Eyes Wide Open Cinema

An exploration of queer cinema in Brighton.
Jacob Engelberg, Programmer

Eyes Wide Open

What worked and why

As always, our most successful events were ones we hosted ‘nominally’ with Picturehouse as a partner. We don’t have a financial stake in these screenings but rather are listed as co-presenters in exchange for publicity – these included God’s Own Country and Queerama. These films already had a significant amount of press attention that we’re able to build upon. We were also happy with the success of the ‘Snap’ season which achieved healthy admits that I believe were a result of our curatorial choices and cinema plus discussion offerings.

What didn’t work and why

Our least successful event was the My Genderation Shorts Programme. This was probably because it was confirmed quite last minute and there was not much time for promotion. Quite a disparate programme without a central theme (the production company being the only constant).

How you plan to implement the changes

Our programming for 2018 has been geared around the aims laid out in terms of “Looking Ahead.” Specifically re: increasing foreign-language film, our season of queer Arab cinema has significantly increased the percentage of foreign-language output.

We also worked with the Queer Film Network to organise a screening of shorts around the theme of queerness and disability and are working with a local programmer of films exploring disability for a collaborative screening.

Re: ticket prices, we’ve set up an email where people can request free tickets, no questions asked. The vast majority of our screenings this year have been captioned and BSL interpreted.

Do you feel the project has impacted diversity?

Definitely. Our screenings tend to address experiences at the intersection of queerness and another marginalised identity. This is often the springboard for some great discussion and audience engagement.