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Become a community cinema mentor

If you’ve been running a community cinema for a while, why not share your knowledge with someone just starting out?

One thing community organisers have in common is their passion for film and a desire to bring more films to local people. BFI Neighbourhood Cinema unites a network of enthusiastic operators throughout the UK, so there’s no better place for you to share ideas and advice.

Why become a mentor?

Supporting a new community cinema operator who’s just starting out can be extremely rewarding. For starters, it’s a great chance for you to share everything you’ve learned. From getting the venue set up and applying for licences to advertising the first screening, share the excitement all over again – with the benefit of knowing you’ll be helping another cinema to get it right first time.

The buzz of helping a new cinema to open its doors is great, but there are other reasons why helping out your fellow community cinema operators could work well for you:

  • Attract more audience members to your own cinema

    There’s no better way to spread the word than by inviting a keen newcomer into your community cinema. Allow your mentee to work with you as you prepare for your next screening, and they may help promote your events to new audiences in new ways.

  • Share volunteers

    Once up and running, your mentee may engage enthusiastic new volunteers who are happy to help out in your community cinema too.

  • Pick up some ideas

    Meeting other community cinema operators, whatever stage they are at in setting up, can be a real boost. Explore film genres that you might not otherwise have considered, get a fresh perspective on setting up your venue, and get inspired by new ideas for marketing, fundraising and more.

  • Make new contacts

    Working with other community cinemas can be a valuable way to pick up useful contacts for your own cinema, from new film distributors to chair hire companies.

  • Help improve community cinema in the UK

    It stands to reason that the more that community cinemas work together, the better the overall experience will be for audiences everywhere. The better the experience, the more popular community cinemas will become – which can only be good news for everyone.

    And don’t forget, you don’t have to live near the community cinema you mentor – sharing advice over phone or email is just as valuable, and means that you could help cinemas anywhere in the UK.

  • Ian Kerry from Flicks in the Sticks

    “It’s really satisfying to be able to pass on your experience and knowledge to someone setting up a new community cinema. It’s a great opportunity to channel their enthusiasm and passion and to make sure they don’t make the same mistakes as you!”

    - Ian Kerry - Flicks in the Sticks

  • Share your expertise

    We’re always looking for experienced operators to share their advice with the growing number of community cinemas all over the UK. Get in touch if you’re interested in getting involved.

  • Are you a new cinema operator looking for a mentor?

    Drop us a line and we’ll do our best to help find someone who can help you make your cinema a huge success.