Springtime at the Folk Hall

The weather starts improving, the days get longer and Film at the Folk Hall continues to get more exciting! We have continued to see a nice rise in our average audience numbers so thank you to all those out there supporting what we do!

Following on from the incredible I, Daniel Blake event in January and our second successful kids event with Pixar Short films in Feb, we are looking to the future and to bringing you more amazing films to enjoy with us.

Bridget Jones’s Baby was the first romantic comedy we have played and lots of you turned up to help us make it a great event! We opened with a brief mention of our constitution and how, as well as great films at cheap prices, we are committed to bringing people together, fostering friendships and trying to reduce isolation in our community. To help get us in the mood we had some lovely videos from TV2 Denmark and Mentos. Mentos even sent us some yummy sweets to enjoy during the main feature.

Here’s the beautiful ‘All That We Share’ video from TV2 Denmark, reminding us that there is more that brings us together than sets us apart –

And here’s the brilliant ‘Mentos Mentors’ video about connecting people –

At the interval we even tried ‘Speed Friending’. We rang a bell every few minutes and asked the audience to chat to someone they didn’t know. It was, of course, completely optional but it was lovely to see people having a go! We like the idea that people would feel comfortable coming to visit us even if they were on their own. With a licensed bar and lots of lovely people, there’s always new friends to be made. Hopefully this helped reinforce that message and I’m sure it won’t be the last time we do it!

Next up is Inside Out on Sunday 12th March @ 2pm and Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Friday 31st March @ 7pm. Don’t forget our AGM from 6pm too! Come and hear about the year we have had and what we hope for the future.

We hope to see you all soon!


Sam’s chat with Vale Radio

After a short phone call about our humble cinema, I was kindly invited over to Vale Radio in Haxby to have a chat with Dougie Weake about our work! Check out our interview below:

Following their small beginnings in August 2014 Vale Radio has gone from strength to strength and now broadcast over DAB digital radio and the internet all over the world! Like our group they are non profit and look to bring together other local groups and charities and have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for a variety of causes since they began. They also have over 30 different local DJ’s and a wide range of musical tastes which they tend to.

It was a great opportunity to meet them and see how it all works and they are currently in the process of moving to a brand new studio – we wish them all the best. Here’s a little introduction video to their radio station and we highly recommend you tune in! Hopefully our local organisations can work together in future.


More fun at Film at the Folk Hall

It was a pleasure to host Dave Johns and Abigail Scott-Paul at our showing of Ken Loach’s Palm D’Or award winning film I, Daniel Blake. The film is up for a few BAFTA awards too, so keep your fingers crossed.

The film may not in itself change government policy on the benefits system in the UK but it is certainly making people think, as all great art should do. The lead performances by Hayley Squires and Dave Johns deserve all the accolades coming their way. Stunning work is all I can say. The food-bank scene will go down as one of the most heartbreaking scenes in British film history. I wonder what our local politicians would have to say about it?

It was telling that many people in the audience for the Q & A had their own stories to tell about benefits sanctions and family disagreements about the “worthiness” of people on benefits. What is great is that local people came out in force to see the film, talk with Dave & Abigail, and contributed some money towards supporting our local food-bank.

All this wouldn’t have happened without the many, many hours our volunteers put in, week after week. So here is my weekly call out to anyone wanting to help us provide this great community cinema experience at the Folk Hall in New Earswick, York.

PLEASE, PLEASE join us as a volunteer. Sell ice cream, talk to film stars and support your neighbours. Just click and you will be transported to our volunteer page.

Abigail Scott-Paul and Dave Johns in the spotlight

Dave Johns wows the audience

We don’t quite know if we can believe him, but Dave Johns, the award winning star of BAFTA nominated I, Daniel Blake is next up for the role of Spiderman. Is that what they call “fake news” in this age of Trump? What we do know for sure is that he would love to play the next Bond villain. We know  because we filmed him saying so during the Question and Answer presentation with Abigail Scott-Paul (Joseph Rowntree Foundation).

The Q & A preceded our showing of Ken Loache’s Palm D’Or winning film at our monthly Film at the Folk Hall event in New Earswick, York.


The film has also won the London Film Critics award as best British and Irish film of the year.

Our event seemed to be enjoyed immensely by the sell out audience and Dave was on form showing us why he is a top class comic as well as being an award winning actor and writer.

Let’s hope we can pull off more nights like this in future with producers, actors and directors of first class British films. Don’t forget we only exist to serve the needs of the community so make sure you get in touch to tell us about what films and guests you would like to see at the Folk Hall.

It would be amazing if we could attract a few more volunteers to help support our work at the community cinema. Just click below for more information and contact details.



Dave Johns at Film at the Folk Hall


Amazing news for the New Year. Dave Johns, the talented writer, actor and stand up comedian who is one of the leading stars of I, Daniel Blake has agreed to do a Q & A session prior to our showing of the film on Friday 20th January at the Folk Hall in New Earswick.

Dave won the prestigious British Independent Film Award for Best Actor in 2016 and was also nominated in the European Awards.

Most of you will have seen him on 8 Out of 10 Cats, Never Mind The Buzzcocks or with Rob Brydon on Annually Retentive.

Dave has also won countless rave reviews for his theatre work over the years around the UK and in Ireland.

Here is a link to Dave’s website for information about his latest tour in 2017.


Make sure you don’t miss this great opportunity to ask Dave Johns a question about his work with Ken Loach, Hayley Squires and the writer of I, Daniel Blake, Paul Lavery.

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.