The Power Of The Cinema Holdover Meeting Plus Tips On Maximising Cinema Audience From Raindance Film Festival

Ask any filmmaker who has had a movie in movie theatres and they will tell you about the angst of the holdover meeting. The holdover meeting is the Monday morning meeting where the cinema owners decide if the film they screened over the weekend has had enough ticket sales to warrant a second weekend. And if the sales are too low, then they pull the film, and a new film comes in the following Friday.

I’m writing this on a Thursday, the day before one of the most interesting directing tutors at Raindance has a feature opening in 100+ cinemas in the UK. I’m talking about Simon Hunter, and his latest feature, Edie.

For the last six weeks Simon has been criss-crossing the country with the film’s octogenarian star, Sheila Hancock, whipping up interest in the film and trying to make sure enough people buy tickets over the weekend to make sure this charming and deeply personal film survies the holdover meeting.

Tips for surviving the holdover meeting

Creating awareness of your film is surely the best way to up your chances of a decent box office. Simon chose two methods:

Winning Awards

Simon’s film premiered at Raindance where he won the Raindance Award. He then went to America where it played in a dozen festivals this spring and won more awards. All this exposure enabled his film to get on the radar of journalists and potential distributors.

Creating good PR

As mentioned, Simon and his cast toured the UK for three weeks. Interestingly enough, Scottish tourism started championing the film as a way to attract hill and mountain climbers to Scotland. The film’s Twitter has been awash with likes and forwards. Have a look at the Edie Twitter feed – it’s a masterclass in how to use the medium.

Simon and his team also created a really good poster, one that was easily remembered.

Simon’s movie has received almost universally great reviews. You can read them here.
In the runup to the release, Simon released a trailer for the film.

The Holdover Meeting

Simon Hunter with Edie has created a feelgood movie starring a woman – and in this case a woman who is 83 years old. He has worked his socks off trying to get the word out. And none of this is easy for a filmmaker with a miniscule budget.

Here is my challenge to you. can you spare two hours this weekend to see Edie? It’s playing on over one hundred cinemas in the UK – and there should be at least one cinema near you. And do it on the weekend. the first Weekend.

Let’s all get together to support indie film.
Let’s all help Simon survive the holdover meeting.

Yours in filmmaking
Elliot Grove
Elliot Grove
Founder, Raindance | British Independent Film Awards

And by the way, Simon Hunter is returning to London for his Let Me Direct masterclass. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn directly from a master of storytelling.

If you take the Let Me Direct masterclass, bring your Edie ticket stub to Simon’s class and we will refund you for supporting Edie!



Photo Credit David Martinez / BIFA 2018

Few people know more filmmakers and screenwriters than Elliot Grove. Elliot is the founder of Raindance Film Festival (1993) and the British Independent Film Awards (1998). He has produced over 700 hundred short films and five feature films: the multi-award-winning The Living and the Dead (2006), Deadly Virtues (2013), AMBER (2017), Love is Thicker Than Water (2018) and the SWSX Grand Jury Prize winner Alice (2019). He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia and America.

Raindance BREXiT trailer 2019

Elliot has written three books which have become industry standards: Raindance Writers’ Lab: Write + Sell the Hot Screenplay, now in its second edition, Raindance Producers’ Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking and Beginning Filmmaking: 100 Easy Steps from Script to Screen (Professional Media Practice).

In 2009 he was awarded a PhD for services to film education.

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