Information for the North's screen sector

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

Updated 12:00pm, 10 November

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

BFI NETWORK Short Film Fund

The BFI NETWORK Short Film Fund has reopened following a temporary pause in July 2020. Some key changes have been made to the application process, with the fund now operating two fixed application windows rather than accepting proposals on a rolling basis. The Autumn 2020 application window is live now, and closes at 12pm on Monday, 30 November

Cinemas closed

In line with the new national restrictions introduced on 5 November, cinemas across the North have closed. The Hub's Audience Development Team will continue to support our exhibition colleagues throughout this challenging time.

Film Exhibition Fund

Applications to the Hub's Film Exhibition Fund closed on Wednesday, 30 September. We are in the process of confirming awards and will announce these soon. Thanks to all the organisations that applied. 

This Way Up

This Way Up, the UK's conference for innovation in film exhibition, is moving online in 2020 and will take place from 1-3 December. Passes are available to book now and are free for individuals working in UK film exhibition. We're also accepting pitches for short presentations as part of the conference's Show & Share sessions.

What's changed at Film Hub North

Audience development funding

The majority of the Hub's National Lottery funding for audience development activity has been redirected to our recovery funds. Applications for all other exhibition funds run by the Hub have been suspended. One support opportunity currently available is Advice Sessions: a new, UK-wide professional development providing exhibitors with a free, half-day of tailored mentoring from industry experts.

Online exhibitor support

We've started a series of Exhibitor Catch Ups bringing together exhibitors from across the North to connect with one another, share experiences and discuss the latest sector developments. One-to-one surgeries with the Hub team are also available to book. Check our exhibitor events calendar for details of the next session, or get in touch if there's a topic you'd like covered at a Catch Up.

Online talent development

Much of our support for filmmakers has moved to online platforms. Our annual Script Lab and Creative Producers School are taking place remotely, as is our new Scratch Me programme in partnership with Screen Yorkshire and SIGN. We're also organising regular online events for filmmakers, including short film showcases, discussions with top industry talent and networking sessions for Northern creatives. See our filmmaker events calendar for details of upcoming sessions.

Ongoing funded projects

Projects already funded by the Hub will be affected by Covid-19. We have reached out to the lead contacts for all ongoing projects to discuss their needs as plans change. We will be as flexible as possible in supporting our partners through their contingency measures.

What hasn't changed at Film Hub North

Supporting film culture in the North

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

Information & resources

Basic awareness training

ScreenSkills and the UK Cinema Association have launched Coronavirus basic awareness for cinemas training. A new programme designed specifically for all employees working in cinemas. It explains the control measures and management systems that employees should expect to find when they return to work.

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.