Preparing for BtM Conference

Tomorrow and on Wednesday I’ll be taking part in the Beyond the Multiplex conference. I’ve been preparing for the sessions I’m hosting, rereading the speakers’ papers and becoming acquainted with Padlet, which is new to me. Here’s a preview of the two discussions I am chairing.

Audience choice, programming and digital platforms
14:10, Tuesday 2nd March 2021

  • Paul McEvoy (BFI Research and Statistics Unit) will present ‘Pick and Mix’ – cultural access, screen engagement and film appetites in the UK’s nations and regions
  • Prof. Mattias Frey (University of Kent) will present Film and Series Choice in the Age of Netflix: Results from an Empirical User Study
  • Dr Vejune Zemaityte (Tallinn University), Prof. Deb Verhoeven (University of Alberta) and Dr. Bronwyn Coate (RMIT University) will present Programming foreign films: Analysing cultural diversity in the global exhibition sector

Independent film exhibition support and development
14:40, Wednesday 3rd March 2021

  • Robert Livingston (Regional Screen Scotland) will present Developing diverse audiences in Scotland
  • Yasmin Begum will present Decolonising (D)evolving Film: Notes from Scotland and Wales
  • Monika Rodriguez and Michael Pierce (Cinema Nation) will present Imagining Cinemas as Eco-Systems
  • Rachel Hayward and Andy Willis (HOME, Manchester) will present Celebrating Women in Global Cinema: Curating a year-long programming initiative at HOME, Manchester

At the end of the conference I am joining Prof. Bridgette Wessels to reflect on the Beyond the Multiplex findings and recommendations and reflect on audience response. I intend to follow up here after the busy two days.

The aim of the BtM was to understand how to enable a wider range of audiences to participate in a more diverse film culture that embraces the wealth of films beyond the mainstream; and how to optimise the cultural value of engaging with those less familiar films. It did this by investigating how audiences engage with and form around ‘specialised’ films in four English regions, the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, North West/Greater Manchester and the South West. Here, Audience formation is understood as the processes of engagement with films that generate audience experiences.

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