Over 140 film exhibitors around the UK have received a share of £759,159 to boost cultural programming and activities to engage diverse audiences as lockdown restrictions ease. The BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund supports activity to re-engage audiences with collective, big screen film experiences at film festivals, mixed arts venues, and both community and traditional cinemas around the UK. This particular strand of support has been made available via BFI‘s National Lottery funding to the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN). 

BFI FAN is a unique collaboration of 8 film hubs managed by leading film organisations across the UK, who each distribute the funding in their region or nation. The BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund will enable FAN members to deliver a broad range of programming once they restart, ensuring excellent British and international independent cinema is available to audiences all over the UK. Other priorities of the fund are incentivising exhibitors to embed inclusion and environmental sustainability into their approach to reopening, post closure during the pandemic restrictions.

The BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund was also supported by a donation from global streaming platform MUBI. The total figure awarded to Film Hub Scotland members of £220k includes additional funding from Screen Scotland as announced in early November. Film Hub Wales announced Film Exhibition Fund awards totalling £52k, also in November.

The BFI is also working closely with DCMS to administer the £30m allotted towards independent cinemas in England from the Culture Recovery Fund. Further awards are expected to be announced this month.

Ben Luxford, Head of UK Audiences at the BFI, said: “We’re committed to the big screen experience. Thanks to support from the National Lottery and our industry partners, we’re really happy to be able to support so many of the UK’s independent venues and community cinemas to bring a broad range of programming to their audiences. These cultural spaces across the UK are at the centre of their communities, so with this fund we hope that these film exhibitors will be in a stronger position to restart activity and programme films, seasons and deliver festivals that everyone is able to enjoy.”

Federica Pugliese, Programme and Marketing Manager at Catford Mews in London, said: “This [funding] will allow us to keep serving the Catford community by delivering a varied and diverse programme throughout the year, and it will enable us to continue collaborating with local film collectives and individuals to make our programme as local and accessible as possible. As challenging as the last few months have been for both businesses and individuals, it means a lot to have the support to keep our venue running and to continue to champion local culture as well as delivering entertainment to the wider community.”

Jade Turner, Cinema and Festival Programmer and Curator at Northampton Filmhouse, said: “Everyone at the Northampton Filmhouse is so excited about Shockwaves [a dynamic season of films and events celebrating the best in emerging filmmaking talent from around the world] and bringing the best new British and international debut films to our audiences. We are really grateful to the BFI and the Film Audience Network for providing such vital support during these difficult times so that we can continue to showcase innovative filmmaking, which is at the heart of our programme.”

Claire Hills, Festival Manager & Producer, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, said: “Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival is continually inspired by and committed to engaging with the communities in Berwick-upon-Tweed. The generous support from the Film Exhibition Fund will allow us to develop this work in a more sustainable way, giving us more space and time to work with local young people through a series of screenings, talks and workshops.” 

Jillian Thompson, Programme Manager of NI Science Festival, said: “Live cinema is a central part of Northern Ireland Science Festival so this year we were absolutely delighted to receive funding from the Film Exhibition Fund. Thanks to their generous support we hope to extend our outreach, work with priority groups and curate an exciting and diverse programme of STEM on film.”

Alice Black, Head of Cinema at Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA), said: “DCA is grateful to have been awarded funding from the BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund, which will allow us to continue to programme challenging and engaging cinema for our Dundee audiences. At this difficult time with so much uncertainty, we are more aware than ever of the transformative power of the cinema experience to connect and inspire us.”

Isabelle McNeill, Chair of the Cambridge Film Trust, which runs the Cambridge Film Festival, said: “We are very grateful for the continued support of Film Hub South East and the BFI, especially at this time when film festivals are having to adapt and explore new models. This fund will allow us to present “Cambridge Film Festival At Home”, enabling us to continue engaging with audiences while we discover innovative solutions to meet current needs and prepare to return to cinemas as soon as it is possible”.

Jessica Brewster, Director at The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, said: “Receiving FAN Exhibition Fund money is a gamechanger for us at The Roses. It will support us to transform our cinema programme and experience of the venue for children and young people, and help us engage and develop a new generation of audiences for British and independent film.”

Rhiannon Hughes, Festival Director at Wicked Wales Film, said: “This funding will help us to continue to work and train our young volunteers who run our cinema and our film festival, it will help us to provide screening opportunities to some of the most vulnerable and deprived communities in Wales and at the same time to celebrate and raise the profile of emerging young filmmakers in Wales and films under the Made in Wales brand.”

The National Lottery raises £30 million each week for good causes across the UK.

BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund awards

Film Hub London

Acton Arts Project, £3,000 
Black Stock Media, £4,000
Catford Mews, £3,000
Doc’n Roll Films Ltd, £3,000
Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest, £5,000
Genesis Cinema Ltd, £5,000 
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) Ltd, £4,000 
London East Asia Film Festival (LEAFF), £3,000 
London Indian Film Festival, £3,333
London International Animation Fest, £3,000
London Kurdish Film Festival, £4,000 
Other Cinemas, £5,000 
Phoenix Cinema, £5,000 
Rainbow Film Society, £2,400 
Rich Mix Cultural Enterprises Ltd, £5,000 
Rio Cinema Dalston, £5,000 
Screen25 Cinema, £4,500
Sign for All Community Ltd, £5,000
Stow Film Lounge, £3,000 
Streatham Film, £3,000 
Theatron Media Ltd t/a The Castle Cinema, £5,000 
UK Jewish Film, £3,000
Watermans (Hounslow Arts Trust Ltd, trading as Watermans), £2,520 
We Are Parable, £4,000 
Whirled Cinema, £4,000 
Your Cinema Productions Ltd, £5,000

