Elizabeth Costello reports back from the Cinema For All Film Society of the Year Awards

lfs win

The Cinema For All Film Society of the Year Awards celebrate and reward the hard work and dedication of volunteer-led community cinemas and film societies. The winners of the 2017 Film Society of the Year Awards were announced at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield on 11 November. 

Elizabeth Costello from Leigh Film Society reports back from the conference and awards:

The annual Cinema for All conference is a great opportunity to network and chat with other volunteer led film societies from around the Country, exchanging ideas and successes.

This was our second time at the conference, we were especially looking forward to attending as we’d been nominated in five award categories. The Cinema for All organisation has helped us in so many ways with advice and guidance along the way. This year’s conference featured Dr Ashvin Devasundaram from Queen Mary’s University London he gave a lecture about the exciting world of New Indian Cinema. This was followed by panels and workshops. I found the panel featuring Sheffield University students interesting listening to their thoughts on Community Cinema and their taste in film. I was particularly interested in this panel as Leigh Film are working closely with Film Studies and Production Students from Edge Hill University.

On the Sunday I featured on the panel for ‘Knowing Your Audience’ I gave a short presentation about Leigh Film Society and the film projects we deliver in the Community. This was great timing as the evening before we had won three awards including Film Society of the Year.

Leigh Film Society started in September 2014, we have two afternoon Classic Cinema Clubs, an evening Film Society, pop up Community Screenings and an annual Short Film Festival.

Everything we do is not for profit and delivered 100% by volunteers.

We pride ourselves in our professional delivery and community spirit, investing all proceeds into Charity and Community.

2017 has been an amazing year for us and we have seen recognition for what we do in so many ways.

  • We featured on ITV News when in January 2017 they came to visit our Afternoon Classic Cinema Club.
  • In January 2017 we announced that the award-winning actor Christopher Eccleston would be our Patron.
  • In October 2017 we have been nominated for the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

To finalise this great year we won an outstanding three categories at the Cinema for All Awards.

  • Best Film Discovery
  • Best Community Cinema
  • Film Society of the Year

We were totally unprepared with acceptance speeches and very overcome with emotion. Winning one award would have meant so much to us but to take away three including the much converted ‘Film Society of the Year’ – this left us all speechless. I was personally nominated in the category of Outstanding Contribution by an Individual and I was pleased to make the nominations list alongside some outstanding people.

I cannot be prouder of our achievements this year taking us above and beyond our expectations.

We will continue to deliver great screening events and keep true to our ethos and community spirit.

Elizabeth and other volunteers from Leigh Film Society attended the day with a bursary from Film Hub NWC – for more details see here.