Film & TV

“We both take a firm stance against the mainstream” – Introducing the Nottingham Alternative Film Network

logo credit: Paul Banks, Peril Design

With noble and lofty long-term goals, the Nottingham Alternative Film Network (NAFN) are the latest addition to the film clubs of Nottingham’s cultural hub.

Thomas Humphrey, NAFN’s Network Director, explained that he and Network Producer Sanpreet Janjua “both take a firm stance against the mainstream. It’s not that we don’t respect people’s right to enjoy mainstream cinema, if that’s what they enjoy, and we don’t want to alienate anybody. What we object to is the habits which exist in the modern distribution industry”.

Representation is of great importance to NAFN, with one of the ‘habits’ of the distribution industry the team object to is “the way they perpetuate hegemonies in culture by underrepresenting women and minorities in film. We want to challenge this.”


Thomas Humphrey and Sanpreet Janjua

Janjua and Humphrey both extensively work within the film and cultural industries, but Wollaton-born Humphrey found the southern-UK film institutions “very london-centric” and so found himself “increasingly wanting to reinvest what I have learned in my local community.” Hence, the Nottingham Alternative Film Network was born.

The NAFN has two explicit objectives:

“1. The first was to bring great films from around the world to Nottingham; films which would otherwise be unavailable, because they are either overlooked by UK distributors or only screened in London.

2. Secondly, we wanted to create an environment in Nottingham where young people can get paid arts work experience and training through third parties, preparing them to enter the film industry.”

At the moment NAFN are just a film club, but their objectives make it clear they have grand designs. Ultimately one aim is to create a major Nottingham-based film festival “where great, underrated films and new British talents can find a home.”

“Our other main goal is to reach a stage where we have enough financial and community backing for us to bring forms of film education into schools and universities”, as NAFN (and this writer) feel that film literacy and cinematic adventurousness is somewhat lacking in the viewing public at large. Humphrey explained: “we also want to do this to broaden people’s film tastes in the city, and we want to help shape the next generation of Shane Meadows or Guy Myhills – and hopefully a number of female names too”.

“We hope the ultimate effect will be to make Nottingham a bit more of a film hub.”

Currently looking to bring to the city “the film equivalent to Cards Against Humanity” with In The Basement, look out for more from the NAFN, because we’re expecting big things from them…

Tom Watchorn

For more information on Nottingham Alternative Film Network, you can find their site here and their twitter here

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