BFI Awards over £15.2M to 11 UK-Wide Strategic PartnersNational Lottery Funding supporting audience and talent development
Independent Cinemas HOME and Showroom Cinema to continue to lead Film Hub North as part of BFI’s National Lottery Funding Strategy
BFI awards £15.2M National Lottery funding over three years to 11 UK-wide strategic partners as it begins to implement its recently published 10-Year National Lottery Funding Strategy from April 2023. Showroom Cinema in Sheffield and HOME in Manchester have been selected as the two strategic partners managing BFI Film Audience Network, BFI NETWORK activity and Film Academy Plus in the North through Film Hub North.
The BFI and its strategic partners will work together to effectively respond to the varying needs of the public and industry in different parts of the country and achieve the UK-wide National Lottery funding aims: to grow cinema audiences for UK independent and international film, support development of new filmmaking talent and ignite a passion for screen culture in young people.
Film Hub North is dedicated to supporting the independent film exhibition sector and its diversity of organisations. Our members span a multitude of screen exhibition organisation types: new and long-established film societies, entirely volunteer-led community cinemas, festivals, single and multi-screen independents, mixed art venues, small independent chains, museums, archives, pop-ups, filmmaker collectives and artists’ moving image specialists.
We are also committed to developing and retaining Northern talent through a series of development programmes, funding opportunities, and networking events in partnership with BFI NETWORK, screen agencies, film festivals and more.
The other funded strategic partners to lead on activity across the UK:
- Scotland: Glasgow Film Theatre will manage BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) and BFI Film Academy Plus; Screen Scotland will co-fund talent development activity as part of BFI NETWORK as well as support BFI FAN
- Northern Ireland: Queen’s University Belfast will manage BFI FAN and BFI Film Academy Plus; Northern Ireland Screen will deliver talent development activity as part of BFI NETWORK
- The Midlands: Broadway in Nottingham and Flatpack in Birmingham will manage BFI FAN, BFI NETWORK activity and BFI Film Academy Plus
- Wales: Chapter in Cardiff will manage BFI FAN and BFI Film Academy Plus; Ffilm Cymru Wales will deliver talent development activity as part of BFI NETWORK
- The South East: the Independent Cinema Office will manage BFI FAN, BFI NETWORK activity and BFI Film Academy Plus
- The South West: Watershed in Bristol will manage BFI FAN, BFI NETWORK activity and BFI Film Academy Plus
- London: Film London will manage BFI FAN and BFI NETWORK activity
These partnerships will see many funding decisions and activities tailored by those who understand the local landscape of their respective regions, have valuable community networks, and can best reach people in their local area. More UK-wide partners will be announced in the coming weeks, as recipients of National Lottery funding to support skills and education activity which will complement this work. Alongside BFI FAN, support of the exhibition and distribution sector is available via the BFI National Lottery Audience Projects Fund which is currently open for applications.
Harriet Finney, Deputy CEO of the BFI, said:
Our partners are fundamental to the successful delivery of our ambitious National Lottery Strategy across the UK. We are very much looking forward to working with the venues and organisations announced today to ensure the BFI Film Audience Network, BFI NETWORK and BFI Film Academy Plus programmes evolve and grow to meet the changing needs of our sector. Driven by our belief everyone should have access to screen culture – from experiencing a diverse range of films in cinemas through to creating original screen works and a chance to forge careers – we are supporting these fantastic partners so they can bring those opportunities to local communities and people of all backgrounds, across the whole of the UK.
Ian Wild, CEO of Showroom Cinema said:
Film Hub North is integral to Showroom Cinema's mission to ensure that everybody in the north of England has access to high quality film programming and education. We are delighted to be able to continue to lead this network in partnership with HOME, and to commit to three further years of improved diversification and accessibility in the film industry. Programmes that fall under the Film Hub North banner have been a great success for us in recent years, and it is a privilege to be able to keep this work going.
We are delighted to be have been awarded funding from BFI to continue as the UK partner for the North for the BFI Film Audience Network, BFI NETWORK and BFI Film Academy Plus. Over the next three years we will work closely with our partners Showroom Cinema to continue to deliver Film Hub North to grow cinema audiences for UK independent and international film, support development of new filmmaking talent and ignite a passion for screen culture in young people.
The £15.2m announced today aims to address a number of primary objectives of the BFI’s National Lottery Strategy. These include seeking to:
- empower children and young people to develop their own relationship with a wider range of screen culture – as viewers, creators or as part of the future workforce
- ensure people across the UK can access a wider choice of film and the moving image, including stories that authentically reflect their lives
- tackle a range of social, economic and geographical barriers for UK audiences
- support the skilling up of the exhibition workforce so venues are better equipped to thrive in an increasingly challenging marketplace
- open up opportunities to those who want to express their creativity through stories on screen and support and nurture their careers
- encourage innovation and back a wide range of stories that wouldn’t otherwise be told
- open up equitable and more visible routes into the sector
The BFI Film Audience Network is a collaboration of eight leading venues or film organisations representing the UK nations and regions to support a stronger and more connected approach to growing audiences for UK and international film on the big screen. FAN has over 1,700 members comprising cinemas, festivals, mixed-arts venues, community cinema and film archives, which can access training, funding, programming support and network opportunities.
BFI NETWORK exists to support, develop and champion new and emerging filmmakers across the UK. Working with partners, NETWORK has an on-the-ground presence in every UK nation and region, led by BFI NETWORK Talent Execs, to connect with and deliver support to new and emerging filmmakers. BFI NETWORK offers funding for short films and first feature development, as well as a range of professional development support to writers, directors and producers.
BFI Film Academy Plus, the newly named UK-wide in-venue education offer, helps connect 16-25 year olds with opportunities to pursue their love of screen culture and learn how to set about a career in the industry. Funding will enable venues across the UK to provide locally tailored support packages such as masterclasses, screenings and bursaries, helping them to learn more about the film industry, watch cultural cinema, become familiar with their local venues and develop skills as independent filmmakers, film curators or film industry new entrants.
Through these activities, the BFI and its strategic partners aim to create ways for everyone to develop a meaningful relationship with screen culture through experiencing and/or creating the widest range of moving image storytelling, regardless of your background or circumstance UK-wide.
Activities supported by Film Hub North is done with National Lottery funding on behalf of the BFI Film Audience Network and BFI NETWORK. To find out about available funding for your future projects, check out our Film Exhibition Funding landing page and our Talent Development landing page.