New Virtual Platform The Cinema of Ideas Launches with “Archival Resistance: Rastafari Women in Britain”

The Cinema of Ideas, an innovative new virtual cinema streaming platform for independent local cinemas, launched by the Independent Cinema Office

(August 5, 2021) – A new virtual cinema platform, The Cinema of Ideas, is launched today by the Independent Cinema Office. The Cinema of Ideas will give local independent cinemas the opportunity to enrich their film programmes and connect with the widest possible audiences, providing a forum for discussion around issues of race, disability, gender, sexuality and class. This project, which was developed in response to challenges faced by cinemas due to Covid-19, is supported by the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery.

The Cinema of Ideas will collaborate with filmmakers, artists, archivists, film historians, film critics, freelance film collectives and emerging curators to showcase the work they do to explore the full scope of contemporary film culture and film heritage.

UK wide cinemas include Chapter Cardiff (Cardiff), Saffron Screen (Saffron Walden), Northampton Filmhouse (Northampton), Wellington Orbit (Telford), Barn Dartington (Totnes), and others expected to come on board, will promote The Cinema of Ideas programme to their local audiences. Tickets will cost on average £7.

The Cinema of Ideas’ first programme is presented by the ICO in collaboration with Aleema Gray (Researcher and Community History Curator at the Museum of London) on 26 August, 7pm. Archival Resistance: Rastafari Women in Britain will be hosted by Aleema Gray and includes a live discussion panel with pioneering curator of African and African-diaspora cinema June Givanni and writer and journalist Rasheda Ashanti Malcolm. Alongside the discussion, D. Elmina Davis’ groundbreaking documentary Omega Rising Women of Rastafari will stream from 19 Aug- 2 Sept on The Cinema of Ideas platform.

Future events include a new essay film on cinema memory from award-winning filmmaker Sarah Wood that will incorporate over a hundred personal love letters to cinema from artists, filmmakers, and audiences; a collaborative project with Dr June Givanni, curator and director of June Givanni Pan African Cinema Archive, Melanie Hoyes, Industry Inclusion Executive at the BFI and Jan Asante, Curator at Think Cinematic will explore the Black Film Bulletin archive; and a series of talks focusing on directors, writers, artists, curators and collectives who have previously worked with the ICO.

About the Independent Cinema Office
The Independent Cinema Office (ICO), is the UK’s national body that supports independent cinemas through programming, training, consultancy, cultural distribution and organising Screening Days events that help cinemas broaden their programmes. Their mission is to build an open, thriving, robust cinema sector and for everyone to have access to cinema that nourishes the soul and changes lives.

About the BFI
We are a cultural charity, a National Lottery distributor, and the UK’s lead organisation for film and the moving image. Our mission is:

  • To support creativity and actively seek out the next generation of UK storytellers
  • To grow and care for the BFI National Archive, the world’s largest film and television archive
  • To offer the widest range of UK and international moving image culture through our programmes and festivals – delivered online and in venue
  • To use our knowledge to educate and deepen public appreciation and understanding
  • To work with Government and industry to ensure the continued growth of the UK’s screen industries
  • Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Tim Richards.

    The BFI Audience Fund invests £5.6m of National Lottery funding each year to expand access and encourage greater enjoyment of cinema by connecting audiences with great films – in venues, at events and online. We do this by supporting:

  • leading exhibition organisations, including film festivals, to deliver culturally rich and nationally significant programmes and events on a year round basis
  • projects which help exhibitors and distributors bring the best of UK and international cinema to audiences across the UK through events, distribution releases, multiplatform distribution, proposals, touring film programmes and more
  • initiatives that address under-representation and are innovating audience development
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