National Lottery Cinema Weekend, in partnership with the BFI, will take place on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 June at more than 500 cinema sites across the UK (pending confirmation that restrictions will be relaxed as planned). Cinema Weekend will make over 200,000 free tickets available to watch any film screening across the weekend, as a thank you to National Lottery players for their vital contribution to film.

Through the BFI, the National Lottery supports new and established filmmakers, film education and training, as well as enabling the UK public to see a wide range of films. National Lottery Cinema Weekend is an expansion on two previous Cinema Days (in 2018 and 2019), which enables players to access cinemas for free.

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Over 500 venues – across multiplexes, independent and community cinemas (including BFI Southbank and members of the National Lottery-funded BFI Film Audience Network (FAN)) – will open their doors, marking a significant increase on 2019 when over 250 cinemas took part. 

Venues will show a range of films from classics to the latest releases, including BFI National Lottery-funded titles. Recent BFI supported titles due to be on general release in the weeks after cinemas are scheduled to reopen from 17 May include Surge, Undergods and After Love. Also coming to cinemas is the BAFTA and Oscar-winning Sound of Metal, which received BFI National Lottery support for its UK release. All venues will have safety measures in place in line with current guidance for the prevention of the spread of Covid-19.

The Independent Cinema Office, in its capacity as BFI FAN Film Hub South East, is the coordinating body on behalf of the BFI Film Audience Network and the central contact point for cinemas. Venues interested in participating in National Lottery Cinema Weekend can request further information by contacting cinemaweekend@independentcinemaoffice.org.uk.