Film critic Mark Kermode and filmmaker Carol Morley have been named the first patrons of the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum.
In their new role they will champion the collections of the public museum and academic research facility on the Streatham Campus of the University of Exeter in England.
The museum is home to material relating to the moving image in Britain, with a collection of over 86,000 items. Over 1,000 of its items are on display in our Galleries and are available to be viewed by the public.
Peter Jewell, who together with Bill Douglas built the collection that founded the museum, has also agreed to become an honorary patron.
Professor Mark Kermode is chief film critic for The Observer and co-presents The Film Review for the BBC News Channel. Until recently he co-presented BBC Radio 5 Live’s Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review with Simon Mayo, and now co-presents the Sony podcast Kermode and Mayo’s Take as well as presenting a weekly film music show on Scala Radio.
Professor Kermode said: “The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum is an absolute treasure trove and I am thrilled and honoured to become a patron. Anyone with an interest in cinema should visit the museum which will take you on a journey to the birth of the moving image and beyond. There is so much to see – and it’s such great fun! I love it!”
Carol Morley is known for documentaries including The Alcohol Years (2000) and Dreams of a Life (2011), and has directed the feature films The Falling (2014) and Out of Blue (2018).
Morely said: “To support such a fabulous place and a collection which enables people to explore moving image history, especially histories that may be unfamiliar, means the world to me. It’s so important to preserve and celebrate and provide access to moving images’ past because it does so much to illuminate our present. The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum is a fabulous resource for so many and is a crucial part of the cultural landscape. Long may it thrive!”
Peter Jewell has continued to donate material to the museum and support activities its. He said: “Bill and I always collected with the aim that one day our collection would form a museum that could be shared with others and continue to expand with further donations. The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum offers the opportunity for everyone to experience the same wonder and excitement that we felt when we first acquired these artefacts. I am delighted that the museum continues to inspire new audiences to explore moving image history.”
Patrick Swaffer, Chair of the Museum’s board, said: “We are delighted that Carol, Mark, and Peter have agreed to become Patrons. Each have made a very significant contribution to film culture and their support will help us to further promote the high-quality collections held by the Museum and the opportunities they offer for anyone who loves film and the moving image.”