The Tree Circle Cinema
We asked founder Bhavesh Hindocha about the wonderful Tree Circle Cinema that takes place in Millfields Park by Chatsworth Road every summer. It's a great experience for all ages!
When, why and who started The Tree Circle screening the park?
I started the The Tree Circle Cinema in 2012. It was a daydream, a "what if?" moment. What if we put a screen between the trees and showed films...? I thought it would be great - I didn't know if it was possible or if other people would think it was great. It turns out it was and they did. People love it. Kids love it. It's special, with a bit of magic that this natural auditorium gives us. The Tree Circle has a unique vibe as a performance space. It's also a wonderful community arena, bringing people together across differences and distances. It's open and welcoming and inclusive and diverse. It's free.
When is the this years screening and what are you hoping to feature?
It will be on Saturday September 6. Our traditional spot in the local calendar is the first weekend after the schools start, to mark the end of the summer. It's a great time to get together, and we've been blessed with dry weather so far! We always show children's films followed by a main feature. We like the films to be less well known, with some relevance to the environment, or to themes of community and relationships. We haven't decided what the films will be yet. It's something we ponder, then go with instinct!
Who is involved this year?
We have a fantastic team of volunteers and they are the backbone of the event. Emma Jack, Chair of Millfields Users Group was the first person to support the then outlandish idea of having a cinema in the park. Lisa Murphy,
Claire Kelly and Pinny Grylls have helped enormously each year. And Louisa Ziane has given our social media presence a huge lift this year. There are some indomitable and inimitable guys who rig the cinema - see below! Everyone is welcome to help out - get in touch via our facebook page
What is unique about an open air cinema like this?
The Tree Circle Cinema expands the concept and experience of cinema, making it a communal social and cultural experience. It's non-commercial - you don't have to pay (and cinema these days is very expensive). You sit together with friends, neighbours and people you haven't met before. There's a long build up to sunset - people picnic, kids play. Then at sunset the screen comes alive and we all sit in wonder at the amazing visual storytelling. Watching media is so commonplace on phones and computers and tvs - an outdoor cinema brings back the magic of the medium.
What has been the biggest challenge with The Tree Circle?
The biggest challenge is the set up. Hanging a 7 x 5 metre screen between 2 huge trees is no mean feat. Our intrepid fixers are Dan Farmer and Harry Hewatt. Then getting the projector and PA working is crucial - step forward Geoff Johnston. And then the generator and rest of the site set up is in large part due to Gavin Jack.
Anything else you want to say?
The Tree Circle is a partnership between Loud Minority and Millfields User Group. It could not happen without the huge effort of local volunteers - everything that needs doing from licensing to hanging our beautiful screen to shifting toilets and picking up litter is done by people who are not paid. They are cool!! They do it out of true community spirit.
Get the latest from The Tree Circle here: