This way up rounded up yesterday in Hull, after two days of informative panel, and plenty of conversation amongst the exhibitors.
The second day kicked off with a presentation on failure, by adventurer Alice Morrison, and was followed by a timely discussion on safeguarding people at film festivals, following the recent revelations regarding Harvey Weinstein and others. The afternoon followed with a number discussions, including data collection, archiving contemporary cinema, and the future of foreign language cinema.
The Vaults and Voices discussion threw up some particularly interesting issues surrounding the way that contemporary cinema can be preserved. Whilst taking care of older prints is important, the industry still haven’t quite figured out how to store modern artifacts, with platforms such as YouTube not having an archive policy, and modern technology moving at a pace whereby the ability to play films only fits a certain window of time.
After two days with lots to think about, it’s useful to look at some of the key points to take away from the conference.
The first is the importance of cinema as a community. Nearly every panelist mentioned how vital it is for exhibitors to see themselves as a collective group. Sharing ideas, examples of best practice, and recognising that whilst there are differences, it is important to help each other, and to keep cinema goers at the heart of what we do.
Another frustration that came out of much conversation was the need for the industry to shift its London-centric focus. Funding bodies need to tailor their requirements to what different communities need, and not the other way around.
Looking to the future, there are certainly things to be learnt regarding how these issues are discussed at conferences like This Way Up, but one thing is certain- that organisations need to continue to facilitate these discussions moving forward.