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Due to professional commitments, visiting speakers may need to change dates. Please check before travelling long distances

Meetings start at 7.30pm and finish around 10.00pm

16 January   MicFest!

All you ever wanted to know about microphones and how to use them.

6 February  Shooting a Period Film + New Project

Period films can be very cinematic and, if linked to a true story, may attract a general audience.

They also don’t date as quickly as contemporary films. However they obviously have considerable complications.

There will be a presentation ‘Sounds Good - the art of recording sound for video: selecting the right microphone, and where to put it!’, a video of the performance of a Rycote Softie in windy conditions, and comparisons of popular mics to give members an idea of what they may need and the sort of budget they should expect. Hopefully there will be star turns by our own sound experts, including setting up Zero dB!

18 January Talk on Bristol Film Archives (Not a BFVS event but of interest to BFVS members)

On 18th January 2018 there is a free talk / film show entitled 'From pageants to powerboat racing: the film collections at Bristol Archives' given by Julian Warren (former City Archivist). Entry to M Shed is from 5.45 and the talk is from 6pm to 7:30pm

2 January  Hands-0n Filmmaking

We will be shooting a two-minute drama written by one of our members.

We will be shooting the whole film in only a couple of hours so we will be working with a big crew. This will need everybody there to participate, so it really will be hands-on filmmaking. It is likely that everybody who comes will have a task. Lots of film crew jobs to be filled, particularly helping with lighting and sound + clapper board, make-up and including assistant director etc.

20 February  Annual General Meeting

3 April  Telling Stories

An introduction to story telling and how it’s been adapted to film making A scriptwriter will discuss how to start writing, methods to make your story resonate and a few tricks to help you finish it.

Thalia Goblet and certificate for the winner.

20 March   Competition Night

The evening where the members judge members films.

Details on the Competitions web-page

       (any subject, max 10 minutes)

The winner will receive the Jack Baker Trophy and a certificate.

1 May   How Are Professional Documentaries Made?

How is a professional documentary is put together. Orientated to the organising and scripting side rather than the filming and technical side.

How to pitch a documentary project.


12 May  Saturday afternoon and evening – fun filming followed by BBQ


15 May Planning for the Mini Epic  

Tonight we will plan how we will shoot our versions of the Mini Epic.

The challenge is to split into groups and plan short films (up to five minutes) for filming on Tuesday 19th June. An excellent way to get hands on filmmaking experience

5 June How Good Is My Camera?

From cheap phone to professional camera we put them to the test. Which is really best?

19 June Shooting Mini Epic

3 July Practical Skills

A hands on evening we practice filming and sound recording with help from experts  

Outside if weather permits to take advantage of the light evenings

17 July 180 Minute Challenge

We shoot small films, edit them and project them all in one evening.

All done in and around the club room.

Scripts needed so get thinking.

7 August Planning for the Festival of Filmmaking on the Downs [In September]

Plus 30 Minute discussion and 15 minute Teach In  

21 August Hands on Filmmaking - Shooting a Short Film  

We will again work together to shoot a short film in the club room. An opportunity for everybody who attends to get involved.

Tonight is the closing date for entries in the forthcoming Annual Trophy Competition (September 18th)

4 September Guest Speaker - details to be announced

17 April  Directing Actors

Saturday 3 March  The Gloucester Inter-club Film Competition

Hosted by: Cheltenham Videomakers at The Reddings Community Centre starting at 2.30pm

6 March  Premiere of the Latest Club Production

We review all the Mini Epic versions with the help of an expert.

Photographs of the August 15th shoot HERE

The production issues can apply to drama or reconstruction used for documentaries. This will lead into the launching of a new BFVS project.


Impact 50 Competition - should we enter?




Reviewing Mini Epics

Count to Three

Why is America Called America?

Plus a presentation on how it was made.

Photographs taken during the filming HERE

Also the various edited versions of the film (Count to Three) shot in the club room on 15th August will be shown and reviewed.

We will also review the various edits of the Vampire film (shot in the club-room in January)

#meeting programme

JUDGED IN ADVANCE by a professional filmmaker this competition is the BIG one.

Eagerly fought for every year since 1965.

Rules and Entry Form HERE

The RAY BUCKLAND CUP for Best Composition and The DON SMITH TROPHY for Best Narration and/or Spoken Word can also be awarded.

The Don Smith Trophy The Ray Buckland Cup The Annual Trophy

53rd Annual Trophy Competition

Any subject

No limit in duration

This can be a group or individual effort

ANNUAL TROPHY and certificate for the winner

THE BURRIS CUP for the entry placed second.

Download printed programme

CLICK to download printed programme

The Burris cup

‘The first Bristol Cine Society Annual Trophy was fought for in April, 1965 when nine entries competed.  The trophy, a magnificent "Greek Urn" type of cup, was reputedly found by Reg Middle on a refuse dump and restored to more than its original glory.’

18 September


The Downs Bristol

Featuring displays, films-shows, demonstrations, evening outdoor film show and

Premiere of the BFVS film “The Downs”

2 October The Very Short Documentary

In the age of You Tube writing the very short documentary.

Look at the viewing numbers on You Tube and see that if you want an audience

for your films then a short production on You Tube may be worth considering. It

is hoped that this evening might lead to some new films being made in the by

individual members and groups of members.

16 October Guest speaker – details to be announced

20 October A Film from Stills + Simple Animation

Making a film from stills. The Ken Burns effect or even simple animation – the

old Captain Pugwash method of animation.

Plus the chance to try some animation

6 November Guest speaker – details to be announced

Closing date for Annual Competition

10 November Saturday – One Day Training Seminar

How to Direct Actors

20 November Uncertain Proof

The showing (of a new cut) of the ultra low budget feature film of this name.

Though on a minuscule budget the film is a full costume drama. Also how was it

made? Can it encourage new BFVS productions.

4 December – Christmas Special REAL FILM

A real film projector in the club room for the first time for very many years - each

gauge demonstrated? 8mm, Super 8mm, 9.5mm, 16mm, 35mm? Plus mince pies

18 December Experiment Evening  

We try out some wacky filming experiments and eat more mince pies


Visit to the University of West of England  Film Facilities

at Bower Ashton – More details to be announced

Bluescreen at the Cube  

Visits by groups of members to participate in the Cube Cinema Bluescreen

events. See our films on a real cinema screen and learn from watching

productions by other local filmmakers


1st January – Informal evening. Come along for a chat.  

15 January Review Evening

Review of Mini Epics and short films shot at club meetings during the past year.

Plus planning new films. 15 Minute Teach In

5 February Guest Speaker – details to be announced

19 February AGM

5 March Guest Speaker – details to be announced

19 March Competition Evening

2 April John Howden – The Quiet Boffin  

(computer animation and CGI)

We review the amazing animation and CGI work of the late Doctor John Howden

16t April Planning The Mini Epic

Details on the Competitions web-page