In conversation series:
Interviewee: Tim Brown
Interviewer: Christina Reading
Date of interview: May 2010.
Tim has a unique insight into the Duke of York’s. He started working there as an Assistant Manager and Education Officer in 1997 and since 2000 he has worked both at Screen Archive South East and has continued as a special events programmer for the Duke of York’s.
Cinecity – Brighton’s Film Festival
Tim is Co-Director of the annual Cinecity festival, Brighton’s film festival, which screens in November / December at the Duke of York’s and other venues around the city showing a range of films including international previews and premieres.
The Cinecity festival, which started in 2003, was born of the collaboration between Frank Gray, Director of Screen Archive South East, at the University of Brighton and Tim Brown.
There had previously been a film and media strand in the Brighton Festival but budgetary constraints and a decision to focus on the performing arts meant film was dropped from their programme. ‘Being in the right place at the right time’ there was an opportunity to set up a dedicated Brighton film festival and Cinecity was born.
Choice of films for Cinecity
“ Cinecity aims to create ‘a sense of discovery’ – to screen a wide range of work bringing in prints in from abroad so the festival is your only opportunity to see a particular work, and not just screening material that will be coming out in the next 6 months,”
What makes Cinecity different?
“Cinecity looks to link the different parts of the programme, including exhibitions at the University of Brighton.”
As Tim puts it: ‘Cinecity would be that bit in the middle where film connects with art, connects with philosophy and literature and graphic design, where it’s more than the sum of its parts’.
Audience development and the Duke of York’s
Whilst cinema admissions are growing again in the UK, Tim acknowledges ‘that really masks a worrying trend in a way, because going to see Avatar or the Bond films or Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, the bigger blockbuster films, everyone is going to see the same films but certainly not the range of films, as even 10 years ago’.
In his view, the Duke of York’s ‘first responsibility is to keep open and show whatever people want to watch whilst at the same time trying to take them into other territories and build that audience, otherwise you take the route of the multiplexes and just show the cash cows, then you might find that there is no audience for the other types of cinema in a few years time’.