UK Film Photography Community Fund - Round 3

By Paul McKay

We have processed the submissions from the third round of the UK Film Photography Community Fund and are delighted to announce the three successful applicants!

We have also carved out £500 from the Fund that has been donated to the Red Cross Ukraine Appeal - every 6 months we choose a charity to benefit from a portion of the Fund and the ongoing crisis from the Russian invasion clearly requires as much resource as possible.

Please note that this will be the last time we run the Community Fund in this particular way - for more details of that decision and what it means for your tips please see the end of the article.

But now let's focus on who is benefitting from your generous tips from the second half of 2021!

UK Film Photography Community Fund

 

1. The Cornwall Community Darkroom

In the process of being set up by Imogen Frost, the Cornwall Community Darkroom applied to the Fund for materials to help get started. To hear more of the story I'll hand over to Imogen:

"I moved into my studio in July 2021 in the newly converted Bosulval Studio’s in Newmill, a village outside Penzance, Cornwall. The ethos of the owners is to bring together a community of artists by offering affordable well-equipped studio spaces. There’s a car park, disabled access and a disabled toilet all onsite.

From the beginning this inspired me to think about the space not just as my own, but to find ways to bring other people in to use and benefit from it in a non for profit way. Having set it up as a darkroom for personal use, I’m now looking develop it to be Cornwall Community Darkroom, CCD.

Cornwall Community Darkroom

I plan to open CCD officially in May 2022 as a fully equipped darkroom, ideally with 4 Darkroom enlargers, film processing facilities, a library of Photography Books and Camera’s for people to use through workshops, talks and through hiring the darkroom for use as well as the opportunity for group exhibitions. I ran a photography group before the pandemic at Tate St Ives, where we would meet weekly to go on walks and photoshoots with everyone in the group taking it turns to deliver workshops and talks. It was wonderful being part of such a passionate group of people, from experienced retired photography teachers to young people who had never picked up a camera before and only experience photography though a phone. I love this idea of bringing together a group of inspired people from all ages and backgrounds who can all learn from one another and be part of a group together.

I’ve been researching other Community Darkroom's, to learn about the logistics such as booking online, Workshops offered etc. I’m particular inspired by the Nothern Sustainable Darkroom. I process using Caffenol (Coffee) developer and deliver workshops on Anthotype printing, using natural materials to create images and prints from Nature and the Sun. This is something I’m keen to continue researching further, to set Cornwall Community Darkroom up as an environmentally friendly sustainable darkroom"

You can follow along with the progress at instagram.com/cornwall_community_darkroom/

Cornwall Community Darkroom

 

 

2. The Lakeside Affordable Darkroom

Similar to the Cornwall Community Darkroom - the Lakeside Affordable Darkroom is being designed to create a space for local photographers to learn and create analogue prints.

They successfully applied for funds to purchase enlarger lenses and supporting equipment.

Run as a CIC by three film shooters: Naroa Perez, Emma Masciotti and Samira Eugster - the two extra goals for the projects are to be (1) affordable, and (2) welcome and opening for all film photographers.

As they say "We are three alumni photographers, and in our experience, we have struggled a lot (still do) to keep our practice active. the idea comes from the need for an affordable space where people can practice analogue Photography

"[We are] a C.I.C organisation. This means our main aim is not profit but to create an encouraging and supportive community for photographers, no matter gender, background or economic status."

You can follow their journey at instagram.com/lakeside_affordable_darkroom/

 

Lakeside Darkroom

 

3. Top Secret

The third successful project is slightly more secretive 😅  in name and nature at the moment - but I can tell you that it is being lead by Kate Hook. A long-time member of the film community and one of the top FilmTok accounts at the moment!

"At the moment I'm in the very early development stages of a super exciting project, which will be based in Hove UK! Can't say too much right now, but it will definitely be the worse kept secret in the area (and beyond!) for enthusiastic film photographers."

If you'd like to follow Kate then she is a working photographer and creative, active on Instagram here instagram.com/kateh00k/, and has a brilliant YouTube channel with lots of historic videos and reviews, like this one:

 

The Future of the Fund

After three rounds of the UK Film Photography Community Fund we have decided to close the program in its current format. This is simply because the number of applications has dropped dramatically for each round - Round 3 attracted less than a quarter of submissions versus Round 1- and the funds donated via 'tips' at checkout has also been in decline.

While we could always spend more time/money to advertise the Fund and encourage applications, ultimately the Fund sits outside our core job of dispatching your films and developing your photos, and if the appetite for the Fund dips then we don't want to push it on the community 😊

However - I'm going to reinstate the discretionary option of donating a small amount at checkout - and this money will continue to be invested in community projects and ideas throughout the year. The difference is that we won't be opening up application windows twice a year, but will be spending it on small ideas and plans as we go. You can read more details here

As always I'd like to thank everyone who has donated tips over the Fund's lifespan - you've made a HUGE difference to the successful businesses, people and projects over the past two years - and the work will continue in other forms!

Many thanks,
- Paul

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