Sustain: Develop

We have recorded an audio version of us reading the copy for Sustain Develop 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.

Plan, develop and create your next project for your community cinema with the support of Cinema For All coaches and a £600 bursary, to get it off the ground!

Past participants projects have included:

  • Audio walking tour and map of cinema heritage
  • Building a group of young volunteers to run a series of screenings
  • Weekend festival of films and entertainment
  • Special screening with immersive and collaborative elements

Coaching Sessions:

Over the course of three coaching session with Ellie and Abi from Cinema For All you will complete a project plan and receive bespoke training in areas you select, that will best help move your project forward.

The coaching and project will take place between January – March 2022.

Bespoke sessions we’ve provided in the past include:

  • Audience research – what to ask, who to speak with, research methods and local area statistics.
  • Event development – outdoor screenings, immersive cinema, family friendly screenings etc.
  • Building a Volunteer team – roles and responsibilities, paperwork, organisation and recruitment.
  • Project inspiration – a look at existing projects from community cinemas, for inspiration and learning to help shape your own.
  • We can create workshops based on topics that will help your project.


You will also receive a £600 bursary to go towards helping you achieve your project. Past participants have spent this on: marketing and design, immersive cinema materials, team training and recording equipment.

How the coaching sessions work:

  • All workshops take place over Zoom which is free to use and download, and you don’t need an account to use it. This makes it easy for your team to join in from their homes and to do the workshops at a time that is convenient for the group.
  • Each workshop lasts up to 90 minutes and we tailor them to your needs and goals.
  • The coaching process starts with a self-evaluation session to understand what you would like to get out of the coaching, this session is 30 minutes long.

‘The training and coaching during the Sustain Develop programme has helped the Thamesmead Travelling Cinema advance to the next level of operation. This has enabled us to confidently train Young People to operate the cinema through our Volunteer programme, thus also making us relevant to the local community we serve. The programme has introduced us to the world of community cinema and has given us the confidence to develop and run our own.’ – Thamesmead Texas Travelling Cinema

In the five years Sustain has been running, we have supported 100 groups across the UK with coaching and bursary support to help them continue to flourish. 97% of groups that apply have been successful in receiving support from Cinema For All’s coaching programmes.

Many groups not only come away with new skills, knowledge and helpful resources, but a greater sense of unity with their fellow volunteers and audience members.

How to apply:

Please complete the application form of just five short questions and send it to by midnight 4 January 2022. You can send your answers to us either by filling out the applications form or by answering the questions through an audio or video recording. If you have any access requirements, or need any additional support, please arrange a meeting with Ellie.

If your application has been successful we will notify you by 7 January 2022.

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

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.

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 recording of Sustain Develop application form:

Audio recording of Sustain Develop guidance notes and terms and conditions:

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