Members Blog: Amrit Maghera-Johal attends ICO Screening Days

Amrit Maghera-Johal of Reading Film Theatre

Screening Days from the Independent Cinema Office (ICO) provide cinema exhibitors with the chance to see upcoming releases to help programme new films for their cinemas. Amrit Maghera-Johal attended Autumn Screening Days in November 2017 at HOME cinema, Manchester, on behalf of Reading Film Theatre

If it could be possible, the Autumn Screening Days this year were even more impressive this time than usual. The selection of films were very strong with many of us finding it difficult to decide which ones to watch and which to miss out.

Many of the films in the Saturday selection were only being shown the once over the weekend. Luckily there were three of us from Reading Film theatre, so we managed to watch a fair few.

One of the screenings, HUMAN FLOW, was particularly useful to see as I hope to programme it alongside one of our events with the Reading Refugee Support Group next year.

Screening Days in Manchester

Screening Days in Manchester

The ICO team ran a PROGRAMMING AND MARKETING SPOTLIGHT session on the Sunday evening, which I attended. We were split into groups and asked to select a film that one of our venues would have difficulty marketing to their audiences. The group I was in chose HUMAN FLOW. It was great to hear how other people work and we brainstormed some ideas. As well as being informative and helpful the session was a lot of fun; and not just because of the free wine and beer on offer.

The final day of the weekend is useful to catch up with films that you may have missed but had good reviews from your fellow attendees. The feedback forms we are asked to complete after every films is useful for the distributors but also helpful to the exhibitors. 

Reflecting on the event, I think it was one of the strongest ones for films that I have attended. I left excited to continue programming the RFT Spring Season and have managed to book two of the films from the weekend already. I’m hoping the audience enjoy them as much as I did.

Many thanks to the ICO for organising, HOME for hosting, all the distributors for sharing their gems with us and FHSE for making it possible for me to attend.