Day 31: Cinema Art Bethesda

I am on the board of directors for a film club. I don’t really have a title — webmaster, email list coordinator, maybe. Today I spent all day working on the website and drafting an email for our followers.

I heard about the group back in the early 2000s. I’d heard a film critic praise a film called Maryam and hoped to see it. Bethesda has a good film theater and I emailed them to see if they were going to show it. They wrote back and said it was not planned to be shown there. Not long after that I received my usual newsletter from the theater and noticed that Maryam was going to be shown there after all. I emailed them and asked why they told me the film was not going to be shown and they explained that the film was being shown by a group separate from the theater. I looked it up and saw that they had a hideous website, but at least found out more about the group. They met 10 Sundays a year and screened foreign and independent films.

I went to the screening of Maryam, loved it and asked the president of the group if she would like help making her website more usable and attractive (for free). She said yes and also invited me to serve on the board.

The first several years I was on the board were really wonderful. I went to all screenings, helped choose some of the films, helped with the monthly presentations by selling tickets, and even was director of operations for a year and marketing person for a different year (both years I was still the website/email list manager as well). Back then we had a full board, Beverly was the president. We also had a director of operations (that seat turned over often — it was a very demanding position), treasurer, marketing, website/email list manager, and several film discussion leaders.

In the past ten years or so I have cut back my participation due to time constraints, lack of enthusiasm for foreign films, and disagreements with various other board members. The board has dwindled to a few undefined roles.

When Beverly died I actually hoped the film group would die with her, but her family was so grateful that we were continuing it, the rest of the board did not have the heart to give up.

So now I have more time and a renewed interest in the group. We’ve had to go streaming this year, which might be why I like it better — I don’t have to go to the Sunday morning screenings.

I felt delight today, working on the website — something I’d only felt contempt for in recent years.

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