...the enterprising Oxen Park Cinema Club, started by a group of cinephiles in a remote hamlet here in my adopted homeland, the Lake District.
I have screened a short with them before and this time was invited to screen Bata-ville with a Q & A session afterwards, in the same remote church hall that Grizedale Arts had hosted a memorable evening with the venerable Ken Russell last summer. After Lisa and I had sat outside the wrong venue for 15 minutes chatting, I powered up my laptop and discovered in fact we were meant to be at an even more remote church hall - with 10 minute to go!
The rain was streaking down but by driving at 80 mph down country tracks (a speciality of mine), and ringing up Adam for directions from home (knowing that noone at the church hall would be getting a mobile signal) we made it - just in time to prevent the waiting audience from watching the lamentable directors interview on the DVD to fill time.
The dozen or so people there were most forgiving, and presented me with a lovely framed film poster they had made for the event - which was really touching. As I have watched the film countless times, I snuck back through the mire to my car for 90 minutes, passing the time on my laptop and feeling strangely moved that here I was in the middle of nowhere, with an audience for my film that outnumbered many we have had in cities. Next time I feel despondant and cut off out here in the sticks I must remember Oxen Park Cinema Club, and the energy and dedication of its members.
To continue the charideeee theme from Nina (below) - the Club is also hosting a further Bata-ville screening to raise money for the Coniston Water Festival (in which Nina and I did another of our Knock Out performances)
It's at the John Ruskin School in Coniston on Thurs. April 13th at 8pm, where we'll also be joined by a group of Czech orienteers who are staying at the school - giving us another dimension no doubt (and some better beer?!) to the Q & A at the end....