A Note From Sam

As we head into a new year at Film at the Folk Hall we thought we would post up a message from our new chair Sam Watling.

Wow! What a year 2016 was!
I should start this with a huge thanks to Chris Cooke, our former chair. I first came along to Film at the Folk Hall in November 2015 and met Chris to see if she needed any help perhaps with social media. I got a big hug and immediately welcomed on board that night. What she had done to turn a vision into a concept and that concept into a reality was really something special and jumping on board was a no-brainer for me. I am a huge movie fan and I live just around the corner! Between us and our band of incredible volunteers we pushed forward and helped ensure our longevity by having me take over the technical side of all screenings thus reducing our overheads and allowing us to try new things. It worked! We have had an overall steady increase in audience numbers since then.
Chris has recently decided it’s the right time to step down but will always be a part of Film at the Folk Hall and we are glad to have her on board as a member and supporter. The idea of taking the reigns of something like this was a big deal for me. I’ve never been one who is happy to do things by halves but do have a full time job as well as a busy life. Having said that Film at the Folk Hall has quickly become a passion project for me. I love films, in fact the only thing I love more than films is people, so you can imagine that I have big ideas and hopes for what we might be able to achieve with Film at the Folk Hall one day. Reaching out to all parts of our community and creating somewhere people feel welcome to come and discover film and connect with each other is the main aim. For now I’m committed to getting to grips with my new role here and making sure we can keep doing what we do very well already.
I’m so pleased to say that we have had some new volunteers joining our team recently. The idea of taking over here without the help I have would be a bit scary for me but thankfully we have some amazing people generously giving their time just to make all this work properly and bring you great films every month. But without you, our audience, we would quickly cease to exist so the biggest thanks goes to you – For visiting the website or telling a friend about us; for turning up on film night or buying a membership; for filling in a questionnaire and letting us know how we could improve. Whatever your contribution is we truly appreciate it. Looking forward to seeing you next time!

All the best for 2017 from Sam.

Sam showing what a very large screen we have!

I, Daniel Blake film night


Tickets are on sale for the January 2017 (Friday 20th) showing of Ken Loach’s  I’ Daniel Blake, the Palme d’Or winning drama gaining rave reviews from critics and film goers alike.

To quote the Observer film critic Mark Kermode;

“Blessed with exceptional lead performances from Dave Johns and Hayley Squires, Loach crafts a gut wrenching tragicomic drama (about a “monumental farce”) that blends the timeless humanity of the Dardenne brothers finest works with the contemporary urgency of Loach’s own 1966 masterpiece Cathy Come Home.”

I have been privileged to spend time with Ken Loach when he was directing “Which Side Are You On?” his film made during the great miners strike of 1984-85. (I was directing a film about the strike myself for Channel 4 in their “People To People” slot). He is a very humble and interesting guy who has never wavered from his belief in supporting the “underdogs” in our society. His lifetimes work has produced an amazing legacy of first class TV and cinema, arguably unsurpassed in this genre in the UK.

I have also been known to state (many times) that it was Cathy Come Home that inspired me to become a documentary film producer, director and editor. The power of that TV drama still resonates with me fifty years after first seeing it on our families little black and white TV in our council flat in Sheffield in 1966.

Try to get hold of tickets, if you can, for the Film at the Folk Hall show and see a master craftsman at work. It will be one of the best value £4 cinema tickets you will buy in 2017! Guaranteed.

Volunteers are go!

It’s just like International Rescue at Film at the Folk Hall in New Earswick. One of our latest volunteers, Tegan, is helping out on the social media side in the coming weeks. She will be starting to develop a sustainable strategy for the group so that we can use the full power of on-line media to advertise what we do to the wider community. It’s not as easy as people think to build a on-line presence for community cinema groups like ours but I’m sure with Tegans’ input we can head in the right direction very quickly. So look out for us on Twitter https://twitter.com/FilmFolkHall

and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FilmFolkHall/  as well as on this website to see what plans are being put in place for future successful events at Film at the Folk Hall.

I would also like to put another call out to any volunteer who is interested in writing for this blog to contact me or Tegan via this website to discuss your ideas. Here is your opportunity to become a star writer for a community cinema group in York.

New Volunteers at F@FH

After reluctantly saying our sad goodbyes to Shanna and Chris we have some good news to relay to our Film at the Folk Hall members and supporters. A few more volunteers have come forward to help take the community cinema into 2017. Lots of ideas were discussed at our recent meeting so expect plenty of developments over the coming months including a short series of films presented in partnership with our close neighbours the Friends of New Earswick School (FONES)


Next Meeting & Film Night

The next meeting for Film at the Folk Hall volunteers is Friday 25th November at 5.30 p.m.

Please try to make it as it is important the group starts to organise for the next few months now that Shanna has left and Christine has stepped down from chairing.

After the meeting the November film we will be showing is the excellent “Bridge of Spies” starring Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance. Directed of course by the film legend that is Steven Spielberg. We only bring you the best at Film at the Folk Hall, for a very modest price!

Bridge of spies

Open Evening


The poster says it all. Why not come along to our open evening on Saturday 12th November at the Folk Hall in New Earswick?

It’s a great way to meet up with all our volunteers and find out about our plans for the rest of 2016 and into 2017. I will post up the selection of short films you can see, once confirmation and licenses are sorted out!

By the way IT’S FREE so you have no excuse do you?

Shanna moves to Manchester!

Chris presenting the “Baking Bible” to Shanna

We are going to miss Shanna.  She has been involved with Film at the Folk Hall (F@FH) from the beginning,  helping to find set-up funding and making contact with all local groups so we have had good audiences for our varied films right from the start.

As we have grown Shanna always made positive and realistic suggestions to improve, especially in seeking out new funding opportunities – and spending time putting together bids –  so we can reach larger audiences and offer great films.

A Little Tear


We all wish her the very best for her future in Manchester working at the Manchester Museum. (Christine Cooke, October 2016)

Photo Credit: Steve Colton

Have a look at our photo gallery for more images of Shanna and her friends.