Next up in our ongoing exploration of the thoughts and views of THIS WAY UP pals, colleagues, speakers and facilitators, Joan Parsons, of Showroom Cinema.


Joan Parsons


Senior Programmer

Three words to describe your feelings about film and cinema

Essential. Political. Nourishing.

What inspires you daily?

My wonderful team, breakfast foods, tea.

What’s the most challenging thing about being in the film and cinema right now?

Balancing cultural ambition, commercial imperatives and personal satisfaction.

And, the biggest opportunity?

A chance to change the way the industry relies on opening weekend box office.

What was the last film you saw?

Beach Rats (2017), Eliza Hittman

Video on Demand: forces filmmakers to think differently or ruining the cinematic experience?

Potentially ruining the theatrical marketplace, having a lasting impact on audience taste and behaviour – however, more analysis and sharing of data is required to really gauge the effect.

Positive discrimination: essential for the film sector or the wrong approach to gender equality?

Needs careful consideration, at all levels. If audiences can be encouraged to apply to their choices, programmers to theirs, funders to theirs, training providers to their schemes. Positive Discrimination is a blunt tool to use when the industry is so complex.

Choose your own adventure films: an exciting development or will destroy the shared cinematic experience?

Gamification of narrative, where is the creative vision and powerful storytelling? I’ve no desire to choose a film narrative, I want it to grab me and take me wherever the filmmaker wants me to go.

VR in Film: enhances the experience for the viewer or negatively impacts traditional storytelling? 

Can be a nice additional element, however, this is a separate art form at fledgeling stages still so very reluctant to decide now before it has a chance to blow my mind.

Director / Talent Q&As: AN insufferably boring WAKIng nIGhtMARe or a great way to engage and develop audiences?

Some, of course, can be rather frustrating but when they work, they are a fantastic way to engage audiences with films, and filmmakers with their audiences. However, every time I hear "I don’t have a question, it’s more a comment..." I have major internal sighing.

What are you looking forward to most about TWU17?

Being inspired by other industries, thinking outside of venues, welcoming the industry to Hull.

What part of the TWU17 debate are you most interested in and why?

Basically everything! I think I’ll be watching the ‘Power of Culture’ and ‘Ethics and Resilience’ conversations very closely.

Where can people find you online?

On Twitter at @joan_parsons.

Hull 2017TWU Team