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(ARCHIVED) 2016 Update: Tasmanian Federation of Film Societies


The Tasmanians run a very well organised, efficient and energetic Federation — as the following reports from the members of the Tasmanian Federation of Film Societies demonstrates!

Bass and Flinders Film Society

We have been screening films for the past 12 months the last Friday in the month along with a meal. This has been received exceptionally well by the community.

Break-O-Day Film Society

The Club has 25 members – screened 11 movies, January is time off.

Always held on the 1st. Thursday of each month. Fees for 2016 will be $35.00 per person down from $40 as our bank balance is coping fine. Regular attendance of 25. We have a tea/coffee break half way through which is great for discussing the film. Many members meet & have dinner at 6pm prior to screening movie at 7:30pm.

Crystal Theatre Film Society

Crystal Theatre Film Society screens films at the Stanley Town Hall, on the last Friday of the month, January to November. A new addition to the hall is a very welcome surround-sound stereo-system, so we’re well on the way to achieving the best cinema experience we can. Membership hovers around 40; we’re a small and enthusiastic film society.

Eaglehawk Neck Film Society

The Society has been operating since mid-2010 at the Eaglehawk Neck Community Hall and currently screens 18 films per year: one on the second Saturday of the month and an additional screening on the first or second Thursday every alternate month. Classic and ‘art-house’ films tend to be screened on the Thursdays.

Memberships are either annual ($30 per year) or quarterly ($10 per quarter). Because of the sometime itinerant population in our area, many members are holiday home owners rather than permanent residents, the quarterly memberships are popular. Membership numbers therefore fluctuate during the year from the high twenties to the low-forties. Attendances are currently about twenty members per screening.

A screening newsletter is produced twice a year and circulated to all people on the Society’s emailing list: current members and non-current members who wish to be kept abreast of upcoming screenings.

Popular screenings during the past year have been The Water Diviner, Paddington, The Woman in Gold, and The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared. Upcoming films include The Dressmaker, Women He’s Undressed, Jean de Florette, and Manon des Sources.

Hobart Film Society

This year we continued three screenings a fortnight (except for the summer break). However, our major supplier (the National Film and Sound Archive’s screen lending collection) suffered drastic budget cuts. These decreased the availability of some films and increased our costs. As a result we will have Monday screenings only once a month next year as these have been particularly dependent on the NFSA.

At 30 September 2015 our membership had risen to 197 : 83 singles (31 full, 52 concession), 114 doubles (23 full, 34 concession). Though slight, this is a welcome rise after the slide of previous years : 304, 283, 269, 252, 203, 192, 197.

Launceston Film Society

There are 17 Film Societies in Tasmania and the LFS has the largest membership. The success of the LFS stems largely from the fact that there are currently only four screens in the city, and that means that the LFS is able to select a program that does not clash with that of commercial operations.

We have a very close relationship with the Village Cinemas both as our venue and for booking the program that the committee selects. In recognition of our patronage, Village Cinemas offered the LFS two free screenings on Sunday afternoons; both played to a full house.

Our financial situation remains in a strong position and we have not needed to increase the cost of membership for the 2016 season. The system of scanning membership cards at our screenings has given us good statistics on attendance, and this allows us to manage the number of members that can be admitted annually. Currently there are 1550 members; cinema 3 has 291 seats, that is 1164 seats each week. If all members attended in any one week we would be forced to turn people away.

Although seats are not guaranteed at any screening, this has not been necessary for several years. (In years gone by some members might remember that it was a common occurrence.)

In 2015 we released the history of the LFS From Reel to Disc researched and written by Dr Thomas Gunn, a professional historian and LFS member. He was able to track down the minute books of the society and also have interviews with previous office bearers of the society and examine old newspaper reports.

The LFS history reaches back to the 1950’s andhas had a rough ride over the years. I am pleased to say that despite the advent of TV, SBS broadcasts, and readily available DVD and internet downloads, the members remain happy with our program and continue to support us.

