Why the move? Well there were a number of factors (which were carefully considered by the committee over several months) which are explained below.
However it is important to stress that we did not fall out with Cineworld and indeed the door has been left open. As the festival expands and develops over the years it may consider using multiple venues one of which may be Cineworld again.
1. Each year we try to develop and expand the festival and it was felt that EFF and the adjacent Royal & Derngate would give us greater flexibility to do this.
2. Film Northants is fundamentally about independent talent in the county and EFF’s remit is to promote both independent film and community projects. It therefore seemed like a more natural home for the festival than a chain, multiplex cinema.
3. We were unsure whether the public would want to see the festival held at a smaller venue and whether film-makers would still prefer to see their films on the same screen as the latest blockbusters, so we consulted widely. The overwhelming response was that the public and film-makers thought an independent cinema was the best home for Film Northants.
4. Moving to EFF gave us more flexibility with the dates meaning we could host two awards nights – one for the Over 16s (September 2nd) and one for the Under 16s (September 1st). This means we will be able to cater for them separately rather than having the Under 16s ‘tacked on’ to the main adult event.
5. At EFF we are able to have greater control of the screen and include Q&As, talks and panels – expanding our offering.
6. We have acknowledged that there is a demand for screenings for local films in different categories and longer than 5 minutes in length. At the EFF we can hold out-of-competition screenings throughout the year (we hope to do them in April, June and August) whilst also raising money to help run the overall festival.
7. Last year we were unable to host the ceremony reception in the Cineworld bar area which restricted the amount of space we had and limited the catering. With the move to EFF we will be able to use both the cinema bar and space within the Royal & Derngate building giving us more flexibility.
9. Working alongside EFF and Royal & Derngate enables us to work alongside their press team to help promote the festival in the local media but also on the EFF website, particularly our screening dates.
10. The EFF is fast becoming the place for local film events, with a cult cinema night and a partnership with the University of Northampton film course amongst other events, so we want to part of this vibrant film community.