Tag Archives: BFI

Sustain 2022 applications now open!

Applications now open for Sustain 2022!

We are delighted to announce that we are now recruiting for the next round of our popular coaching programme Sustain – helping community cinemas build on the sustainability of their group and return to screenings after lockdown, with some extra support.

Our BFI funded coaching programme runs between January and March and provides existing community cinemas with bursary support, as well as online coaching sessions led by our friendly, expert Cinema For All staff.

Sustain is broken down into three, exciting programmes:


Sustain Shine – for existing community cinemas to reflect on what they have achieved and where they want to go next. This programme will follow our previous and popular Sustain format, providing groups with three coaching sessions and a bursary of £200, to build on and explore the sustainability of their community cinema.


Sustain Develop – a programme for community cinemas with a clear idea of their next stage of development with a specific project. The programme will consist of three bespoke coaching sessions tailored to your group, along with a £600 bursary to help realise, plan and achieve your community cinema’s next ambition.


Sustain Collaborate – This programme will support groups with ideas for an interesting collaboration with other community cinemas. It provides a bursary of £1000 to help cover the costs of making your in person or online collaborative project happen.

The deadline for applications for all Sustain programmes is 4 January 2022. 97% of groups that apply have been successful in receiving support from Cinema For All’s coaching programmes.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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



Launchpad 2019 – Autumn Round


Cinema For All are excited to announce that applications for the Autumn round of Launchpad, our helpful and intensive coaching programme, are now open!

  • Want to start screening films in your community?
  • Looking to gain practical skills and motivation?
  • Lacking the funds to get started?

Autumn is a really great time to start screening films for your community, as people look for things to do inside as the weather turns cooler and the nights draw in.

Cinema For All represent over 1,200 community cinemas in the UK and in the four years of Launchpad running we’ve helped over 45 groups kick start their community cinema. Why not start yours this Autumn?

Enjoy the freedom of testing the types of films your audience enjoy without the financial risk with a £150 bursary for each of your two test screenings as part of Launchpad. You can also start your community cinema with confidence and knowledge with the friendly, expert guidance from the Cinema For All team to help you every step of the way. The coaching sessions offer both motivational and practical support in areas including, getting started, marketing and publicity, special events, technical advice, fundraising and more!

‘We would recommend anyone thinking about setting up a community cinema to take the leap with Launchpad. A scheme that supports, uplifts and helps shoulder the risk whilst you find your feet. The intensive coaching was brilliant for answering all our questions and signposting areas for future development. We wouldn’t be here without Cinema For All’s knowledge and encouragement. Thank you’ – Social Features, Scotland

Deadline for all applications is 6 September 2019. Coaching sessions will commence from 6 September 2019 should your application be successful.  We’ve kept the application process quick and simple so you can get started with ease!  If you have any access requirements or have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 0114 2210314 or email Abi at abi@cinemaforall.org.uk and we will be happy to help you.

Find out more, read the application guidance notes and apply here.


The BFI’s blockbuster season for 2018 is the UK’s greatest ever celebration of film and TV comedy – bringing the gift of laughter just when we need it most! From October to December the comedy geniuses of the big and small screen will be making us laugh at BFI Southbank and cinemas across the UK, online on BFI Player and with a wide range of UK partners.

The Comedy Genius season runs from October to December 2018.

If you are interested in getting involved and putting on a screening or event, you can submit your brief and apply for funding through the Film Hub Midlands website. You will also be able to find all supporting documents with more information on the project.


BFI FAN are delighted to announce the next film selected to receive BFI Film Audience Network support via the New Release Strategy will be The Prince Of Nothingwood released by Vertigo. Releasing on 15 December.

A joyous portrait of Salim Shaheen, Afghanistan’s most popular actor, director and producer, The Prince of Nothingwood  is a gripping, heartwarming and often funny tale of creativity against all odds. Having made a record 110 films over 30 years, despite no budget and the country’s ongoing war, Shaheen is ‘The Prince Of Nothingwood’, the man behind the movie industry in Afghanistan (aka ‘Nothingwood’).

A larger-than-life character, bred on Indian cinema and greeted by adoring fans wherever he goes, Shaheen smuggles his B-movies into town halls to the delight of transfixed audiences. About to embark on his 111th no-budget feature, director Sonia Kronlund (a radio journalist who has been covering Afghanistan for 20 years and determined to tell a positive story about the country) joins him and his regular troupe of actors on a filmmaking adventure to the traditional heartland of Afghanistan.

The result is a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of Shaheen’s life and work, the art of filmmaking in a war zone and a thoroughly entertaining portrait of this larger-than-life, ebullient character who spends his life making his childhood dreams come true.

Available to book theatrically from 15 December (and on Blu-Ray/one-offs from 22 December), The Prince of Nothingwood provides interesting counter-programming during the Christmas period.  As a New Release Strategy (NRS) title marketing support is available from Film Hubs for cinemas screening The Prince of Nothingwood – contact your local Hub for more information.  As always with NRS-supported films, the film will benefit from an extended regional press and marketing campaign and a comprehensive marketing pack designed to make it easier for cinemas reach a younger (age 16-30) audience.

