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Widescreen Weekend 2015 / Widescreen 2016

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Mark Trompeteler Date: 31.03.2016
The very first group picture of Wide Screen Weekend guests outside the Pictureville cinema in March 1996. None of whom had ever met before. Left to right: Ben Wales, Barry Pick, David Page, Bill Lawrence, Francois Carrin and Thomas Hauerslev. Picture by Thomas Hauerslev

I have had a couple of enquiries from overseas friends and colleagues about all kinds of things they are hearing about Bradford's National Media Museum and the fate of WSW. From what I am seeing in the UK press and from the recent discussions on behalf of BKSTS I have had with them at NMM I believe the situation is as follows:

About The Museum
- the UK Science Museum Group states it is not closing the NMM and will be investing millions in it in the next few years.
- there is a very controversial issue that has been hitting the headlines of the cultural pages of the British Press about NMM cutbacks in its still photography collection and reassignment to a London museum and cutbacks in photography curators, this has been causing a lot of controversy in Bradford and the whole UK creative / cultural community
- Bradford city centre is going to have a major rebuild and as part of that there will be a new 6 or 7 multiplex cinema built close to the museum.
- this will be very very nearby competition to the 3 screen Picturehouse operation at the museum once the multiplex is completed.
More in 70mm reading:

Widescreen Weekend, Bradford, England

The Magic of Large Format Cinema

PDF: The Magic of Large Format Cinema

Internet link:


Widescreen 2016

A touch of Hollywood. The most welcome festival guests over the years during the Wide Screen Weekend: Randy Gitsch and Dave Strohmaier. Picture by Thomas Hauerslev

- it seems that WSW 2015 was the best attended and most commercially viable WSW ever.
- NMM is currently planning to rechristen “Widescreen Weekend” to the term “Widescreen,” as they see it in future as a slightly expanded four day event so feel that weekend is an inappropriate title though it will always incorporate a weekend.
- NMM is trying to move away from a yearly fragile “hand to mouth” existence as regards WSW and trying to secure more solid financing and planning for the next three years – they are planning a “Widescreen 2016”, “Widescreen 2017” and “Widescreen 2018”
- they seem to have very much liked the student film competition pioneered by the BKSTS for WSW and plan to add a dedicated student day adjacent to the four day event.
- NMM are currently actively seeking funding sources to help them secure, plan and stage “Widescreen” for the next three years and seeking people interested in becoming sponsors ( can you spare a few thousand ? I can tell you to who to contact )
- Whether “Widescreen” happens or not will depend on them securing the necessary funding to stage it – to be confirmed

- Dates they are planning for 2016 are 13 – 16 October with a dedicated student day on 12 October.

I hope this clarifies what does look like a little understandable confusion in some peoples’ eyes as to what or may not be happening at Bradford.

For those of you who do not see Cinema Technology magazine please find attached a PDF (The Magic of Large Format Cinema) of a report on WSW 2015 that is in the current edition of Cinema Technology magazine. The whole magazine can be reviewed regularly in its electronic version at and the current issue also features some excellent coverage on 70mm and The H8.

April 26 update: Latest news from National Media Museum is that they have changed their decision to rename WSW 2016 to Widescreen 2016. They have now decided to revert back to the original name of Widescreen Weekend. They have also decided to revert back to a Thursday night opening and evening reception, as per last year, - with a student activity during the Thursday. 2016 – October Thursday 13th – Sunday 16th. The delegate hotel in 2016 is reverting back to The Midland. MT
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Updated 21-01-24