Chairman's Report 2009
Keswick Film Club has enjoyed another very good year, screening, in all its guises, ninety-eight feature films since the 2008 AGM, increasing its membership to 277 people - nearly a 6% advance on last year - and consolidating its finances in healthy fashion , of which Treasurer Tom Rennie will tell you more later. The British Federation of Film Societies' Awards tell part of the story , with Keswick winning Best Website for the second year running, and picking up Commendations for Best Film Programming and for Best Marketing & Publicity , a Distinction for Programme Notes but pipped for the Film Society of the Year prize (which we won in 2006) by Louth Film Club.
Both the Ninth and Tenth Keswick Film Festivals fell within the year under review , and all of you here will know that they gave great enjoyment to a pleasing number of filmgoers , a lot of fulfilment and hard work to the organisers and put a smile on the face of the Treasurer.
The Club's Sunday screenings have also proved profitable (although we are not looking to make a profit of course) and successful , in terms of audience size and appreciation. Average audiences last autumn were 115, and so far this spring 127 , which is very good, although things would look even better if distributors and couriers could get the film prints to us as promised. Reactions have generally been reassuring too, although not everyone will like every film we screen, and I think a fair number of our visitors turn up without knowing what they are letting themselves in for - it's often not Slumdog Millionaire.
And KFC on the Road continues to entertain two local communities - Mungrisdale and Glenridding/Patterdale - whose gratitude is repeated and unfailing - so as long as they can continue to afford the exorbitant licence fees, we will try to carry on our service.
Cinema does not lend itself particularly to developing social contact in a club, even if there's a certain enhancement to be had when watching films in the dark on a big screen in the company of lots of other people. But over the last ten years there have been many signs of KFC members making lasting acquaintances and enjoying discussion. I am sure that this explains in part the increasing popularity of our annual Christmas dinner. And the ease of associating with others at the Festival seems to be growing too - a very good reason for including the words 'friendly festival' in our tag-line in future.
There is nothing more I need to say, except 'thank you' - but it is a big thank you, as so many people are involved who give of their time and skills so generously, and occasionally they should be mentioned by name: there are those who work hard on the Festival: Ann Martin, of course, Festival co-ordinator; David Miller - programmer; Tom Rennie - projectionist, film booker and print manager; Stephen Brown - webmaster; Mike Rose-Troup - front of house; Robert Royall - projectionist and technical advisor; Ian and Elspeth Payne - party organisers; Vian Curtis - shorts competitions; Deborah Cowin, Steve Allen, Anita Leaker, Angela Jackson - busying around where help is needed, including film introductions; and also others, not on the committee, who volunteered their time in a variety of areas to make the event a success.
Thinking of KFC on the Road, Robert and Steve have been unstinting in expenditure of their time and energy, turning out on so many cold, dark evenings, and Mike Bohling has recently become a welcome addition to the squad.
And for the Sunday screenings we're eternally grateful to David for sharing the programming load, to Tom for making and breaking the films, and to Robert for projection - and also to the film introducers David, Mike, Ann, Ian and Deborah. John Stakes too deserves sincere thanks for his excellent reviews which keep the Club's name flying in the local press and on the internet, and we look forward to a much more organised and considered use of short films with John Walker taking over that part of our programme.
But a fully-functioning Club needs fully-functioning officers: a dependable treasurer - Tom yet again! These days you must have an accomplished webmaster: Stephen does a terrific job from Leeds. You need a sure-footed, committed secretary, which Steve shows every sign of becoming. We were grateful too to Neville Marchant for his year's service as KFC Secretary: unfortunately Neville's health has prevented him from continuing in that role. Keswick Film Club is indeed lucky to have such volunteers as those I have mentioned, and to benefit from the general goodwill of all who help in other ways.
So thank you to you everybody: the Committee and supportive members: I think we are making good use of our time.
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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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