Co-op film festival will put social justice on the screen

Birmingham Co-operative Film Society is running the event for Co-operatives Fortnight, in partnership with Central England Co-op and Co-op News

A virtual social justice-themed film festival is being organised by the Birmingham Co-operative Film Society – aka Just Film, in partnership with Central England Co-operative and Co-op News, for Co-operatives Fortnight.

Just Film, which is affiliated with Cinema for All, has provided a monthly public screening of a ‘film to make you think’ for the last decade, and during lockdown has provided a number of opportunities for members to watch films online.

The co-op was established with support from Central England Co-opand which continues to provide support and encouragement.

Explaining the ethos and success of the co-op, board chair Kate Palser said: “We screen a range of titles not normally on offer in the city centre, all high quality and always entertaining. They have raised important issues relating to social justice, the environment, peace, co-operation and human rights and we look forward to the festival continuing this exploration.

“Our monthly film shows are open to all, although we encourage individuals like-minded individuals and groups to become members. This gives you a say in the running of the society and discounts on ticket prices.”

After celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020, the society’s Film Festival is a new and exciting development for 2021. The final program is still in planning but will continue to feature a mix of drama, documentary and animation that explores major social issues of the day. A

longside traditional features, the Festival will also include the screening of 20 short films submitted in one of three competition categories: Telling Co-operative Stories (sponsored by Co-op News); Social Justice Drama Shorts; and Social Justice Documentary Short. Judges will include Debbie Robinson (CEO, Central England) and Rebecca Harvey (editor, Co-op News). 

There will be an additional prize awarded to a film in any category submitted by film-makers under the age of 25 (sponsored by Central England Co-operative).

The festival will start with an online launch event on Friday 18 June and run to Sunday 4 July. Entries for the short film categories can be submitted between Monday 5th April and Friday 21 May.

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