It's finally here - the full schedule of This Way Up 15! Taking place at HOME, Manchester from 2 - 3 December, over 60 speakers and panelists will take part in discussions, workshops and lunchtime labs. Plus a Choose Your Own Documentary interactive screening, a two-day Hack organised by Abandon Normal Devices and opportunities to meet and collaborate during lunches and drinks - THIS WAY UP 15 is going to be a busy one! Please find the full schedule below (click on the image below for a handy PDF version!).
WEDNESDAY 2nd DECEMBER
9.00am: Registration (Ground Floor), Teas and Coffee (Second Floor Cinema Foyer)
10.00am - 5.00pm: Abandon Normal Devices presents AND Hack: Anatomy of an Archive. More information...
10.00am: Opening Speeches (Cinema 1):Gaylene Gould, conference MC kicks off the day, Welcome from Dave Moutrey, Director and Chief Executive of HOME.
10.30am - 11.30am: Keynote Provocations (Cinema 1)
Cross the Streams: Risk and Reward in Audience-centred Approaches - Anna Higgs, Executive Producer, High Rise, A Field in EnglandWithout Walls - Marianne Maxwell, Producer, National Theatre of Scotland Audiences 2.0 - Nick North, Director of Audiences, BBC
11.30am - 12noon: Break
12noon - 1.00pm: Critical Condition (Cinema 1)
12noon - 1.00pm: F-Rated (Cinema 2)
1.00pm - 2.15pm: Lunch. Food served in Ground Floor Bar.
1.15pm - 2.00pm: Lunchtime Lab: BBC R&D Perceptive Media (Event Space) - Closed session for pre-registered delegates only - FULLY BOOKED
1.15pm - 2.00pm: Lunchtime Lab: Punk DCP v2.0 (Cinema 2) - OPEN SESSION
1.15pm - 2.00pm: Lunchtime Lab: David vs Goliath (Cinema 4) - OPEN SESSION
2.15pm - 3.30pm: The Price and Value Of Cinema (Cinema 1)
2.15pm - 3.45pm: Not for the Likes of You? (Cinema 2)
3.30pm - 4.00pm: Break
4.00pm - 5.00pm: Subscribe or Die?: Examining Loyalty Through Pricing Models (Cinema 1)
4.00pm - 5.00pm: Are Your Expensive Cakes Alienating Your Audience? (Cinema 2)
4.00pm - 5.00pm: “I’m not like you, I don’t feel like you” Persona swapping in Film Programming (Cinema 4) - OPEN SESSION
5.30pm - 7.30pm: Drinks Reception (Ground Floor Bar)
7.30pm - 9.00pm: Choose Your Own Documentary (Cinema 1)
THURSDAY 3RD DECEMBER
9.00am: Partners' Breakfast (Event Space, 2nd Floor)
10:00am: Day 2, Opening Remarks
10.15am - 11.15am: BFI Talent presents Carol Morley in Conversation (Cinema 1)
11.15am - 11.45am: Break
11.45am - 1.15pm: Close That Window (Cinema 1)
11.45am - 1.15pm: Local Stories (Cinema 2)
11.45am - 1.15pm: Copy with Confidence (Cinema 4) - Pre-registration only - FULLY BOOKED
1.15pm - 2.15pm: Lunch. Food served in Ground Floor Bar.
1.30pm - 2.15pm: Lunchtime Lab: Cat Video Fest (Cinema 2)
1.30pm - 2.15pm: Lunchtime Lab: Cinephile Activism (Cinema 4) OPEN PITCH SESSION
2.15pm - 3.45pm: The Film Is Not Enough (Cinema 1)
2.30pm - 3.30pm:Data is Beautiful, Honest. (Cinema 2)
2.30pm - 3.30pm:Devaluing the Doc (Cinema 4)
4.00pm - 5.00pm: Closing Remarks, Results of HACK and 2016 Venue Announcement
5.00pm: Conference Ends
Wednesday 2nd December
Welcome to HOME!
