Case Study: Reel Equality

In 2014 Film Hub Central East supported the Nottinghamshire charity Equation and their new film club, Reel Equality, which was set up to counter the dominance of male-focused stories and tired female gender stereotypes in the mainstream film industry. They show feature films every month that tell diverse and interesting women-centred stories.

  • #reelequality

Why this matters

The stories we tell on the big screen should reflect the diversity of human experience. The Reel Equality Film Club wants to see the film industry increase and diversify its representation of women to produce an equal representation of human stories in film. This would contribute towards the achievement of real-world equality between people whatever their gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation or circumstance.

Project aims

  • Provide an equality-focused alternative to mainstream cinema
  • Inspire and facilitate demand for change
  • Demonstrate the value of gender diversity in film and film programming

Headlines

  • Two successful seasons of anti-sexism film screenings
  • Large ticket sales, with 90%+ tickets sold in advance
  • Development of relationships with commercial venues
  • Won Best New Film Society at the Cinema for All Awards 2015

Films

Four initial screenings as part of the first season of Reel Equality - Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lemon Tree, Gloria, and Tomboy. Reel Equality have since gone on to screen Difret, Made in Dagenham, Suffragette, and Wadjda.

Key partnerships

The charity Equation led on the project with support from Film Hub Central East, partner venues have included Broadway Nottingham, Savoy Cinema, New Art Exchange, Screen 22, and International Community Centre.

Budget in brief

Film Hub Central East awarded Reel Equality with £2,000, with the remaining budget generated through the charity Equation and ticket sales.

What worked

  • grassroots approach
  • working with charity outside of the industry
  • online strategy - facebook, youtube, twitter

What has been difficult

  • a variety of venues, with screenings taking place at different venues across the city can lead to challenges with audiences.
  • press coverage

What you would do differently if you did it again

  • The only limit to this project has been geographical, with the charity only working in Nottinghamshire it becomes a pity that Reel Equality has been limited to only there.

What audiences said

  • We used the opportunity at our last screening for gathering general audience feedback on the season. The most common responses to what audiences like about the club was its ‘friendly atmosphere’, ‘film quality’ and ‘the cause’.

Press coverage

  • http://www.leftlion.co.uk/articles.cfm/title/reel-equality/id/6907
  • http://cinemaforall.org.uk/advice/case-studies/reel-equality/
  • http://www.nottinghamlive.co.uk/live/interview-chloe-cheeseman-reel-equality/
  • http://nottinghamalternativefilmnetwork.com/2015/05/03/reel-equality-ensures-nobody-is-clueless-less/