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Triple awards joy for borough film society

Leigh Film Society members collecting their gongs
Leigh Film Society members collecting their gongs
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Leigh officially has the best community cinema organisation in the country following a spectacular night of success for a group of volunteers.

Leigh Film Society scooped three prizes at the annual bash organised by Cinema for All including the prestigious overall award.

As well as receiving the Film Society of the Year prize the group based at The Turnpike took home the Film Discovery Award and the Community Award from the ceremony at the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield.

The society was also noticed in two other categories with a distinction for best single event for the screening of The Life of Brian in Leigh Parish Church and a commendation for development director Elizabeth Costello in the section for outstanding individual contributions.

The judges were impressed by the huge amount of community engagement done by the film society, which includes running two dementia-friendly Classic Cinema Clubs in Leigh and Tyldesley.

The society has also put on films across the area with unusual events such as showing Disney movie Moana on a screen in the swimming pool at the Pelican Centre.

The volunteers admitted to being astonished at the sheer scale of their success.

Chairman Paul Costello said: “We were actually stunned. Everything we do is very professional but I don’t think we had quite realised how good we were.

“This is only possible because so many groups and organisations have supported us and because of the backing of the people of Leigh. This is an award for the town because everybody has engaged with us.

“We all have an equal say in the society because we are all passionate about film. We are building everything we are doing and there is a demand for this which we never thought there would be when we first started.”

Development director Elizabeth added: “We wanted to put Leigh on the map for film when we started out four years ago and we now seem to have achieved that.”

Leigh Film Society has support from the likes of Film Hub North West, Adactus and Age UK as well as the town’s MP Jo Platt and works with community organisations such as Grow For Giving, which has screened a film in its Tyldesley allotment, and autism group True Colours as well as with Edge Hill University.

The Film Discovery prize also celebrated the organisation’s partnerships expanding interest in cinema through projects like a monthly film discussion group in a Wigan town centre pub and sessions for screenwriters in Leigh.

The group also screens monthly non-mainstream films at The Turnpike. For more information visit {http://www.leighfilmsociety.com/the society's website|}