Chairman's Report 2014
So... our first September AGM. Having decided to tighten our financial reporting back to you, our EGM in April agreed to move the AGM to September; and here we are. Hopefully the accounts will make more sense now they cover the whole year. I think it is fair to say that this year was dominated for the committee at least by an event that won't come up again; the Alhambra Centenary. Tom and Ian did the largest proportion of the work, so our thanks go to them. Maybe your highlight of this was the documentary that we produced to cover the hundred year history, or the showing of the films from each decade, but the packed cinema to celebrate the opening took it for me, with the telephone call from John Hurt going perfectly...wrong! I hear that Ian is now working on a book to go with the celebration, which will finish it off perfectly...right!
The year began back in summer 2013 with a questionnaire on the club that many of you will have filled in – thank you for that. I feel overall it showed that we were getting most things right, and that we will never get agreement on which films are best. That said, both the average attendance and the average scores were down very slightly this year – from 104 to 99 and 73 to 71%. As membership held roughly steady at 225, I hope that these drops are due to random factors like the weather, but we will be watching the figures this year and we have started with extra adverts in the Cockermouth Post.
British films did well last year, with the largest audience of 141 for "Papadopoulos and Sons" and the highest score going to "Broken", which scored 85.16%. Apart from the Centenary celebrations, we had our usual outing to Rheged in November, another "New British Directors" double feature, with very different films from the two directors and our Christmas Party, this year at Casa Bella, which I felt was better, if only because we were all closer together! We also decided to have another free drink midway through the Autumn season as, for some strange reason, these seem to be very popular...
On the downside, we had to deal with 2 losses; John Stakes, who has been writing the film reviews for some years, very sadly died earlier this year. One of the first people in the club who made me welcome as Chair, he will be missed by all who knew him. Incidentally, his place as reviewer has been taken by 4 of us – Chris Coombes, John Porter, Stephen Pye and myself. My thanks... to the other three at least! If anyone else feels they would like to write the occasional review please let me know.
The other person who will be missed is Mike Rose-Troup, who has resigned from the committee and from running front-of-house at the festival. Mike has been a major part of the film club since before I was around and we should thank him for all he has done. We will have trouble replacing Mike; If anyone wants to get involved with running the club or the festival, please make yourself known.
Lastly, I am pleased to announce the start of a "Film Appreciation" course which starts as this season begins; I will report back on how it goes at the next AGM. As always, I would like to thank all club members for continuing to come to the films; we will continue to enjoy bringing a varied selection of films from around the world to Keswick as long as you continue to enjoy watching them.
I would now normally hand over to Ann Martin to give you a report on the Festival, but she is attending the AGM of the BFFS (now called "Cinema for All") on our behalf. What she asked me to say was the following:-
- Overall, it was successful with the numbers attending up again and the takings very nearly breaking even with cost.
- The "10 second film making" workshop sponsored by Channel 4 was very popular and we hope they will be funding a similar one next year
- Our guest this year was Dame Janet Suzman, who proved very willing to get involved, including making a 10 second film
- The one down side was the opening party which proved disappointing because of changes at the Theatre by the Lake. We are looking at a new model for next year with the opening night at the Alhambra and a party on Friday
- Lastly, Ann too would like to thank Mike for all his work running front of house. Ian & Elspeth have volunteered to run it next year, but we do need more volunteers to help with the festival in general. Please let us know if you are interested.
Vaughan Ames, Chairman
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