Picture perfect performance by Crystal Palace film makers

PUBLISHED: 16:29 22 September 2010

Crystal Palace Pictures receive their award from Derek Malcolm, left

Crystal Palace Pictures receive their award from Derek Malcolm, left

A flourishing film club is celebrating after winning a national award.

Crystal Palace Pictures, which meets at the Gipsy Hill Tavern, Crystal Palace,, took the Best New Film Society (distinction) at the British Federation of Film Societies at a ceremony at the Institute Française in Kensington, London, on Saturday.

The small film society was only set-up last October by film enthusiasts who bemoaned the lack of opportunities to watch quality films in the Crystal Palace area.

Founding member Mark Morris said: “We had no idea that we’d won, but we knew we had been nominated. It was only as they started reading everything out that it became very tense and then there were hoorahs all round.”

The society’s committee were presented the award by veteran Evening Standard critic Derek Malcolm.

It is the second coup for the group this year. In May they secured lottery funding which allows them to go out and show films to people in the area who are unable to get to a cinema or film screening.

As he prepares for a second successful film season, Mr Morris, who started the society with friend Gill Machin, says they have enjoyed a brilliant reception so far.

He said: “It has been really positive, we have a hardcore element of enthusiasts who come to all of our screenings because they trust our judgement.

The society has the use of a 17ft screen in the Gipsy Hill Tavern and alongside full feature films it shows short films with a question and answer session with the director.

They are hopeful that one day the separate Picture Palace campaign will succeed in returning the old Gala bingo, in Church Road, Crystal Palace, to its former cinematic glory.

Mr Morris said: “It would be superb to see a cinema in Crystal Palace again and we very much support the Picture Palace campaign.”

The first film of the new season, Moon, will be shown at the Gipsy Hill Tavern on Thursday, October 7 and tickets cost £5, including a free buffet.

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