We kick off the conference with a warm welcome from our MC Gaylene Gould, who will be steering the conversation over the next two days.Then we hear from Dave Moutrey, Director and Chief Executive from HOME, who will officially open proceedings.
Director and Chief Executive
10.30am - 11.30am: Keynote Provocations
Cross the Streams: Risk and Reward in Audience Centred Approaches Anna Higgs, executive producer, High Rise, Duke of Burgundy Whilst mainstream cinemas continue to keep the theatrical window sacred, the independent sector has seen great experimentation in regards to day and date releasing and across many platforms. But with cinema surviving the 'threat' of television, VHS and DVD, has it met its match in streaming, or are we discovering new and exciting ways to engage audiences and improve accessibility? Anna Higgs (executive producer, High-Rise, Duke of Burgundy) leads the discussion with her experience on the multi-platform simultaneous release of A Field in England, proposing that in closing windows, filmmakers are now interacting with audiences in planning release strategies.
High Rise, Duke of Burgundy
Without WallsMarianne Maxwell, Producer, National Theatre Scotland NTS is a truly unique theatre company; a national organisation at the cutting edge of it's art-form but operating without a public venue. What could be seen as a hindrance has, in fact, led to the creation of some of the most vital theatre in the world which challenges traditional assumptions about audience behaviour and redefines our understanding of the term 'audience'. What can cinemas gain when they start thinking without walls?
Audiences 2.0 Nick North, Director of Audiences, BBC Audience behaviour is changing at a great pace. The proliferation of screens of all sizes, increasingly personalised content delivery and the ability for audiences to engage with and share creative work across platforms and communicate directly with its creators are radically transforming how audiences discover, consume, connect and exchange the things they love (and hate). As Director of Audiences for the BBC Nick North is at the cutting-edge of this new world and will share his insights. How will film exhibitors adopt and adapt to this seismic shift?
Director of Audiences BBC
What is the relationship between the critic and the exhibition sector? Can critics still help drive audiences to films that lack marketing punch, or has the growth of fan-sites, bloggers and youtubers irretrievably eroded their power to influence?
Michael Rosser(chair) News Editor Screen International & Screendaily.com
Simran Hans Freelance Writer BFI, BuzzFeed, Little White Lies, Sight & Sound @heavier_things
Female directors may be outnumbered by their male counterparts, but some of the most exciting programming activity of recent times has focused on innovative ways of screening and discussing women’s work. Each of our panellists have captured audience imaginations with smart, witty, inclusive projects that speak to underserved viewers and bring new communities to the cinema. Come discuss the challenges, the pleasures and the practical nitty gritty with exhibitors who are successfully broadening the frame now.
Want to contribute to the evolution of storytelling? BBC Research and Development’s North Lab, based at MediaCityUK in Salford, showcase their latest experiment in a top secret, closed door workshop. A select group of THIS WAY UP attendees will try out a new smartphone app before being a shown a premiere of a short film that looks to change the way we engage. Further details are strictly under wraps, but the BBC are looking for volunteers to take part in this limited study and to share and discuss their experiences with other participants. Workshop led by Ian Forrester, BBC R&D North lab. Results from the workshop will be revealed at Thursday's The Film is Not Enough session.
Are you finding the transition to digital and DCP a bit bewildering? You're not alone! The Digital Cinema infrastructure for first-run features is now well-established, but for cinemas and film festivals showing shorts, older films not available on DCP, or other unusual content, there's little consensus on the best way to manage the process of getting films to screen. DIY DCP with open-source software is a game-changer in avoiding the exorbitant prices charged by post houses, but it comes with its own challenges - ludicrously long encode times, endless download links, wrangling weird video formats, and processes which are heavy on staff time. Jim Dummett, technical manager of London Short Film Festival, and closet computer boffin, is developing a new software system that aims to solve all our woes. In this session, he'll share some of the difficulties in delivering a festival like LSFF (440 films!) and some of the solutions he's found. And he wants your feedback to shape the system he's building to make sure it's as useful as possible for all exhibitors. If you run a film festival that's finding technical delivery stressful and expensive, or are dealing with unusual content and wish there was an easier way, this session is for you.
