How we choose the films

For its main season in 2016/17, CFS will be screening 14 films (plus three CFS Extra films and a silent classic with music). That selection will have been whittled down from a long list of films considered by our viewing panel.

The panel, currently made up of 10 volunteers, watches films throughout the year, selected from a list of releases published by the Film Distributors’ Association.

Panel members watch the films independently of one another and report back with their ratings (from A to E) and their comments. Most films have at least three viewings, but promising films may have five or six. Ratings are converted into a score – like our normal audience reaction scores – and films achieving 80 per cent or more are marked as having ‘potential’.

In May, the panel meets to decide on the final selection. Films with high scores are likely to be especially popular with the CFS audience. But we also need variety: lighter films among the heavier ones; films from around the world; films in different genres, and so on. Achieving a varied, balanced programme involves hours of animated discussion.

For the coming season, there have been at least 300 viewings of more than 70 films.

• Would you like to be involved in choosing films for CFS? We are always keen to find new members for the viewing panel. No qualifications are required except a love of films – and time to watch lots of them. Contact us on the usual email: