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How to put on a film festival for free

Why spend months planning a film festival and then give it away for free? Read this blog post from the Independent Cinema Office blog, written by Free Film Festivals co-founder Neil Johns.

It’s OK to cry during a film, of course, but how about when you’re talking to the event organisers afterwards?

We’d just finished our free screening of Bugsy Malone on Nunhead Green when a woman and her young daughter came over to where I was packing away the projector. It had been a really good crowd. We’d put up a big screen especially for the event. People had brought picnics and there’d been a massive round of applause at the end.

She told me her family had only been living in the area a few months and tonight was the first time she’d really felt at home. She wanted to say thanks. I didn’t know her story or where she had come from but the tears in her eye showed how much the event had meant to her. It was hard not to feel tearful back.

Cinemas for a day

Bringing people together for a local shared film experience is what Free Film Festivals is all about. We turn local venues into a cinema for the day – from pubs and community centres to parks, cafes and even a cemetery.

Read more on the Independent Cinema Office blog