Village cinema screenings
Hosting cinema screenings and before-and-after social activities in the village library – or other municipal building.
How do you rate this example?
- What’s the solution?
- What makes it smart?
- How is the solution implemented?
- In what local context has it been applied?
- Who was behind the implementation?
- What was the local journey?
- What have been the main outputs & results?
- What does it bring the village/community?
- What’s needed
- What to do…
- and not to do.
Where and when
Implemented in : Katymár, Hungary
Country : Hungary
Population : 1690
Date : 2010 – Ongoing
Find out more
Contact person : Aranka Bujdosó
E-mail : email@example.com
Last updated : 20/04/21
What’s the solution?
Village cinema screenings involve projecting a film in a local municipal building in order to offer cultural and social opportunities to potentially isolated local inhabitants.
Film screenings can be organised in collaboration with the local community to select both the films and the dates on which they are to be shown, and adapted to suit both younger and adult audiences.
One of the main aims of the cinema screenings is community building, so additional programme of activities is usually organised before and/or after showing the film. This often includes tea, coffee & snacks, talks by invited speakers (linked to the theme of the film) or discussions after the screening on what was seen in order to generate interaction and connections between local residents. Cinema screenings can also be used to communicate and/or discuss other community news or initiatives.
Specific screenings for children should be accompanied by games and learning activities and can be organised together with any local schools.
What makes it smart?
The solution is smart because it demonstrates a form of social innovation, ensuring the cost-effective provision of a cultural service that would not otherwise be available to the local rural community. It thus encourages social connections and community building which can offset problems of loneliness and isolation within the community and also trigger further community activities.
It also provides opportunities for additional activities with educational or health benefits as well as for citizen engagement in other local initiatives – through activities carried out alongside the screenings.
How is the solution implemented?
- Identify a suitable municipal room/space where films could be shown.
- If no such room exists, consider investing in the construction of such a space – which could serve multiple community functions in addition to film screenings.
- Purchase any needed IT and other equipment for projection (computer, projector, screen)
- Raise community awareness of the upcoming cinema screenings
- Engage the community in selecting films and dates that suit their interests and preferences
- Organise cinema screenings, including post-screening activities (discussions, educational activities etc.)
In what local context has it been applied?
Katymár is a settlement in South-Hungary, with 1690 inhabitants. The village lies directly at the border of Serbia, only 50 km away from Croatia, and has a significant Croatian minority (8.9 % based on the census in 2011).
Comparing to other similar sized villages in Hungary, the settlement is rich in basic services, i.e. has a kindergarten, primary school, library, social home, public kitchen, post office, doctor, pharmacy, groceries, every Thursday a market, hairdresser, playground, and room for rent as accommodation. The village is home to 8 civic associations (in the field of: hunting, fishing, sports, culture, firefighting and civil guard).
However, the village had very limited cultural and other leisure offerings, i.e. only a pub, a football field, a fishing lake and a community centre where they can organise events, and had no cinema until 2015. Increasingly, people in Katymár got together less and less often. After work, usually television is the only or the easiest way to relax, which in turn causes separation in the community.
The settlement is relatively remote, there is no good infrastructure and is far from bigger cities. It was once connected to the railway network, but was discontinued in 1960 and the track was picked up. The nearest town is Baja with 35,000 inhabitants, which is 30 km away, i.e. about 30 minutes by car. While, the county seat, Kecskemét (110,000 inhabitants) is 125 km away, which means a little less than 2 hours by car. There is a relatively good connection with the nearby cities by public bus. During weekdays, during the day, there is on average a public bus in each hour.
The nearest cinemas are in Szeged (1h 20m by car – 95 km) or Pécs (1h 35m by car – 120 km) or there is a little one with less programmes in Kiskunhalas (55m by car – 62 km).
Who was behind the implementation?
The inspiration came from Mária Ramháb, the director of the county library (Bács-Kiskun József Katona County Library) who has personal connections to the settlement.
The mayor of the village and the local librarian saw the opportunity in her ideas and started the planning of the complex development.
Implementation of the initiative locally was also tied in with a national Library Cinema initiative launched by the National Informatics and Library Association together with Kecskemét Movie Ltd and coordinated at regional level by the Bács-Kiskun József Katona County Library.
What was the local journey?
In 2010, Katymár modernised its municipal library. An old building of the local school was renovated so that three former classrooms were connected in order to create a single space of 145m2 to house the library and also be adaptable to other community functions. The library was specially designed with easy-to-move furniture. The bookshelves are only against to the walls, whilst the tables and chairs in the middle space can be rearranged in a few movements.
In 2015, Katymár public library was one of the first to connect to a new national Library Cinema initiative in Hungary, which is a national service offered to the libraries of small settlements with a population less than 5,500. Katymár registered on a central service portal and the librarian received a personal code to access and choose from an ever-expanding database on the Library Cinema portal - currently containing more than 750 Hungarian films offered by various Hungarian film studios and copyright organisations - without having to worry about copyrights and licences to project the films. Through this initiative, the screenings can only take place in the library area, it is not allowed to be screened in other places (e.g. the culture centre).
Training was provided to library staff:
- for the operation of technical equipment;
- for use the Library Cinema Portal; and
- about the necessary data and information for uploading images.