Jim Dummett Director Cinebox
How the independent cinema can make an impact and win over audiences. Independent cinemas take pride in offering an alternative to the multiplex, either in terms of programming, ambience or customer experience, but how can independent sites use guile, imagination, cunning and excitement (and very little money!) to make a distinct impression in the marketplace? By examining topics such as programming/counter programming, localised marketing, event cinema, private hires and customer service, we can look at how smaller cinemas can play to their strengths to increase their audience and market share. This lunchtime lab, led by Dallas King (Belmont Filmhouse) is designed to spark discussion and allow delegates to share their own experiences and successes and to spark new ideas.
Much discussion has been devoted to the higher prices that cinema now commands in some areas, however the average ticket price remains low. At the same time we have seen significant shifts in the way people spend their leisure time. Communication increasingly occupies the time that was previously dedicated to entertainment; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are all competitors now. In light of this, what are the pricing levers and value based propositions that exhibitors can use to drive and shape demand? Where can the public sector create value and increase opportunities to engage missing audiences? What is the value proposition of the cinema-going experience in the face of these changing audience behaviours? In this session we explore the price of cinema and the value of the experience.
Cinema is the hugely popular art form however cultural cinema – particularly cinema that is labelled arthouse, specialised or independent – is often viewed as elitist and alienating to a broad, general audience. Mel Larsen, leading marketing strategist, has worked with a host of cultural venues to address these barriers and will ask you to explore what the blocks might be for your events and venues. Using findings and techniques from the Not for the Likes of You study she will also offer practical principles and examples from organisations that have successfully changed their overall positioning to attract first time attenders and a broad general audience.
Gym membership, wine club, Netflix, football and music – our free time is split across a range of subscriptions but cinema is slow to follow suit. Season tickets work on delivering value for money and building loyalty, so why does (independent) cinema remain wedded to individual ticket sales? With a wealth of variable pricing models being adopted in the wider arts and entertainment sectors what should you consider before assuming free admission equates to access for all?
Annabel Grundy (chair) Arts & Events Producer
Your cinema or venue isn't just a building that shows films, your venue and organisation has a personality; from the way you speak to your customers in your marketing material to the welcome at the box office, from what food and drink you provide in the cafe to the reviews potential customers are reading about you online. If it’s not working then what have you missed? What’s putting people off? What do you need to know about visitor experience in venue and online? Our speakers are working in innovative ways to welcome audiences, ensure they have a good time and tell their friends.
Richard Shaw (chair) Director, Marketing, Communications & Audiences BFI
4.00pm - 5.00pm: “I’m not like you, I don’t feel like you” Persona swapping in Film Programming (Cinema 4) - OPEN SESSION
Neurocinematics is a term coined by Uri Hasson at Princeton University, who was among the first to investigate how the brain responds to film using an fMRI brain scanner. As studio heads look for more and more quantifiable data on the viability of their films and audience reactions, ‘neuromarketing’ is becoming a staple of much commercial filmmaking and trailer cutting. But what can this area of study tell us about the way that not only audiences, but film programmers react to difference? Considering how a lack of diversity in representation feeds into audience perception, how can programmers identify, examine and mediate their own empathetic responses to curate a truly diverse programme? Bringing together filmmakers, critics, curators and academics whose work addresses the intersection between representation, empathy and neurocinematics, we’ll explore how new technologies might help us to identify basic barriers to reaching different audiences and also provide opportunities to overcoming them.
Guy Lodge Journalist Variety @GuyLodge
Created by writer and performer Nathan Penlington and filmmakers Fernando Gutierrez De Jesus, Sam Smaïl and Nick Watson, Choose Your Own Documentary is a unique live experience. Audiences receive remote controls at the start of the show and are asked to vote on a series of questions and decisions throughout. The decisions made at these points have a direct impact on the unfolding story. Click here for more information...
