Information for the North's screen sector

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

Updated 3:00pm, 5 March

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 roadmap out of lockdown, announced 22 February 2021, has set 17 May as a provisional date for reopening cinemas in England. The Hub will continue to support exhibitors in the North as they plan their reopening strategies in light of this. 

Events for exhibitors

We're now hosting monthly Exhibitors Catch Ups to support the sector at this key phase in the roadmap out of lockdown. These informal events bring together the region's exhibitors for peer support and the sharing of experiences and best practice. Check our exhibitors events calendar for more information.

Exhibition sector survey

Northern film exhibition and distribution consultant Jonny Tull is running a second sector survey to assess how the industry feels about Pressing Play (again). Exhibitors are invited to share their thoughts by the end of March.

Culture Recovery Fund

The final grants from the first round of Culture Recovery Fund were announced on 19 February 2021, with awardees including the Hyde Park Picture House, Light Cinemas and Reel Cinemas. Grants from the second round of funding will be announced in the coming weeks.

BFI NETWORK Early Feature Development Fund

Applications to the BFI NETWORK Early Feature Development Fund have been temporarily paused. The fund is are due to reopen in the week commencing 26 April 2021. Going forward, the Early Feature Development Fund will operate a single Spring application window each year. We'll share more information will filmmakers in the North when it's available.

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.