A STATEMENT FROM ELIZABETH WOOD, BERTHA DOCHOUSE DIRECTOR AND HEAD OF PROGRAMMING
It is now almost a year since we last screened a documentary in the Bertha DocHouse Cinema. Like everyone else, our future is dependent on factors outside our control, but I want to share with you this update on our situation and the forward plan.
DocHouse has been screening films in cinemas for over 20 years and has grown from strength to strength. Thanks to the generous support of the Bertha Foundation, we have had our own dedicated documentary cinema for almost six years now.
It was hard to have to temporarily close it, but our commitment to the DocHouse Mission remains unchanged - to promote creative, independent,
international documentary across all genres, to build our audience reach and to encourage new filmmakers and enthusiasts.
Consequently, over the past year we have been busy developing our online activity and moved our screenings to our new streaming platform. We can now engage with new audiences not only in the UK but worldwide!
Although it’s not the shared cinematic experience we all miss, it has opened up new and wider possibilities, and the Dochouse team is delighted to have provided an engaging documentary space through our online platform.
We are extremely grateful to both our new and continuing supporters for adapting with us and helping us showcase some wonderful films, despite a very challenging year.
As our cinema approaches its sixth anniversary, it seems a good time to let you know our plans for the future. It has always been our commitment to re-open as soon as it is safe for our audience and our team. Since last July we have programmed the cinema three times - only to shelve them at the last minute due to the pandemic.
Now, based on the government’s roadmap we are looking at a new cinema re-opening date. I look forward to, once again, offering our dedicated documentary supporters the communal pleasure of watching great, visually creative docs on the big screen. Thank you for staying with us, I can’t wait to welcome you back to our cinema screen very soon.
However, we also plan to continue offering our diverse programme online, and hopefully stay connected with our new audiences across the UK and internationally. This way our online activity will work symbiotically with our full-time cinema schedule, supporting and enriching our supporters experience on both platforms.
Like so many exhibitors right now, we will face a challenge, but I’m confident that our new hybrid format will offer an exciting future for the documentary form at Bertha DocHouse. You can find out more about what we have coming up here.
Please note that our plans are contingent on the government's roadmap - which may change, and of course on the assumption that infection rates continue to move in the right direction. But we can't wait to be back working with our friends at Curzon Bloomsbury as soon as we can both re-open.
So rest assured, our unique cinema will continue to be a home for documentary lovers everywhere. Once again, thank you all for your fantastic support. We are thrilled to be coming back!
(Director & Head of Programming)