Kirsten Ed talks to Kim Fisher of The Victoria Gallery & Museum, a Liverpool museum that screens films for the community. Here Kim talks about the specifics of their film programme, as well what role she thinks museums and art galleries have to play in the independent film screen.
So tell us about the Victoria Gallery and Museum’s film programme? How did it come about?
The Victoria Gallery & Museum’s (VG&M) film programme started in January 2013. On the last Saturday of every month we hold a Family Saturday event offering free craft activities in the afternoon. We wanted to make more use of our amazing spaces and offer families a whole day of fun, free activities so we came up with our family film programme initially.
How do you go about choosing which films to put on?
We are approached by many different departments from within the University and try to appeal to all types of audiences.
We screen family films as part of our ‘Family Saturday’ programme but we also provide films for adults too. We recently had a film series as part of the ‘Festival of Ideas’ that ran from June to July 2014 and screened classic films that related to the world of business, including ‘Wall Street’ and ‘Inside Job’. We also provide films for University Open Days that students and their families can enjoy and screened IDAHO films in association with the LGBT community at the University of Liverpool.
You do a lot of family activities along with certain films, would you like to tell us about that?
Each month our Education Officer plans the Family Saturday workshop with a different theme. These themes are usually linked to our current exhibitions in the museum or galleries, so I try to link our family film screening with this theme.
For example in our museum we currently display lots of bugs in bottles, so for ‘National Insect Week’ this year we screened ‘Bee Movie’ in the morning and then had a bug-related craft and Knowsley Safari Park brought bugs for our visitors to interact with.
What role do you think museums and art galleries have to play in the local independent film scene?
In Liverpool we have so many fantastic cultural spaces and venues. FACT have been successful in fusing together film, arts and culture and at the VG&M, we are also lucky that we have such an amazing space to hold our free film screenings as well as our exhibitions.
I think if museums and galleries can offer more than just exhibitions, they can provide visitors with additional experiences and in turn they can attract a much wider audience to their venue. At the VG&M we provide free guided tours, family activities, adult art sessions, a lovely café and an event venue, as well as hosting film screenings for various audiences.
The role our museum and gallery plays in the local independent film scene is to offer a space for our visitors to watch films for free, to get together with family and friends and enjoy a cultural experience in a unique setting.
Do you have any upcoming events you’d like to tell us about?
We have lots of exciting events and workshops planned over summer, including free family workshops every Thursday throughout August. The best way to find out about our events is to visit our website or sign up to our e-newsletter by contacting us.
If you had to recommend one film everyone should watch in their lifetime, what would it be?
I can’t choose just one film…because my choice would be ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. I could watch those films on repeat quite happily because I just love everything about it, from the engrossing story to the amazing scenery and sets.