The Launceston Film Society started the year on a good note with a full membership and a good program ahead.  But the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic caused us to stop after seven screenings in Term 1, and no screenings in Term 2.  Immediately the offerings of suitable films dried up.  We thought that it was possible that we would not be able to screen in Term 3 and prepared a program for term 4.

Rescue came from the Village Theatre, when Michelle Turner called and offered a plan.  We could restart our program in Term 3 with social distancing simultaneously in three theatres.  Fortunately we had previously prepared a program for Term 2 and were able to access those movies at short notice for Term 3.   (Normally it takes at least 2 months to book a program and get the Newsreel printed.)  The result is that we got a lot of complaints from members about screening The Lighthouse at the start when they were looking forward to something lighter.

Another change has been that we were not able to host our “voting” nights and ice creams on Wednesday afternoons.  Again, this is due to the social distancing requirements.  But voting has been made possible online through our website.  However, I hope that we will be able to return to holding our usual voting nights in the near future.

In October Edward Broomhall died.  Edward was a life member of the LFS and had served on the committee from 1977 to 1997.  Those who served with him on the LFS committee remember him as a gentle and artistic man, dedicated to film as an art form. Unfortunately because of illness in the last few years, he was unable to attend a lot of our screenings.  Some of the present and past committee members who knew him attended the funeral.

I have decided not to nominate for the committee this year; I joined in 1994 and have served as president since 2010.  Time to move on.  The committee has served me extraordinarily well over this time and I thank them all for their work.  I should remind members that the committee members are all volunteers.  Leigh Thompson is not a committee member, he contracts to us and we value his service highly.  Also special thanks to Michelle Turner and her team at the Village for their co-operation and service provided at this venue, and especially so in the difficult year of the pandemic.

Peter Gillard


Launceston Film Society