Sustain: Collaborate

We have recorded an audio version of us reading the copy for Sustain Collaborate in case that is useful for you. Audio versions of the application form and guidance notes and terms and conditions can also be found at the bottom of this page.
Alternatively you can read on to find out more about the coaching programme below.

Sustain Collaborate is here to help you to realise your ambitions and assist you in finding other community cinemas to work with on a special collaborative project!

Sustain Collaborate is the perfect opportunity to build on your own skills, share your expertise and work on an exciting project with fellow community cinemas or not-for-profit partners. Collaborate with two partners on a special project or test out a new idea, e.g. a simultaneous screenings, a new genre with your audience.

You will receive a £1000 bursary to cover the costs of your event/project which is shared between all three collaborators in one group (at least one collaborator must be a community cinema, the third can be a charity or not-for-profit organisation).


‘One of the big parts of the programme, alongside having Cinema For All there to support us the entire way, is [to] collaborate, and we are so thankful to have been paired up with Leigh Film Society. Having the opportunity to work with an organisation that has been successfully running for years compared to us (completely new to the game) has been fantastic. We’ve been able to exchange ideas and experience on how cinema/festivals have changed due to the pandemic, with both of us going virtual for our projects and how we both can plan to be sustainable organisations. Leigh Film Society has also gone above and beyond, really helping us and passing on their knowledge and experience of not only being sustainable, but successful.’ – Trí Rivers Film Festival


Previous Sustain Collaborate projects have seen community cinemas working together to share expertise on running an online film festival, simultaneous Q+As and hosting a shared online screening for their audiences.

So if you have had an idea for an event or project (in person or online), but struggled with the costing implications and help to run it, Sustain Collaborate could help you make it happen!

Please note the project must have taken place by 30 August 2021.


How to apply

To apply, please complete the application form comprising five short questions and send it to Ellie at by midnight 30 May 2021. We will notify successful applicants by 3 June 2021.

Download the application form. Please read the guidance notes and terms and conditions before applying.

Cinema For All is committed to making the application process for our coaching programmes as accessible as possible. We welcome applications either by:

  • The original written application
  • Video file
  • Audio file
  • Or you can arrange a Zoom call with Ellie or Abi and they will write your answers as you say them

Cinema For All values diversity and we encourage applications from people of African or Caribbean heritage, people of South, East and South East Asian heritage, people who experience racism, LGBTQI+ people and people with disabilities.

We also encourage applications from groups based in Wolverhampton, Cumbria, Grimsby and Derry/Londonderry in particular, as cinema provision in these areas is lower than in other parts of the country, but groups from all over the UK are welcome to apply.

If you have any access requirements and would like an alternative way to apply, please contact Ellie at and we will endeavour to help. We apologise that we are not able to offer support over the phone at this time as the Cinema For All team is working remotely and we unfortunately do not have our usual office phone access. However, we can arrange to talk over Zoom with you.


As a BFI supported initiative there is priority given to programmes that support British, independent and specialised cinema. You can read the BFI’s definition of specialised cinema here.

Applicants will be scored on their knowledge and understanding of the make-up and diversity of their community and a range of efforts made to reach diverse groups within their community. You can read more about the BFI’s standards on and definition of diversity here.

Want to find out about all things community cinema? Sign up to our mailing list to find out about opportunities, exciting news and helpful information for your community cinema here.

Audio version of application form:

Audio version of guidance notes and terms and conditions:

With the support of the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery.