Oscar -nominated Past Lives tops the poll.PastLives pt 

Cinema for All South West Group had a very successful Viewing Day at The Space Theatre in Taunton, hosted by the local Taunton Film Society and neighbouring North Curry Film Club. 

Sixty committee members from 17 Societies previewed six new releases in the Theatre and Studio at the venue as possible titles for next season.  They also enjoyed a freshly cooked pizza for lunch and some fabulous cakes for tea!

The results of the reaction slips reflect a higher-than usual positive response to the programme and suggest that many of the titles may appear in Society’s seasons this autumn.

Film  title A B C D E Total Score
Past Lives 9 6 0 0 0 15 90
Typist Artist Pirate King 15 7 1 1 0 24 87.5
Fallen Leaves 20 8 4 0 0 32 87.5
The Innocent 18 21 1 0 0 39 85.9
Scrapper 7 8 1 0 0 16 84.4
The End We Start From 13 12 10 2 0 37 74.3
Average 82 62 17 3 0 164 84.0


This was the 95th Viewing Day organised by the volunteers on the South West Group Executive, the second after the Covid lockdown, and was only possible because of the hard work of the host Societies and the financial support of Cinema for All.  It is clear that those attending the event were pleased to see the revival of the Viewing Days.  However, future events will depend on other Societies volunteering to be hosts.  The Group Treasurer, Andrew Fairhurst, is hoping to hear from Societies who are willing to step forward; he can be contacted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

South West Group Bounces Back…for Now

Bath Viewng 3 Wharf Room audience lrTwo and a half years since their last Viewing Session, due to various lockdowns and cancellations, Cinema for All’s South West Group returned in April with a successful event attracting over 70 delegates from 19 of the region’s Societies. The selection of six titles, all from Cinema for All’s Booking Scheme, were screened in two venues in the Widcombe Social Club near the centre of Bath.   It was clear that attendees were pleased to be back previewing titles, meeting up with old friends and sharing their experiences in reviving their film societies and community cinemas after Covid.

Despite this revival, there are concerns that the Group may not be able to continue in its support of local Film Societies. This has risen following the retirement of organiser and projectionist Paul Schilling and David Tolcher, the editor of the South West eNewsletter, moving away from the region.

The Group committee is asking all Cinema for All members in the South West to think about what they would like the Group to offer and, if it is to continue, whether they individually would like to help. Group Secretary Jane Sanders is asking members to send their thoughts to her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A request has also gone out for Societies to volunteer to host future Viewing Sessions.

Since the relaunch of Group Viewings at Dorchester in November 1976, there have been 94 such events previewing over 450 titles, initially on 16mm, sometimes 35mm, projectors and more recently on digital projectors on VHS, DVD and Bluray. Over the 47 years, forty Societies have hosted the SW Viewings very successfully. Committee member, Andrew Fairhurst, has been asking Societies to consider being hosts so that regular Viewings can be organised; he can be contacted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..    

Thanks to Paul Schilling

One noticeable absence at the SW Viewing at Bath was that of Paul Schilling – if the Viewing had followed the usual pattern of the last 40 or so years, then he would have been one of the main organisers and the projectionist in the second venue.ve been Paul Schilling. However, back in last summer, Paul retired from the South West Group executive, largely for health reasons.

Paul, already known for his work at Shaftesbury Arts Centre, joined the Group in the 1980’s and was responsible for launching many new Societies in the region as well as organising Training Days, Viewing Sessions and Film Days. He became chair in 1992 and served for ten years, setting up the South West Group’s own Block Booking Scheme, first lugging 16mm spools himself between Societies and later moving on to VHS tapes and DVDs.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         All this inspiring work was deservedly recognised in 1997 when he was presented with the Roebuck Cup by director Alan Parker at the Film Society of the Year awards.

DSC 1556 lrTwenty-five years later, the SW Group executive felt Paul should receive an award closer to home and presented him with a statuette to thank him for all the film fun they had had together. He will be greatly missed – not only for his dexterity with multiple formats over the years but for his passion for all aspects of cinema and his endless support and enthusiasm.


YourScreen, the virtual cinema set up with community cinemas in mind, is about to launch its third season of films. This is probably the best selection YourScreen has offered so far – eight new films which cannot be viewed on any other platform in the UK, and which community cinema delegates at YourScreen’s Virtual Preview Weekend, held 19th – 21st February, have been raving about. The films are all available to book now by community cinemas interested in offering the unique opportunity to see films unavailable from any other source to their film-starved members. The season offers a broad representation of the best of current global cinema, with titles from Morocco, France, Mongolia, the UK, Poland, Austria and Russia, and includes documentaries, archive film, comedies and thought-provoking serious dramas.

Partnering with YourScreen enables you to offer these films to your members at a discounted rental rate. Two pricing models are available – an up-front fee arrangement, for groups with a subscribing membership, whereby your members can view the films at no cost, and a TVOD (‘pay-as-you-go’) arrangement, for groups which are no longer accepting subscription fees, whereby your members view films at an agreed rental rate. You will be liable for no further costs – YourScreen pays the license fee etc. In both cases your group receives a return – the up-front fee is based on the cost to you of presenting a film at your physical venue less 15%, and all TVOD rentals return 15% of the box office to your group.

YourScreen’s Season 3 launches on 1st March with An Impossible Project, Asunder and Cat In the Wall. The other five films will be launched at intervals throughout the season, which runs until 23rd May.

Secure online screener links for all films can be provided to community cinema organisers on request. More information at  https://yourscreen.net/

Interested? To learn more please contact: Chris Baker: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   


More on the films

Applications open for Sustain Shine! 

Sustain Shine is back for 2021 with an increased bursary of £300 to help boost your community cinema! If you’re looking to re-evaluate after lockdown, develop skills or connect more as a team, Sustain Shine can help! Sustain Shine includes three online coaching sessions with the friendly, expert Cinema For All team and a £300 bursary to help refresh and develop your community cinema. Each session gives plenty of opportunity to learn, ask questions and gain advice and information tailored to help your community cinema as much as possible. Each workshop comes with an activity sheet which gives you action points and tips to take away with you after each session. Workshops range from fundraising and sustainability to marketing and accessibility.

Deadline for applications is 8 January 2021.


national lotterypngBFI Log 180

2019 12 Batcombe113 delegates from 24 Societies enjoyed Batcombe’s legendary hospitality with great food and films. The highest-scoring films were the feel-good The Peanut Butter Falcon and the outstanding documentary Honeyland both achieving scores of over 90% accompanied by some great shorts sourced by Chris Baker. We’ve already heard that some groups have shortlisted both The Peanut Butter Falcon and Bait for their forthcoming seasons, while Transit and Aniara were the most divisive titles of the day, one delegate describing the latter as “absolutely brilliant” while others were less convinced!2019 12 Batcombe

We will continue to monitor the take-up of the featured titles by South West-based member groups – please let us know if you will be programming any of them (including the shorts). Full details of the audience reaction scores are shown below.

Daron & Rose from Topsham Film Society attended the Cinema for All Community Cinema Conference

limpley creative film 150x150

Back in the spring, a group of residents organised an open evening at Limply Stoke village hall to invite suggestions for cultural and community events for the village.

The event under the banner ‘ Big Brainstorm !’ was generously supported by the Parish Council and was well attended with many ideas for different activities being mooted.