‘Arthouse cinemas are not afraid’

The first instalment of Anna Kime’s blog from Art House Convergence 2015

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‘Arthouse cinemas are not afraid’Russ Collins, Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor & AHC organiser

Waking up to blue skies and snow-capped mountains was a pretty good start given we arrived at night having travelled for a turbulent 24 hours. Arthouse Convergence is set within Zermatt resort – an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City giving a real sense of retreat and potential for many a Twin Peaks joke.

Arthouse Convergence is in its tenth year and has attracted 500 delegates mainly from the US but with a pioneering UK presence. Having got the first edition of This Way Up behind us Sally of Film Hub NWC and I are here keen to meet international speakers and partners and think about strands for #thiswayup15.

Monday was hosted by Salt Lake City Film Society with sessions on collaboration and working with local authorities. It seems obvious to say but it is striking to see exhibitors have interests and challenges in common the world over. Things I noticed: SLC FS produce an impressive Scalarama-style newspaper and have a personalised carpet.

The opening night party was accompanied by a slideshow of all the venues in attendance – This Way Up steal no.1. Welcomed by Russ Collins, Director of Arthouse Convergence, this conference is not afraid to be overwhelmingly upbeat and openly passionate about arthouse cinema and audiences – something we can learn from – everyone here is very proud of and rightly vocal about what they do rather than a hopeful reticence.