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New pilot scheme launched to open up digital cinema to rural North Yorkshire

[Thursday 29 July 2010]

UK Film Council awards new consortium £400,000 to run North Yorkshire Rural Cinema Pilot Scheme.

A newly-formed consortium has been awarded Lottery funding by the UK Film Council to bring the latest in digital cinema to venues across rural North Yorkshire.

The North Yorkshire Rural Cinema Pilot Scheme will be delivered by a consortium helmed by regional screen agency Screen Yorkshire, and comprising the community arts company Blaize, the National Media Museum in Bradford and North Yorkshire County Council.

Backed with £400,000 of Lottery funding over three years, the consortium will purchase a combination of digital cinema standard projection equipment and high definition Blu Ray kit, which it will operate in easily accessed local venues across the region including Northallerton Forum, Galtres Centre Easingwold, Selby Town Hall and Whitby Pavilion. Screenings are expected to commence later this year.

Rural communities will be able to enjoy a modern digital cinema experience, including live opera, theatre and sport satellite events beamed across the UK, without having to travel long distances.

Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Creative Industries and Communications, said: “We are a nation full of people enthusiastic about film and these people don’t just live in our big cities. This innovative approach is an exciting step forward in giving people who don’t have easy access to cinemas more opportunities to see top-class films, in a digital format, closer to home.

“Through this project people in rural areas could be seeing the latest blockbuster and new British films in a pop-up cinema, in the open-air, in a community centre or a town hall. Not only is this an imaginative way of making it possible for people to see a wider range of films, it’s also a great way of communities getting together to enjoy a unique cinematic experience with their friends, families and neighbours.”

John Woodward, Chief Executive Officer of the UK Film Council, said: “Enabling people to get access to a wide range of films on the big screen is an important objective for us. Our research shows that there’s a big appetite for the cinema experience in rural areas, but in many cases it’s not being met. This experimental Lottery-funded scheme will bring together rural communities to watch films in 3D, to catch some of the latest releases, and to see specialist films as well as try out alternative cinema experiences like live opera, and big sports events using digital and satellite delivery.”

Sally Joynson, Chief Executive of Screen Yorkshire said; “Screen Yorkshire is proud to be leading this project bringing together a new partnership which will impact across North Yorkshire. Drawing on the great experience in the region we can bring the joy and excitement of film to people and places without access to regular cinema – and add some of Yorkshire’s unique film programming to these new venues.”

For more information on the scheme, visit www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk/rural

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