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New rural films project launches
AN ambitious project to bring the bright lights of Hollywood to the smaller rural corners of the county is ready to get underway.
The Rural Reels initiative aims to make movies more accessible to all by holding regular film screenings in village halls and community venues around the Malvern Hills district.
It has been backed by various organisations, including the Big Lottery Fund’s Village SOS scheme, which awarded £42,500 to help purchase movie equipment.
With three sets of permanent equipment and two portable sets now in place and volunteers trained up to run the cinema nights, the project is set for its official launch today (Friday).
The launch, at Ripple Parish Hall, near Upton, is invitationonly but members of the public will soon have the chance to see Rural Reels in action with busy autumn cinema schedules planned for all of nine community venues involved.
And the project is likely to be a big hit with movie lovers, if the success of a pilot scheme run last year with a £10,000 grant from Malvern Hills District Council is any indication of what to expect.
That saw more than 1,600 people pack into 22 different venues in just 12 months to enjoy showings of smash hits such as The Help and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
The nine venues initially included in the Rural Reels project are Ripple, Upton’s Memorial Hall, St Peter’s Church in Malvern and parish halls in Castlemorton, Clifton on Teme, Grimley, Lower Broadheath, Eastham and Hanley Broadheath.
But there are long-term aims to get plenty of other venues and communities all over Worcestershire involved.
Rural Reels spokesman John Bennett explained: “The existing partners have agreed that 50 per cent of ticket sales are to be ploughed back into a central fund to provide for expansion to other communities in Worcestershire, and any maintenance or upgrading of equipment.”
He added: “It is essential that we pass on our experiences to other communities in Worcestershire, both good and bad.
And also, if possible, to provide financial support and advice."
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