Sustain: Shine

Sustain Shine recruiting now for Spring 2021!

We have recorded an audio version of us reading the copy for Sustain Shine in case that is useful for you. Please note this is from our last round of recruitment so the deadline dates and bursary amount have changed. Audio versions of the application form 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.


  • Want to re-evaluate after lockdown?
  • Looking to develop skills or polish existing ones?
  • Want to connect more as a team?

Sustain Shine offers three online coaching sessions with the friendly, expert Cinema For All team and a £300 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 after each session. Workshops include the following topics:

  • Fundraising
  • Programming
  • Marketing and social media
  • Venue and equipment
  • Audience development and special events
  • Outreach
  • Accessibility
  • Sustainability – keeping your cinema going
  • Outdoor screenings

The £300 bursary is there to put towards anything that helps keep your cinema going 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 is here to help you, not only grow, but to polish your existing community cinema skills. It’s rare we get an opportunity to properly reflect on what we’ve achieved and where we would like to go. Sustain Shine is your chance to do this with the encouragement and support from the Cinema For All team.

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.

‘Very, very helpful. I felt like I was making it up as I go along but this has given me more direction and confidence and has helped with all aspects of my cinema.’ – Creative Stirling

In the four years Sustain has been running, we have supported 82 groups across the UK with coaching and bursary support to help them continue to flourish.

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:

To apply, please complete the application form comprising five short questions and send it to by midnight 8 January 2021. If your application has been successful we will notify you by 12 January 2021.

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

Cinema For All are 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 can arrange an alternative method of application. We apologise that we are not able to offer support over the phone at this time as the Cinema For All team are working from home and we unfortunately do not have our usual office phone access. However, we can arrange to talk over Zoom with you. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

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.

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