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Tribute to one of Norwich’s true champions of independent cinema

PUBLISHED: 19:15 02 August 2018 | UPDATED: 19:35 02 August 2018

Kingsley Canham was manager and programmer at Cinema City in Norwich between 1979 and 2002.
Photo: Archant

Kingsley Canham was manager and programmer at Cinema City in Norwich between 1979 and 2002. Photo: Archant

Archant

A true champion of film and one of the key figures behind Norwich’s Cinema City for more than 20 years has died.

Kingsley Canham was manager and programmer at Cinema City in Norwich between 1979 and 2002.
Photo: ArchantKingsley Canham was manager and programmer at Cinema City in Norwich between 1979 and 2002. Photo: Archant

Kingsley Canham, who was Cinema City’s manager and programmer from 1979 to 2002, passed away on July 2 aged 73.

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London and who worked with Mr Canham at Cinema City, paid tribute to him as a leading light of independent British cinema exhibition.

About Mr Canham’s achievements at Cinema City in particular, he said: “Tirelessly enthusiastic about providing audiences with the whole wealth of independent cinema, contemporary and classic, Kingsley would forever be inviting filmmakers to visit and consequently Cinema City welcomed luminaries such as David Puttnam, Alan Parker, Mike Newell, Stephen Frears and Michael Winterbottom amongst many others to discuss their work.

“He also had a particular friendship with maverick director Sam Fuller and even went out on a tour of venues with him in the early 1980s.”

Kingsley Canham
Picture: James BassKingsley Canham Picture: James Bass

He said Mr Canham was always keen to involve students from the University of East Anglia and the then Norwich School of Art and Design in the cinema, and that he also formed an education committee of academics and postgraduates who ran courses and events.

“Kingsley was always willing to support and champion fresh things such as the Cine-Women Women’s Film Festival for several years and staging the groundbreaking Screen on The Tube Festival where Kingsley showed himself something of a pioneer in championing outside London screenings of television material,” Mr Wootton said.

Mr Canham also formed a partnership with Toronto Film Festival and Glasgow Film Theatre, and was a committed member of the Consortium of Media Exhibitors.

Mr Canham, who moved to Norwich when he joined Cinema City, was originally from South Africa and moved to London at the age of 18. He became a dedicated member of the BFI National Film Theatre, the place where he would later meet his wife Jean.

Kingsley Canham was manager and programmer at Cinema City in Norwich between 1979 and 2002.
Photo: ArchantKingsley Canham was manager and programmer at Cinema City in Norwich between 1979 and 2002. Photo: Archant

During the 1960s and 70s he wrote articles for the magazines Movie, Films and Filming, and Focus on Film. He also made a major contribution to 1970s book series The Hollywood Professionals.

After his career at Cinema City came to an end he remained involved in local film festivals and events.

Mr Canham is survived by his wife Jean and children Caroline and Christopher.

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