Life-Changing News

When people ask what job I do and I tell them, or when prospective external working partners visit the centre where I work and hear about my job, I am usually answered with cries of – what a cool job … I would love to do that etc!”

Well, if you’e one of those people, now is your chance to become film programmer at JW3 as I will be going on maternity leave in a few weeks time as we are expecting our first baby!

All details to apply for the role are here at www.jw3.org.uk/jobs-jw3 along with a number of other positions that JW3 are looking to fill.

It has been an amazing experience working in this job over the last almost 3 years since September 2013 and I’ve written quite a few posts about my work in the role on this blog.

I’m very excited about the next and biggest challenge and experience in my life yet – becoming a mummy!

Kate with bump!

Kate with bump!

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8 days in Venice soon for Art Cinema = Action + Management

I’m very pleased to tell you about some news – that I applied for and was successful in getting a (fully funded!) place on a unique training course called Art Cinema = Action + Management which is run by CICAE, the International Confederation of Art Cinemas. This will take place soon, from 31st August to 8th September. The course is the only international training programme for professionals working in the art house exhibition industry. The seminar is organised with the support of the Creative Europe’s MEDIA Programme and consists of around 20 trainers and 50 participants coming from all over the world, for an 8-day programme of lectures, workshops, case studies and screenings. CICAE is celebrating 60 years this year and you can find out about its interesting history here

The aims of the course are:

  • To communicate with the new generation of art house managers the specific knowledge (methods, tools, ideas and contacts) they need for programming, event organisation and management of an art house cinema.
  • Offer exhibitors a space where they can reflect on their practices, share their experiences and discover new opportunities in their industry
  • Provide insight into the tools of the trade and the challenges faced by the sector
  • Benefit from the skills of close to a hundred top-notch cinema professionals and trainers
  • Create a network of contacts and exchange experiences with one’s peers
  • Develop short and long-term projects

Art Cinema = Action + Management

I’m really excited to have this opportunity to take part in 8 days of intense training, surrounded by the atmosphere of so much going on, as the course timing coincides with the 72nd Mostra del Cinema (Venice International Film Festival). So I am very much looking forward to lots of learning and collaboration as well as networking and screenings at the film festival. Its going to be really interesting for me to meet other people from all over the world, running arthouse independent cinemas, just like me! It’ll also be a great chance for me to be back in Italy (where I lived for a year) and practice my Italian which I am fluent in but it tends to go a bit rusty when I don’t speak often. The course takes place on the island of San Servolo, close to the Lido in Venice. San Servolo used to be a monastery and now is used for conferences and so on.

CICAE

 

 

The other day I actually held a meeting at work in Italian which was great practice and a boost for my confidence to know that I can still do it! I’m very much looking forward to working with the wonderful Cinema Italia UK as a result of this. Cinema Italia UK screen films in London which would otherwise not have any release in the UK. Cinema Italia UK

 

Its going to be great to be back in Venice. I was last there for the Venice art Biennale in 2011! Hopefully I’ll write an update on how it all went when I’m back. Ciao for now!


Catching Up

It has been quite some time since I last blogged here and I’m now ready to get back into it! So, what have I been doing since August 2014?!

Well, quite a lot has happily happened in my personal and professional life. So lets take a look at it all chronologically.

In the first week of September 2014, I went on a course run by the Independent Cinema Office  in Cambridge for a few days, to work on strategic audience development in my role as film programmer at JW3 Cinema. I learnt so much from this experience and am still implementing the successful project that was a result of this course.

Kate Ross presentation for Film Hub London Exhibitors Breakfast 28 April 2015_004

 

In the second week of September, I went to California for 3 weeks. I was working remotely from there for the first part, so that I could join my husband who was there for work and we stayed in Palo Alto during that time. We then took a holiday as we were in the area already and did a brilliant road trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles on the famous Route 1, Pacific drive.

