Diary: ICO Screening Days, March 2021

Our very own co-programmer Ewan McCorry shares a little of his experiences at the latest Independent Cinema Office Screening Days.

A few weeks ago (March 15th – 19th 2021) I attended a Screening Days event held by the Independent Cinema Office. These are short conferences that let programmers look at upcoming films that they might want to screen at their venues (keep an eye on the trailers page at our GCPH Blog for an idea of what might be coming soon). 

This was the second Screening Days event I had attended since the pandemic had started and what I noticed most this time around was a slight but significant shift in focus. Whereas in the previous event digital cinema felt like a quick Covid fix, this time around there was much greater discussion about the expansion of online presence as a long-term strategy for keeping ahead of the unknowns that Covid continues to present. 

For example, a seminar on online audience development included representatives from Curzon, who outlined their strategy to use online platforms to interact with audiences and understand the different groups engaging in their content. This information allowed them to cater to groups that might’ve previously been unfamiliar with their online channels, leading to greater engagement with different audiences longing for a shared cinema experience.

In our own way, as evident from this new site we’ve set up, the expansion of our online presence is something we have incorporated into our strategy at GCPH. On a macro level there are obvious practical reasons to why cinemas are increasingly making this move. But at the same time it’s also reassuring that a lot of organisations have kept in mind that cinemas are a space for people to connect, and despite the obstacles currently in place, they have made, and continue to make, efforts to preserve the spirit of that shared experience, even if only in an online context. At the GCPH we will keep on doing this as long as we can. Even though we intend to be hosting audiences for community cinema screenings from the beginning of May we think the website is here to stay, as it gives the entire community a platform for talking about what films are being enjoyed, what you – our audience – would like to see going forward and exactly how important film is for getting us through these tough times.

Films that Featured at ICO Screening Days (March 2021)

  • Apples [Mila] Dir: Christos Nikou
  • Father, The Dir: Florian Zeller
  • First Cow Dir: Kelly Reichardt
First Cow (2019) Dir: Kelly Reichardt
  • Gunda Dir: Victor Kossakovsky
  • Jumbo Dir: Zoé Wittock
  • Mandabi Dir: Ousmane Sembène
Jumbo (2020) Dir: Zoé Wittock
  • Nomadland Dir: Chloé Zhao
  • The Reason I Jump Dir: Jerry Rothwell
  • Surge Dir: Aneil Karia
Surge (2020) Dir: Aneil Karia
  • There is No Evil Dir: Mohammad Rasoulof
  • The Truffle Hunters Dir(s): Michael Dweck & Gregory Kershaw
  • Zana Dir: Adriana Matoshi
Zana (2019) Dir: Adriana Matoshi

Find out more about the ICO Screening Days and other services the Independent Cinema Office provides here.

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