Sustain: Shine

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

Take some time to re-evaluate and strengthen, while also celebrating what you are doing well and how you can continue to propel your community cinema forward.

Sustain Shine offers three online coaching sessions with the friendly, expert Cinema For All team and a £200 bursary to help refresh and develop your community cinema. Each session gives plenty of opportunity to learn, ask questions and gain advice and information tailored to help your community cinema as much as possible. Each workshop comes with an activity sheet which gives you action points and tips to take away with you. Workshops include the following topics:

  • Fundraising
  • Programming
  • Marketing and social media
  • Venue and equipment
  • Audience development: running family friendly screenings
  • Audience development: special events and immersive cinema
  • Outreach
  • Accessibility
  • Sustainability – keeping your cinema going
  • Outdoor screenings
  • Online screenings
  • Reopening: Welcoming your audience back

You should use the £200 bursary to help with the sustainability of your cinema e.g. further training, audience research, purchasing items to help you reopen safely, public liability insurance, marketing materials or website and logo design.

Our BFI supported coaching programme, Sustain Shine, helps you reflect on what you have done and what you want to do and supplies the tools and advice to continue confidently. It is not only about growth, but also about shining a light on and championing what you do well.

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. We start the coaching process with a self-evaluation session to understand what skills you already have and where you would like your cinema and team to develop.

‘In these isolated times, the training made all our efforts feel valued and supported.  Making contact with Cinema For All was so helpful and the endorsements that you gave for our work provided such a boost when we needed that most.  Along with the film offers, the training also gave us the courage to try different models, and to offer our loyal audience films and extras (such as the Q&A sessions) where otherwise we might not have felt able to tackle them.’ -Sustain Shine Spring 2021 participant


In the five years Sustain has been running, we have supported 93 groups across the UK with coaching and bursary support to help them continue to flourish.

How to apply:

To apply, please complete the application form comprising five short questions and send it to by midnight 30 May 2021. If your application has been successful we will notify you by 3 June 2021.

Download the application form here. 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 Abi 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 are 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