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UK Movie Premiere – Outsourced

I’m so pleased the movie screening finally happened! It all took place last night at the Soho hotel in London.

This all started a couple of years ago when I saw this video on youtube. I liked the fact that someone had turned a current affairs story into a human interest story – an actual movie that would interest people beyond the business community. I started using the video in some of the MBA classes I teach, as an example of business strategies crossing into general consciousness. One day I just thought I would contact the person who uploaded the video – out of interest. I was surprised to soon receive an email from the director (and writer) John Jeffcoat!

I then had some chats with John about the movie and how we might arrange a London screening. I started trying to put it together as an event that the National Outsourcing Association (NOA) could host. What I found though was that all the companies I approached for funds (to pay for the cinema, drinks etc) were all a bit scared of the subject matter. The film has some amusing sections, comic situations involving cultural misunderstandings and many of the companies I spoke too just shied away from associating themselves with comedy when the press is often accusing them of stealing jobs from the UK and sending them to India.

Eventually I even got rejected by the NOA board. Not that they didn’t like it – we had a private screening on DVD and the board liked it, but they were wary of using membership funds on an event that was ‘fun’ rather than educational or research driven.

However, the NOA provided a sponsor in the end. Buffalo is the marketing and communications agency that works for the NOA. I had an offer of some cash from the law firm Olswang, but it was not enough to completely cover all the costs. Buffalo stepped in and said they would match Olswang and cover any additional costs so the event could happen!

So… Buffalo did a lot of work and organised a great event at the Soho hotel screening room. There were drinks, and a really nice screening in a great theatre. What was really nice was that I managed to get hold of the actress Ayesha Dharker via the director of the film, John Jeffcoat – i was communicating with him the day before the screening on Facebook and he sent some text messages from the USA to the actors from the movie. She was in London and managed to change her diary for the day so she could come to the screening and also do a Q&A after the movie finished. You can see some video from the Q&A session here…

It was a great event and I’m really pleased that I had started the ball rolling. I’d really like to do something else now themed around getting people together in a networking format for a screening…

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