If you’re looking to set up a film club in Cornwall, or you already run one and want some extra support, advice and resources, you’re in the right place.
C Fylm is Cornwall’s film club network. We support community venues to screen a season of films for their local audience. We offer people across Cornwall the chance to watch great films in their own community, in the company of friends and family, at an affordable price. The project is run in partnership with Carn to Cove.
On this page you can find a range of resources, from post-screening paperwork to programming advice. Have a look through, and get in touch with us for more specific advice for you and your club, committee, venue or organisation.
Downloads for C Fylm club organisers:
Setting up a new C Fylm club
If you are passionate about cinema and want to set up a film club, all you need is a space to screen the films, energetic volunteer support (friends and family will do) and some bright ideas for programming and bringing in audiences. C Fylm will be by your side at every step.
C Fylm will support your first screening by providing the equipment (if necessary), training you to use it, managing your membership and giving programming advice. Thereafter you can hire the equipment at a discounted rate and run your own events.
We encourage film club organisers to add value to screenings by screening short films and offering themed evenings such as food and music.
C Fylm operates a membership model— audience members pay £6 for a membership card at their first screening and this helps to keep the scheme running. Becoming a C Fylm member gives audiences access to screenings in all of the active film clubs.
Frequently Asked Questions
After the initial screening when you just pay us the membership income, to help you get the club up and running your on-going costs are as follows:
As a C Fylm Film Club then you only pay £25 per screening. This includes a copy of the DVD/Bluray from the C Fylm library and a poster designed specifically for you. (All you will have to do is let us know what films you would like to show and we will tell you if they are covered by the licence).
If you want to hire projection equipment there is an additional cost of £25 each time (normally £50 for external bookings), and you will have to collect the equipment from Krowji in Redruth (so make sure you allow for petrol).
You will also pay us the membership income from any new members who join within the year (but keep the subscriptions from returning members).
If you are hiring your hall then you will have to cover that fee too—in the first screening, when you’re paying us all the income this will have to come out of your income from refreshments. If you’re struggling let us know and we’ll try to help.
If you do not have your own projectionist (see later) then we can probably help with finding someone to come and do it for you—the cost for hiring one from C Fylm is £50 plus mileage.
There is an annual membership fee of £6 (which goes to C Fylm) and this includes seeing the first film for free. After that, your audience members pay a nominal fee to see each film – it is up to you how much you charge on the door (we suggest £4), and your film club gets to keep that on-going money, as well as any money you make from refreshments or by doing a raffle etc.
The membership fee must be collected each year and paid to C Fylm to sustain the scheme. Each member will fill out a form (to be retained by C Fylm) and be given a numbered membership card. Our membership runs from 1st Jan – 31st Dec. If someone joins in the middle of the year, their membership will still expire on 31st Dec. When someone joins as a member, whenever in the year that happens, they see that screening free. It is up to you how and when you collect the other contributions.
We will do our best to help you with ideas of films you can show but by all means please do your own research and if you tell us what you would like to show we can tell you if it is covered by the umbrella licence. If you want to show a film that is not covered by the blanket licence we can sort out additional licences, especially if the films you are interested in match the BFI’s criteria for screening specialist, independent and British films. Often we can subsidise these licences by half, which usually means paying £50 each. If there is a lot of interest from other clubs for the same film, we can secure a lower fee for group bookings.
We will try to help you as much as we can! But please think about the types of films that would be best suited to your audience and what you might like to show…
Think about your demographic – are your audience members likely to be young/old, have particular interests? Are their families likely to come? Are you near a cinema that might be showing the same films as you? Do most people have Netflix? Perhaps you could do some prior research at a local event where you can promote your film club at the same time – ask what sort of thing people might want to see – have a checklist of genres and actors and directors etc so you can get a feel for what your audience likes…
Try to choose recent/current films and releases OR celebrated classics – slightly off main-stream, world cinema or indie films or documentaries might be a good starting point or show films that have recently won awards or are topical at the time. These are unlikely to have been seen in a local cinema recently.
Most film clubs hold monthly screenings and we suggest that you book the next 3-4 films in advance so you can keep abreast of current releases. This also allows a level of flexibility so you can adapt to your audience. You could have an autumn season of Sept, Oct & Nov and then a Christmas special for example, and start again in the Spring. Some of our film clubs take a break in the summer (sometimes to take some holiday and sometimes because blacking out the venue isn’t easy in the lighter evenings).
We will offer a suggestion list, which we will curate, made of films that are popular with other film clubs, films that offered to us specially by distributors/local filmmakers, and films that are topical or trendy. We encourage you to think outside of the box and be brave with your programming choices—maybe not every month, but maybe you could set up a strand of more under the radar films 4 times per year? We will distribute our film suggestions quarterly throughout the year.
We will send the films with a box office return form out to you by post about a week before your screening. If you need membership forms and cards we can send these too. The package will include return postage for you to send the film and paperwork back (a maximum of 7 days after your event).
Remember that you might be showing a film in a draughty village hall on uncomfortable seats – the film may even have just been released on DVD – so how do you make sure your screening is an attractive proposition?
Think about the lighting when people are arriving—if possible, bring some directional lighting and turn off the overhead lights. Play music that is related to the film—it’s easy to make a playlist on Spotify or Apple Music—maybe you could download the film soundtrack and have it playing as people arrive, to set the scene, and the atmosphere.