Film Hub Midlands

ArtReach, £5,000
Birmingham Indian Film Festival, £3,334 
Black Arts Forum, £5,170 
Black Country Touring, £4,440 
Bonington Theatre, £2,600 
Borderlines Film Festival, £8,700 
Derby QUAD, £7,500 
Kinokulture, £9,956 
Light House Media Centre, £7,000 
Live and Local/ Big Picture Show, £5,000 
mac Birmingham, £10,000 
Media Active Projects, £10,000 
Northampton Filmhouse, £6,600 
Phizzical, £7,000 
Telford & Wrekin Council, £2,800 
The Northern Light Cinema, £3,500 
Unseen Cinema, £8,720 
Victoria Park Productions, £8,400 
Wem Town Hall, £3,792 

Film Hub North

ArtReach, £5,000 
Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, £7,500 
Chorley Empire Cinema, £9,484 
Forum Cinema Hexham, £2,000 
Hebden Bridge Picture House, £7,021 
Leigh Film Society, £4,252 
Seahouses Development Trust, £4,640 
SIDE Cinema, £3,900 
South Asian Film Festival Up North, £3,333 
Storyhouse, £10,000 
The Dukes, £9,930 
UK Jewish Film Festival, £2,000 
Yorkshire Silent Film Festival, £3,000 

Film Hub Northern Ireland

Cinemagic, £5,000 
Cushendun Building Preservation Trust, £500
NI Science Festival, £4,885 
Out To Lunch, £3,800 
Outburst, £2,000
Strand Arts Centre, £2,000 

Film Hub Scotland

Africa in Motion, £4,900 
Alchemy Film and Arts / Borders Screen Network, £4,400 
An Lanntair, £3,840 
Birks Cinema, £2,535 
Caledonian Cinema, £3,000 
Campeltown Picturehouse, £4,215 
Campleline, £1,294 
CatStrand, £3,119 
Centre for the Moving Image, £3,398 
CinemaAttic, £4,375 
Cromarty and Resolis Film Society, £2,624 
Dardishi, £3,230 
Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA), £3,198 
Driftwood, £3,158 
Dunoon Burgh Hall, £1,675 
Eastgate Theatre, £3,750 
Eden Court, £4,627 
Femspectives, £3,795 
Glasgow Film Festival, £3,500 
Hippodrome, £5,000 
Macrobert, £5,000 
Oban Phoenix, £4,450 
Robert Burns Centre Film and Theatre, £5,000 
Screen Argyll, £4,875 
Shetland Arts Development Agency, £4,950 
South West Media Factory, £2,750 
Strathearn Arts, £2,565 
The Barn, £4,135 
The Pickaquoy Centre, £2,611 
UK Jewish Film Festival, £458 
West Coast Cinema, £4,570 

Film Hub South East

Brighton Community Cinematheque, £1,862
Bute Street Film Festival, £5,000 
Cambridge Film Festival, £15,000 
CINECITY, £5,700 
Connaught Theatre & Cinema, £5,267 
Deal Film Club, £5,175 
Electric Palace Cinema, £3,490 
Fabrica, £1,400 
Fisheye Film Festival, £2,015 
Gulbenkian, £2,050 
Ipswich Film Theatre, £1,750 
Norden Farm, £8,000 
Palace Cinema Broadstairs, £6,741 
Saffron Screen, £3,016 
The Picturehouse, Uckfield, £3,160 
Towner, £4,900 
Trinity Theatre, £3,500 
UK Jewish Film Festival, £422 
Ultimate Picture Palace, £5,867 
WOFFF (Women Over Fifty Film Festival), £2,000

Film Hub South West

Ashleworth Cinema, £365 
C Fylm (Creative Kernow), £6,500 
COMPASS PRESENTS, £6,000 
Cornwall Film Festival, £5,500 
Exeter Phoenix, £5,200 
Film Bath Ltd, £10,000 
No6 Cinema, £7,510 
Portsmouth Film Society, £4,000 
Queer Vision Bristol, £5,000 
Roses Theatre Trust, £6,675 
Sheba Soul Ensemble, £6,000 
South West Silents, £6,000 
Stroud & District Film Society, £330 
Stroud Film Festival, £5,060 
The Point Theatre, £5,500 
The Poly, £2,745 
The Pound Arts Trust Ltd, £5,000 
Trowbridge Town Hall Trust, £8,728 
Windrose Rural Media Trust, £1,000 

Film Hub Wales

Canolfan Ucheldre Centre (Holyhead), £4,000 
CellB (Blaemau Ffestiniog), £ 4,000 
Commodore (Aberystwyth), £2,500 
Dragon Theatre (Barmouth), £1,677 
Galeri Caernarfon, £5,000 
Galeri Caernarfon Young Generation Scheme, £1,000 
Magic Lantern (Tywyn), £4,700 
Memo Arts Centre (Barry), £4,200 
Neuadd Ogwen (Bethesda), £4,000 
Savoy Theatre Monmouth, £600 
TAPE (Old Colwyn), £4,000 
Theatr Gwaun (Fishguard), £4,275 
Torch Theatre (Milford Haven), £4,000 
Wicked Wales Film / P&M Community Group (Rhyl), £4,000 
WOW (Wales One World) Film Festival, £4,000