Helen Stock – Swale Film Society

Throughout 2016 the Swale Film Society has held free monthly film screenings, ranging from silent movie classics to current documentaries.
Helen Stock from the Swale Film Society talks us about how Ideas Test helped her, the Society, and her film highlights of the past year.


For more information visit Swale Film Society’s Facebook page


“The Swale Film Society started back in 2014. It was set up by myself and a friend of mine, Dan Good.   We’re both really film enthusiasts. We studied film at university and both being residents of Swale we kind of felt that we needed a bit more film-related activities going on in this area.

Ideas Test have been absolutely fantastic because they actually gave us the funding to be able to hold our monthly screenings, and when they approached us we were actually on a bit of a hiatus, because we didn’t have any funds to do the screenings.  They approached us and helped us out with the funding. Gave us a wonderful venue here at Ideas Test and really got it up off the ground again.

I think the best thing that’s happened, the biggest highlight of year is seeing our audience members grow.  We started off with just 8 people coming along and now we’ve grown to about 25 people coming along, which is absolutely fantastic just to see all those seats filled and to see people getting excited about to coming to see the films.

When you come along to see a film here at Ideas Test, and with the Swale Film Society, it’s not just about watching a film. We also have information about the film up on the projector so people can find out all the details about it, like things they might not have known about the actors that starred in it, or where it was filmed.  We also have a post-film discussion, which is great because it gives people the opportunity to share what they thought about the film, but also if they have any information about it.

My most favourite film we showed this year…I think has to be the 1920s silent horror German Expressionist film that we showed for Halloween. Mainly because people came into the screening not really sure what to expect. And a lot of them went out absolutely loving it.

Really sadly we’ve outgrown the space at Ideas Test. We’ve got too many members to fit into the space, so we’re moving over to The Avenue Theatre now, which has a capacity for 88 people. We’ll be running our screenings over there on the last Friday of every month.

For me personally, Ideas Test has given me the confidence to run an event, such as this. It’s provided me with the knowledge of applying for funding to make our Society sustainable. And it’s really just given us, the Society as whole, it’s given us a place in the community.

My favourite film of all time has to be Jean Luc Godard’s film ‘Breathless’. It’s a French ‘New Wave’ film and it’s just amazing because it breaks all the rules of cinema. It’s just a mind-boggling film and it’s very beautiful, and it’s my favourite film.

Sadly at the moment we don’t have a website, we are working on that. But we are on Facebook as the swalefilmsociety. We’re also on Twitter as @SwaleFilmSoc, and we’re also on Instagram as @SwaleFilmSoc, so you can find us on any of those three social media platforms.”