JH mug shotCongratulations to CFMC’s award winning film maker John Howden FACI, who has been elected Chairman of the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers (IAC), the national body for amateur film makers.

After studying at architectural school, John began his professional career in repertory theatre as a scenic artist and costume designer where he was to meet Sue, an actress, who became his wife. At the same time, he felt a calling to be ordained and underwent training at Salisbury Theological College.

Following his ordination, he went to serve in Gillingham in Kent where he was invited to present one of the first Thoughts for the Day on Radio Medway. This eventually led to him taking a full-time job as a producer on BBC Radio Humberside and later a trainer of radio staff.

After 13 years with the BBC, he returned to the Church as a parish priest working in Essex. He had owned several 8mm, Super 8 and Hi 8 cameras but had never seriously edited footage into recognisable films.

A parishioner invited him to be a judge at Colchester Film Makers Club and John was hooked! He bought his first serious camera, the Sony TRV950, recording on mini DV, and as he said: a whole new world began to open up.

I discovered a group of enthusiasts who were prepared to share their knowledge and love of film. They welcomed me with whatever sound recording expertise I might have had and gave me a kick start into this all-consuming world,” he explained.

Through the Colchester club he discovered the existence of the IAC and its North Thames Region. He served as Colchester’s Chair and Competitions Officer and is currently one of a team of projectionists. He went on to join the North Thames Council and became its chair.

With my background in architecture, theatre, radio and the Church, I am now an enthusiastic film maker first and foremost,” he said.

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