Advice & Experience Advisory Scheme

A&E: Advice & Experience Member Advisory Scheme A&E scheme closes for 2017

A&E Scheme closes for 2017

We will be closing the Advice & Experience scheme for the Film Hubs Central East, North, and North West Central.

We just wanted to say a huge thanks from across FAN for all of the work on the A&E scheme so far and to all members who took part - it’s clear that some really important and successful meetings have come out of the A&E scheme.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact

Do you need support with marketing plans to attract new audiences, completing funding applications, selecting films for a specialised season or improving your project evaluation?

Film Hub North, in partnership with Film Hubs Central East and North West Central, is proud to present the Advice & Experience Advisory Scheme, making high-level industry experience accessible to our membership for free.

A group of sector specialists have been recruited covering the following areas of expertise:

  • Bid-writing/fundraising
  • Income generation
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Programming
  • Audience Development
  • Audience Engagement and Education
  • Working with staff and volunteers
  • Business development
  • Budgets and financial management
  • Marketing
  • Press
  • Public speaking

Advice sessions are now available to book for half-day one-to-one sessions. Sessions can take place on the phone, Skype or face to face and will be followed up by a report covering key next steps for your projects.


For 2016/17 – Film Hub’s Scotland, London, South East and South West & West Midlands have joined the scheme, along with a number of new advisers with new areas of expertise. All advisers will be available to members from other areas if appropriate – please contact Sam Barnett to discuss.

Info on all the advisers (including both the new and existing) can be found here:

Password: FAN1617

Film Hub North: Meet the A&E advisors

Meet our specialist industry advisors available to Film Hub North members to book for one-to-one advice sessions now as part of the A&E Advice and Experience Advisory Scheme.

Take a look at our advisor’s biography’s and specific key expertise by clicking here - password is FAN1617.

Jay Arnold, Consultant, Freelance

Jay worked at Sheffield’s independent cinema The Showroom from its opening in 1995 until 2003. He then joined the newly formed Regional Screen Agency Screen Yorkshire working with the region’s cinemas, film educationalists, film archives and film festivals. As national structures were re-organised in 2011 he became Head of Film Culture with Creative England from where he moved to the BFI in 2013 to work on the BFI Film Audience Network. He left the BFI in October 2014 but retains links to FAN through freelance roles. Recently he has been working on Nottingham's bid to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a City of Literature, and has been appointed a Trustee of Cinema for All.

Melanie Iredale, Deputy Director,Sheffield Doc/Fest

Melanie Iredale is a film curator and festival producer with experience of working in film exhibition and events across the North of England for the past ten years. Starting her career at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle, Melanie went on to manage Northern Lights Film Festival in Newcastle-Gateshead, and then work as film programme director at the Scandinavian mixed arts event, NICE-Festival in Liverpool, while freelance work included project coordination for AV Festival and Northern Film & Media.

In 2009, Melanie was appointed as director of Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival on the English-Scottish Border, leading the festival artistically and strategically, and responsible for a dramatic growth in audience numbers, national profile and commissions over the past five years. Work commissioned by Melanie at Berwick has gone on to be exhibited at festivals and galleries across the UK, to New York, Hong Kong and beyond. Ben Russell’s Greetings to the Ancestors, co-commissioned by Melanie as part of Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival in 2014 was recently awarded the Tiger Shorts Award at Rotterdam International Film Festival. From 2010, Melanie was brought in to work with Sheffield Doc/Fest on a freelance basis as a development consultant, raising funds for arts and public-facing projects.

In November 2015, Melanie started a new job as Deputy Director of Sheffield Doc/Fest - one of the top three documentary festivals and marketplaces in the world. Melanie’s role involves overseeing the film programme, industry conference and marketplace teams. The 21st Sheffield Doc/Fest returns 5th – 10th June 2015.

Bill Lawrence, Executive Director, Reel Solutions

Bill set up Reel Solutions in 2006 to pursue his passion for supporting all forms of cinema. He was Creative Director at Showroom Cinema, Sheffield, one of the UK’s leading independent cinemas, and Head of Film at the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television (later the National Media Museum), Bradford. He set up three of the city’s film festivals – Bradford International Film Festival, Bite the Mango Film Festival and Bradford Animation Festival. In 2006 Bill was one of the key people to set up the partnership board of Bradford: City of Film and was involved closely in achieving the UNESCO designation in 2009. Bill is chair of All Animated Limited and is a director on the Board of Creative England and previously Screen Yorkshire.

