MEET MELISSA, CINEMA & SCREEN PRODUCER AT WARWICK ARTS CENTRE
After a lengthy renovation, Warwick Arts Centre is finally re-open and has unveiled its brand new three screen cinema. But these screens don't just programme themselves you know...
Programming for the cinema is overseen by Melissa Geuneau, the centre’s new Cinema and Screen Producer.
“This is a new frontier for Warwick Arts Centre. Relaunching after a long absence was always going to be daunting but relaunching during the UK City of Culture year seems like the perfect time to return so I’m really excited to get into it!” Melissa says.
Melissa’s vision for the cinema is one of community diversity and cohesion.
“I hope to offer local audiences a wide choice of voices, perspectives and stories to connect to. I would like to offer a programme that represents the community we are a part of and I’d like our relationship with our audience to be a two-way street where they feel they can input in the programme too. Our programme will feature big studio films, British independent films and foreign language titles – hopefully giving audiences a chance to see what they feel excited about but also take a chance on films we alone are showing locally.”
Audiences at Warwick Arts Centre will also be able to engage directly with artists, filmmakers and each other through panel discussions and special events. “I hope to create a programme that is diverse, welcoming, engaging, thought-provoking, accessible and collaborative.”
It’s a personal frontier for Melissa too. Not only is she stepping into a new job, she is also a new resident of Coventry, having moved here from Nottingham.
“I was surprised at how leafy and green Coventry is. It’s an exciting place to be.”
Melissa may be new to the city but she is very experienced in the Midlands film sector. Before this role, she was the programmer at Broadway in Nottingham for 8 years, initially joining as a marketeer and gradually getting involved in programming. (Broadway co-runs Film Hub Midlands along with Flatpack.)
“I’ve been working in this sector for years so am already familiar with the region’s film landscape. I’m looking forward to getting to know the Coventry locality better though and it’s really great that CineCov are here to help me with that.”
CineCov’s mission to unify the city’s film exhibition sector is welcomed by Melissa.
“Cinema is powerful.” She starts. “It allows people to escape, to dream, to think, to learn, to explore, to be inspired, to feel, to share and to spark conversations. Ultimately, it can bring people together and create a safe space for people to discover other worlds, other cultures and other schools of thought. For many people, the local cinema is a community space where they meet up with their friends or their family members. It’s a space where people of all ages and backgrounds can gather, share a moment together, and go beyond their usual surroundings for a few hours. It allows people to connect with each other but also with the arts and culture, and it offers enough variety for everyone to hopefully feel represented and find something of interest.”
Head to the Warwick Arts Centre website to check out what’s coming up on the brand new screens.
Photo Credit: Greg Milner