Bertha DocHouse: Amazing Grace + Live Gospel Choir

Presenting a screening with a gospel choir for new audiences
Thomas Humphrey

Project Overview

Following the success of Beyoncé’s Homecoming, we wanted to see if we could present a live gospel choir showing of Amazing Grace with We Are Parable to attract new, younger audiences to our cinema.

Why the project matters

As a community interest company, we want our programme to represent a broad church with something for everyone – and our audiences don’t necessarily always currently reflect that; without continuously attracting a next generation of viewers, the legacy of our cinema is destined to be a short-lived one.


To attract a younger audience, and viewers from wider multicultural audiences than we typically attract

Headline results

Whilst we didn’t necessarily achieve our intended results at this particular event, we had an extremely successful run with this film as a result of this campaign, with Amazing Grace performing exceptionally well with us for 12 weeks. See our blog post for ICO here.


Amazing Grace

Key partnerships

We Are Parable, London International Gospel Choir



Learning outcomes

What worked

Our marketing was good. The event sold out in 4 days. Our influencer screening was a big success also.

What didn’t work

We didn’t manage to ring-fence enough tickets for our intended new audience (we didn’t expect such a fast sell out), and possibly didn’t conceive of good enough a strategy as to how we would have gotten those tickets to that audience.

What you’d do differently if you did it again

Find some way to reserve a set number of tickets purely for our intended audience, and then work with more time to achieve our desired goal.


Awareness & attitudes

It really helped us as a team to see that we could deliver an ambitious project like this; we are definitely keen to do more like this, but it’s also helped us recognise that commitments like this need to be more than things you just pick up for one off screenings, so we’re hoping to do year-long collaborations this year, that will allow us to strengthen and grow relationships with gatekeepers who can help us attract the new audiences we seek.


It’s my 2020 resolution to stop talking about things in empty ways using this particular loaded term. All I can say is that We Are Parable is everything we could have hoped for in a partner, and their skill at helping us get black-British influencers into the building was excellent. We feel we’ve formed much better ties with them as a result of this project, and hope to work with them much more in future

Knowledge & experience

Knowing that we can deliver ambitious events; knowing that tickets should be reserved for new audiences you’re trying to reach, and a more concentrated strategy for reaching them should be created.

Find out more about this project from our ICO blog post: Was Our Attempt to Attract Younger Audiences an #Epicfail?