This summer has been a busy one at the Mearns Community Cinema. First, we assisted the Mearns Community Library with some free showings over the holidays, then we put on our very first film festival and to top it all off we have had some comings and goings on the committee. You have probably been itching for a behind the scenes look at all of these happenings. Well wait no longer friends, the time has come.

Our previous article covered the ins and outs of the details of the Mearns Community Library free showings, but in review it was wonderful to see how well received they were – especially the August showing of Peter Rabbit when over 100 people made it along. The Friday night showing of Miss Sloane in July brought in a smaller audience as would have been expected but the feedback was overwhelmingly positive from everyone who came to either film. The library always intended the showings to be a bit of an experiment but it seems like it could be a good plan for future summers when holidays, other commitments and nice weather are abundant. After all my naysaying about the summer Scottish weather earlier on in the year it really did turn out to be a belter, I’ll maybe try trash-talking it again next year…

Which brings us to the film festival – not officially a summer event however the majority of the planning took place over the summer period so it only seems fair to include it here. Plans originally started taking shape way back in February/March when a certain over-zealous article writer made a promise of bringing a film festival to the Mearns – cue panic at Mearns Community Cinema headquarters. I wonder if that means I can just write anything and then claim that we have to go ahead with it…..? In that case, forthcoming plans include that Norwegian troll found-footage mockumentary, a Fast and the Furious marathon, a Cornetto Trilogy weekend,….. perhaps I should stop there before I risk the wrath of the Mearns Community Cinema disciplinary committee…

Anyway, after that initial decision to start looking into putting on a film festival we bounced some ideas around and over time the Mearns Film Festival 2018 began to take shape. One thing we wanted to aim for with the festival was that there would be something for everyone – indeed one of the group’s main aims is to provide an inclusive experience for the entire community and we wanted the festival to reflect this. We also wanted it to be a celebration – of Scotland and of film in general – and what celebration wouldn’t be complete without whisky, shortbread and ice cream? There were thrills, spills, the odd scheduling conflict – the BBC and the weather obviously hadn’t got the memo that we were showing Brave on the Saturday afternoon, and the realisation that maybe not everyone wants to watch a vicious and deranged James McAvoy on a Sunday afternoon. What we can take away from the whole event though is that there is a definite passion within the community to come and watch films locally and mix with other filmgoers.

In general, it was great to see our beloved loyal following there – you know who you are – but also fantastic to look around and see lots of new faces. Don’t worry, it’s not Fight Club so no-one’s been breaking the first rule of the cinema group by talking about us… or indeed the second rule. We’re always trying to further our reach in the community so that the cinema group benefits all – be it via social media, posters or word of mouth – so it’s wonderful to see that more and more people are hearing about the group and coming along to showings.

As we mentioned in the previous article, the film festival coincided with a couple of the committee members, including the group’s secretary, moving on to university. We are delighted to say that we have appointed a new secretary who is keen as mustard, and has already done some sterling work on planning and publicity for the group. We have also had another couple of new additions to the committee and after just one committee meeting it’s clear that they promise to bring even more enthusiasm, ideas and fun to the group.

Our new look group now has its sights set on Autumn and Winter – it’s the prime cinema-going time of year with the colder and darker nights drawing in – hopefully we’ll see you all at one of our events. As ever, feel free to come and have a chat with us at one of our showings if you’ve got any feedback, ideas or want to discuss the Fast and Furious franchise at length – Which is the best instalment? How many gears do those cars actually have? Are the 9th and 10th films in the series going to be as fresh and exciting as the previous 8?

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