BFI Film Audience Network

The BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN) aims to provide increased access to a broader range of UK and international film and screen culture.


It is a collaboration of eight UK film hubs, managed by leading film organisations and venues. They use National Lottery funding to:

  • develop audiences
  • widen choice for communities across the UK
  • support the independent cinema exhibition sector by enhancing skills and sharing best practice

FAN has over 1,800 members, including:

  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • multi-arts venues
  • community cinemas
  • film archives

Members can access project funding for audience activity as well as benefiting from events and skills programmes, including:

  • conferences
  • seminars
  • training courses

They enjoy exclusive access to regular analysis of the current market for independent films, and newsletters highlighting forthcoming new releases.

Joining BFI FAN also offers organisations the chance to take part in exciting, UK-wide cultural moments by accessing:

  • project funds
  • publicity and marketing support

In 2023 FAN exhibitors all over the UK are offering screenings and events as part of the BFI-led celebration of the groundbreaking work of Powell and Pressburger.   

To take advantage of the benefits of membership or to find out more, please contact your local film hub. You can also follow them on social media and make sure to check out The Bigger Picture or @FAN_BiggerPict for news, opportunities and inspiration. 

The role of film hubs

Film hubs are supportive centres of expertise that:

  • connect cinemas, festivals and creative practitioners
  • develop audiences
  • deploy BFI National Lottery funding in support of Screen Culture 2033, the BFI’s 10-year strategic plan

Resulting from this strategy, film hubs will be focusing in particular on developing activity and building audiences in selected locations where there is currently limited access to a wider range of films – generally in partnership with locally based organisations. 

For the period 2023 to 2026, these locations are: 

  • Film Hub London: Barking and Dagenham, and Newham
  • Film Hub Midlands: Stoke on Trent and Stafford in partnership with Flatpack
  • Film Hub Northern Ireland: Newry and Mourne in partnership with Newcastle Community Cinema 
  • Film Hub North: Sunderland in partnership with Sunderland Shorts Film Festival 
  • Film Hub Scotland: Moray Firth area in partnership with Eden Court, Inverness 
  • Film Hub South East: Peterborough in partnership with the Gateway Film Festival
  • Film Hub South West: Swindon in partnership with Create Studios
  • Film Hub Wales: Rural Conwy in partnership with TAPE, Community Music and Film

If you are working to develop film audiences in one of these places and want to find out more, please contact the relevant hub.

BFI FAN and support for early career filmmakers

Each film hub in England is also home to at least one BFI NETWORK talent executive dedicated to working with early career filmmaking talent in the region, alongside executives in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

BFI NETWORK, supported by BFI National Lottery funding, aims to:

  • support talented screenwriters, directors and producers
  • provide short film funding
  • support the development of first features
  • support a range of professional and creative development programmes
  • provide community-building and networking support

BFI Film Academy

BFI Film Academy offers opportunities for 16 to 25-year-olds, anywhere in the UK, to get to know more about film and how to forge a career in the screen industries. For further information on the Film Academy programmes, please visit BFI Film Academy: opportunities for young creatives.

Forming part of the wider Film Academy, BFI Film Academy Plus is a National Lottery funded programme that is delivered across the UK by the eight BFI FAN film hubs and includes the following strands: Labs, Scene and Recommends.  For further information visit your local film hub.

If you have any questions about the BFI Film Audience Network, please email