PFS News/Blog

Portsmouth Film Society (PFS) can not bid for a new home at Lumps Fort’s Barrack House, near to Rose Garden.

Portsmouth Film Society (PFS) would like to formally nominate the Lumps Fort as a Nominated Community Asset to allow this historic empty building to be used for community purposes such as PFS is suggesting and as a community aware, valued, cultural Centre of Excellence.

Portsmouth Film Society (PFS) went to the tender stage with Portsmouth City Council (PCC) three times over the last 4 years for this site to establish the Southsea Cinema and Cultural Centre.

Portsmouth City Council didn’t find our most recent proposal financially viable and pulled the building from the tender stage without any other solution being tabled, or suggested, to Portsmouth Film Society. PCC procurement team said this building will not be put out to tender again and that they will find another alternative use for the building from within their own field of contacts to include the building in the local community landscape.

We are disappointed with the response letter we received from Stephen Bailey, Head of City Culture in Portsmouth City Council, saying that:
PFS had insufficient pre-cleared funding and didn’t comply within commercial requirements benchmarks the City Council was looking for to progress the favoured PFS scheme and related detailed tender bid onto the next stage of six months Exclusivity Period, post award project set up and detailing period.

Portsmouth Film Society has spent £4,000 over the course of a year on the planning, building surveys, and administrative costs to the prepare our proposal for the Southsea Cinema and Cultural Centre at Lumps Fort.

Regarding the initial funding, PFS raised £100,000 with a business partner the Garage Lounge, £100.000 from private investors and an additional £100.000 loan from the Architectural Heritage Fund. We always declared that to secure major grants like Heritage Fund or Big Lottery, without a letter from PCC, not legally binding, that PFS had sole potential supplier status, with the caveat that all the sources of funding had been formally and irrevocably awarded and credited to PFS account.

The PFS budget indicated the ability to sustain a profitable business after one year which appears to have been discounted by the review committee. Portsmouth Film Society is run by volunteers and is a Not for Profit Organisation who already have strong, long established local community interest, appeal and a long-established community related brand. All our members are registered on the Local Electoral Roll.

We would like to formally nominate the Lumps Fort as a Nominated Community Asset to allow this historic empty building to be used for community purposes such as PSF is suggesting and as a community aware, valued, cultural Centre of Excellence. The Lumps Fort has stood empty, unused and unloved for over thirty years. Due to this neglect over such a long period of time, the basic structure, integrity of this iconic historic building is being ever more compromised from neglect. The Lumps Fort has been unloved and almost derelict for years and is importantly located in a listed area adjacent to the Rose Garden and is clearly out of sync with the Portsmouth Council Seafront Strategies.

Portsmouth Film Society believe we have a solid business case and support from local individuals, community groups and businesses and await your decision All this does beggar the question, why this iconic historic building, in a top listed area of Portsmouth, Southsea Seafront has stood unoccupied and unloved for such a long period of time.

Thank you for our supporters for their support letters;

1. Garage and Lounge (also business partner)
2. Dr. Alessandro Melis, University of Portsmouth Architecture Department
3. Claire Woollard , Producer, Journeys Festival International Portsmouth ArtReach
4. John Sackett, BIG Adventures and the Front Room
5. Andy Grays CEO Portsmouth Guildhall Trust,
6. Leyley Tapper, Pearl and Dean
7. Deniz Beck – Architect Deniz Beck Partners Ltd.
8. Tiffany Holmes Community Manager Film Hub South West, BFI FAN
9. Prof. Trevor Keeble, CIC Dean of Faculty, University of Portsmouth
10.Stef Nienaltowski, Director Shaping Portsmouth
11. Paul Gonella, Director of Strong Island Ltd
12. Louise Reed & Joanna Bird Media Department, Southdown College
13. Sue James , Global Justice Portsmouth &Portsmouth Fairtrade Forum
14. Uta Schmidtblaicher, Community Development Worker, Portsmouth City Council
15. James Ralls, Director, Victorious Festival

Portsmouth Film Society (PFS) is bidding for a new home.

We would like to take on and operate Lumps Fort building as a community café and community cinema themed to the heritage of the fort – with particular regard to the Cockleshell Heroes.

We are the Portsmouth Film Society (PFS) which started in 2010.  Initially to fill a gap in the film provision in Portsmouth, we have built a strong reputation for presenting the best in world and specialized cinema  exhibition over the years.

In response to Portsmouth City Council’s (PCC) tender for Lumps Fort on the Southsea seafront which was issued on 05 Nov 2018, PFS has expressed interest in entering into a long-term contract to open a multi-purpose Community Cinema and Arts Centre.

Whilst we are participating in a competitive process and will not know if we are successful until 2019, we are proposing a family friendly centre in Southsea to complement existing Canoe Lake and seafront offerings.  The centre would also fill a need expressed by local artists, business people and educators for a venue to host smaller events without having to leave the island, as no such venue exists in Portsmouth today.

