Scala Beyond

In a recent episode of BBC Radio 4’s The Film Programme Francine Stock discussed the Scala Beyond initiative which seeks to bring together a number of film clubs, film festivals and various pop-up cinemas as part of a six week season of films that will celebrate all manner of cinema exhibition that contributes to the vibrant UK independent scene. This follows on from last year’s London-based Scala Forever season which saw 32 exhibitors screen more than 65 films in celebration of the famous Scala Cinema in King’s Cross.

Scala Beyond will take place from 18th of August and run up until the the 29th of September, co-ordinating with regional hubs in cities including Manchester, Brighton, Bristol, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Birmingham in order to showcase the the vibrancy of film-going culture outside of London. The aim is to bring film communities into this nationwide event.

The aims of celebrating film and fostering a community of interested people who want to share their love of cinema is central part of what the The Cine Club is all about, and no doubt it’s a passion that is shared by cinéastes up and down the country.

Scala Beyond are teaming up with the charitable organisation, Film Club, who help young people discuss and review a range of diverse films with the aim of nurturing their social and intellectual development, as well as feeding their imagination. Film Club is a network championed by head teachers and key players within the education sector which has resulted in the establishment of over 7000 clubs reaching 220,000 children each week. It was cofounded by Beeban Kidron (director of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit) who believes film plays a uniquely powerful medium in promoting better understandings of the world, increased communication skills as well as raising aspirations. Check out her TED talk below:

Scala Beyond is looking for cinema lovers to take part in a wide-ranging season of films, enabling the discovery of all manner of local screenings and programmes. In order to facilitate this they’re open to as many independent exhibitors taking part as possible. There is only one requirement: the programmers must think carefully about what motivates their decisions to screen films which they then must reveal at the event and also via what they call the ‘Declaration‘.

For the Scala Beyond team, cinema is not just about putting a film on and selling tickets – it’s about everything that goes into making the screening: the audience, the venue, the programming and the extras like introductions, guest speakers, shorts, trailers, handouts, Q&A’s, discussions, music and decoration to name just a few elements. What makes your screenings special? This is what we want to celebrate and shout about.

They are keen for potential exhibitors to talk about what inspires their screenings. They want to know why these screenings are special and what makes people passionate about film. This is the ‘Declaration‘ – it could be written text, a video, a poem, a drawing – anything expressive that tells the Scala Beyond team why the screening is important enough to show to others. They’ve created a manifesto (.pdf) for the entire season – check out the video below – but they are keen to hear from potential exhibitors.

How to get involved

There is an information pack available here (.pdf) but the salient points are listed below:

  1. Screen at least 1 film in the 6 week period that best represents you or your organisation, paying attention to what makes this screening special
  2. Complete this submission form from the Scala Beyond website once you’ve decided on your event.
  3. You’ll be contacted at a later date for confirmation of your entry and to ask for your Declaration. The cut-off date is the 30th of June as selected highlights will be included on a printed flyer. A regional partner of the Scala Beyond team will assist with local publicity

Then what?

From mid July the www.scalabeyond.co.uk website will list all the hundred of screenings and events taking place across the country. Users will be able to filter the results so they can see what is happening in their local area, enabling people to discover a huge range of different screenings and events. There’s also going to be some localised press and marketing taking place across the regions

If you think that CineClub should be taking part and you are interested in managing the event submission then drop me a line either in the comments or via the ‘Contact Us’ page.