Film Exhibition Fund
13 organisations supported to reach audiences across the North

National Lottery funding supports organisations to resume screenings and renew independent film culture in the North.

Film Hub North has awarded National Lottery funding to 13 organisations through the Film Exhibition Fund. The fund is the latest sector support initiative from the Hub and our colleagues across the BFI Film Audience Network, and was launched in August 2020 with the aim of supporting a wide cross-section of exhibitors to resume screenings and reconnect with audiences.

The 13 awardees announced today reflect the variety of organisations who contribute to independent film culture in the North of England. Support will go to community groups, festivals, cinemas and multi-arts venues – each working locally to reach audiences across the region. A full list of Film Exhibition Fund awardees can be found below.

   The Picture House has been at the centre of Hebden Bridge’s cultural landscape for almost 100 years, and this funding will support us to celebrate that history. The grant will enable us to deliver a programme of events early in 2021 that will educate, entertain and inspire our audiences, setting the stage for further celebrations later in the year. - Rebekah Fozard, Manager at Hebden Bridge Picture House   

The projects supported by the Film Exhibition Fund signal that the North’s exhibition sector remains creatively ambitious and committed to local audiences, even in the face of considerable challenges. In addition to screening the best independent cinema within their communities, funding awardees will undertake focused work on engaging young people, diversifying the North’s film culture and celebrating screen heritage.

Projects supported through the Film Exhibition Fund include a new season from the award-winning Leigh Film Society; a community programme from Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival using film to engage and empower local young people; and a centenary celebration for the Hebden Bridge Picture House, one of the North’s longest-standing film institutions.

   Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival is inspired by and committed to engaging with the communities in Berwick-upon-Tweed. The support from the Film Exhibition Fund will allow us to develop this work in a more sustainable way, giving us more space and time to work with local young people. - Claire Hills, Festival Manager & Producer at Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival

With the Film Exhibition Fund now closed, Film Hub North is continuing to support the recovery of the region's exhibition sector in other ways. 

The Hub recently relaunched its micro-grant Propeller Awards and Bursary Awards for professional development. These schemes will provide exhibitors in the North with the resources they need to deliver audience development projects in-venue and online in the coming months, and will fund training opportunities that build skills and confidence within the sector.

Beyond these funds, the Hub continues to provide its exhibitor network with a range of advice, mentoring and peer support. Organisations exhibiting film in the North of England can also arrange a one-to-one meeting with the Hub team to discuss their plans for the future.

   The Leigh Film volunteer team are excited to return to screenings in 2021. Film plays a major part in reaching right into the heart of communities and we’re proud to deliver film programmes that offer something for everyone. This financial support sends out a strong message that community cinema hasn't gone away. - Elizabeth Costello BEM, Development Director at Leigh Film

More information about the nationwide impact of the Film Exhibition Fund is available via The Bigger Picture.

Film Exhibition Fund awardees

  • ArtReach
  • Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival
  • Chorley Empire
  • Forum Cinema Hexham
  • Hebden Bridge Picture House
  • Leigh Film Society
  • Seahouses Development Trust
  • SIDE Cinema
  • South Asian Film Festival Up North
  • Storyhouse
  • The Dukes
  • UK Jewish Film Festival
  • Yorkshire Silent Film Festival

Images: Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 2019 (Erika Stevenson ), Hebden Bridge Picture House (Sarah Mason).