Article: Resilience, Celebration and The Future lead the themes of This Way Up 2019

This year’s This Way Up, a two-day gathering for those working in the exhibition sector that explores new ideas in audience behaviours, looks at emerging trends and ideas, and discusses the future of cinema, will be focusing on Resilience, Celebration and the Future with a wide range of workshops and speakers.

With exhibitors facing challenging times, This Way Up’s opening session will be looking at how the industry can stay resilient and stay relevant to our audiences and communities. A series of resilience discussions will be held focusing on the below groups: (Discussion chairs in brackets):

  • Full-time cinemas, two or more screens (Holli Keeble, CEO, Tyneside Cinema)

  • Single screen and/or part-time cinemas (Rebecca del Tufo, Programming Manager, Saffron Screen)

  • Community cinemas, film clubs and pop-ups (Aaron Guthrie, New Notions Cinema)

  • Film festivals (Melanie Iredale, Deputy Director, Sheffield Doc/Fest)

  • Freelancers/Independent producers (Toki Allison, Freelance marketeer and Film Hub Wales)

Over the two-days, there will be a host of sessions for attendees looking at what the future of cinema-going could and should look like, including:

  • ANATOMY OF A DISTRIBUTOR: DOGWOOF: While documentaries used to be a niche genre within cultural cinema, their exhibition now consistently draws large audiences and delivers significant takings at the box office. Pioneering distributor Dogwoof have been instrumental in the growth of the audience for documentary film, with hit after hit in the last 18 months – including Three Identical Strangers, Apollo 11, Oscar-winner Free Solo and Marianne & Leonard. This session, chaired by Rowan Woods, British Council, will examine Dogwoof’s history, strategy and titles, and take an in-depth look at Apollo 11 with Dogwoof’s Marcel Karst (Head of Theatrical Sales), Oli Harbottle (Head of Distribution and Acquisitions) and Droo Padhiar (Marketing Manager).
  • INTERSECTIONALITY: WHAT, WHY AND HOW?: Following her hugely popular PechaKucha presentation at TWU18, Yasmin Begum, a writer, creative practitioner and activist, presents her Top 10 Tips for making your cinema programming and audience development authentically intersectional.
  • OUT OF THE BOX: Why show films outside of the cinema? This session will focus on the benefits off-site screenings, with a focus on audience development and the logistics involved. Anthony Andrews (Co-founder of We Are Parable) shares how off-site screenings are a part of their aim to ‘put the audience at the centre of everything’ and Amy Smart (Flatpack Projects) on how and why they transform spaces in Birmingham for screenings.
  • MARKETING: REACHING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE: You know who you want to reach – but how to reach them? Representatives from three organisations share how they used marketing to sell tickets to a specific intended audience. Rico Johnson-Sinclair, Director and Programmer of CineQ Birmingham discusses reaching people of colour and LGBGTQ+ audiences. Nikki Stratton, Co-Founder & Director, Deaffest looks at the best ways to market to D/deaf audiences. Ollie Fegan (Co-Founder, usheru) will discuss their work aiming to reach those that start the ticket-buying process but don’t complete the all-important checkout process. Learn tips and tricks to maximise the potential of your marketing output.
  • GREEN SCREEN: Julie’s Bicycle’s Creative Green programme supports creative organisations to take climate and environmental action through a framework of commitment, understanding and improvement. In this session, Catherine Bottrill, Julie’s Bicycle shares how your cinema can address its environmental impact. Topics include the impacts of a cinema, working with staff and suppliers and communicating to your audience your efforts. The session will introduce the tools and resources available to you as well as sharing examples of good practices. Plus, bookable one-to-one advice sessions available all day.
  • REPRESENTATIVE REP: This panel looks at repertory cinema programming, taking into account that the history of film is imperfect and (at times) problematic. Our panellists will discuss how we can challenge the conventional film canon and programme repertory seasons and screenings that are representative of the breadth of world cinema, as well as interrogating the canon in more interesting and provocative ways. Chaired byBroadway cinema’s Melissa Gueneau, the panel will include Robin Baker, Head Curator, BFI National Archive, So Mayer, writer, curator and Club Des Femmes, and Karen Alexander, writer and curator.

For a look at the full programme, visit This Way Up’s website and be sure to book your tickets

The Bigger Picture will also be at This Way Up, live-blogging some of the sessions and updating via social media. Make sure to follow us on Twitter.

THIS WAY UP is a two-day gathering for those working in the exhibition sector that explores new ideas in audience behaviours, looks at emerging trends and ideas, and discusses the future of cinema. Now in its sixth edition, TWU has established itself as the key event in the film calendar where the sector meets to learn from each other, hear from innovators across art forms, hear from key speakers, and participate in panel discussions and workshops on the pressing topics facing the industry.

This Way Up is produced by Film Hub North and Film Hub Scotland, as part of the British Film Institute’s Film Audience Network (BFI FAN), which was established in 2012 to build wider and more diverse UK cinema audiences for British and international film.

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