Have an interval – this is a good opportunity to not only sell refreshments, but for your audience to have a chat about what is happening in the film – this can make it a real social occasion – this is the USP (unique selling point) of a community cinema experience! You may not have the comfy sofa of someone’s living room, but you are providing your audience with the opportunity to have a shared cinematic experience – so maximize it!
Provide ‘other entertainment’ – music in the interval, (is there a piano in your venue and local friendly pianist?), or a short film at the start, (if you want to show Cornish Shorts please just ask!) or perhaps you could have a talk at the end? Maybe you know someone in the film industry or linked to the film itself. Just think about how you can make your screening more ‘personal’ to your club.
Provide really good refreshments – if you don’t want to make cakes all day then buy some in at trade price from your local bakery– or order Cornish pasties, or provide chips , or pick and mix sweets – or even popcorn – anything to give your audience an extra added bit of fun! Remember it’s a social occasion and it’s not just about the choice of film you are screening. Club members will come to a film they have no knowledge of if they know they will have a nice cuppa!
Introduce the film – say why you have chosen it, tell your audience a bit about it, warm them up to it – but don’t give away the ending! We will give you a script if you are nervous about public speaking.
Once you have built up a good reputation you will not need to worry too much about continuing promotion- assuming you are showing good films, word of mouth will usually en-sure that your audience figures remain constant!
In order to develop the network of film clubs and to raise the profile of C Fylm, we have produced a very short ident which we will provide on DVD and we encourage you to play this before the film starts, as people are coming in and taking their seats. It can be on an animated loop or a static logo.
Think about the time that you want to start your film – we would suggest that if you are setting up the C Fylm equipment and chairs etc then you will need an hour and a half to set up and do a sound check and remember that some people might want to eat before coming out so aim for somewhere between 7-8pm. Most film clubs tend to start at 7:30pm and often have a break for refreshments after around an hour.
There are some marketing restrictions which come with the umbrella screening licence—notably that your audience have to be ‘members’ (so they pay a one off annual membership fee NOT a ticket price) and that you cannot advertise the film ‘to the public’, e.g you cannot have posters plastered across Truro or on Facebook advertising your screenings to ‘non-members’.
You are free to advertise your screenings ‘locally’, within your parish/ community and you can send out posters to email addresses you have collected yourself (by far the best way of promoting the film).
We can provide you with a poster to print off or email out to your membership. We also send a monthly newsletter to the entire membership, and a reminder email to specific clubs in the week of their screening.
If we have bought an individual licence for your screening, the restrictions are lifted, so we can be more flexible.
You can put up specific posters locally advertising the next film and ‘non-specific’ news of a new film club starting up (but not mentioning any specific titles) more widely.
Some of the best ways to get the word out about your film club are:
· Posters put up in your village
· Local door drops
· Hook up with another community group
· Email posters to your members
· Inform your parish council about C Fylm who may assist with costs.
Running the club is not that time consuming – and you can easily do it whilst working a full time job, but in order to make the actual film screening itself run smoothly we think you need a minimum of two people. If you are part of a larger committee then you probably will not have any choice in the matter but if you can avoid it, don’t have too many people involved in programming as it can make decisions harder!
If you are having more people to help, try to delegate tasks such as collecting the equipment, setting up and overseeing the sound and projections, selling tickets, making and selling refreshments, deciding on the film programming, marketing the events etc – so that it is obvious who is responsible for what.
And we are always on the end of the phone or email, so feel free to give us a call.
If you are hiring the C Fylm equipment the charge to C Fylm clubs is only £25 (normally it is £50 for external bookings). For this fee, you will be given:
An NEC PA500U HD projector (and a bulb which comes separately)
A projector stand
A pop-up screen (size: 16ft x 9ft or 12ft x 6’11”)
Two PA speakers and leads (there are two lengths available depending on the size of your venue)
a PA amplifier
a Blu-ray/DVD player with remote control
All necessary connecting leads. (Plus gaffer tape!)
The equipment can be collected on the day you need it and has to be returned the following working day (our office is open Monday – Friday) so please bear this in mind when deciding on which day you are going to run your club! You will need to sign a contract of hire with C Fylm for hire of the equipment and pay when you drop off.
Whatever equipment you are using you will have to familiarize yourself with it or get hold of your own projectionist! Make friends with your local camera or music club or find someone technical to give you a hand. Otherwise you can use a C Fylm projectionist – the charge is £50 plus petrol.
Make sure you have plenty of space at the front (3 metres if poss) before the first row of seats start.
Try to stagger the seating if you can so someone’s head is not directly in front of someone else.
Try to put the projector either in between the rows of seats or as high up as you can so you are projecting over peoples heads – check that your head is not blocking the picture by sitting in all the seats before the screening!
Put the speakers up reasonably high – if your audience member can see the speakers they are more likely to be able to hear them too.
We’ve shared an article about how to improve village hall sound quality in our news posts. Click here to take a look.
We have public liability insurance and damage to or caused by our equipment is covered under our policy. The village hall will have public liability insurance to cover their facilities.
If you are a constituted group of the village hall, you should be covered by the hall public liability insurance, but if you are an individual you may not be, and may need to take out your own cover.
All films shown to the public require a licence. We will make sure that films booked through us are licenced and legal. If you intend to make a profit from your screenings, you will also need a premises licence, which you will need to arrange separately. You can find more information on licencing from the Independent Cinema Office website.