BFI FAN (Film Audience Network) projects are designed to strengthen the exhibition sector and develop more diverse audiences for independent cinema around the UK.

FAN projects can be divided into 4 main areas of activity:

  • Seasons, programmes and films releases
  • Audience diversity
  • Conferences and events days
  • Resources for exhibitors

Seasons, programmes and films releases

FAN Major Programmes

These are UK-wide film seasons that all FAN members can take part in at a regional level in order to connect with UK audiences.

They include:

  • an annual BFI Blockbuster season
  • national programming opportunities generated from within the network, such as the FAN-led Film Feels programmes

For further information see Film Hub Midlands’ Major Programmes.

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BFI FAN New Releases

The focus is on supporting exhibitors to programme titles that might be perceived as ‘risky’ or ‘challenging’ and helping connect them with new and diverse audiences. Four new releases are selected each year.

Exhibitors can expect:

  • an extended national press and marketing campaign
  • bespoke marketing support to help reach audiences in their area

For further information see FAN New Releases.

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Screen Heritage

The Screen Heritage funding programme aims to increase exhibitors’ confidence with Screen Heritage material, develop strong links between the exhibitor and archive sectors and engage young and diverse audiences with archive collections. It includes programmes such as:

  • New Directions – a season of archive film events retracing how the UK reached its present political and cultural crossroads
  • Changing Times – a 4-year nationwide initiative exploring over a century of social change, as documented by the UK’s film and television collections, with ambitious screen heritage screenings and events

For further information see Film Hub North’s Screen Heritage funding.

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Audience diversity

Inclusive Cinema

Inclusive Cinema helps film exhibitors to diversify their audiences through inclusive practice. It is a website housing data, case studies and how-to guides. All resources are geared to help exhibitors welcome all audiences: for example, those who may be impacted negatively based on age, disability, being D/deaf, class, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or belief system.

For further information see Inclusive Cinema.

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Queer Film Network

This network brings together queer film programmers and develops LGBTQIA+ audiences, working with film festivals, and clubs and societies that have a long-term ambition to expand queer cinema viewing opportunities across the UK.

For further information see Queer Film Network.


Young Audiences

Film Hub London leads the young audiences strategy on behalf of FAN, and aims to increase the numbers of 16-30 year olds watching films in FAN member venues. They also work with partner organisations Into Film and BFI Education to expand the opportunities for this age group to engage with a wide range of films.

For further information see Film Hub London’s FAN Young Audiences.

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Conferences and events days

This Way Up

This annual 2-day independent film exhibition conference allows exhibitors from across the UK and Europe to explore new ideas and emerging audience trends. With 250 delegates each year it is an opportunity to meet figures from the sector, develop practical skills and attend:

  • talks
  • workshops
  • networking events

For further information see This Way Up.

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Distributor Slate Days

This annual 2-day event in London provides exhibitors with a comprehensive overview of upcoming independent releases, allowing distributors a platform to present a wide range of British, international and non-mainstream films.

For further information see Film London’s (with Film Hub Scotland) Distributor Slate Day.

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Resources for exhibitors

The Bigger Picture

Encouraging the sharing of best practice and showcasing how exhibitors across the UK are making a difference. Developed by exhibitors for exhibitors, it is a place to pick up ideas, using:

  • case studies
  • toolkits
  • articles and research
  • guides

For further information see The Bigger Picture.

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Advice Sessions

Advice Sessions let hub members receive personalised, detailed help from experienced figures within the cinema exhibition industry. They can help with issues such as:

  • putting together a marketing plan 
  • attracting new audiences
  • addressing a technical issue
  • constructing a budget

For further information see Advice Sessions.

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Indie Box Office column

Film critic Charles Gant provides FAN members with a weekly column highlighting how independent films are performing at the box office, and specifically looking at their performance in the UK’s independent or arthouse cinemas. Film hub members are automatically subscribed to the column on joining.