Hammersmith celebrates its volunteers at Lyric film festival

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Former BBC presenter Janet Ellis (left) helps out at Doorstep Library

Hammersmith’s community spirit is set to light up the silver screen with a new collection of short films at the Lyric Theatre.

The area’s first ever community film festival will take place at the Lyric’s newly-opened cinema on Thursday 22 September from 4pm to 7pm.

The event will include 25 short films, ranging from two to 20 minutes in length, celebrating the energy and diversity of Hammersmith’s community and its voluntary sector.

All of the films have either been made by local organisations or capture the work of local groups.

The event has been organised by Hammersmith United Charities (HUC), which has been serving the eight northern wards of the borough for nearly 400 years, providing supported housing for older people and grants for community groups.

HUC head of community partnerships, Melanie Nock, said many of the films showed the ‘tenacity’ of local volunteers and professionals as they supported local people to overcome a range of issues.

Others simply captured Hammersmith residents enjoying sport, theatre, good conversation and the company of their neighbours.

“We are very excited by this festival, and putting together the programme has been moving and exhilarating,” she said.

“Groups we fund often send us short films about their work and I have long thought they deserved a wider audience. In bringing them together like this, for local people to enjoy in the great setting of the Lyric’s new cinema, we are able to show a local audience just how vibrant this area is.”

The Lyric is financially supported by Hammersmith & Fulham Council. And Cllr Sue Fennimore, H&F’s Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, said: “This new film festival is an inspiring celebration of all the ingredients that make H&F a great place to live and work. I applaud our wonderfully diverse community and the dedicated work of our volunteers.”

The festival will include Hammersmith’s own version of the Oscars, with awards presented in a number of categories.

Tickets to the Hammersmith Community Film Festival are free – but must be booked in advance by emailing: nora.laraki@hamunitedcharities.com.

For more information on the event and the work of HUC, please visit www.hamunitedcharities.com.

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