ICO Screening Day 2017 (Magic Lantern)

Sara Waddington attended the ICO Screening Days on behalf of The Magic Lantern Cinema in November 2017, read about her experience below. 



I had a fantastic time at the ICO Screening Days. Not only did I get the opportunity to see a brilliantly diverse range of films but I had the opportunity to meet and chat with other cinema managers and programmers. This in itself was invaluable as I am fairly new in my role as Venue Manager so I am keen to learn as much as I can from those with more experience.

I watched a huge variety of films, documentaries, comedies, thrillers, foreign language films and I found the scoring system hugely helpful. It was so interesting to see how others felt about the films I had seen and also to give me an idea about the films I was unable to watch.

I also attended a marketing workshop which aimed to focus on how to market a film that wouldn’t usually do well at your venue. This was great because it gave me the chance to talk to other people in the industry and I would have liked this session to go on longer, and not just because there was free wine!

I found the event to be hugely helpful, not only in giving me the opportunity to see films, of which many I would like to see at my cinema, but also provided me with plenty of ideas for how to market and make sure we get an audience for them.


After speaking with several other attendees I have a better understanding of programming smaller, independent films and the opportunity to see these films in advance will be hugely beneficial when it comes to programming next year.
We find we can “hand sell” films we have personally seen and loved.

I plan to discuss alterations to our current programming days and times because of what I have learned at this event. I also have new ideas in terms of marketing them and ways of reaching new audiences.

1). The opportunity to see films in advance of screening them – some of these films would not be considered if we could not personally back them and recommend them to our audiences.

2). The chance to meet and talk with other cinema managers/programmers. Many people have a lot of experience they were willing to share.

3). New ideas about marketing and finding audiences for certain types of films.

4). The scores given to each film will be extremely useful when programming next year.

5). The literature provided for all films was excellent.