

Cost sharing and increased membership could be mutually beneficial, but besides that, it’s a ‘hearts and minds’ thing, showing that your group is invested in the community.

If you haven’t seen Pride (2014), it’s based on the true story of the group Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, which formed during the 1984 miner’s strike. It shows how the people of a South Wales mining community became real friends with the members of LGSM from London. If a tough Welsh mining community can come together with members of the LGBT community, in the era of Clause 28, then Remainers should be able to bring together moderate Leavers and EU27 citizens, for films.

It would be patronising (and untrue) to say that people with working class backgrounds could never enjoy Le Secret de la Chambre Noire. Equally, it would be true to say, that there will be people who aren’t interested in foreign language films at all.

The solution is to mix British and American films old or recent, which are (mostly) set in Europe. You could ask people to suggest European and English language films set in Europe eg

Casino Royale, L’Auberge Espagnole, A Room with a View, Cinema Paradiso, Breathless, La Fille sur la Pont, Jean de Florette, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, That Obscure Object of Desire, Shirley Valentine, Chocolat, An American in Paris, The Italian Job, Manon des Sources, Oceans Twelve, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Book Thief, For Your Eyes Only, Mamma Mia !, A Good Year, Moulin Rouge, Babette’s Feast, Letters to Juliet, The Day of the Jackal, Death in Venice, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Ratatouille, Eat Pray Love, The French Connection, To Catch a Thief, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Da Vinci Code, Love Actually, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Eleni, Transporter, Napoléon (1927 and/or 1995), Roman Holiday, La Dolce Vita, Amélie, Before Sunrise, Les Misérables, Belle de Jour, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, The Talented Mr Ripley..

You’ll find films which the BFI  regards as top 10 for various countries on the main website BFI

Small independent cinemas sometimes allow their cinema to be hired and for customers to bring their own DVDs.

If your group is quite large or you can get together with other Remain or EU citizen groups, (or even a twinning association) and create your own European-themed neighbourhood/community cinema, all the information you need, is on the BFI website.

BFI Neighbourhood Cinema

Yes, it may take a bit of organising and maybe even a crowdfund, but you might also be eligible for funding from local/county council, regional organisations eg Screen South, National Lottery or even EU funding if thinking of setting up in 2018.

This is particularly true if bringing together other groups in eg EU27 group, pro-EU student group, other Remain groups, local film club, twinning association – preferably a good mix.

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#StopBrexit Photo by Théroigne S B G Russell 2017