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Glasgow artists crowdfund in hopes of opening a Community Cinema in Govanhill

The Glasgow Artists Moving Image Studios (GAMIS), who have brought pop-up film events to the area since 2018, now aim to raise £10,000 to establish a permanent cinema space.

Q&A from screening in August 2022.

Photo: Emma Dove / Cample Line

The vision behind GAMIS’s crowdfunder, which is open until Friday 21 April, is to create a cinema and artists' workspace that will be used and loved by all parts of the Govanhill community.

GAMIS was founded by co-directors Lydia Honeybone and Shireen Taylor, who initially ran pop-up screenings in Govanhill, including outdoor film screenings during the lockdown. It was enthusiasm from the community that got Lydia and Shireen thinking about the potential of creating a permanent space.

“There’s a real lack of provision in Glasgow for visual artists working with film, either exhibition or production space,” said GAMIS co-director Shireen Taylor. “There are so many people in Glasgow who work with moving images. We thought there was a really interesting idea in trying to bring those people together under one roof, to collaborate and build a community.”

If the target is reached, the crowdfund will be matched by Creative Scotland, which will allow the organisation to sign a lease for the building they have selected and purchase vital equipment.

“Being able to have a long-term space and our own equipment, we’ll be able to work with people in the community much more quickly and effectively than in the past,” said Shireen. “We hope this will allow collaborations to come about more spontaneously.”

A screening during the Govanhill Film Festival in August 2022

Photo: Emma Dove / Cample Line

More than just a cinema

GAMIS are already working hard to establish meaningful relationships with different parts of the Govanhill community, spreading the word about the events and the cinema. “Our hope is to offer something for everyone in Govanhill,” said Shireen. “We want to create a space that is accessible, safe, and of interest to every part of the community.”

One aspect of that is using print to publicise their events, with translations in five key languages that are spoken in the area. “Using print is important to us because social media can get us into such a tunnel,” said Shireen. “We just want to let as many people know what we’re doing as we can!”

Photo: Audrey Bizouerne

Govanhill has a long cinematic heritage; the neighbourhood was once home to six cinemas, which Shireen says served as gathering places for the community. “Cinemas had a very different function in the early 20th century, as somewhere to gather as opposed to somewhere to consume something. People would be in there for hours, sitting through all the films. It’s interesting to think we could create that kind of space again – somewhere to linger.

“We also hope to push the boundaries a little bit, programming challenging and exciting film programmes. With the diversity of the neighbourhood, it’s exciting to think about how many different kinds of films we could screen, in so many different languages. The potential is extraordinary!”

Find out more about Govanhill Community Cinema and donate to the crowdfunder here.


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