2018 Funding Round-up
See the exciting projects we've supported this year

Sharing successes, future plans and stories of sector development.

We're ending 2018 with a good news story! 8 months on since the Hub launched with a mission to develop independent film exhibition across the North, and we've had the pleasure of supporting a variety of screening projects through our Propeller, Ignition and Engine Awards, and we've helped our Members travel far and wide in pursuit of new skills and insights from the wider industry. To close out the year, we're reflecting back on the events and trips that we've helped make happen in 2018, and we're looking forward to some of the exciting projects coming to audiences in 2019.

Long-term investments

First up are 2 Engine Awards: long-term investments into experienced exhibitors with ambitions to grow their audiences. We're excited to see both projects kick off in early 2019.

Following a successful first year, Storyhouse will receive 2 years of Engine Awards support to continue to develop audiences for specialised cinema and to expand their already extensive commitment to working with young people in the Chester area. Funding will free up staff time in Storyhouse's cinema team, allowing them to develop the bespoke marketing campaigns that specialised screenings need to succeed, while the team themselves will develop new skills. The specialised cinema programme will benefit further from enhanced screenings featuring high profile speakers, and the venue's engagement team will receive funding to continue their Young Programmers group and to establish a new online platform where young people can share the work they do at Storyhouse.

Live Cinema UK's 3-year Engine Awards funding will support a new network of venues to host regular live cinema events. Partner organisations will include: ARC Stockton, Brewery Arts Centre, The Brick Box, Leeds International Festival, HOME, the Reghed Centre, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Showroom Cinema and Tyneside Cinema. This network of organisations will work collaboratively with support from Live Cinema UK to attract new audiences aged 16-30 through co-programming and commissioning of new live cinema events - film screenings with 'live' in-venue elements, including but not limited to live soundtracks, digital integrations, theatrical immersion, movie parties, audiovisual performance (VJing) and simultaneous interactive moments such as singing, dancing, eating and drinking.

Beyond our Engine Awards, we were happy to work with a pair of partners on strategic commissions in 2018. Sensoria, the UK's festival of music, film and digital arts, received support for a form-traversing film programme that featured a retrospective of Dawn Shadforth, one of music video's most quietly prolific auteurs, and a presentation from the British Council's FAMLAB initiative. And Cine North have expanded their rural touring network to over 40 venues with Hub funding, while additional supported provided in partnership by Film Hub North and Arts Council England will allow Cine North to increase access to arts and cultural content. Cine North venues will now present works commissioned by The Space and benefit from a new programming partnership with Alchemy Artist Film and Moving Image Festival.

Our Engine Awards will relaunch in January 2019.

Boosting the North East

In 2018, our Ignition Awards have supported 2 projects in the North East as part of our long-term commitment to improving access to independent cinema in areas of low provision. 

Newcastle's Side Cinema are marking 40 years of activity with a series of programmes connecting work from the organisation's past and present. Their first season was The Inner Eye: a four-day festival of East German Cinema that coincided with a complementary photographic exhibition in the Side Gallery and engaged with the Amber Collective's relationship with East German studio DEFA. Further supported programmes from Side are forthcoming in 2019.

Also in development is a new film festival from Forum Cinema Hexham, due to be announced early next year. Taking place in March 2019 in venues across Northumberland, the festival will bring screen heritage events to audiences throughout the Tyne Valley and will showcase the Forum's ongoing collaboration with the North East Film Archive.

Our Ignition Awards will relaunch in January 2019.

Bold, new ideas

Accessible, agile and there to support risk-taking programming, the Propeller Awards have backed a variety of innovative audience development approaches in 2018. 

Propeller Awards funding allowed Journeys Festival International to go out into the community to reach audiences for their UK premiere of Soufra, connecting this story of an intrepid social entrepreneur in Beirut's Burj El Barajneh refugee camp with refugee and migrant groups in the greater Manchester area. Live Cinema ventured further afield with THE MOMENT - a brain-controlled movie housed inside a modified caravan that embarked on a tour of Sheffield Doc/Fest, Blue Dot and Kendall Calling, before being invited to set up camp at Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Ars Electronica and Brain Film Fest.

The Venus Collective created a custom cinema space of their own, taking over Metal's Edge Hill Station and giving it a teenage bedroom makeover for their Screen Queens series, which celebrated female filmmakers and invited the audience to consider the programme in a place of collective sanctuary. Widescreen Weekend also showcased the work of women in film through their Women in Widescreen programme: a highlight of this year's festival that saw guests such as VFX Editor Carin Anne Strohmaier and broadcaster Samira Ahmed introduce screenings celebrating women in front of and behind the camera.

Our Propeller Awards are still open for applications.

Professional development

Our Members have been on the move all year with support from our Bursary Awards!

Film festivals remain a popular choice of destination, allowing Members to watch lots films and meet lots of industry peers in a short space of time. This year, we helped the National Media Museum team travel to Il Cinema Ritrovato and A MAZE. / Berlin, Leeds International Film Festival picked up tips on engaging young audiences at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Pilot Light TV Festival made connections and caught a glimpse of the future of the form at Edinburgh International TV Festival, and Pavilion made the trip to Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival.

Equally useful for packing in screenings and getting a sense of the upcoming market in one condensed hit are the Independent Cinema Office's ever-popular Screening Days. In 2018, our Bursary Awards helped Films at Shadforth attend the April event at BFI Southbank, Belford Community Cinema joined us at the Showroom for a day dedicated to programming for young audiences, The Whitaker Cinematheque headed to Tyneside Cinema for a packed Autumn weekender, and restoration enthusiasts Rare Giants got the latest news in the screen heritage sector at Archive Screening Day.

Away from the screening room, our Members were sharpening their skills at a variety of conferences and courses. Jam Jar Cinema laid the groundwork for their continued expansion at CineEurope, Reel Solutions connected with peers on the isle of Tiree at Sea Change: Powering Women in Film, The Rheged Centre rethought their audience development plans after attending the ICO's REACH: Strategic Audience Development Course, and Grimmfest came along to the fifth edition of This Way Up to catch up with the latest goings on in the world of exhibition.

Our Bursary Awards are still open for applications.

Images: Mica Levi performs The Unfilmables, commissioned by Live Cinema UK; Factory Floor perform a live soundtrack to Metropolis at Sensoria 2018 (Laura Merrill); Shunters (1984), part of The Inner Eye programme; Forty Guns screens as part of Women in Widescreen (Andy Garbutt); Delegates at This Way Up 2018.