THIS WAY UP – an annual two-day gathering of film exhibitors that explores new ideas and approaches to cinema – is returning this December. This year’s event will take place at HOME, Manchester's fantastic, newly opened venue for contemporary art, film and theatre, on 2 & 3 December 2015.
This innovative conference, hosted by ourselves and Film Hubs North and North West Central, invites film exhibitors to rethink traditional exhibition, and reflect on what audiences really want in a personalised, digital age.
Over 40 speakers – leading lights from the world of film exhibition and beyond – and 20 panels, workshops, keynote talks and lunchtime labs have been confirmed so far.
Here’s a wee flavour of the programme:
The Film is Not Enough
With the rise of event cinema, sing-a-longs and tweet-a-longs, is there a danger the original purpose of cinemas is being lost? Speakers include: Tony Jones (Cambridge Film Festival), Rhidian Davis (BFI), Gaby Jenks (Abandon Normal Devices), Lisa Brook (Live Cinema) & Ian Forrester (BBC Research & Development).
Can critics still help drive audiences to films that lack marketing punch, or has the growth of fan-sites, bloggers and youtubers eroded their power to influence? Speakers include: Michael Rosser (Screen International), Simran Hans (freelance), Sophie Monks Kaufman (Little White Lies), Charles Gant (Heat, The Guardian) & Kevin Bourke (The Big Issue).
The lack of gender equality in filmmaking has long been recognised but little has changed. What can film exhibitors do to help provide a platform for female voices in cinema? Speakers include: Kate Taylor (BFI London Film Festival), Corrina Antrobus (The Bechdel Test Fest), Ellen Tejle (Bio Rio, A-Rate, Sweden) & Joan Parsons (Showroom Workstation).
Devaluing the Doc
Are programmers shoving the humble doc into limited runs and not maximising its potential to deliver healthy box office? Speakers include: Tim Robey (The Daily Telegraph), Claire Aguilar (Sheffield Doc/Fest), Jeanie Finlay (filmmaker, Sound it Out, Orion), Sonja Henrici (Scottish Documentary Institute) & Oli Harbottle (Dogwoof).
Close that Window
Is the narrowing of the release window a threat to cinemas or should we be confident in the appeal of the communal experience? Catharine Des Forges (ICO), Agnieszka Moody (Creative Europe), Madeleine Probst (Watershed), Damian Spandley (Metrodome), Ailsa Ferrier (Curzon Home Cinema) & Katie Ellen (BFI).
And not forgetting our fabulous keynotes: