Dan Ellis – Founder and Managing Director of Jam Jar Cinema and Iain MacColl – Senior Operator, Screen Machine announced as first ever winners of “For the Love of Film” competition
Dan Ellis and Iain MacColl have today been announced as the winners of BAFTA and EE’s inaugural ‘For the Love of Film’ competition. Launched in December, ‘For the Love of Film’ aims to recognise individuals from across the country that have done something amazing simply ‘For the Love of Film’. Amongst a host of prizes, including an overnight stay and dinner at The Savoy hotel, winners will join BAFTA and EE at the country’s biggest celebration of film, the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday 10th February.
People across the UK were encouraged to submit applications on behalf of friends or family who they felt should be recognised for their contribution to film. Hundreds of applications and testimonials were received and considered by a panel of industry experts including Edith Bowman and BBC Radio 1’s Ali Plumb, and chaired by Andrew Orr from the BAFTA film committee.
Andrew Orr of the BAFTA film committee said: “Iain stood out due to his long service and the wide-reaching impact of Screen Machine which has ensured that the cinematic experience is available to communities across the Highlands and Islands. Dan has gone above and beyond in his work at Jam Jar Cinema and has shown the importance of cinema to a local community. I was awed by their commitment to cinema and delighted that BAFTA is recognising their amazing work.”
Dan Ellis is the Founder and Managing Director of Jam Jar Cinema in Whitley Bay, Newcastle. Jam Jar Cinema was born out of Dan’s desire to bring cinema back to a British seaside resort. Named after the historic Tyneside tradition of being able to get into the pictures with a Jam Jar, it was established as a social enterprise to be affordable and to help bring about change to the town.
After the recession there was an abundance of derelict buildings and Dan saw an opportunity to make a difference to the local community. Dan moved home and worked two jobs to support him volunteering on the project. The cinema opened with the help of other volunteers in September 2013. The target was to welcome 5,000 guests in the first year, which the venue succeeded in doing.
The venue now welcomes over 45,000 cinema goers and screens over 200 films per year, in a single 50 seat screen. Dan champions the needs of the community throughout the programme but also enables people to ‘explore’ with the specialised and world cinema programme, typically only available in key cities. Dan also insists on subsidising fundraising events and over the last 5 years this has helped raise over £80,000 for local good causes.
Dan Ellis, Founder of Jam Jar Cinema and ‘For the Love of Film’ winner, said: “I can’t believe that I was nominated for such a meaningful initiative, and to actually have been selected as a winner is amazing. Thank you to BAFTA for recognising all the work that has gone into Jam Jar Cinema.”
Iain MacColl is the Senior Operator of the Screen Machine, the UK’s only fulltime, self-contained mobile cinema, serving over 40 communities across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Iain has been with the service since it was launched in 1998, and his total dedication has ensured that the Screen Machine continues to visit many of Scotland’s smallest and hardest to reach communities, including some 20 islands across the Hebrides and Orkney, bringing the latest blockbusters and arthouse films, projected to the highest technical standards. The majority of Screen Machine’s funding is from Creative Scotland.
The Screen Machine Operators do everything on the ground: drive the Machine to its location, set it up (the trailer expands to become a comfortable 80 seat auditorium), sell the tickets, welcome the audience, project the films, then close up and move on to the next location. Increasingly the Operators are also delivering special events: for Into Film school clubs, for those living with dementia, and working with archive and artists’ films.
In 2018, its 20th anniversary year, for the first time the Screen Machine’s annual audience numbers passed the 30,000 mark. The touring circuit continues to expand, reaching for the first time in 2018 the island of Jura, and Bunessan in the South of Mull. Over the years Iain has: taken the Machine to the G8 summit at Gleneagles; Bosnia, twice, to entertain the troops and welcomed the children of parents who, as children themselves, first came to the Screen Machine nearly 20 years before.
Iain MacColl, Senior Operator at the Screen Machine and ‘For the Love of Film’ winner, said: “It is amazing to see the work of the Screen Machine being recognised by BAFTA, and all the hard work that not just myself, but everyone at Screen Machine has put in over the last 21 years. I very much look forward to attending the Film Awards ceremony later this week.”
The EE British Academy Film Awards take place on Sunday 10 February at the Royal Albert Hall. The ceremony will be hosted by Joanna Lumley and will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD. The ceremony is also broadcast in all major territories around the world. On the night, www.bafta.org will feature red carpet highlights, photography and winner’s interviews, as well as dedicated coverage on its social channels including Facebook (/BAFTA), Twitter (@BAFTA / #EEBAFTAs) and Instagram.