Film Hub North‘s THIS WAY UP, an annual exhibitor’s conference, travels to Hull this year. Hosted by Hull Truck Theatre, the growing event highlights a number of key contemporary issues, with a focus on the diversity in the industry. The discussion aims to emphasise the influence of social activity on community groups, whilst examining themes of representation and inclusivity in programming. Creating a dialogue that underlines the changing social and technological landscapes of both cinema and the wider world, TWP takes audiences into the future.
The importance of these conversations is clear. Martin Green, Director of Hull UK City of Culture 2017 and speaker at TWU, notes: “Thanks to BFI Film Hub North, Hull Independent Cinema and our other partners we have seen a vast array of film related activity, which has entertained us, offered commentary on society and held up a mirror on our lives. It has also opened up opportunities for people wanting to be involved in this vitally important sector.”
Other contributions come from Jenny Sealey MBE, winner of the Liberty Human Rights Award and co-director of the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony and Moira Sinclair, CEO of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (PHF). Sealey has been CEO/Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre, a pioneering disabled-led company which foregrounds D/deaf and disabled actors, for 20 years. Graeae, a known expert in accessible aesthetics, integrates sign-language, captions and audio description into their performances, engaging effectively with all audiences. In the same manner, PHF, one of the UK’s largest independent grant-makers, helps people overcome disadvantage and lack of opportunity, with a focus on championing social justice, supporting young people and promoting the arts.
The debate, MC’d by James Mullighan, previous director of both Cork and Edinburgh International Film Festivals, will be accompanied by a series of practical sessions. The content of both sections of the event will be framed by four main themes: The Power of Culture – foregrounding the transformative potential of cultural activity, Technological Change – a critical look at the impact and future potential of digitalisation, Ethics and Resilience – evaluating the morality of the industry and Places, Spaces and the Global Community – a survey of urban infrastructure, assessing the place of culture in the modern age.
1. Image courtesy Film Hub North.