This is Scalarama!
In September, Scalarama will fill the land with cinemas.
More than a festival, Scalarama is an inclusive film season, a movement for movie lovers and a celebration of cinema in all its forms.
We invite you to join a community of enthusiasts from across the UK; a range of film organisations, programmers, curators, collectives, academics, journalists and film fans – all will come together for one month to share their belief that watching a film as part of an audience is something important, valuable and worth championing. Scalarama is not just about film, it’s about the experience, and the people and the passion behind the projector.
Scalarama is open to all, whether you submit an event as part of our Open Programme, select to show one of the specially chosen titles from our Core Programme or take part in national Home Cinema Day on Sunday 29th September (see below for more details). Now in our third edition and with hundreds of events expected to take place across the country, we are on the verge of making a real impact on how people think and talk about cinema. With your support, we can make this year’s season the widest and most inclusive film event yet.
Looking Back for the Future
Our first season was conceived as a tribute to a legendary London repertory cinema, the Scala in King’s Cross. Playing different double-bills every day, the Scala was pivotal in introducing generations of film fans to the delights of cinema, showing a diverse range from the classic to the cult, from arthouse to trash, experimental to exploitation. Closing in 1993, the Scala’s fervent atmosphere and sheer diversity of programming lives on in the memories of its audiences, still influencing the city's grassroots film scene.
So in 2011, a collection of 33 different London organisations, including film venues, clubs, societies and festivals, joined together for Scala Forever, a 7-week tribute to the legendary cinema and its legacy. Here's our very first season trailer:
And we honestly thought that would be it... But the response from Scala Forever and the sense of community it created was overwhelming. So we decided to do it all again, but this time we wanted to go beyond the memory of just one cinema, instead focusing on the now – the people across the UK who dedicate their time to keeping cinema alive for the future.
Thus in 2012, Scala Beyond was born, with a manifesto and a nationwide call-to-arms for people to rally behind: to Fill the Land with Cinemas! Some of the participating exhibitors even produced their own 'declarations', symbols of their passion for cinema, which you can check out here. We also wanted to focus on the next generation, teaming up with the charity FILMCLUB and inspiring the film programmers of the future to put on interactive screenings in schools. Click here for our resource packs and here for just a few of the FILMCLUB Scala Beyond events that took place. And here's the Scala Beyond manifesto:
So, in September 2013 we are back once again, this time with Scalarama (and we're sticking with that name!) We will build on the previous two seasons, learning from all that we’ve experienced whilst reaching out to new organisations and spreading the passion for cinema further and deeper than ever before. Scala Beyond had 132 different participants putting on over 272 events across the UK and this year, we’re looking to involve even more. What does that many particants look like? Check out the Scala Beyond trailer to see (warning: contains flashing images)...
The Big Idea. It's Simple.
We believe that the best thing about cinema is that it brings people together. Therefore the aim of Scalarama is simple – we want September to be the month where people take a chance on cinema. By asking organisations to work together, this nationwide initiative will encourage audiences to try out local venues, experiment with watching films they might not have heard of before or uncover gems from across the history of cinema.
Scalarama is formed of three parts, created to engage as wide a range of partners as possible. The main part is an Open Programme, where anyone can submit a screening, much like the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It doesn’t matter if you are a long established cinema or completely new to showing films to the public – everyone is equal in Scalarama. What’s more, we don’t take a cut of your box office nor charge a submission fee. If you are interested in taking part by holding an event in September, click here for our Exhibitors’ Guide.
New to this year, we’ve worked with film distributors and archives to create a Core Programme of titles, from which established exhibitors can book. It’s got a diverse range, from Czech sci-fi to rare British horror, alongside rescores, kids’ classics and short films. If you are interested in booking one of these titles, click here for the PDF guide (6MB).
The final part is Home Cinema Day, an event that everyone (including YOU!) can take part in. Set to happen on Sunday 29th September, the last day of Scalarama, the idea is simple: pick a film or two and invite some friends, family, neighbours round to watch it! Turn your home into a cinema for the day. We’ll be providing lots of suggestions and inspiration in the lead up to it, and with specially programmed films available via various TV and online channels,it’s easy to take part. Why not send out a tweet with #hcd2013 to let everyone know what you’re watching?
The key to Scalarama is that anyone can join in, whether you are a full-time cinema with experienced programmers, a member of a film club, putting on your very first screening or simply taking part in Home Cinema Day. We’re not just looking for people to donate to the season - why not put on your own screening and join Scalarama.
(Scala Beyond & Scala Forever Flyers - click on image for hi-res version)
We need your help
By connecting a community of enthusiasts, Scalarama is a not-for-profit, low cost alternative to centrally programmed events. It is our plan to gradually reduce the budget needed to support the activity, to get to the place where it can be fully sustainable by its own participants with decisions made by the community, making it a totally democratic and accessible film season.
To reach that point, we are seeking public support this year to help further the message, reach out to new partners and make it as easy as possible for audiences to find events and organisations near them. Because we have decided to not take a cut of the box office nor charge an entry fee, and as we do not receive public money, we are looking to crowdfund the following elements of the season:
- Scalarama Website. A central listings service for the public to find screenings and venues local to them. We want to build a new website that can last beyond the season to become an essential resource for anyone trying to find or promote local activity.
- “I Want to Start A Film Club” Workshops. Free advice sessions for new participants. We've held these popular workshops for the last two years in London so want to take the concept across the UK, finding local experts to pass on their wisdom to those keen to start their own film clubs or nights.
- Regional marketing and events. We have coordinators in key cities across the country who need supporting. Money will go towards promoting and marketing their own local events and inspiring new initiatives to take place in areas of low provision.
- Scala Programmes. Produced in the style of the old Scala flyers (see above for previous examples), these beautiful pieces of print help raise awareness of all our activity, acting as a guide to events and the people and venues behind them.
We’ll be back.
We want Scalarama to be a permanent fixture in the film calendar. Imagine if every September, hundreds, thousands or millions of people, in your town, throughout your region or across your country joined together to celebrate cinema, using films as a way to meet new people, inspire others and connect communities. Because watching a film as an audience is important, we want to make sure cinema lasts forever. And hopefully Scalarama will do just that. Thanks for your time.
Risks and challenges
As an openly sourced film season, we rely on a wide range of organisations to help make up the programme. However, as Scalarama is the third of our Scala seasons, with last year's edition partnering with 132 different organisations across the UK, we're confident that this year's edition will be even bigger, reaching out to partners old and new. By reducing the season to a month, we're confident that we've got a realistic budget and organisational plan in place to make the season happen in time. Obviously there are problems that always crop up, but we've overcome them in the past and are confident we can tackle any problems thrown at us this time too.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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