The Iris Interview: Chris Keely – General Manager of World Movies Secret Cinema.

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Running across four days in Sydney next month, the World Movies Secret Cinema is one of the film season’s most anticipated events. We caught up with Chris Keely, general manager of the event to talk about its origins, how they put each season together and much more:

How did the concept for World Movies Secret Cinema come about?

We wanted to find a way to engage with audiences off-channel, and bring the brand to them in a way that was three-dimensional. So we came up with the idea of an immersive film experience that takes the audience out of the traditional movie theatre and transports them to another world. Audiences purchase a ticket to a mystery film in a top secret location, and are sent SMS clues in the lead up to the event. A meeting point is finally revealed on the day of the event, and audiences are whisked away into a world that is unlike anything they have ever experienced before. Everything is themed, from food and beverage to lighting and sound.

The response to this concept has been so positive. What are some of your highlights from previous World Movies Secret Cinemas?

Our last World Movies Secret Cinema in Sydney was held on Goat Island. The audience were given maps, survival packs and weapons, and made their way over to the island where they were thrown into a world of chaos and confusion, before watching the directors-cut version of the cult-classic Battle Royale. I particularly enjoyed seeing audiences stage their own death scenes for a competition we ran on the night – people can come up with some very creative ways to die!

How do you guys pick the locations? What type of venues do you usually look for? (without giving away too much!)

We scour the city far and wide to find somewhere that has a real ‘wow’ factor. We look for places that are untouched and full of character.

Is there a specific process by which you guys choose the films?

We want to make sure that the chosen film is perfectly paired with our stunning locations. We come together as a team with ideas and recommendations of films that complement the location – and then we watch them all. We spend weeks just watching films and continually come together to discuss them until we come to a unanimous decision. The perfect film is like the dessert to such a fabulous evening, so it’s crucial that we always get it right, and I believe we absolutely have for the upcoming season.

What is the ideal take-home experience you envision people having at Secret Cinema?

We want people to be blown away. We want them to be shocked and awed by the breathtaking location, and to be completely immersed in the film experience we present. We want people to let their inhibitions go and let their creative side flourish in experiencing our activations, all while enjoying good food and great drinks that we provide, and of course – the acclaimed film screening.

Are there any plans to host these concept film nights more often? How about plans to host these all across Australia?

We have already presented World Movies Secret Cinema in Sydney and Melbourne, and are continually searching for amazing new locations across the country. Nothing is confirmed for other cities as yet, but people should stay connected with us on Facebook as we may have something very exciting to announce soon!

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World Movies Secret Cinema will now run across four days in Sydney, offering six different session times across one weekend from April 10 to April 13. Ticket price is $53 + GST and BF, and includes an alcoholic beverage and a snack on arrival. World Movies Secret Cinema welcomes Salt Meats Cheese as official caterer for the event, and Optus as the event sponsor.

Session times are as follows: Thursday 10 April (7pm), Friday 11 April (7pm), Saturday 12 April (12.30pm and 7pm) and Sunday 13 April (12.30pm and 7pm).

Tickets can be purchased at http://worldmoviessecretcinema.oztix.com.au/

World Movies is available on Foxtel (Channel 430).