NEWS RELEASE & MEDIA INVITATION: BIFS presents its first Film Society of the Year Award to the City of Birmingham on 22 October 2010

A Press Release we can’t be bothered to rewrite, but that might interest you:

PRESS RELEASE & MEDIA INVITATION 14 October 2010

BIFS presents its first Film Society of the Year Award to the City of
Birmingham on 22 October 2010

Just two years after it was founded, Birmingham International Film
Society (BIFS) beat all-comers to win the British Federation of Film
Societies top 2010 prize for ‘the UK’s most vigorous and dynamic film
society demonstrating all qualities required of individual
categories’.

‘We’re presenting this prestigious award to the City of Birmingham to
thank everyone for their support, especially Birmingham Council,
Central Library, our funders Screen West Midlands, and, not least, all
the local film lovers who’ve flocked to our screenings and events,’
said Jerome Leavey, one of the four local film enthusiasts who started
BIFS in 2008.

In addition to winning the coveted title of the Engholm Prize for 2010
Film Society of the Year, BIFS also won Best Film Programming, a
distinction in Marketing and Publicity, and a commendation in the
Community Award.

Attending the award-handing over ceremony at Central Library in
Birmingham on 22 October 2010 will be local councillor and arts
representative, Martin Mullaney; Birmingham Central Library’s business
development manager, Douglas Laird; and funders, Screen West Midlands.

‘The award will be go on display in Birmingham Central Library where
the screenings and events are held,’ said Jerome Leavey. ‘We hope to
win more awards for Birmingham’s film lovers in the coming years’.

During the BFFS’s national award ceremony at the prestigious Ciné
Lumière in London’s Institut Français on Saturday 18 September, BIFS
was praised ‘…for excellence across the board’ and focusing on
‘maintaining an exceptional level of innovative and inspired
programming’.

BIFS’s four local founders: Allan Brookfield, Jerome Leavey, Tom
Pointon and Max Simpson were also commended for ‘…their relationship
with the local community and dedication to reach new and often
isolated audiences’.

The national awards were presented in London by Francine Stock,
writer, broadcaster and presenter of Radio 4’s The Film Programme. Ms
Stock commended the hard work and dedication of the volunteers that
bring cinema to all areas of the country, adding: ‘Watching a film at
your local film society is one of the best ways of sharing film.’

ends

NOTES FOR EDITORS:

BIFS will be presenting its first national award to the City of
Birmingham at 10am-11am on Friday 22 October 2010, in the Reception
Suite, lower ground floor, Birmingham Central Library, Chamberlain
Square, Birmingham B3 3UQ. Tel: 0121 303 4511.

Birmingham International Film Society (BIFS) was founded in 2008 by
Allan Brookfield, Jerome Leavey, Tom Pointon and Max Simpson, four
local film enthusiasts working in Birmingham’s cinema exhibition and
education sector. Their aim was to bring a variety of foreign language
and independent cinema releases to Birmingham which would otherwise
not be seen in the city and to do this in collaboration and through
partnerships with diverse local community organisations and groups.

Funded by Screen West Midlands (and more recently Grassroots c/o
Birmingham Community Foundation), regular film screenings commenced in
May 2008 at the Library Theatre, a 250-capacity venue in Birmingham
city centre and part of Birmingham Central Library.

Over the last two years, BIFS has built close relationships and
partnerships with local groups and organisations in Birmingham who
reflect the concerns and interests of local communities. These groups
include Amnesty International, Birmingham Book Festival,
Birmingham-Ramallah Twinning Committee, Brasshouse Language Learning
Centre, Cuba Solidarity Campaign, Friends of the Earth, Palestine
Solidarity Campaign and the United Nigeria Welfare Association.
Whenever possible, BIFS invites a guest speaker relevant to the theme
or topic of the screening.

Affiliated to the British Federation of Film Societies (BFFS), BIFS
has worked alongside other film societies and festivals such as Africa
in Motion, Flip Festival, Flatpack Festival and Lewes Film Society to
ensure that it brings its audiences the very best films available.
Titles such as Klass (2007), La Trahison (2006) and Le Couperet (2005)
have been acclaimed in their home countries but so far have failed to
be seen (outside of a few London venues) in the rest of the UK.

From May 2008 up to June 2010, BIFS has screened 144 films from 45
different countries.

BIFS has also given première screenings to a number of world cinema
releases including;

South Africa’s underground hit SMS Sugar Man (2006), the world’s first
feature shot using mobile phones
The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2008), the acclaimed Japanese anime feature
Documentary This is Nollywood (2007) and drama Freedom in Chains
(2009) as part of BIFS’s special Nollywood night celebrating Nigerian
Independence Day

The Birmingham première of the hotly anticipated documentary Until the
Light Takes Us (2008), which explores the world of Norwegian Black
Metal, screened in partnership with Flatpack Festival

The Birmingham première of My DDR T-Shirt (2008), a documentary about
the former East German DDR made on a micro-budget by director Ian
Hawkins, who attended the screening for a Q&A

Other special BIFS screening highlights include:

A Spanish science fiction night featuring Fermat’s Room (2007) and
Timecrimes (2007)
A season of Cuban films including the Birmingham première of Tomás
Gutiérrez Alea’s The Twelve Chairs (1962)
American film archivist and historian Dennis Nyback introduced a
selection of short 16mm films by legendary Polish stop motion animator
Wladyslaw Starewicz

Documentary Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo (2009), featured
in a panel discussion with director Andy Worthington and former
Guatanamo detainees Moazzam Begg and Omar Deghayes
A Hungarian evening introduced by guest speaker John Cunningham
(Sheffield Hallam University) featuring Diary for My Children (1982),
the first part of Márta Mészáros’s trilogy about the legacy of
Stalinism in her country, followed by acclaimed drama Delta (2008)

The BIFS team (Allan Brookfield, Jerome Leavey, Tom Pointon, Max
Simpson) regularly attend cinema conferences, film festivals and
special screening events to inform the society’s programmes on the
latest and forthcoming releases.

Members of the BIFS team have travelled to the Viva! Spanish Film
Festival in Manchester and even as far as West Africa for the
Pan-African FESPACO.

For more information, please contact Jerome Leavey on 07866 237094

or by email bhamifs@hotmail.co.uk

www.birmingham-film.org

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