It only remains for me to thank the committee for the work they do. This includes managing the finances (subject to external audit), managing the membership, scrutinising the press for information about recent releases and selecting a program, preparing the Newsreel, managing the website, arranging the voting nights and importantly the secretarial work behind all of this.


Lighthouse Film Society

The Lighthouse Film Society currently has around 150 members & has screened monthly films to an average audience of 60 people over the past twelve months. Our annual highlight is an outdoor screening in Gutteridge Gardens in March to raise money for a charity of choice. This month we will be screening “Inside Out”. The committee meets on a regular basis to select suitable films for screening & deciding upon two six-monthly programs for the year.

Midlands Film Society

We have had a sure and steady year. Membership has remained stable and that looks set to be the same this year. Highlights for us this year were The Lunchbox, Pride and Fading Gigolo. The lowlight was sadly our last film of the year The Trip to Italy.

Norfolk Plains Film Society: The Norfolk Plains Film Society screens movies at theLongford Town Hall. We currently have 57 members which is a reduction last years membership of just over 100. Our subscription has remained at $40 single and $80 double membership.

Di McGrath reported in 2014 that the acoustics in the Town Hall were not good and we reported in 2015 that we were using the smaller Meeting Room within the Town Hall. With our current numbers we have been able to continue using the smaller room. Although the sound is better in that room we are still looking to improve. We have obtained some off-cut rugs for the floor and are currently working with Council on the provision of heavy curtains for the back of the room. This is both to reduce outside light and stop sound bounce. The Council equipment we use includes an FM transmitter. We provide a number of FM radios for use of the Members and encourage people to bring their own if they are having difficulties with the sound.

We show 12 movies a year to average crowds of 25-30 people. In recent months we have welcomed some new members and are planning to introduce a 6 month membership for next summer/autumn aimed at those members who prefer watching football during the winter and those who don’t like to go out during the dark evenings.

Following the last TFOFS AGM we took the advice from the Committee and organised access to the holdings of the National Film and Sound Archives. This season we are sourcing 4 movies from their collection. There is a good selection and it helps us manage costs.

Also, after the last TFOFS AGM, we have been talking to Paul Bywater and have taken Paul up on his offer to bring his equipment and films to Longford for our May movie night. We are looking forward to Paul’s visit and are currently deciding what to ask Paul to bring.

North West Film Society

In 2014 we had only 101 members, instead of the usual 115-20. By contrast, 2015 the numbers increased to 151 which was a great result, especially financially. Already for 2016 we have 162 memberships, so 2014 was obviously an aberration. We need about 130 members to break even each year.

The increase was due to persistent efforts in publicising our program and encouraging existing members to recruit others. We also introduced a new Corporate Membership, whichhas not taken off as yet, but we will persevere. Another reason is our selection of interesting recent releases which obviously appeal to our members. Screening at CMax also helps.

A new activity, was to participate in Seniors Week, which not only provided some new members, but also attracted a grant from the Devonport City Council.

Prompted and supported by the Central Coast Council, a new film society in Ulverstone is being established. It will be interesting to see if this has any effect on our membership.

Tamar Valley Film Society Inc

Tamar Valley Film Society continues into its fourth year with fluctuating membership; after a gradual decline during the first three years numbers are now increasing to a current, almost sustainable 70+, with average attendances at screenings of 50. In January 2016 we moved from Exeter Primary School hall to the refurbished Exeter Recreation Centre (ex-RSL building), the premises shared with other local groups.

While thefacilities offer a more convivial atmosphere and superior audio-visual qualities, seating capacity is reduced – capped at 100. We continue to show one film per month, offering annual memberships at $40 single / $70 double, and half-yearly memberships at $20/$35 from May-September. We are considering occasional ‘special events’ to supplement monthly screenings. A newly formed subcommittee makes recommendations for movie selections with defined parameters catering to both the membership demographic and physical environment (considering critics’ ratings, running time, subtitles, recent screenings elsewhere, etc).