NAC Corner

Cinema bringing in award-winning films
6.5.2010

Not a week goes by that I don't tell someone about the Norwich Community Cinema. Quite often, the response is: "So How long have you been showing movies?" or "Where on earth is the Donald Oat Theater?"

Because I love to talk about the cinema, or anything related to film, I have no trouble filling folks in on how we started, what we have accomplished so far and what we hope to do in the future.

In a year's time, the Norwich Community Cinema Foundation has figured out the perplexing film licensing business, completed our 501c3 nonprofit application, gathered volunteers and previewed hundreds of trailers. We have also taken trips to see promising movies and attended festivals in our search for noteworthy, lesser-known films and Oscar contenders.

The 23 movies we have shown so far have been critically acclaimed and some have even been best sellers in their native countries. Cumulatively, our choices have won more than 175 awards.

All of this takes time, patience and lots of research. Every member of the foundation is a film lover, and some could be consider film buffs. The dedicated group I have had the pleasure to work with during the past year has brought to the cinema an enthusiasm second to non and a dedication I never thought possible. Our faithful volunteers have given many hours toward making the cinema a success as well.

Guest speakers

Throughout our first year, speakers and invited guests have discussion about everything from immigration to film production to organic farming. Foreign films have proven to be just as popular as American made movies -- a pleasant surprise. Some showings were planned for entertainment, others to provoke or inform our audience. All were intended to forge new partnerships, bring folks downtown and show off the diverse restaurants and galleries downtown.

To add to our list of accomplishments is a successful charity event in April to raise money for Haiti's earthquake victims. This was made possible through a partnership with Norwich Free Academy to screen foreign films on the fourth Friday of the month, for the public, which is funded by a federal diversity grant. Refreshments are provided at this venue by NFA's Project Outreach, with the proceeds donated to a different charity each month.

So what are our hopes for the coming year?

  • Bigger, more diverse audiences
  • Sponsors who support our efforts to bring independent films downtown
  • Good weather on movie nights
  • A big donation from an anonymous (or not) donor.

The cinema is not just about movies. it's a place to meet a friend and bring a family member. it could be a date or a night to celebrate. You can't beat the price of $7 for second Saturday movies. Fourth Friday foreign films at NFA are grant supported and free to the public, and will resume showing in September.

Film encourages us to take a new look, rethink our opinions, learn about other cultures and reflect on what we can do to make a difference. We are given an opportunity to question, take action or just enjoy, laugh or cry by watching a film we might not otherwise be able to see. There's also the unforgettable smell of fresh popped popcorn.

Going to a movie is never the same as watching a movie at home. Come early, stay late. Enjoy a great array of fresh baked desserts, without losing your shirt. Get comfortable around a table; bring your won wine. See you at the cinema!

-Sandy Quarto

 

 

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