Sheffield Doc/Fest Review: A Bunch of Amateurs

Filmmaking clubs used to be very popular in most European countries, including the UK. Most cities had one. Made up of enthusiastic amateurs brought together by a shared passion, these societies were formed out of a love of the moving image. Usually made up of a ragtag group of eccentric characters meeting regularly to make and watch films. Today, they are very much a dying breed. Replaced by technological advancements and changing trends.

Bradford Movie Makers was founded in 1932. It is one of the oldest amateur filmmaking clubs in the world. As their membership grows ever older and their bank account rapidly dissipates, they’re facing the awful possibility that there might not be a future. Fuelled by cups of tea and an unquenchable spirit, they desperately try to turn things round. Their journey is captured in a new documentary, A Bunch of Amateurs.

A Bunch of Amateurs is a sweet and heartwarming story of a collective of misfits brought together by a love of films. The clubhouse is much more than just a place to meet, it’s a second home. This sense of community shines through in Kim Hopkins’ film. A lively mix of dry Yorkshire humour and subtle regret pervades throughout. A Bunch of Amateurs will make you laugh and cry. And maybe, just maybe, inspire you to join your local club.  

A Bunch of Amateurs screens at Sheffield Doc/Fest.

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