To request a screener or make a booking enquiry, please contact Michael Wailes on michaelw@vertigofilms.com.

For more information on BFI FAN’s New Release Strategy please contact Alice Quigley on alice.q@watershed.co.uk.


Keep audiences on the edge of their seats this Autumn.

Be part of BFI’s Thriller season this Autumn with a selection of specially curated titles from both the ICO and HOME Manchester. You can pick and mix from each menu to include in your programme under the umbrella of BFI Thriller.


Full menu and more details here.


  • A selection of 11 gripping titles as part of Thriller mini-season States of Danger and Deceit: European Political Thrillers in the 1970s.
  • Available to book from 4 November 2017 – 31 January 2018.
  • All films are booked through HOME. Terms for all screenings are subsidised, and are 30% v £80 MG.
  • Marketing and tour support available from HOME.

Download the tour pack here.

Film Audience Network


BFI Film Audience Network are excited to be launching the second phase of the New Release Strategy at ICO’s Summer Screening Days, Phoenix Leicester from 1-3 July.

The New Release Strategy is one of the ways the BFI Film Audience Network supports cinemas to sustain and grow the audience for independent films. Independent films often pose a greater risk for exhibitors, especially those outside of London. Via the New Release Strategy, BFI FAN work with distributors to ensure the film campaign extends beyond the capital and give exhibitors all the support they can to make sure they reach the target audience.

Cinemas that screen NRS films receive the NRS Marketing Pack, a one-stop-shop with lots of handy promotional tools and assets, and can apply to their Hub for additional marketing support or activity.

This year, the focus for the New Release Strategy is on young audiences (16-30). As a BFI2022 priority area, and key audience development area for the sector in general, BFI FAN are keen to work with exhibitors and explore the ways in which cinemas can successfully get more young people through their doors and enjoying a great range of independent cinema.

They are aiming to support three films this year via the New Release Strategy – join BFI FAN for the lunchtime NRS session at Screening Days on Saturday 1 July, 1pm for more information (and a free sandwich!) and check out the current NRS shortlist below.

BFI FAN are really pleased to be welcoming 11 young creatives from across the UK to Screening Days. They will form an NRS focus group, watching the shortlisted films and giving their honest feedback – what they liked and why, how BFI FAN could promote these films to other people their age and what kind of special events would be appealing to them. If you’re not attending Screening Days, don’t worry, they’ll be sending a full update after the event.

New Release Strategy Shortlist

The BFI Film Audience Network Programming Group (which consists of a Programming Representative from each Hub area, as well as Strategic Partners the ICO, Into Film and Cinema For All) has shortlisted the below films. The final selections will be confirmed after Screening Days.

God’s Own Country (Distributor: Picturehouse – opens Fri 1 Sept)


Patti Cake$ (Distributor: 20th Century Fox – opens Fri 1 Sept) September showing at ICO Screening days


Hotel Salvation (Distributor: BFI – opens Fri 25 Aug)


Daphne  (Distributor: Altitude – opens Fri 29 Sept)


Not showing at Screening Days:

120 Beats Per Minute (Distributor: Curzon – opens Fri 20 October)


I Am Not a Witch (Distributor: Curzon – not dated)


You can feed back on the shortlist at the Screening Days event, or by getting in touch with your local Programming Representative.

What is the New Release Strategy?

The New Release Strategy (NRS) is an initiative aimed at supporting some of the best new films from across the globe. Backed by the nine UK Film Hubs, over £80,000 was invested during its pilot year from March 2016-March 2017, helping support five titles: The Pearl Button (New Wave, 18 Mar 2016), Mustang (Curzon Artificial Eye, 13 May 2016),  Chevalier (Studio Canal, 22 July 2016), Sonita (21 Oct, New Wave) and The Fits (24 Feb 2017).

Find out more about the New Release Strategy and learnings from the pilot year by reading the Evaluation Report here.

Film Audience Network

BFI FAN New Release Strategy Round Up

The New Release Strategy is a BFI Film Audience Network initiative that supports some of the best independent films from across the globe and find a place and an audience in cinemas across the UK.

With each New Release Strategy film the BFI FAN create a comprehensive marketing pack containing everything you need to promote the film in one handy place, as well as event ideas, interesting content to share and more. This is a great opportunity for some extra marketing support for your film programme.

Find out more about the New Release Strategy films and the assets and marketing packs available here. 

What does BFI2022 mean for Cinema For All?

What does BFI2022 mean for Cinema For All? A message from Tim Swanwick, Cinema For All Chair of the Board of Trustees.

This week Deborah and I attended the launch of the BFI’s new Five Year Strategy, BFI2022.  This is a significant moment in the history of Cinema For All as around half our income currently flows from the BFI as a result of our strategic partnership with the Institute.  An arrangement that comes to an end on 31st March 2017.

