Free Reel Romania is a non-profit project proposed by Free Reel Mobile Cinema, an initiative of Cinephilia Services Ltd. The project will carry out a series of free film screenings and filmmaking workshops in rural communities across Romania that have little or no access to cultural activities throughout June and July 2012.
Romania is currently one of the lowest ranking countries in the EU for film consumption, with less than 75 cinemas in the whole country, most of which are based in the main cities. Rural communities have very little access to sites of exhibition due to financial constraints and long distances to reach cinemas. Additionally, the few cinema theatres that are accessible are in poor physical condition, failing to meet basic hygiene or safety standards.
These issues have caused the important cultural activity of cinema-going to become an unaffordable luxury and so falls low in the list of priorities of rural residents. Free Reel Romania is based on the belief that there is an unmet opportunity in rural Romania to use cinema as a powerful tool for education and communication, empowering communities and providing a platform for the discussion of important social issues facing them, while also giving individuals a voice in the wider world through film production activities.
Free Reel Romania was presented in late March at the NexT International Film Festival (www.nextfilmfestival.ro) and will be officially launched at the Transylvania International Film Festival in June (www.tiff.ro). The project will see an estimated twenty film screenings take place across the country that benefit whole communities, each followed by a post- screening Q&A session with filmmakers involved in the production of the films. In addition 5 four-day filmmaking workshops will be conducted with youth from the communities. Short films produced in the workshops will be screened to the local community and toured around Romania as part of the mobile cinema’s touring programme, as well as being showcased in special screenings at TIFF, NexT, Open City (www.opencitylondon.com), Astra (www.astrafilm.ro), One World (www.oneworld.ro) and other well-established film festivals in Romania and the UK throughout 2012 and 2013. Workshop participants will also have the opportunity to present their films and take part in a post-screening Q&A session with audiences at such events.
The project will offer the most promising workshop participant a short scholarship at Brighton Film School Central, an established centre for film production training in the UK.
It is hoped that Free Reel Romania will be an annual project, able to return to participating communities as well as extending the geographic scope to others in the years to come. Free Reel Mobile Cinema is very much envisioned as a versatile and scalable project, able to visit a diverse range of countries and regions, across Eastern Europe and internationally, that have reduced access to cultural activities, and offer a variety of tailored film screening and making programmes.
In order to fulfill the great potential for this initiative we would very much welcome any and all donations to aid in our running costs or offers of sponsorship or collaborative partnerships. For more information please contact:
Yoram Allon: Executive Director, Cinephilia Services Ltd firstname.lastname@example.org Jodie Taylor: Project Manager, Free Reel Mobile Cinema Jodie@freereel.org
Free Reel Romania is run in partnership with several well-established Romanian NGOs including Komunitas, Art We and CREATIV, and in collaboration with the NexT International Film Festival in Bucharest and the Transylvania International Film Festival in Cluj, while having as its programming partners Astra Documentary Festival in Sibiu, One World Human Rights Film Festival in Bucharest and Open City London Documentary Festival in the UK.