Foxlowe Films, since we started in February 2011, initially with borrowed equipment, has produced three, up to fourteen consecutive weekly programmes a year. Spring, Summer and Winter. The ICO Screening Days have been the bedrock of the information we require when selecting our films.. Back in 2012 I watched amazing films that have stayed with me. Amongst the ones we showed from that event was Wadja by the celebrated director Haifaa Al Mansour. In our upcoming programme we are showing her recent film The Perfect Candidate . Other films from 2012 that we screened were Amour, Broken, False Trail, The Hunt and In the House. A great start for Foxlowe Films. It put us on the map. A cinema in Leek after a massive gap of thirty five years. Due to the ICO we have watched stellar films to help programme our obsessive venture.

It is now Bradford 2022! The number of attendees were noticeably less. Film groups were restricted to three per weekend and there was no reduction for attending less than three days. Just glancing at the names I think there were a third less people and many opting for watching online. Good to have that option but for me there is nothing like watching a film on the big screen with perfect sound and picture. It is useful for catching up with films there wasn’t time to fit in. An example for me was Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, one of my favourites on the programme and a must for the Foxlowe programme.

Sheena and Helen who were with me from Leek enjoyed meeting up for breaks with the Buxton group, twelve miles from us, its our nearest arthouse cinema. Between us we must have covered every film and it was useful at every break to discuss what we had just seen. Watched the opening film Casque d’Or with Russell Heath from Stoke Film Theatre. Great film and heard the good news that Russell is tentatively optimistic Stoke Film Theatre will re-open in January. A gem of a cinema and has been missed.

I think there were ten films that Foxlowe Films could potentially show, and maybe four definite. I’ve just returned from Holland, since Bradford, and Corsage and Close have both had two week screenings in the local arthouse Cacofabriek in Helmond and great reviews in the national press. We go in ‘blind’ to these films. In most cases we have no prior knowledge and no press coverage to guide us. It never ceases to amaze me how saturation promoting can make a film a huge success and can change a mind that seemed made up when described by the excellent reviewers we have in the UK.

In conclusion I would recommend anyone who enjoys film to attend one of these events. For me personally, watching such a broad range of films in the past ten years has been a life changer. Once again the ICO have put on a splendid programme.

Margaret received a bursary from Film Hub Midlands to attend the ICO Autumn Screening Days.