Jen Skinner, Audience Development Manager, Reel Solutions

Jen Skinner loves film and is passionate about the magic of cinema. Having spent 14 years working in the creative sector, most of which has been based in cinemas, she has developed partnerships with a wide range of organisations and venues including the BFI and ICO. She has worked with diverse audiences through programming film festivals, screenings and live events and has worked as an educator in formal and non-formal settings. From lecturing at degree level through to being a creative practitioner in gallery settings. Jen has delivered and devised workshops for students as part of their syllabus and engaged families with gallery and museum collections.

As manager of Hebden Bridge Picture House and as the only full-time member of staff, she experienced just about every element there is to running a cinema. This included programming all films and live events, managing a team of 20 staff, dealing with marketing through to finances, health and safety and building management.

Jen started at the National Media Museum in 2009 as their Film Education Officer where she programmed and produced courses and events for adults, schools and colleges. She worked as part of the festival team on Bradford International Film Festival and Bradford Animation Festival which included programming and producing education events and screening submissions.

Jen recently joined the Reel Solutions team as their audience development manager and is looking forward to new projects and ways of working within the independent cinema sector. Jen Skinner helps to screen great films and foster a further interest in film through a wide range of learning opportunities. Her passion for the shared experience drives her to develop audiences for cinema, now and for the future.

Catherine Waddington, Cultural Communication Specialist and Project Manager, Freelance

A marketing professional with a passion for the arts, I have over 15 years’ experience in the culture and events sectors. As a freelance communications specialist I now work with organisations in the cultural sector to put audiences at the centre of their planning. I have delivered integrated communications campaigns, developed audience-focused strategies to achieve outstanding results and worked with both internal and external partners to recognise the value of understanding our audiences to the whole business. I can offer support across a broad spectrum of marketing practices from drawing up a marketing strategy, developing an audience development plan or commissioning evaluation, to implementing day to day marketing tasks such as briefing a designer, writing a social media plan or fostering new partnerships.

Experience to date includes communications and project management roles with Abandon Normal Devices, Blaze (Cultural Olympiad Programme developing Young Producers), We Play (North West Cultural Legacy programme for London 2012), Imperial War Museums, Liverpool Culture Company (Capital of Culture 2008), London 2012 Olympic Games and Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games.

Sylvia Bednarz, Business and Marketing Director, Sheffield Doc/Fest

Sylvia Bednarz is the Business and Marketing Director at Sheffield Doc/Fest – the UK’s largest and most exciting documentary and digital media festival. Prior to this, Sylvia worked in documentary film and TV production, beginning her media career as Production Coordinator on the feature documentary The Age of Stupid. She then joined Current TV as an Associate Producer, working alongside the commissioning editor to manage both single and series documentaries from development through to broadcast. Before joining Doc/Fest, Sylvia was the Business Development Director and Film Festival Producer at digital short film platform The Smalls.

If you are interested in booking a free session please email us with details of the support you need

Michael Wood, Director, Minicine 

Woody is a community film exhibitor, running the award-winning Minicine in Leeds and screening to audiences across West Yorkshire. In 2015, Minicine was named Cinema For All Film Society of the Year while also being awarded Best Marketing and Publicity as well as Best Film Programming for the second time.

With a passion for community cinema and film exhibition in general, Woody offers expertise in creative film programming, marketing on a shoe-string budget, building collaborative networks and audience development."

Woody has previously worked for Leeds International Film Festival, Scalarama and, most recently, Cinema For All

Jonathan Tull 

My name is Jonny Tull and I’m an experienced cinema marketing specialist and film programmer.

Having formerly worked at Newcastle's Tyneside Cinema in senior positions I have developed specific knowledge in:

Marketing and sales.

Film programming/curation.

Fundraising/individual giving projects.

Membership schemes.

Audience development programmes.

Accessible/dementia friendly screening initiatives.

I’m a firm believer in putting the audience and their habits at the heart of my decision-making. This means that my processes are resolutely data-led and my programming and marketing sensibilities are interlinked.

I have 15 years of experience as a programmer working in the independent cinema sector and I’ve curated festivals, seasons and first run programmes –spanning specialised, mainstream, family, repertory and first run film.

Throughout my marketing career I’ve managed publicity for thousands of films and special events using print, PR and social media. On a wider organisational level I’ve worked on branding/rebranding, web development and I’ve launched several businesses and initiatives, including playing a key part in the major rebranding and relaunching of Tyneside Cinema.

As a senior-level manager I’ve been involved in devising business plans, led many audience development initiatives and been part of several major capital redevelopment projects.

Alongside my on-the-job experience I have a degree in Business Administration, have served as an active member of the Arts Marketing Association and I’ve taken leadership courses including those delivered by Common Purpose and the Theatrical Management Association.

I have a part-time teaching role at Newcastle University, I’m a Trustee of Queen’s Hall Hexham, and I serve on the advisory board of Animex International Animation Festival at Teesside University.

Discuss on the member's forum