For The Love Of Film: BAFTA Finalists

For The Love Of Film: BAFTA Finalists

For The Love Of Film: BAFTA Finalists. BAFTA has announced the finalists for its second annual ‘For the Love of Film’ competition. Nine people from across the UK have been shortlisted by a special BAFTA jury, having been nominated by the British public for their exceptional contributions to their communities through film.

People across the UK were encouraged to submit For The Love Of Film applications on behalf of those who they felt should be recognised for their remarkable contributions to film within their communities. Nearly 300 applications and testimonials were considered by a panel of industry experts including BAFTA-winning director Amma Asante, broadcaster Edith Bowman, four-time BAFTA-winning writer/director Paul Greengrass, filmmaker and content creator Jack Howard, and Andrew Orr of BAFTA’s Film Committee. 

Amanda Berry OBE, Chief Executive of BAFTA, said: “We’re proud to shine a light on these dedicated individuals from across the country, people who do what they do purely ‘for the love of film’. Now in the second year of the competition, so many of the people who have been brought to our attention have demonstrated an incredible passion for film in their communities, which reinforces our belief that film plays a vital role in our everyday lives. I can’t wait to meet the winners at the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday 2 February.”

The two For The Love Of Film winners, to be announced in January 2020, will be invited along with their guest to join BAFTA and EE at the nation’s biggest celebration of film, the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday 2 February, before enjoying dinner and an overnight stay at the Savoy Hotel in London.

In the first year of BAFTA’s ‘For the Love of Film’ competition, the winners were Dan Ellis, founder and managing director of Jam Jar Cinema and Iain MacColl, senior operator at Screen Machine.

‘For the Love of Film’ Competition Finalists:

Elizabeth Banks (Brighton) is the producer of Oska Bright Film Festival, the world’s biggest festival of short films made by and for people with learning disabilities, autism and additional needs. Lizzie has overseen the development of the festival from a one-day event to an international four-day celebration of films that show a different outlook on life. Oska Bright is planned, managed and delivered by a learning-disabled team supported by Lizzie. Through her efforts the festival is funded by the BFI and has BAFTA qualifying status. She secures screenings for films around the country with partners such as London Short Film Festival, Encounters and Aesthetica and lobbies TV and film execs to make the industry fully inclusive. Oska Bright 2019 screened 99 films from 17 countries. Lizzie has just joined the ICO’s Women in Leadership programme and is ambitious for the festival and its film makers.

Pat Church (Suffolk) has been at the heart of the Abbeygate Cinema for over 50 years. Joining as a projectionist in the 1960s, when he was just 19, Pat has seen the cinema through 12 different owners and four near-closures, weathering it all and pushing his beloved cinema to new heights with seemingly boundless enthusiasm. After the first threat of closure in 1975, Pat refused to back down. The owners at the time were convinced that home video spelled the end of the Abbeygate; however, Pat felt strongly that watching a film in a cinema is something special because “it envelops you into the screen,” and you just “can’t recreate that at home.” Pat wrote an updated business plan convincing the owners to give the cinema one more chance, was promoted to manager, and has been indispensable to the cinema ever since. Now semi-retired, Pat is still active in the Abbeygate’s operation and embraces the title of ‘casual manager.’ His personal, caring and individual service has led to committed staff and a staunchly loyal customer and membership base measured in the thousands. It’s safe to say that Pat’s dream of turning this ‘back street theatre’ into an important part of the community has come true.

Martin Fol and Janet Dunn (Liverpool) fund and operate the Plaza cinema in Liverpool, a volunteer-run community cinema that offers dynamic, film-based education programmes to schools, the voluntary sector and the general public. As well as screenings at the Plaza, Janet and Martin’s work includes running film projects for young people aged 13-19, impressing the power film has to help make sense of the world they live in. These courses train young people in film production, giving them the opportunity to experience the magic of having their work shown on the big screen of the Plaza itself. Dementia-friendly screenings are also offered at the Plaza, with programming designed to trigger memories—showing films like The Pajama Game and There’s No Business Like Show Business with lights left on low, easy wheelchair access, volume adjustment and an interval featuring free tea and biscuits. As a result of inclusive programming, the Plaza Cinema benefits from a wealth of volunteer support and the devotion of its local community members

David Gillam (Wales) works to provide his community with a more diverse range of films with screenings and festivals designed to bring world cinema to the people in Wales. David screens films from all corners of the globe in every venue he can secure, from cities to the heart of rural farming communities. David founded the Wales One World film festival in 2001, which he directs and programmes himself. WOW, the longest running film festival in Wales, celebrates the riches of world cinema, bringing an eclectic, intriguing, and moving selection of films from around the globe to cinemas across Wales, including Aberystwyth, Mold, Swansea and more.  WOW presents a selection of the very best in world cinema – and sometimes a film from Wales too. Outside of the festival, David continues to make world film accessible to communities of all sizes in Wales through screenings and workshops, often with group discussions and Q&As to accompany them.