On an ongoing basis, there is further regular in-service training to improve the service.
The county library provided the local library in Katymár with the technical equipment necessary for the Library Cinema including a projector and screen.
The local librarian was then responsible for the proper use of the national service and for organising regular cinema screenings locally, with different screenings targeting children, students and the adult population. After each screening, a report with photos must be prepared and uploaded on the national Library Cinema website.
Local residents were consulted on what films they would like to watch from the library cinema database. It was found that, for adults, it is more difficult to agree on a date than for children or students. Several aspects had to be taken into account and it was necessary to find dates which were OK for the majority.
To promote the film screenings among the local community, the local librarian is able to make use of downloadable editable A4 templates to create small posters for noticeboards as part of a ‘marketing toolkit’. The toolkit also includes size A2 posters to be placed in the library and at other community locations, as well as products to promote the library cinema initiative more generally, such as mugs, bags and T-shirts. Facebook is also used.
Screenings aimed at children are organised directly with the local school so that participation is guaranteed (no promotion needed) and all the before and after activities – social and educational – can be organised together with the teachers.
In line with the conditions of the national library cinema initiative, there is no charge for screenings in Katymár and no products are allowed to be sold on site. The hospitality of larger events is supported by the municipality (with tea, biscuits, etc.)
As part of the cinema screenings, the librarian also organises post-screening discussions. These also benefit from specific support from the National Informatics and Library Association, which regularly makes a recommendation, drawing attention to different actualities or interesting topics, and for the kids, they create booklets and provide them to library cinemas for the post-screening sessions. These discussions can be interesting and lively, but it has been found that after a longer film, it is no longer easy to organize a conversation, especially in the winter evenings.
The biggest challenge involved with making the cinema screenings work is getting people out of their homes each time. To encourage this, there is a consistent effort by the librarian to engage the community in selecting films and dates that correspond to their needs and preferences. This key role for the librarian is also a key part of ensuring the continuity of the service within the community.
What have been the main outputs & results?
By the end of 2020, the Katymár Library has held 175 screenings since the first cinema screening on 8 October 2015 (which took place in the framework of the National Library Days).The screenings have targeted different age groups: pre-schoolers, schoolchildren and adults.
The initiative is a great success among the local population, which have now been participating in community events at the library unbroken and enthusiastically for 5 years. There has been a total of 2660 participants, of which 1674 children and 986 adults.
Participants regularly bring cakes, soft drinks and other delicacies to the screening, thus contributing to their community experience and standard of the events.
Today, in addition to its traditional book-lending services, the library’s most important role is in community building and learning support.
Mrs. Istvánné Refle (62 years old): “I like this library cinema programme because we can always watch good movies with our dear acquaintances. That's when I go out with pleasure; I know I will have a nice time. ”
Mónika Vujevity (29 years old): “I love going to the library, I love books and there are even super programmes. I would highlight library cinema, a great opportunity to meet my friends.”
Olivér Tumó (7 years old): "I like to come here because the ladies who work here are very nice and we always watch my favourite tales, after that we stay and play a lot."
What does it bring the village/community?
- The local cinema screenings have given the local population a meeting place again - an opportunity to get together, talk and enrich themselves with common experiences.
- The cinema screenings offer an important opportunity to combat social isolation and build social cohesion – potentially leading to new connections and new community activities.
- The cinema screenings also bring educational opportunities, with the potential to build local skills and competences and share knowledge.
Main types of cost:
Set-up costs of the cinema screenings: 6,886 EUR
• New easy-to-move furniture for the library – 6,131 EUR
• Technical equipment (projector & screen) – 755 EUR
Ongoing/recurring annual costs are mainly linked to the necessary preparatory activities and promotional materials
Note: Katymár did not have a suitable municipal space at its disposal and needed to build one. Back in 2010, the construction costs associated with creating the library room were: 20,886 EUR.
|National Scheme - National Cultural Fund||6,131 €||Complete library equipment (moveable furniture etc.)|
|National Informatics and Library Association; the Bács-Kiskun József Katona County Library||800 €||Technical equipment (projector, screen), plus additional promotional materials|
• Active and engaged librarian (and other library staff)
• A suitable room in a municipal building (in the case of Katymár a library) of minimum 80-100 m2, with easy-to-move furniture
• Broadband internet access and computer
• Projector and large screen
What to do…
- DO Start by assessing the level of community interest in local film screenings and continue to engage the community in planning screenings;
- DO Find out about any possible national or regional initiatives to support community film screenings or organisations that could provide the rights to project films in community settings and take on board the necessary conditions;
- DO Organise high-quality, varied programmes;
- DO Watch the films to be shown in advance to help prepare post-screening discussions;
- DO Have technical support on hand in case of difficulties on the screening.
and not to do
- DON’T organise cinema screenings without consulting and engaging the local community first;
- DON’T organise screenings at the last minute;
- DON’T show films that you have not watched in advance;
- DON’T go into a cinema screening without a ‘Plan B’ in case there are insurmountable difficulties in showing the film on the day. Make sure there is something else to engage participants if necessary.
- DON’T give up if participation is initially low – continue to spread the word and engage the community!