Rural Community Cinema: Year 2

The Event

On Sunday 26th February 2017, Film Hub Wales held the second annual gathering of Welsh-based rural community cinemas and film societies. The event was held at Richard Booth’s Bookshop Cinema in Hay-on Wye during the 2017 Borderlines Film Festival, the UK’s largest rural film festival.

As our rural exhibitors know, running a community cinema or film society can be hugely rewarding, but often involves a lot of hard work. That is why Film Hub Wales offer this special event, with the support of Flicks in the Sticks and Moviola. The day included an interactive marketing session with Rachael Castell, easy-to-follow marketing and social media advice from fellow exhibitors in Wales (Off Y Grid), and a presentation on how to connect with the Welsh Council of Voluntary Action (WCVA) who have officers in each local authority across Wales.

Finally, Jim Barratt from Llancarfan Community Cinema and Hana from Film Hub Wales led a group discussion with exhibitors, allowing members to share recent experiences, best practice and plan for the future of rural exhibitors.


The Presentations

Innovative Marketing with Rachael Castell

How important is marketing for rural exhibitors? Can we reach older audiences online? What should you say on Twitter, Facebook and more? These were some of the main concerns of attendees. Presenter Rachael Castell explained how using some simple marketing can help expand your cinema’s reach and improve engagement with your audiences.

What attendees gained:

“Stimulating, flexible, lots of ideas and follow up suggestions.”

“Facebook marketing – doing it better.”

“We were able to link up with another exhibitor and we are going to promote each other’s films. We’re also thinking of doing a joint event to encourage younger people and also have a get together with local cinema groups.”

Download presentation | Download notes | Download handouts


Case study: Social Media in Rural Wales with Off Y Grid

Off Y Grid is a strategic partnership of four cinemas in North Wales – Galeri, CELLB, Pontio and Theatr Ardudwy. Silvia Sheehan (Off Y Grid Project Co-ordinator) and Siri Wigdel (Theatr Ardudwy Creative Director) presented a case study on how the project has effectively branded and marketed itself to a disparate, under-served rural audience.

What attendees gained:

“Many ideas of marketing and working together with local communities (collaboration).”

“More determined to investigate feedback/statistics from Facebook.”

Download presentation | Download handout


Engaging with the voluntary sector and young audiences with WCVA

The Welsh Council of Voluntary Action offers volunteering, internships, work experience and social action for the fourth sector (non-government, non-profit). Fiona Liddell spoke with exhibitors about how they can connect with volunteers in their area to support their cinema/society, as well as engage younger audiences.

What attendees gained:

“Really good to understand voluntary and young experiences.”

“Ideas for engaging with younger audiences.”

Download presentation


Community Cinema and Film Society Catch Up

Led by Jim Barratt from Llancarfan Film Society and Hana from Film Hub Wales, attendees discussed issues facing rural exhibitors and how members can support each other.

What attendees gained:

“Good follow up to many useful conversations during the day.”

“First time for me but great to see a view across other areas and previous experiences.”

“Excellent discussion with lots of ideas.”

“Lots of usefull ideas and feedback from other groups’ experiences.”

If you would like full notes from the day, please contact

Feedback on the day

Average rating: 4.9/5

“I enjoyed the networking opportunities and the chance to learn new approaches to shared problems."

“It was really good to meet other groups and have the opportunity to learn from their experiences.”

“It was good to listen to interesting, well-informed speakers and hear about the experiences and ideas of others.”

“It was very useful to understand what others are doing, and know others have similar problems and innovative solutions. The food was excellent too.”