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.

Would you like to build on the foundations of your community cinema? Looking to develop a skillset, or become more sustainable? Our BFI funded coaching programme Sustain Shine is here to help you grow where you want to go!

Enjoy three online coaching sessions with the friendly Cinema For All coach and feel empowered to make your next steps as a community cinema with a £200 bursary.

In each session you will take away new knowledge, confidence and action points from our activities to bring your ambitions into focus.

Workshops include the following topics:

  • Steps towards Sustainability – This session offer the opportunity to evaluate your community cinema currently, exploring where you would like it to go and steps you can take to strengthen your sustainability.
  • Fundraising – This workshop breaks down the fundraising journey into simple steps, including: thinking about your mission statement and the different places you can raise funds.
  • Film Programming – Learn about the different ways you can select titles for your community cinema, and how you can conscientiously create your film programme with your audience and your vision in mind.
  • Developing your Marketing – In this session we will do an in depth look at your current achievements in marketing and where your challenges are, and how to decide where your focus and research is best spent.
  • Venue and equipment – This breaks down each piece of equipment and its purpose as well as how to make your cinema cinematic and accessible. This is great for those that feel unconfident in this area and those that want to brush up their skills.
  • Family Friendly Screenings – Discover how to programme for and market to families and learn about relevant governance you need in place to make these screenings a reality.
  • Developing your audience with extra activity – Gain knowledge and plenty of inspiration around different ways you can develop further activity around your film screenings, to bring in new and wider audiences.
  • Outreach – If you would like to reach a specific part of your community, e.g. local youth group, working with a care home, this workshop will help you understand what to consider, who you could work with and what kind of project you could run to best reach the audience you have in mind.
  • Making your screenings and venue more accessible – A step by step guide on sharing ideas and guidance around making your screenings more accessible to those who may have additional access needs.
  • Outdoor screenings – This session covers the additional licences, insurances and considerations you need to create your amazing outdoor screening event.
  • Reopening: Welcoming your audience back – If you are yet to welcome your audience back through your doors, this is a great session that covers research you can conduct that will help you and your audience enjoy films again with confidence.

The £200 bursary can be used towards anything that will help your sustainability, e.g. marketing, website development, refreshing your branding, or further training and expertise such as accessibility training.

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.

‘Sustain Shine has been instrumental in kickstarting our programme.’ – Sustain Shine participant


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

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 Abi.

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 the Sustain Shine application form:

Audio recording of the Sustain Shine guidance notes and terms and conditions:

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