The new strategy is underpinned by a wider interpretation of film to embrace new forms, a sustained commitment to diversity and a series of new initiatives devolving more decision-making and funding outside the capital.  Although the devil is in the detail, the new strategy positions the BFI as an ‘enabler’ and a ‘catalyst for change’ and is built around three themes: Future Audiences, Future Learning and Skills and Future Talent.  The full plan can be found here.

As far as Future Audiences is concerned, the BFI is committed to ensuring that funding and decision making will be shifted out of London through a reshaped Film Hub network.  There will be an emphasis on the 16-30 year old age group and on widening access to film for an increasingly diverse audience.  There are also exciting new developments in relation to restoration, digitisation and major cultural programmes.  But of particular relevance to us is a ‘simpler, more accessible and responsive Audience Fund, able to support distributors, exhibitors, festivals, national and touring programmes, multi-year projects and strategic partners.’  Cinema For All will be applying to this fund next year, an offer which we anticipate will be more flexible in terms of what we can do with the money, but also much more competitive to access. Therefore we must ensure our fundraising efforts increase: new initiatives such as Pay It Forward and support from our members can help this significantly.

Next spring also sees the end of our own three year strategy and over the next 2-3 months we will be consulting with members on how they would like to see Cinema For All develop, serve and represent the growing network of community film exhibitors in future.  It is vital to our future that we are clear about our strategic intent, that we represent the full breadth and depth of the sector and that we move forward in a direction that aligns with BFI2022, not to do so would jeopardise our currently healthy relationship with a major funder.

So a plea from the Board of Trustees of Cinema For All: when you are approached in the New Year to input into our new strategy, either face-to face or through a short survey, please take the time to let us know your thoughts.  We really do want to hear from you. Adapting to the BFI’s new directions and funding arrangements will be challenging, but Cinema For All is already well aligned with many of the BFI’s aspirations and we welcome the opportunities that BFI2022 presents.

Tim Swanwick

Chair of the Board of Trustees,  Cinema For All

BFI Black Star


The next BFI blockbuster season is Black Star – the largest ever national programme of films and events celebrating the range, versatility and power of black actors, running between October and December 2016.

ICO, the BFI and BFI Film Audience Network are working in partnership on a ten film season that recognises, promotes and highlights stunning performances, not just from contemporary black actors but also iconic figures from the past.  As issues of diversity and inclusion (rightly) become ever more present in our thinking and long term goals, this a perfect way to champion the undeniable impact by black stars on cinema history and culture.

Drawing on pioneering performances from the earlier days of cinema (The Proud Valley), exposing unheralded star turns (Nothing But a Man, To Sleep with Anger) and reaching through to modern day classics (The Color Purple, Glory), Black Star is a selection not just to reach and inspire new and old audiences, but to rejuvenate the actors and films that should burn long in the memory.

Carmen Jones, Nothing But a Man, To Sleep with Anger and The Proud Valley are all available on subsidised discounted terms.

You can access up to £200 per screening for additional audience development activity or a flat rate of £200 for specific marketing for new audiences for any of the films. To access this funding you should fill in this proposal form and this listings form and return it to your local Film Hub contact as well as Liz Harkman (liz.harkman@watershed.co.uk) the Black Star Project Manager.

For more information or to book, please contact ICO programming:programming@independentcinemaoffice.org.uk | 0207 636 7120.

Your event should include BFI Black Star and BFI FAN branding. To download these assets, click here.

Cinema For All has also made a shortlist of films available on the Booking Scheme featuring versatile and powerful performances from black actors and compelling documentaries about black lives. Note: These titles do not come with additional funding.

Tell the BFI What You Think!

Tell the BFI what you think!

Help shape the future direction for film in the UK

As you may have seen, the BFI has launched a public consultation to help shape its new five-year strategy for film, TV and the moving image (2017-2022). If you’ve been unable to get to a roadshow, you can now respond to the consultation online.

As a recipient of BFI funding, Cinema For All would like to encourage our members to join in the consultation and continue to push for opportunities for the community cinema sector. Cinema For All Chief Executive Deborah Parker says,

“The BFI have launched a new consultation to gather feedback to help shape their investment plans for 2017-2022. It is crucial that as many voices as possible from the film society and community cinema sector are heard, so that these plans provide the right opportunities for volunteer-led groups across the UK and deliver a strong mechanism to support Cinema For All to continue the important work we’ve been doing to grow and develop the sector as a Strategic Partner. We’ve been working hard over the past few years, supporting not only the BFI’s Film Audience Network, but the Neighbourhood Cinema Fund, as well as developing our offer to the whole community cinema sector. The support we’ve received from the BFI’s last plan, Film Forever, has enabled us to provide new opportunities such as Information Days, dedicated technical and equipment advice, buy new sets of equipment for low-cost hire, including induction loops to improve accessibility, deliver conference workshops, develop new member resources and partnerships, such as with Action on Hearing Loss, as well as offer opportunities such programming pilots and academic speakers to name just a few. And there’s even more planned for this year. This is an exciting time of growth for our amazing sector: let’s work together to make the future even brighter. Please add your voice to the consultation.”
Have your say online (consultation closes 8 September 2016).