4 July 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
Cinemobile Launches Unique Audience Building Initiative for Remote Regions of Northwest Europe
23 Oct 2014 : Seán Brosnan
A new film initiative aimed at introducing European Independent films to new audiences in five countries was launched in Galway by Irish Film Board CEO James Hickey on Thursday, 16th October in Galway.

Further strengthening a UNESCO bid for City of Film, Galway-based Cinemobile has been awarded funding, as the lead organiser, in a distinctive project commissioned by Creative Europe and the Media Audience Development programme.

The project ‘North by North West – Films on the Fringe’ involves Cinemobile partnering with cinemas working in rural parts of Iceland, Finland, Scotland and Norway. Collaboratively the five countries involved have curated a selection of films from all their participating territories which will bring European Independent cinema to some of the remotest regions in North Western Europe.

The programme begins this weekend as part of the Clones Film Festival with three free screenings of ‘The Punk Syndrome’ (Finland), ‘Of Horses and Men’ (Iceland) and ‘For Those in Peril’ (Scotland).

Friday, 31st October sees Films on the Fringe travel to the Guth Gafa Documentary Film Festival in Kells, Co. Meath with free screenings of two documentaries, ‘Happiness’ (Finland) and ‘Twin Sisters’ (Norway).

This pilot project involves five different cinemas and will bring these country’s outreach strands together in a Europe-wide context. Collaboratively, the five cinemas have curated a selection of films from all their participating territories, 28 films in total in 27 different locations, with approximately 45 screenings, which will bring European Independent cinema to some of the remotest regions in North Western Europe.

Each partnering country has chosen a selection of its best indigenous films that will be screened free in the other 4 countries.

Noreen Collins, Manager of Cinemobile explains the aim of this new audience initiative: The project could be seen as a type of film swap between the five countries, which gives audiences a chance to delve into the cinema of other countries a little bit more. We think we have come up with a programme that is distinctive, diverse and quirky. The value of the partnership is that we are similar organisations with similar remits, with a dedicated European art house cinema strand to our programmes.

She continues: The aim of Films on the Fringe project is to build new audiences specifically for European independent cinema titles in these regions. We want to encourage people who would never dream of going to see a subtitled film to come out and try these films. The aim is that after Film on the Fringe audiences in these countries will be open to watching European titles alongside more mainstream titles, and not necessarily instead of. So for this reason it was agreed that the screenings in all five countries be delivered free to the public, to encourage people to come out and sample the quality of films that are being produced in Europe right now.

The distinctiveness of this project is its use of fully digitised mobile cinemas and travelling units using portable DCP projectors to screen in small rural towns and community halls, ensuring European cinema reaches the more remote and marginal parts of Europe.

Noreen expands on the project: Each of the participating cinemas comes from countries with similar territory-types, geographically placed on the edge of Europe; each has a strong pride in the regions we are trying to reach and an understanding and knowledge of their demography. All participants have an existing ‘outreach’ strand to their programme that will see screenings take place in places like Vopnafjörður, located on a peninsula in the middle of a fjord in Iceland, to Liniclate in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, to Indreabhán in Connemara, Ireland, Tromso in Norway to Jousta in Finland to name but a few of the diverse places this project is reaching. The travelling nature of the venues gives the project an individuality and quirkiness that few other cinema projects in Europe have.

Noreen continues: Another important element for the five cinemas involved in this collaborative project is to try and gain an acceptance of the concept that people who live in more rural areas, who do not live in the major cities, should also be given the chance to view independent cinemas in communal settings. Some countries have an acceptance of the need for this, other less so.

The five cinema partners hope to be able to make this innovative cinematic experience an annual event in the film calendar of the countries on the edge of Europe.

The five cinemas taking part in the project are:

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