If you’ve ever wanted to run your own film society, pop-up cinema or mini film festival, here’s your chance to learn! The Hamlets Pop-Up Cinema project will not only bring world cinema screenings to diverse venues across Tower Hamlets this autumn and winter, but also give free training to twenty local people on the legal, technical and promotional aspects of running their own community cinema. The project is being delivered by arts and film charity Balik Arts, and is supported by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Starting in September, The Hamlets Pop-Up Cinema will run three monthly one-day training courses. The first session will take place at Four Corners on Roman Road, E2, between 11am and 4pm on Saturday 30 September. Run in collaboration with Cinema for All and Independent Cinema Office, The Hamlets Community Cinema Course will cover programming (how to select the right films for your audience and obtain them), film licensing and legal requirements, and marketing and publicity, immersive cinema (special events), sustainability (volunteer management, fundraising etc), and the technical aspects of film screenings.

The training is open to young people and adults who are resident or work in Tower Hamlets. Participants will acquire knowledge and skills, which they can then put into practical use by helping to run the borough’s new pop up cinema, with a view to continuing the screenings long after the initial project has concluded. Course participants will also gain valuable insights about a sector that is often difficult-to-access: armed with hands-on experience and industry contacts, they can pursue similar work in a voluntary or paid capacity in the future.

Tower Hamlets Council is funding The Hamlets project through its Thriving High Streets programme. The free training course is open to a maximum of 20 people aged 18 or over. No prior experience in the sector is needed.

To register your interest to attending the training courses, email info@balikarts.org.uk with your name and address, with ‘The Hamlets Community Cinema Training’ in the subject line. You will be sent a link to an online form, which you should complete and submit. You’ll be informed by 27 September if your application is successful.

Tramontane (2016) will be the first film to be shown as part of The Hamlets Pop-Up Cinema, screened at Oxford House on Friday 6 October. The feature film, set in Lebanon about a young blind man, premiered in the International Critics’ Week section of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival where it was awarded the Grand Rail d’Or Audience Award.

Future screenings will take place monthly in business premises in town centres across the borough, including on Roman Road West, Watney Market, Brick Lane and Bethnal Green. The local community will be able to watch a selection of films from around the world that reflect the borough’s diversity. The full programme will be announced next month, and will run until February 2018.

To learn more about the project and future screenings, visit The Hamlets pop-up cinemablog, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.