Chairman's Report 2008
I'm very happy to be able to report another good year for the Club, in terms of both an excellent response from members to the Sunday screenings and of a most enjoyable and well-attended little festival in February. The average audience for the autumn season was 120, and so far this spring we have averaged 122, despite the fiasco over Born and Bred's late arrival. For FebFilm the audience average of 135 was well above normal, although everybody was confined to the one venue, of course. As you'll all know very well, we're looking forward to the Festival proper in 11 days' time, and signs are already good, in that passes have sold well and people seem increasingly happy with the whole event as a worthwhile way to spend up to four days of their valuable time. Which, naturally, brings me to my first word of thanks: you might not guess it from her breezy manner, but Ann Martin works extremely hard at running Keswick Film Festival, and I'm sure that you would like me to express our gratitude for the high degree of competence and commitment that she displays. It takes a special kind of person to cope with all those varied demands, and we're very lucky to have Ann in Keswick. Thanks too, of course, to the rest of the Festival Committee - who have given a fair degree of help already, but who are really going to show what they are made of on the 10th April, and during the following three days.
KFC on the Road continues to offer a service to rural communities, but it is only Mungrisdale (four times) who have taken up the offer over this winter. One reason for that is the exorbitant cost of renting films for commercial exhibition - I have pleaded for a year or two now with the likes of Filmbank to cut their rates for the many village halls who just cannot afford a fee of over £100, and hope that the Chairman of the BFFS might take this up as an item for discussion with the appropriate bodies. A lot of you won't know that our technological guru, Robert Royall, does much of the work for KFC on the Road, as well as looking after projection on Sunday afternoons and during the Festival(s) - and still manages to resist my regular invitations to join the KFC Committee! Robert's a great man to have in the Club, and we're very grateful to him for all he does.
In a few moments our Treasurer Tom Rennie will be reporting on the financial year up to last August, but he may well have a word or two to say about how things have been going over the course of the 2007-8 season as well. Ever since the Club came into being, nearly 10 years ago, we've showered Tom with thanks for all he does. He doesn't seem to tire, but he's not to be taken for granted! I vividly remember our founder Tony Martin, saying in those early days: 'every film club should have a Tom Rennie', and that remains as true as ever.
Every film club should have a good website too, and when Nick Graham decided last year to give up the Festival side of things, who better than Stephen, who had been running the Club site since the year 2000, to take over the reins of the whole affair. There's no better reward for a dedicated webmaster than to have a lot of people inspecting his work and interacting with the site, so I hope we all give it the attention Stephen deserves for his sterling efforts. It didn't win the BFFS's Best Website Award last year for nothing, you know! And if you don't read them in the local paper, you'll have a chance of reading John Stakes's excellent reviews there - uncensored too…
A club is only as good as the people in it, and I'd like to end by thanking and praising the whole committee for their devotion to the cause. They lead very busy lives but still find the time and energy to keep this fairly complex organisation going. 'The people in it' refers to the members too, of course, whose loyalty and keen interest encourage the committee to do what it does. Thanks to everyone for another very rewarding year.
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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.
Since then, the club has won Film Society Of The Year and awards for Best Programme four times and Best Website twice.
We have also received numerous Distinctions and Commendations in categories including marketing, programming and website.
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