Movie Memories project in Glasgow

Glasgow Film Theatre take their role in the community seriously, seeing cinema for all especially important during the time of social austerity. They are acutely aware of their duty to provide and provoke connection, community, and culture through engagement with film, for people of all ages. So when they found out that 90,000 people have a diagnosis of dementia in Scotland and 10% of those people live in Glasgow they wanted to do something. Research has shown that many people with dementia grow to fear that they will no longer be socially welcome, and stop taking part in activities they enjoy and GFT wanted to tackle this through their film project movie memories.

The formation of a dementia-friendly film community with cinema culture at its heart is also part of a long-term strategy for Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT), as they respond to ageing audiences and the overall ageing Scottish population. Having done their equalities and diversity review, it became clear that older people were often isolated in activities due to the lack of intergenerational planning or focus. This can create a damaging social legacy and this means that people are less able to share skills and knowledge cross-generations and this lack of cultural experiences negatively impact positive wellbeing. This is why, at GFT, we are striving to build a community focused on film, community, and dementia.

Movie Memories is a monthly programme presenting film screenings alongside a programme of multi-arts entertainment in a dementia-friendly environment, with dementia aware staff and a team of trained volunteers (Movie Memories Ambassadors) running the event. People living with dementia play a central role in the programme delivery – Agnes Houston MBE is the Movie Memories Coordinator. Movie Memories is developed and informed by a steering group which includes Deal With Dementia, GCVS Community Connectors, Dementia Carers Voices, Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland, DEEP, Glasgow Old People’s Welfare Association, Alzheimer Scotland and the North Dementia Forum. Running alongside the programme is a vital academic research programme led by Brian Smith, Lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University.
The participants who take part are currently 18-75 years old and over the 6 events run so far, just shy of 400 people have attended a Movie Memories event.

There are many benefits for younger, older people and the community as a film not only has the power to bring communities together but it is a powerful tool to improve mental wellbeing and confidence.
In the future, an autumn event is planned for Movie Memories in collaboration with Glasgow Youth Film Festival. Future collaboration with partner organisation Luminate, Scotland’s creative aging festival is also being discussed.

3rd May 2018