A personal note about Film Stories issue 50

End of year letter
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A few words from Simon Brew, founder and editor of Film Stories, as we launch its 50th issue.

Forgive the indulgence, but if I can’t write you a note on a magazine’s 50th birthday, when can I?

In truth, I’ve had several versions of this article written. I’ve had a version that glossed over all the difficulties of making an independent film magazine. I’ve had a version that goes into the films we wanted to cover, but for reasons out of our hands, we couldn’t support. I’ve had a version that goes on for thousands of words about life making magazines when you’re not a publishing company.

Instead, you’re getting this version. I’m both proud and staggered, as well as knackered, to introduce issue 50 of Film Stories magazine. A film magazine that’s now the biggest in the UK at 168 pages, but also jammed with as broad a range of indie and mainstream cinema as I think you’ll find anywhere else.

I made a very early decision when launching the magazine back in 2018 that I didn’t think superhero films and Star Wars needed any more print coverage, given the breadth and strength of what’s already out there. Instead, I wanted Film Stories to be a British-based magazine that celebrated pretty much everything else about cinema. The filmmakers who hadn’t had covers before. The big and smaller films that weren’t getting the limelight they deserve. All with a rule that’s worked for almost every issue that we didn’t want to put something or someone on a cover if they were also heading up another film publication at that time.

I wanted our spotlights to be shone elsewhere. To try and do something different. All while offering opportunities for writers, opportunities for independent filmmakers, and something fresh and different for readers.

That it’s got to 50 issues is thanks to a whole bunch of people, first and foremost everybody who’s ever bought a copy and/or supported the magazine. Across Film Stories and Film Junior magazines, the tiny, tiny team here has made 67 individual issues now, with over 250 people in that time getting their first paid print writing work. We’ve covered hundreds of independent movies, caused lots of mischief, and put out over 6000 pages of new film writing.

Thank you. Thank you to everyone who’s had this ridiculously mad project’s back. Thank you to everybody who’s spread the word and continues to do so. The companies who advertise and support us. The filmmakers who are continuing to push us.

And with that, here’s issue 50. I’m delighted that I got to spend time chatting to William Shatner to headline the issue, in a far-reaching conversation that covers You Can Call Me Bill, Star Trek V, Planet Of The Spiders, going to space, and a whole lot more.

I hope you enjoy the issue. I hope you’ve got our back for a few issues more.

Thanks everyone. This all came to fruition at such a difficult time in my life. I was going through the loss of a parent, and the falling apart of a job I loved. I was determined to channel things into something positive. If I knew back then what I know now about independent publishing, I’d have never have done it.

But I’m bloody glad I did. The best to you all.

Simon Brew

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