Alzheimer’s month with dementia friendly screenings across the UK

Matinée, Arts Derbyshire’s dementia-friendly cinema programme, is recognising Alzheimer’s Month with screenings designed to support people living with dementia, their families, friends and carers.

Screenings this month include Kiss Me Kate (11 th September), Calamity Jane (13 th September), and Oklahoma (20 th September). For full details including prices, venues and further screenings in 7 venues across Derbyshire see the events page www.matineederbyshire.org.uk/events

Matinée film screenings include a great or classic film, often a musical, refreshments and interval events such as singing or fun film related quizzes or activities. Screenings are for people with memory challenges or a dementia to enjoy alongside their family member, friend or carer. Matinée is part of a movement designed to celebrate World Alzheimer’s Month, led by Film Hub Wales, one of eight UK wide audience hubs which form the BFI Film Audience Network.

Film Hub Wales has been working with partners in Wales since 2013 to build a long term inclusive offer for older audiences, which has culminated in the launch of a Dementia Friendly Screenings Guide in partnership with BFI’s Film Audience Network, the Alzheimer’s Society and the UKCA. Previews of the guide will be made available to cinema providers invited to attend the Prime Minister’s Champions
Group for Culture in September.

Screenings will be relaxed with no trailers or adverts, the lights are left on low, the volume is turned down slightly, and people are free to move around, chat and sing along. The staff are specially trained and there is plenty of signage.

Frances Watt from Matinée at Arts Derbyshire says:
“We’re thrilled to be able to provide screenings for people living with dementia. It’s a great opportunity for people to come along and enjoy a film with family, friends or carers in a safe and relaxed environment.”

Hana Lewis, Strategic Manager of Film Hub Wales explains:
“We’ve been developing projects for audiences with dementia in Wales since the BFI Film Audience Network launched in 2013 and it really has the most extraordinary impact on both the team and the audiences. A new case of dementia is diagnosed somewhere in the world every 4 seconds. This is something we can’t ignore, particularly as 34% of the 850,000 people currently living with dementia in the UK don’t feel part of their community, 61% felt anxious or depressed recently and 40% felt lonely. (Data from Alzheimer’s Society). Film not only has the power to bring communities together but it is a powerful tool to improve mental wellbeing and confidence.

“We are delighted to work with a number of specialist partners during World Alzheimer’s Month who will enable us to significantly improve access to cinema provision for audiences living with dementia, including their families, friends and carers. From the Alzheimer’s Society to the Dementia Research Institute at Cardiff University, which is the largest of its kind in the UK. Our venue partners also have exceptional local knowledge and wonderful ideas from memory cafes to sing alongs and social gatherings, making the season ahead one not to miss.”

Film Hub Wales – the current hub for the BFI Film Audience Network leading on the Access For All, Inclusive Cinema Strategy is delivering a UK wide accessible screenings model and online resource which will enable exhibitors to build confidence when working with diverse groups, including audiences with dementia.

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