‘4 films in 5 cities over 6 months,’ says the blurb for Reclaim the Frame, a new project for film watchers to influence which films are actually watched. And one of those five cities just happens to be Plymouth, courtesy of Plymouth Arts Centre.
Reclaim the Frame is a pilot programme designed to grow audiences for films created by women, and it comes from Birds Eye View (who’ve been ‘putting the ‘E’ in quality since 2003′).
The programme calls into to PAC following the venue’s successful ongoing F-Rated campaign, which highlights films that have a significant female presence.
‘It’s about driving audiences up for women’s film,’ said Plymouth Arts Centre film curator Anna Navas.
‘It’s about trying to demonstrate that female directors, female scriptwriters, female cinematographers are producing amazing stuff. But they don’t tend to get a very good share of the distribution deals.
‘This is an attempt to try to change the emphasis and make people commit to coming to films, because when distributors start seeing that there are bigger audiences for these films then they’ll start buying these films more and pushing them out.’
It’s another demonstration that Plymouth Arts Centre can punch above it’s weight when it comes to film, influence and taking on new ideas.
The connections that have helped this happen have come through Anna’s attendance of a Women’s Leadership Course organised by the Independent Cinema Office. Through the course, and associated networking [blah, everybody hates networking], Anna was able to draw on a wealth of experience and found that ‘people are just so generous with their time’.
It was there that Anne met Mia Bays, the Oscar-winning film producer who is the director at large of Birds Eye View Film.
‘She saw what we were doing with the F-rating and asked if we wanted to be part of this programme -I just jumped at it,’ said Anna.
Other cities involved are London, Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham, with the aim of empowering a grass-roots network of ‘influencers’ and ‘super influencers’.
In the process they will ‘raise awareness of gender inequality in film and wider society by aligning activism with conscious consumerism in the cinema’, and they will be offered ‘a curated slate of films from the UK and the World (fiction and documentary) that celebrates and challenges perceptions of the female gaze on screen’.
In return the influences are rewarded with the satisfaction of trying to change the world, plus ‘free tickets, DVDs / VOD views and subscriptions’.
The launch takes place in Plymouth on April 25.