News - January 12, 2012

Analysis Movie W

Movie W must reinvent itself

If Movie W disappears it will be Wageningen UR's fault, thinks cultured Wageningen. There is a lot of truth in this view, but there is more to it than that. Movie W needs to take a good look in the mirror too.
The crunch will come for Movie W in 2012. The executive board does not see maintaining a film club as among Wageningen UR's core tasks. Beyond a (possible) one-off contribution of 40,000 euros, Movie W will have to cover its own back from now on. There is a lot of criticism about the adoption of this principle. The decision by the executive board was pretty much a bolt from the blue, and has not been supported by convincing arguments. In fact there are no watertight arguments for not supporting students' (and employees') cultural development while at the same time pouring money into sports facilities. One could easily argue, however, that an institution such as Movie W contributes to an atmosphere that makes a conducive setting for Wageningen UR.
So if Movie W does disappear, Wageningen UR will be seen as the villain of the piece. And that would not be entirely fair. Movie W should take a good look in the mirror too. There is plenty of room for improvement to the way the film house is run. At present, Movie W certainly does not make the most of all the opportunities offered by a town with such a large international student population as Wageningen. Most students are not even aware of the existence of the film house.
Movie W proudly vaunts the quality of its film programme. But the filmgoer pays next to nothing for this quality films. In order to survive, Movie W will have to professionalize, and to reinvent itself. The board knows this, and wants to do it too. But not all Movie W's supporters are in favour of such changes.
To make a new start at a new location in Wageningen ('t Venster) possible, a sum of 50,000 euros is needed. Wageningen municipal council has offered 20,000 euros, and the rest will have to come from sponsors, patrons and sympathizers. For 100 euros per year, for example, the local baker could have his logo pasted to the back of a cinema chair. That will give the hard-core Movie W volunteer the creeps.