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A range of photos of Mosa. From left, Mosa is on the London tube, pictured holding her cat, on a night out and smiling sweetly to the camera.

In Conversation With... Mosa Mpetha

Meet Mosa, our Creative Engagement Officer at Hyde Park Picture House. Mosa has been with Leeds Heritage Theatres for nearly three years and in this interview she shares with us what skills are necessary to do her role, what films make her cry and what she would be doing if not working at The Picture House.

Written by Mosa Mpetha

Describe a day in the life of a Creative Engagement Officer?

My day consists of meetings with possible partners and collaborators of Hyde Park Picture House (HPPH). It is my job to work with anyone external to the cinema to come up with interesting and mutually beneficial events. I spend a lot of time writing and responding to emails, updating our system with films events, and trying to spend some time watching films and dreaming up ideas.

What skills do you think are most important in your role?

Communication and negotiation: I have to be able to talk with a wide range of people and give them a positive and clear experience working with the cinema.

Organisational and event management skills: I am able to help partners plan their events and give them a structured process.

Creative thinking and problem-solving skills: A lot of my job is coming up with events, films, collaborations, and overcoming barriers.

Mosa at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. She is standing with Daniel Nganga, a Guadeloupean filmmaker. She is holding a Hyde Park Picture House bag.

Mosa at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso February 2023. She is standing with Daniel Nganga, a Guadeloupean filmmaker.

What has been the highlight of your time at Leeds Heritage Theatres?

I’d say my highlight so far has been the great turnout and response to the new Cinema Africa strand. It is a project I am extremely proud of, and we have had some excellent screenings and discussions along the way. I am looking forward to a proper launch of the strand in the new HPPH this year.

What is the most challenging thing about your role?

Probably having to work at a slower pace sometimes in preparation for the reopening of the cinema. I am so excited to get into the new building and deliver more projects! But it has been brilliant to be able to deliver programmes off-site and take screening events to new locations.

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about working in engagement?

Go to as many events in the city as possible, make connections and friends with people outside of your immediate circle, and be prepared to learn new things and ways of working. Creative engagement and outreach is all about collaboration, so you need to be ready to get stuck in and have a lot of conversations!

Mosa is on the tube in London. She is wearing a puffer jacket and wearing a back pack.

Mosa is on the tube in London.

Mosa’s Favourite Things

Favourite venue – The Grand, The Varieties, Hyde Park? Why?

I have spent most of my time in the (old) HPPH and have had so many wonderful and emotional moments there.

Favourite story about that venue?

Most of my favourite moments in the HPPH include me crying profusely after a film has moved me so much. Top crying moments were La La Land (2016) and Waves (2020).

Favourite show you have seen at one of our venues?

I saw Northern Ballet’s Casanova at The Grand (twice) which was an absolutely amazing experience. The set, costumes, and movement absolutely blew me away. The best ballet I’ve ever seen – although I haven’t seen loads!

Favourite thing to do in your spare time?

Watch films! I’m craving the reopening of the cinema – I’m tired of watching films at home. I also like to go on hikes with my family and travel as much as I possibly can.

What would you be doing if not in your current role?

Curating African cinema and researching African film archives. I love learning about the past through film. I have just recently undertaken a research trip to South Africa, Burkina Faso and France. I am looking forward to carrying on with my learning in heritage world film.

Mosa is wearing a navy jumper and holding her black cat, Tia.

Mosa is holding her cat, Tia.

Mosa is wearing a striped shirt, a shell bracelet, and a colourful turban.

Mosa is sitting outside enjoying the sun in Cabo Verde on holiday.

Mosa stands in front of Notre-Dame de Paris.

Mosa stands in front of Notre-Dame de Paris.