Thursday 3rd December
THIS WAY UP welcomes the BFI to turn the spotlight onto someone they feel has led the way on key topics of conversation and priorities for them as a funding body, whilst making a valuable contribution to the exhibition sector and wider industry. With the success of The Falling being a highlight of the year in the independent market, its writer and director Carol Morley will be in Q&A with Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund. Join us for this opportunity to gain insights from one of the UK’s most exciting and innovative filmmakers about her experiences of the theatrical release, what she enjoyed from an exhibition point of view, what she’d like to see more of and how she feels about it now looking back.
Technology has broken the physical limitations on distribution and allowed us to release on all platforms, everywhere, all at once. Therefore we need a radical rethink about how exhibitors and distributors work together to service an audience used to seeing films when they want to (which is now). We take a look at at the changes and experiments taking place in the UK and Europe to the traditional release windows and models, and ask what it's impact will be on exhibition. Are these experiments a threat to cinemas? Or should we be confident in the appeal of the communal experience and adapt to changing audience behaviours?
Watershed/Film Hub South West West Midlands/Europa Cinemas.
An increasing number of independent films are bypassing centralised distribution routes to connect directly with exhibitors and audiences. Films with a sense of place, social media interaction and crowdfunding campaigns can offer audiences a personal connection to what appears on their big screen. But do authentic local stories for local people have an impact on cinema-going or can audiences smell the parochial? And what is an authentic local story anyway? This panel will hear from filmmakers and exhibitors working outwith the bounds of traditional distribution models.
Pre-registration only - FULLY BOOKED
The brochure still plays a key part in how your audience find out about what’s happening at your venue, but how do audiences use it? And what do they think of what we write? And copy really matters online, too. But with so little time to spend on marketing, what's the alternative to one-size fits all copying and pasting? Explore the answers in Heather Maitland's interactive workshop and you'll start to write copy that excites, informs and welcomes your audience.
Maru, Lil Bub and Grumpy Cat; three feline internet superstars who between them have had over 350 million views. Is it any wonder that enterprising film exhibitors are exploiting cat appeal and mounting cat themed programmes and film festivals? We get under the surface and ask how events like this are encouraging a more discursive, familial and domestic engagement, how institutions respond to the rise of rise of user-generated video and how online sharing culture is manifesting in real life. Is this the end of Cinema as we know it?
A Lunchtime Lab session run by
How do you define your politics in relation to cinema? And how does your personal ideology stack up against the box office figures? Engaging audiences through programming, marketing or operating cinema venues, what agency do exhibitors have to impact on which films get shown, talked about and produced? How independent do you want your independent cinema? What would a film culture utopia look like, and how are we going to get there? And what do films themselves tell us about what we should be fighting for? This energetic anti-panel session will reflect on these questions and more as we consider what we love about films and how we pick our battles.
With the rise of event cinema, alternative content, enhanced screenings, sing-a-longs, tweet-a-longs and cat video festivals is there a danger that the original purpose of cinemas - to show films – is being lost as audiences demand novelty and gimmickry? This panel will hear from those folk who are changing audience perceptions and expectations of what ‘coming to the cinema’ means.
The pressure to employ a data-led approach may feel like the latest strain on your limited resources. You don’t understand it and more importantly you suspect infographics are to evaluation what Colouring for Mindfulness is to just having a nap. We have to accept there’s certainly never going to be less data. Or fewer consultants trying to sell you a data tool. On this panel you’ll hear from the commercial, public and independent sectors and they hope to convince you that data of all different shapes and sizes can be used with integrity and pragmatism.
Anthony Thornton Head of Digital Content BFI @athytn
Documentaries increasingly ‘cross-over’ and deliver healthy box office without compromising programme quality but do exhibitors provide the best chance for audiences to discover and see these films? Often they are shoved into limited runs, unpopular slots and over-shadowed by the fiction titles in our programmes. Is it time to stop devaluing the documentary and reap the rewards?