Route 1 Pacific Drive

Route 1 Pacific Drive

Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco

Universal Studios Hollywood

Universal Studios Hollywood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of days after arriving back in London from California, I sang with Minim Singers at a special event to mark preparation for the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur at New North London Synagogue with a panel of speakers sharing their musings on the subject of sin.

 

minim singers

 

In September, I also took on another role at JW3 and have been working as Music Programmer since then, until July 2015, programming and managing music events across a range of genres.

Jive Aces - the UK's number 1 Jive & Swing band who I programmed to play at JW3

Jive Aces – the UK’s number 1 Jive & Swing band who I programmed to play at JW3

The next few months involved me doing a lot of wedding planning, as we decided to get married in the spring. I also sang a lot during that time including at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea with English Chamber Choir and in November with the Chelsea Arts Club Choir.

French Reflections concertjpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December saw all the regular seasonal festivities and a lot of singing in my other two choirs as is usual at that time of year.

My nephew was also born at the end of December which was the best gift ever!

February was taken up with wedding planning full steam ahead as our wedding took place on 8th March.

Kate & Itay - wedding

Kate & Itay – wedding

We went on honeymoon to the stunning Italian region of South Tyrol and on returning to London I sang at Chelsea Arts Club in another weekend of concerts.

South Tyrol

glitter and be gay concert

 

In April things were busy at my workplace, as JW3 merged with LJCC – the London Jewish Cultural Centre so there were new programmes to integrate and new staff to get to know and in May I was back in Israel to see family and to go to a wedding.

Haifa, Israel

Haifa, Israel

 

Back to now in June 2015, I’ve had a bit of a ‘life makeover’ and changed my hairdo, glasses and (sur)name.

 

new me

new me

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course a lot more has happened over these months than some of the highlights I picked out above but it gives you a taste.

 

Here’s to everything that’ll be happening next, including hopefully more blogging!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


my new role managing & programming for London’s newest independent cinema at JW3 – Jewish Cultural Community Centre for London

As it’s a new year and 2014 has just started, I thought it was about time I got back into blogging and wrote about what I’ve been up to over the end of last year and from when I last posted.

I completed my fellowship tenure working at CHELSEA space thanks to the Chelsea Arts Club Trust at the end of the summer and was then busy as curator at Notting Hill Arts Club, having curated a successful event in August. Whilst taking a short summer break, happily it didn’t take me long to secure a new role as an Arts & Culture Programmer at JW3, specifically as film programmer also managing London’s newest independent cinema there.

JW3 - london's new Jewish Cultural Community Arts Centre

JW3 – london’s new Jewish Cultural Community Arts Centre

The centre has been around 10 years in the making and it is thanks to Dame Vivien Duffield’s foundation – the Clore Duffield Foundation that JW3 has a stunning multi floor venue on the Finchley Road in London. The organisation JCC (Jewish Community Centre London) operated for many years on a smaller level without its own building, offering a range of cultural events in a range of venues throughout London. In the United States, Jewish Community Centres are very common and can be found in most major cities as well as in other cities in Europe. So it was about time we had one in London! JW3 is not a religious centre, it is cultural – summed up by the CEO Raymond Simonson’s words

 “I want to talk about Curb Your Enthusiasm instead, and the paintings of Chagall, the music of Amy Winehouse and Woody Allen films.”

– JW3’s CEO Raymond Simonson

So JW3 (a play on the centre’s postcode NW3, which has the tagline the new postcode for Jewish life) opened on the last weekend of September and so far, thousands and thousands have visited for a range of activities. The centre houses the critically acclaimed restaurant Zest, has a demonstration kitchen, fitness/ dance and drama studios and classrooms offering an impressive programme of classes and courses from languages to art studio sessions to krav maga and more. The multi purpose hall has been used for specially commissioned theatre productions, music concerts and gigs as well as in conversation talks from leading cultural figures such as Kevin Spacey.

Here’s a video made over the launch weekend of the centre to give you an idea what its all about and you’ll even see me for a few seconds, introducing the opening night for JW3’s cinema.