Dana  Hamdan – Architectural Floor plans and images

The proposed 70 seat capacity centre would include a multipurpose theatre and:

  • a community resource for regular screening of films as well as for meetings and private parties
  • a conference/classroom facility for PFS to run educational workshops, which will be available for hire
  • an exhibition space for local artists which doubles as a reception area available for hire
  • an upmarket cafe operated by Garage Lounge that will provide secondary income
  • a family friendly soft play area
  • and a permanent home for the Portsmouth Film Society, providing a stable foundation for our charity
  • a new space will be for the local community use

Please show your support for the proposed multi-purpose Southsea Community Cinema and Arts Centre which, if we are successful in our bid, would be a great asset to the community, as well as provide a regular home for PFS to grow.

Please support us for our Crowdfunding GOFundMe 

Portsmouth City Council changed the terms of the building and they put the building tender again.  If PFS is selected as the preferred vendor after the retender, PCC will work in partnership with PFS to pursue the grants most likely to succeed.   PCC will provide guidance but PFS will be responsible for writing the grants. The new time-table is for the project:

  • Notification of preferred bidder – Tuesday 4th June 2019
    • Standstill period ends – 23:59 on Friday 14th June 2019
    • Exclusivity Agreement awarded by – Friday 28th June 2019
    • Exclusivity periods starts – Monday 1st July 2019                                                                                                     

Lumps Fort in Southsea and locally listed building.

Portsmouth announces 6th Pride LGBTQ+ Film Festival 2019

University of Portsmouth’s Equality and Diversity Champion, Professor Sherria Hoskins, will be opening the Pride LGBTQ+ Film Festival on Wednesday 6 February, 7 pm, in Eldon Building screening room 1.10.

A selection of films have been put together to explore this year’s theme of Peace, Activism and Reconciliation with the support of the Portsmouth Film Society (PFS)

“We believe in the power of film to raise awareness and bring about positive change in society”, says Cecilia Young, chairperson of the Portsmouth Film Society.

Postcards from London (2018) opens the festival with the story of a young man on a journey to self-discovery when he went to London in search of a job.

Anchor and Hope (2017) looks at the life of a couple who want to have a baby and found themselves facing a number of conflicting and difficult decisions. Reader in Film Studies, Dr Deborah Shaw will introduce the film and lead a discussion on the issues raised.

A Moment in the Reeds (2018) tells the story of Leevi who falls for Tariq, a Syrian asylum seeker and the festival closes with the documentary A Deal With The Universe (2018) which is filmmaker Jason Barker’s debut feature. Autobiographical and made entirely from personal archive and home video diaries, the film follows Jason’s incredible story of how he came to give birth to his child, charting over 15 years of his and his partner’s life. This film is groundbreaking in terms of its intimate insights into gender identity and new parenthood.

Equality and Diversity Manager, Dave Small, said “We value our partnership with the Portsmouth Film Society to celebrate LGBT History Month and we are proud of the University’s work to support LGBTQ+. We hope all communities from across Portsmouth will take advantage of these screenings, and come together to support LGBTQ+ equality and inclusion in Portsmouth”

The Festival supported by University Of Portsmouth, BFI FAN and Film Hub South West.

Our students’ films are online now:

Love in First Sight  ( the best Audience Award in our I am Only Human Project )
Billy Bum
Punching Bag

‘I Am Only Human After All’ workshops in full flow!

Over the last few weeks, Portsmouth Film Society (PFS) have been hosting community workshops within university buildings. These workshops aim to work with individuals who have been neglected and ignored within our society. Now five weeks in, the workshops have been going in full flow, with a packed class-room every week!

The workshop’s main goal is to use film and photography to help break down social barriers and unite diverse cultures and bring people from all ethnicities, races and ages together for a good cause. Coordinated by Aysegul Epengin, who is not only the founder of PFS but a PhD student at the University of Portsmouth, these workshops not only help people discover and learn new skills and talents, but hope it can bring light to people’s lives, with the individuals being referred by charities such as the Salvation Army, Recovery Café and Empowering2change.  These individuals have battled with homelessness, substance misuse, and multiculturalism, and this project hopes to help people move on from past troubles by educating them to gain new skills.

One session was about photography skills. Each member of the project was asked to bring still images of landscapes or holiday memories with them from the last workshop, and this task was heavily participated in by all members. Aysegul discussed each photo, citing its positive and negative elements, and how this could be improved in the future. Not only were all the members highly passionate towards this task, but this showed that despite the society ignoring these individuals due to their past dilemmas, the community have come in to help.

I am Human After All is a project that will be running for 20 weeks until the 25th of April, and is a free course for adults. PFS’s chair Cecelia Young said: “At the end of the project, we hope the people involved will gain a sense of achievement in making the film, be more confident, be more reflective in public, gain a feeling of being accepted and being clearly human.”

This project helps the unfortunate to tell their story, and help others to tell theirs using film and photography, and those wanting to take part should get in touch with the PFS at info@portsmouthfilmsociety.org.uk