BFI takes new £22m deal for UK audiences to the next level

The BFI has revealed further details of its groundbreaking new offer for UK audiences, as it opens applications from organisations wishing to take a pivotal role in its new UK Audience Network.

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With an investment of up to £2.5m each year, the UK Audience Network forms a central tenet of the BFI’s bold new £22m Audience Fund to boost choices and bring new film experiences to UK audiences, no matter where they live.

The UK-wide Network will consist of up to ten ‘Hubs’ – bringing together varied groups of organisations across different areas of the country to work together to bring a greater depth and breadth of film experiences to their local areas. Each Hub will be led by a Hub Lead Organisation – an organisation with strength and experience in growing and developing audiences for specialised film, which can act as a cultural leader, facilitator and source of support to other Hub members.

The search for the Hub Lead Organisations (HLOs) has now begun, with the BFI launching an open call for applications from organisations across the UK with the capability and expertise to take key roles in its innovative new approach to bringing the very best film experiences to UK audiences.

Amanda Nevill, Chief Executive of the BFI, comments:

This announcement marks the first exciting move towards increasing opportunities for film lovers right across the UK. We want to encourage everyone to enjoy a lifelong relationship with film, regardless of where they live. But the reality for so many in the UK is that they simply cannot access and enjoy the full richness and breadth of film and film culture on their doorstep – we want to change this.

Our ambitious UK Audience Network, intrinsically linked to our comprehensive new film education offer for 5-19 year olds and our plans to bring film experiences to 1000 community venues, marks the beginning of a new joined up strategy to help put film at the centre of UK cultural life. By fostering partnership and collaboration from a range of experts who really understand how to connect films with audiences, and who appreciate the power that film can have in people’s lives, we hope the UK Audience Network will help unlock thought-provoking and inspiring films and film culture across all platforms, for the benefit of audiences everywhere.

The BFI’s UK Audience Network aims to reach right across the UK, uniting a range of partners potentially including all cinema exhibitors, film festivals, educators, film societies, community venues, broadcasters, libraries and others, to help bring diverse and engaging film experiences to as many people as possible. The BFI’s ambition is to ensure rich film experiences can be accessed and enjoyed by everyone across the whole of the UK.

The UK Audience Network’s ability to reach communities the length and breadth of the UK will be further enhanced by combining the physical capabilities of its partners with an ambitious online presence to help bring film culture directly into people’s homes, and enable Network partners and Hub organisations to share knowledge and expertise.

Applications for Hub Lead Organisations are now open and stage one applications close at 2pm on Monday 17 December.

Find out more and download application guidelines and forms here: www.bfi.org.uk/audiencenetwork

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