North Edinburgh will soon have its own film society, aiming to screen documentaries monthly. The launch event is planned for the 25th of june, and the members will continue afterwards to watch documentaries in conjunction with invited guests such as film makers, grassroot groups, campaigns or other “experts” discussing the featured topic, giving presentations or respond in questions and answer sessions.
Mike Sheils, secretary of the film and video society says:
“This will be a great opportunity for people in North Edinburgh to see exciting films from around the world, which are never shown on TV. We invite all local people to attend the events and participate in the discussions, and also to get involved in choosing the films we show.”
The Society intends to bring quality independent films to our community at no or low cost, focusing on screening films and videos of local interest and relevance whilst being open to the unlimited programming possibilities.
The Documentary Society is a not for profit organisation, run by its members for the members, and has no affiliation with political parties. Of course the North Edinburgh Documentary Film and Video Society is open to videos with political content, like e.g. films about globalisation and neoliberalism, or biographical content, the effects of fast food, the miners strike, the poll tax riot and similar.
“Edinburgh already has four film societies, at Napier University, Heriott Watt, the University of Edinburgh and the Filmhouse associated Edinburgh Film Guild. However screenings of documentaries, particularly social, educational, political and realistic documentaries and those made by independent Scottish and local film makers are rarely screened in the mainstream or even art cinemas. The North Edinburgh Documentary Film and Video Society aims to fill this gap, and wants to provide screenings not only as entertainment, but also as an affordable means to access popular education.”, explains Ulla, the founder of the North Edinburgh Documentary Film and Video Society.
The society is supported by local community projects and other initiatives, such as “Just Rewards” a fund to promote good neighbourhood and orderly behaviour in Council Estates, the North Edinburgh Arts Centre offer their venue in kind for the screenings and the British Federation of Film Societies supports with advice and free membership.
Amos Vogel, the founder and Executive Secretary of one of the largest and longest going film societies in New York, writes about “Cinema 16”:
“It is well to keep in mind the difference between a commercial movie theatre and a film society. The commercial movie theatre aims to entertain. The film society aims to further the appreciation of films and of new experiments in the film medium. The commercial theatre steers clear of controversy, the film society welcomes it.”
Controversy will also be on the agenda at the launch event of the North Edinburgh Film and Video Society. On the 25th of June in the North Edinburgh Arts Centre, start at 10.30 am, two independent film makers from the US will screen and discuss their documentaries concerning the Iraq War, Free Trade and US President Bush’s election campaign.
Award-winning filmmaker Brandon Jourdan, from Deep Dish Television in New York, and Ali Tonak, co-operating independent journalist from San Francisco will present their films “The Real Face of Occupation”, “Mandate”, “ Fallujah”, and“ The Miami Model”.
Micah, newly signed up member of the North Edinburgh Film Society looks forward to the launch event:
“I am pleased to have joined this new society, as it signals that North Edinburgh community is serious about understanding and engaging with a changing world.”