Is there a film that shook your world, and do you live in London? Then consider becoming a film programmer!
The Barbican Cinema, with support from Film London, has launched a ground-breaking and bold initiative this week. “What London Watches: Ten Films That Shook Our World” is their first film season ever entirely curated by people like you. From September 15th to October 30th, anyone who lives in London can submit a suggestion of film to be screened at the Barbican Center next Spring programme,- between April 6th and 13th.
Robert Rider, Head of Barbican Cinema, says “This is a singular opportunity to celebrate the rich complexity of our capital city and to explore the power of film to reverberate across all our lives. Never before have Londoners been asked to suggest a film that is personally important and inspiring, with the possibility of seeing it on the big screen, and we are excited and curious to see which films people pick”.
The most dignified aspect of this project is the inclusion, or in other words, the engagement with the audience. Film London and the Barbican Center hope that city workers, crane operators, taxi drivers, nurses, teachers, people from across all cultures, diasporas and collective identities can mold their Barbican now. The legacy is that the Barbican come closer to people that usually would not consider going to a cinema in the City.
So far almost 50 cultural and community organisations – with an accumulative reach of around 600,000 people – including women’s, refugee and LGBTQ groups across the capital, are reaching out to audiences and members to encourage them to take part. These include the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, The Arts Centre Hounslow, Chinese Visual Centre, Polish Cultural Institute, London Asian Film Festival, Gate Theatre, Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Festival, Tricycle Theatre, Goethe Institute, Italian Culture Institute, Hackney Empire plus many more. DMovies is also doing its part.
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, says: “London boasts a tremendously rich film culture, both in terms of the iconic films that have been made here and the sheer number of cinemas, film clubs and pop-ups operating in every corner of the capital. I can’t wait to see the films that the city selects, and I’m excited to be working with the Barbican on what must be the biggest conversation ever held with Londoners about the films that have made the deepest, most indelible impression upon them.”
You have till October 30th to submit your suggestion of film. After that a panel will look for the ten titles that best reflect the diverse make-up of London as well as the inclusive ambition of the project. The panel will particularly consider people’s backstories to inform their selection, with the most inspiring suggestions entered into a prize draw, plus the opportunity to attend their screening during the season and present their film to audiences next April.
The Advisory Panel is composed by Isra Al Kassi (Events Coordinator at Ritzy cinema), Catherine Bray (Producer, Film Journalist and Editorial Director of Film4 Online), Dave Calhoun (Global Film Editor at Time Out), Catharine Des Forges (Founder and Director of The Independent Cinema Office), Steadman Gbajumo (Freelancer filmmaker working on both BBC 2 and Channel 4 productions), Priscilla Igwe (Managing Director, New Black Film Collective), Larushka Ivan-Zadeh (Film Editor at Metro), Selina Roberts (Freelance Film Programmer and Writer. Co-founder of Club Des Femmes), Cary Sawhney (Filmmaker and previous Head of Diversity for the BFI), Keith Shiri (Film Curator and Programme Advisor to the BFI London Film Festival as well as the Venice Film Festival), and Adrian Wootton (Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission).
I have already submitted my suggestion. DMovies hope to see you in April introducing your personal movie memories at the Barbican.
The website link to submit film ideas is found by clicking here.
Watch the initiative’s official trailer here, where Londoners explain their pick: