Information for the North's screen sector

See the latest updates on Covid-19, our work and film in the North. 

Updated 1:00pm, 14 May

Covid-19 is causing uncertainty within the UK screen sector and beyond. Film Hub North is working with industry colleagues to support exhibitors and filmmakers in the region at this difficult time. See below for updates on the current situation and useful resources for those in the screen sector.

Latest updates

Reopening Cinemas

The Government’s announcement on 10 May confirmed that cinemas in England will be able to reopen from 17 May. We welcome this news and are here to support exhibitors in the North every step of the way. Cinemas can book a 1-2-1 Hub Surgery to talk to our team about their plans.

Guidance for cinemas

The UK Cinema Association have issued a new version of their guidance, Cinemas – keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19, as of 14 May. We recommend all cinemas revisit this guidance in advance of reopening and continue to check-in with health and safety best practice across the sector at this time.

Audience attitudes

The Culture Restart Cinema Tracker is a new, free tool that makes it easy for cinemas to survey audiences and take an informed approach to reopening. Last month, we welcomed Indigo – the organisation behind the tracker – to our Exhibitors Catch Up to chat about the benefits of audience surveying and why cinemas should be talking to their audiences right now. Find out more.

Culture Recovery Fund

A further £1m has been awarded to cinemas in the North through the second round of the BFI Culture Recovery Fund. Read our recent article for more information on the 24 organisations who have received support to stay here for audiences, and here for culture.

Audience Development Funding

A range of audience development funding is now available through the Hub and our partners across the BFI Film Audience Network, providing exhibitors of every size and shape with support to restart screenings and reconnect with audiences. On 12 May, we shared news of 3 new funding opportunities that have just been launched.

Talent Development Funding

We’re also excited to have reopened our Talent Development funds for Spring 2021. Applications for the BFI NETWORK Short Film Fund and Early Feature Development Fund are open now and close on 7 June.

Information & resources

Get in touch

The Hub remains committed to helping exhibitors and filmmakers across the region, and our team is still here to answer your queries. We are now working remotely and ask that our partners reach out to their usual contact via email in the first instance. For general enquiries, exhibitors should contact and filmmakers should contact

Basic awareness training

ScreenSkills are offering free Coronavirus basic awareness training for cinema employees and those working in production.

Cinemas - reopening guidelines

The UK Cinema Association has published a set of guidelines, Cinemas – keeping workers and customers safe during Covid-19, to help exhibitors through the process of reopening. These guidelines establish an industry-wide baseline for the risk mitigations venues should put in place for staff and customers. As these guidelines are likely to change over time, exhibitors should check for updated versions periodically.

The Seven Principles

#WeShallNotBeRemoved, the UK disability arts alliance, have published the Seven Principles for an Inclusive Recovery for the Arts & Creative Sector. These outline practical steps film exhibitors can take to reopen inclusively.

The Bigger Picture

The BFI Film Audience Network's central news resource is maintaining a Covid-19 advice page featuring rolling relevant to exhibitors. Their recent collection of articles also includes key stories, guest blogs and opinion pieces from the sector.

Trade Bodies

Trade bodies will be an important source of support for their Members at this time. The UK Cinema Association has set up a resources hub for cinemas, the BFI Film Audience Network has published guidance for community cinemas, and BECTU have established an information page for their members.

Film + TV Charity

The Film and TV Charity are aware of the potential impact of coronavirus on people working in film, TV and cinema, particularly in relation to freelance workers and those on limited hours contracts. Their advice page features information on mental health, their 24 hour support line and finances. Applications for the The Film and TV Charity Emergency Relief Fund, created in partnership with the BFI, are currently closed.

Peer Support 

Facebook groups have recently been established for Film Exhibition & Distribution Freelancers and UK Cinema & Venue Employees, providing a space to share news, offer support and discuss opportunities with industry peers.

Image 2: The Dukes Cinema (Jess Turton)