The Start of Something: Film Free and Easy

Film Free and Easy is an event devised by a group of Nottingham-based artists to explore new ways of showing moving-image works. Within this one-night installation, different material contributed by an invited audience, is shown so as to respect its original media, whether projected or screened, using different devices and settings. The structure of the event is based on the audience bringing along the material that will be shown.

The artists behind FF&E are exploring non-hierachical collaboration and innovative platforms for moving image, film and projection, thus expanding their understanding of different approaches to presenting it, as well as how it might transfer to other spaces and develop a ‘community of interest’ within the region and beyond.FF&E Random AccessFF&E Random AccessFollowing a number of initial events at Primary, its base in Nottingham, and with the support of The Start of Something, the group took Film Free and Easy out of that setting to expand the model and engage people elsewhere in the region.

In November 2016 FF&E took the form of Furthest From The Sea, the group’s first collaboration with another network, as part of UK Young Artists’ 2016 National Festival in Derby. In April 2017 FF&E‘s event Random Access was hosted by the Waddington Cultural Collective in Lincolnshire. Around 60 people participated in these events, taking the opportunity to show their moving image to a likeminded audience.

Members of Film Free and Easy reflected on the development of the project at our open platform for The Start of Something at QUAD in Derby in April 2017.FF&E Random AccessFF&E Random AccessOther FF&E events featuring in Primary‘s public programme include The Ek-uh-nom-mix which formed part of The Commoners’ Fair in November 2016, No Laughing Matter – which featured Document artist Jessica Harby on the bill! – and Plays a Blinder in 2017, Up In The Air and Raising the Bar so far in 2018.

Most recently FF&E has collaborated with Leicester Print Workshop to deliver Film Free & Easy Goes to Print. The event, which took place in January 2019, featured 36 films, by 26 artists and played host to an audience of around 60 people. This event was significant in terms of widening collaborations and connecting new people: FF&E received submissions for the first time from artists based outside the Midlands, and from London, as well as closer to home. Further submissions were received from individuals based in Scotland, Germany and France, bringing about a change in the requirement for artists to be present to present their own film. For its part, LPW reached a brand new audience through FF&E’s connections at Primary and within the student and academic bodies at De Montfort and Loughborough Universities.

Film Free and Easy was proposed to CVAN EM’s The Start of Something project, which, through conversation, sought to bring people in the East Midlands together to explore a common goal, share experience and work collaboratively, ultimately to make things happen. CVAN EM supported proposals from groups based in the region, that it considered would benefit the widest community and make the greatest difference within the region.

Find out more about The Start of Something and the conversations that we supported.