The Cinematic Syncopations Orchestra, a film by new member Dave Thompson, has won the prestigious Film of the Year title at the club’s Boudicca Film Awards.
Dave received the FOTY Boudicca from the Mayor of Colchester, Cllr Peter Chillingworth, watched by a large audience at Firstsite.
Dave’s film qualified to enter the FOTY by winning the Chairman’s Cup. The name - SP27 Concert – was apparently only its file name and was added to the entry form by mistake.
The background to the film was that the girlfriend of Dave’s son was the concert’s production manager. He was asked if he would film the orchestra setting up and rehearsing. Having done that he decided to ask each member of the management team a few open questions and capture their emotional responses on camera.
The awards evening also marked the club’s Diamond Jubilee and Master of Ceremonies, Paul Desmond read out a short extract from CFMC history, written by Bernard Polley:
“Our story really starts in the spring of 1959 when two keen amateur cinematographers - Don Leech and Eric Smith - called a meeting at the Cross Keys Inn in Long Wyre Street to see if there was sufficient interest to form a cine club.
“Twenty people attended and Colchester & District Cine Society was born on 24th April 1959. Don Leech, a school master, was elected Chairman.
“It was agreed that meetings would be held fortnightly at St. Martins in West Stockwell Street - a draughty disused church. Those founder members were using 16mm, 9.5mm and standard 8mm film stock.”
During the season CFMC held five competitions: the winning film in each category qualified to compete for the Film of the Year title. In addition, each of the winners received a Boudicca for coming top in their respective categories. The evening’s judges were professional film makers John Worland and Nik Read, and film enthusiast Cllr Chillingworth.
The winning of the Open film was by John Jones entitled The Harry Potter Studio Tour. As ardent Harry Potter fans, John and his step-daughter Laura Maddock decided to visit the studio where the magic was brought to life. John said that it was a stunning day with none of the magic lost – “In fact, it was all the more breath-taking, realising that it wasn’t real but actually created by some amazing film-makers.” John’s film gave a small insight into the world created by JK Rowling. The Five Minute competition, which this season had the theme of “Living” was Cure of Souls by Canon John Howden. As an Anglican priest John is often asked “What is the difference between a vicar and a rector’? And so he set out to answering that question. The top Documentary was by John Jones and entitled 60 East Street. Local folk may remember the hardware store – Charles Brown and Sons – in East Street. In 2004 bulldozers moved in to demolish part of the site to make way for new developments. John’s film - spanning 15 years in the making - showed what was, and what had become, of this iconic building. The Holiday category winner was Harborough Highlights by John Howden. John is chairman of the national Amateur Film Institute, which held it’s AGM in Market Harborough. He and wife Sue had some free time over that weekend and decided to explore the area after joining the National Trust.
Following the Boudicca presentation to Dave by the Mayor, three additional films were screened – The Rising of Mercury, Raising Mercury and Digital Christmas. In the late 1960s, a decision was made to replace the outworn theatre in the High Street which had its origins in the Colchester Repertory Company, formed in 1937. Two members – Bernard Polley and David Pettit - decided to film the site clearance and construction phases, including the official opening of the Mercury Theatre on 10 May 1972. The Rising of Mercury was filmed nearly half a century ago. Today the building is no longer considered fit for purpose and a multi-million-pound fund has been raised to replace it. Work is now well underway with a scheduled opening in September next year. Having watched the earlier film, Paul Desmond decided he wanted to record the latest development and contacted the theatre’s management who readily agreed to his proposal. Paul then recruited Robin Garton to assist him and later Peter Noakes joined the team. They have produced one short, called Raising Mercury which was also screened.
Four Stars for Group Film
Each summer the club undertakes to make a group film. The evening’s offering was based on an original idea by member Ken Rickwood, who went on to have the starring role. Ken’s story was adapted for the screen by John Howden and directed by John Groslin. The director of photography was Henry Keep. Entitled Digital Christmas, the film has been well received by audiences and won a Four Star rating at the British International Film Festival.