JW3 is an exciting, creative, innovative and fresh place to work. I feel very lucky to be part of something which is changing London’s cultural and Jewish landscape and to be here right at the start of the centre’s life is a great opportunity. It has been a steep learning curve for me, jumping in at the deep end of discovering everything about running an independent cinema and I love it! I’ve certainly been kept busy with the day to day organisation – dealing with film distributors and setting up bonds with them, working with our projectionist team and the wonderful organisation that is the Independent Cinema Office who JW3 cinema is a client of.

JW3 Cinema. Photograph by Blake Ezra Photography for JW3

JW3 Cinema. Photograph by Blake Ezra Photography for JW3

UK Jewish Film Festival at JW3 – screening of ‘Let’s Dance’ and dancing traditional Israeli folk dancing afterwards in the JW3 Hall. Photograph by UK Jewish Film

17th UK Jewish Film Festival Pears Short Film Event at JW3. Screening of the winning films for Pears Short Film Fund at UK Jewish Film – ‘Happy New Year’ & ‘The Funeral’. Photograph by UK Jewish Film includes Judy Ironside, Founder and Executive Director of UK Jewish Film, film critic Jason Solomons & directors and cast of the winning Pears Short Film Fund films

JW3 Cinema which is a boutique, intimate 60 seater cinema has around 19 screenings a week which range from indie new releases to 6 screenings a week of Jewish and Israeli film with our partner UK Jewish Film as well as family films and our Monday evening film clubs plus other special screenings. I organise everything from the programming of which films to screen, with assistance from ICO (Independent Cinema Office) for the new releases for example, to timetabling the screenings as well as organising Q&As, in conversations and other events in the cinema and hall for the film programme. I’ve also had to learn a lot about the technicalities of projection and so on for the technical side of the cinema operation! You can see my profile on the ICO website here  and a page on JW3 Cinema here as well as my top 10 films.

LOCO London Comedy Film Festival has partnered with JW3 Cinema for a Comedy Film Club screening the films that changed comedy...

LOCO London Comedy Film Festival has partnered with JW3 Cinema for a Comedy Film Club screening the films that changed comedy…

One of my favourite parts of the JW3 Cinema programme that I work on are the film club evenings on Monday nights. We have a Foodies Film Club which involves screening a film all about food (we’ve had Babette’s FeastI Am LoveWhat’s Cooking) and the team at Zest restaurant prepare a relevant edible item connected to the film that the audience can eat whilst watching the foodies film. I run our Comedy Film Club in partnership with the wonderful LOCO – London Comedy Film Festival. Each film is introduced by a comedy / film expert who is passionate about that film. I love having a laugh on those evenings and happily the list of excellent comedy films, many with Jewish connections seems to be never ending! In our first season we screened Harold and Maude, Coming To America and Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Our Misogynist Film Club (the only one in the UK!) is an opportunity for a feminist celebration of the terrible portrayal of women in film and we have had speakers including Isy Suttie, Caroline Quentin and Henrietta Foster talk about these films they love to hate. In 2014 our film clubs have been re imagined and we will have an Edible Cinema experience as a Foodies Film Club special, more great comedy films and excellent speakers as well as a new film club – the Artists’ Film Salon for filmmakers and film fans. I’ll be sharing more about these soon.

I’ve also organised some very exciting crossover special events taking place in the JW3 hall which unite film and music. I’ve invited Kasper Holten, director of opera at the Royal Opera House, London and cultural commentator Norman Lebrecht for an in conversation and Q&A after a screening of the feature film Don Giovanni (JUAN) directed by Kasper Holten. You can find out more about the event here  . I’m also organising an Oscars™ Warm-Up Night and screening of Searching For Sugar Man introduced by the producer Simon Chinn complete with red carpet, cocktails and real statuette from the awards! To add to the excellent events of the season, I have organised for my choir the English Chamber Choir to perform at JW3 and I will be singing Handel’s Israel In Egypt with them plus the English Players on period instruments in concert! You can see more information about the concert here.