Training starts for local volunteers running The Hamlets Pop-up Cinema

Tower Hamlets’ innovative community cinema project got off the ground with its first training session. Nine people took part in the training course organised by The Hamlets Pop-Up Cinema on Saturday 30 September that was held at Four Corners, a lovely local venue on Roman Road known for its film and photographic exhibitions, film screenings and workshops.

The all-day session was run by Cinema For All, a national organisation that champions and supports community-led cinema. The trainer covered a range of topics to give the volunteers a valuable insight on how to run a successful community film club. These included:
  • What is a community cinema?
  • What makes community cinema special?
  • Things to consider when planning to set up one
  • The first steps
  • Operations
  • Licensing
  • Programming

The participants varied in age and background, with multiple ethnicities involved: African, Bangladeshi, Brazilian, English, Hungarian, Indian, Kurdish, Spanish, and Turkish. Very few had any experience of running a cinema before the training. After the session, one participant told the team:

“It was such a great day, thank you very much for having me around. I really look forward to this project, and will do what I can to make it a success. It is just a brilliant concept, and Balik Arts rock! I am loving it!”

Project leader and Balik Arts director Yesim Guzelpinar said: “The training was really fantastic. Great people, great content with a truly inspiring trainer!”

“To have such a fascinating mix of volunteers from day one was brilliant. It was a point the participants noted too. When asked about #TowerHamlets, one said: ‘Our diversity makes us stronger’.”

"Inspiring" trainer from Cinema For All runs a training session for volunteers involved in The Hamlets Pop-Up Cinema project in Tower Hamlets

The volunteers immediately put their training to good use by helping to organise The Hamlets’ debut event. The screening of Tramontane, a new Lebanese film, took place at Oxford House, Bethnal Green, on Friday 6 October.

The second training session is currently being planned. New volunteers from the borough (either local residents or those who work in Tower Hamlets) are most welcome to attend. To register your interest in the training courses, email with your name and address, and 'The Hamlets Community Cinema Training’ in the subject line.

The Hamlets Pop-Up Cinema is being support by Tower Hamlets Council’s Thriving High Streets programme. To learn more about the project and future screenings, visit The Hamlets pop-up cinema blog, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


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