Matt Kitson

Driftwood Cinema, Bladnoch

The Meaty Questions

Tell us a little about what you do and why you love it?

I run a mobile cinema and creative film workshop. I take the cinema experience to a multitude of venues around Wigtownshire and the Stewartry, Community Halls, Schools, Commercial spaces and the great outdoors. I aim to create community lead and centred film events, showing classic films alongside local historical sort films, reaching those audiences who cannot make it to the fixed base cinemas in the region.

The workshops aim to help people to record the social events and everyday life of Dumfries and Galloway using their smart phones or video cameras, edit them and then show them on the big screen ahead of the main feature; building up a social archive of life and living in Dumfries and Galloway. I do it because I love film and I love creating film. Nowadays we have a great capacity to film everyday life and events in reasonable quality on our smart phones, but very little of it gets beyond the person who filmed it, or edited down to a short film that others might be interested to watch.   These clips are the social archive for the future. I love looking back at old amateur footage from the 50s, 60s and 70s of the Common Ridings, or of people working at the Creameries, and I want my children to be able to do the same for the 00’s and 10’s.

What makes Dumfries and Galloway special to you?

The people and the scenery. We moved here 2 years ago, from the outskirts of London, after falling in love with the area 7 years ago when we got married at Shennanton House. I love the space, the access to beaches, the forests and the wide open spaces. I love the fact that people talk to you and the sense of community. When I first arrived I was told to add half an hour to every trip to the shops or the library or the school. Why, I said? Well, it turns out it is because everyone stops and has a little chat on route to anywhere.

Are you involved in other arts and cultural activities?

I work on the Community Council team that puts together the framework of events for the Wigtown Festival Week. I also hope this year to be part of the Wigtown Book Festival Television News team; working with young people to create a short news loop of each day of the festival to be shown on the screens ahead of book talks and in the festival ticket office.

What projects are you involved in right now?

I am currently creating a schedule of screenings in 5 community venues across Wigtownshire and developing the creative workshops for delivery towards the middle of the year. I am also working with the Douglas Ewart High School students to produce a 90 second road safety film as part of the Motorsport Association’s 2015 campaign.

Hopes, ambitions or plans for 2015?

To get outdoors and show films under Dumfries and Galloway’s magnificent dark skies. The Galloway Forest are keen to be involved so once I get the grant funding it will be great to show a film or two in the forest. It would also be great to show films at other terrific and unique outdoor venues that we have in Dumfries and Galloway.

Have you always been in this role – or have you/do you do anything else?

I would love to be in this role full-time, but it doesn’t pay the bills (at the moment). I have two other day jobs: I run my own web design and hosting business and I am the founder and trustee of a charity that helps disabled people to experience motorsports – baronmotorsports.org.uk.

If we asked a friend to tell us something surprising about you, what would they say?

Matt did Sport Science at college and ran against Steve Cram, and lost, by a long way.

Anything else you’d like to tell us?

Filming stuff on mobile phones is good fun, but sometimes it is just better to put the camera down and be there.

Contact details:

Website: driftwoodcinema.org

Email: matt@driftwoodcinema.org

Telephone: 07981 925629