David Ellington, a Deaf Bristol artist and filmmaker, reading Matilda at last Friday's Read-in-a-day (Credit: Jon Aitken)

Watershed shortlisted for UK Cinema of the Year 2016

Watershed has been shortlisted for UK Cinema of the Year 2016 at the prestigious Screen Awards, which recognises excellence in film distribution, exhibition and marketing in the UK film industry.

Watershed has been shortlisted for UK Cinema of the Year 2016 at the prestigious Screen Awards, which recognises excellence in film distribution, exhibition and marketing in the UK film industry.

Watershed is one of just twelve cinemas in the Cinema of Year '24 screens or under' category (alongside venues like Manchester’s HOME and the Edinburgh Filmhouse) that will honour the cinema that has most engaged with audiences and film distributors in new and improved ways.

There was tough competition to reach the shortlist stage, and here at Watershed - where we've been curating a diverse programme of talent development, cinema exhibition, events and festivals for the past 34 years - we are thrilled to be recognised for an exceptional 12 months.

During this period we have developed our offer for Deaf and hard of hearing audiences, introducing Deaf Conversations About Cinema events, training staff in Deaf Awareness and Basic BSL (British Sign Language), hosting a BSL Celebration Day and embedding Deaf access into the whole programme.

Last year we invested in Bristol’s growing population of diverse young people by introducing a new young person's ticket where anyone aged 24 or under can see any film, on any day, at any time, for just £4.50. Watershed also collaborates with young people to produce programmes and launched Rife Magazine, Bristol’s online magazine created by young people for young people. Shamil Ahmed, a 23-year-old former Rife Content Creator, sits on Watershed’s Board.

And just last month Watershed launched Cinema Rediscovered, the UK’s first festival dedicated to restorations of classic film. With a huge programme of digital restorations, early cinema rarities and contemporary classics, it proved an audience hit and plans for next year’s edition are already afoot.

Mark Cosgrove, Watershed’s Cinema Curator, said:

“Watershed is delighted to be shortlisted for this year’s Screen Awards. As an independent cinema it is rewarding to be recognised for our work and contribution to developing UK audiences for films across the globe. We are thrilled to be amongst such a formidable peer group and look forward to being part of this event, which recognises the contribution of important – but often overlooked – sectors from the film industry.”

The judging panel includes industry experts from Film4, Curzon Cinemas and BBC Films and the winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on Thu 20 Oct at The Brewery, London.