Jane Mayo (Argyll) is a chair of the Community Trust operating Campbeltown Picture House, the UK’s oldest continually opened cinema. Jane has not only led the local community to raise over £6m to save this historic gem but also generated a sustainable programme of self-funding activity to ensure this unique cinematic and architectural treasure will endure, serving the community as well as attracting visitors from all over the globe. Jane achieved this feat in a remote corner of the UK (with a population of only 6000), inspired by the power film has to motivate, educate, inspire and entertain an entire community, not only in the town itself but the wider Kintyre diaspora. Because of Jane’s passion, commitment and dedication to making this project a reality, the community’s “wee Picture House” has been brought back from the brink of dereliction to be once more at the heart of the community.

Marlon Palmer (London) has spent 21 years working to get BAME-made films exhibited in the UK by self-funding screenings and cultivating Black audiences, creating a sustainable exhibition and marketing platform for black filmmakers and giving the UK ethnic-minority public access to these films His work has both allowed black filmmakers to screen their films in cinemas and provided the ethnic-minority public access to films they wouldn’t otherwise be able to see. His efforts have even stretched beyond London to organise screenings in Bristol, Birmingham and Leeds to reach as many communities as possible. Perhaps Marlon’s most consistently impactful work is achieved through his film club, The Kush Film Boutique, which has screened black films on a consistent monthly basis since 2004, bringing BAME filmmakers, actors and members of the public together to foster a dynamic, enthusiastic community of fellow film lovers with a space tailored specifically to them.

Angie Wordingham (Norfolk) is the assistant manager at the Cromer Regal Movieplex. Having worked there for 39 years and counting, she started cleaning at the age of 12, ushering at the age of 14 and worked her way up through the ranks. She takes careful care to get to know all of the regular customers, often to the point of knowing them by name. A large number of regular customers at Cromer Regal Movieplex are elderly; Angie takes great pride in personal care of each individual, encouraging some of the lonelier customers to keep coming to experience new films, have a chat on the way in and get out of the house. Not only does she bring a smile to every customer who enters the cinema, but she also takes a great interest in the young people who work there, usually through their studies. Several of her staff have hopes to enter the film industry in various capacities and Angie is enthusiastic in encouraging their dreams.

Lorraine Lake Nepstad (London) is 87 years old and for the last five years has been organising a monthly film club for the residents of her residential independent living retirement home. Lorraine has organised a committee to select films for the viewers by vote. At Christmas and Easter they do a cake and mulled wine sale to raise money to pay for the films and Lorraine has ensured the success of the cine club as she has donated herself to keep the club running. Her energy and enthusiasm are a contributing factor to the residential home where she brightens the lives of those less able with her love of cinema. She is true inspiration to her family, friends and those who live in her community.

Katie Brandwood and Catriona Mahmoud (London) bring affordable film to South Norwood–an area of south London that had no cinema for years–by taking over a school hall and opening a fully inclusive community cinema club. Screen25 is a twice-weekly community led cinema showing the latest independent and mainstream films enhanced by Q+As and panel discussions. Founded in 2015 by Katie under a different name, Screen25 was originally a monthly film club that quickly grew into a weekly film club and was endorsed by the BFI and the Prince’s Trust. With accessibility at its core, Screen25 hosts regular ‘Pay As You Feel’ screenings so nobody in the community is precluded from watching excellent cinema. In October of 2019, Screen25 was threatened with closure after larger cinemas opened nearby. Nevertheless, Katie and Catriona managed to save the club from closure just one month later by organising a rousing campaign to enlist membership subscriptions. Now, members pay a monthly subscription of just £15 to see all the films shown by Screen25 they wish.

The EE British Academy Film Awards take place on Sunday 2 February. The ceremony will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD in the UK and broadcast in all major territories around the world. On the night, will feature red carpet highlights, photography and winner’s interviews, as well as dedicated coverage on its social channels including Facebook (/BAFTA), Twitter and Instagram (@BAFTA / #EEBAFTAs). 

Learn more about the competition and the short-listed candidates on BAFTA’s website.

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.


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