Open Cinema – Bringing Film to Homeless and Disadvantaged People |

Open Cinema is an organisation intended to benefit homeless and disadvantaged people in the UK, through film. On their website, they describe themselves as a nationwide network of film clubs that help to educate and culturally enlighten marginalised people. Their main philosophy is that excluded people need the benefits of being culturally aware and informed, as well as the benefits of food and drink.Their events are free for everyone to attend and participate in, and residents simply have to follow the promotional posters and flyers at their local community centres in order to find out about the activities and events occurring. Their seasons run quarterly, with 48 weekly events each year. These seasons are also often themed by genre, which helps to inform about particular titles. Additionally, Open Cinema welcomes events including filmmakers presenting their work, and speaking with participants directly.The people behind this nationwide network believe that there is a need for this social business, because it helps to inform homeless and disadvantaged people about entertainment and culture, which they describe as another form of nourishment. On their website, they claim that research has shown that entertainment and culture contribute to the mental health and overall well-being of socially marginalised people.Therefore, they help marginalised people to find stability and mental nourishment through film. Also, this enterprise provides a solid alternative to life on the streets for homeless people. They believe that the regularity of their film events and activities provides people with a sense of routine and belonging. Many organisations and leading institutions support Open Cinema and their goals. These supportive institutions include many important figures in the UK film and television industry.Their social business was founded in 2005 by Christoph Warrack, a filmmaker who initiated a weekly support service for disadvantaged people in London. This weekly service, called Open House, provided food and fellowship, mainly aimed at homeless people in the local area. The idea for adding the element of film and culture came from a participant, who requested that his Open House idea included an entertainment aspect.Then, in 2008, Homeless Link (an organisation providing homelessness services) offered support for their cause, in order to help Warrack spread the film club across the UK. Therefore, Open Cinema officially launched in 2009, with many film clubs of this nature established nationwide. They have only expanded since, over the years, and have now officially settled in their 2 head offices, in Shoreditch, London and in Yorkshire.What do you think of this social business, and their aims? Do you believe that becoming culturally aware would truly benefit someone dealing with homelessness, related issues, or someone who is disadvantaged in some way?