Broadway Cinema and Flatpack will continue to lead Film Hub Midlands as part of BFI's National Lottery Funding Strategy.

BFI awards £15.2M National Lottery funding over three years to 11 UK-wide strategic partners as it begins to implement its recently published 10-Year National Lottery Funding Strategy from April 2023. Broadway Cinema in Nottingham and Flatpack in Birmingham have been selected as the two strategic partners managing BFI Film Audience Network, BFI NETWORK activity and Film Academy Plus in the Midlands through Film Hub Midlands.

The BFI and its strategic partners will work together across the four nations to ensure its National Lottery funding effectively responds to the varying needs of the public and industry in different parts of the country and achieve the UK-wide National Lottery funding aims: to grow cinema audiences for UK independent and international film, support development of new filmmaking talent and ignite a passion for screen culture in young people.

The other funded strategic partners to lead on activity across the UK:

  • Scotland: Glasgow Film Theatre will manage BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) and BFI Film Academy Plus; Screen Scotland will co-fund talent development activity as part of BFI NETWORK as well as support BFI FAN
  • In the North, Showroom in Sheffield and HOME in Manchester to manage BFI FAN, BFI NETWORK activity and Film Academy Plus
  • Northern Ireland: Queen’s University Belfast will manage BFI FAN and BFI Film Academy Plus; Northern Ireland Screen will deliver talent development activity as part of BFI NETWORK
  • Wales: Chapter in Cardiff will manage BFI FAN and BFI Film Academy Plus; Ffilm Cymru Wales will deliver talent development activity as part of BFI NETWORK
  • The South East: the Independent Cinema Office will manage BFI FAN, BFI NETWORK activity and BFI Film Academy Plus
  • The South West: Watershed in Bristol will manage BFI FAN, BFI NETWORK activity and BFI Film Academy Plus
  • London: Film London will manage BFI FAN and BFI NETWORK activity

Harriet Finney, Deputy CEO of the BFI, said: “Our partners are fundamental to the successful delivery of our ambitious National Lottery Strategy across the UK. We are very much looking forward to working with the venues and organisations announced today to ensure the BFI Film Audience Network, BFI NETWORK and BFI Film Academy Plus programmes evolve and grow to meet the changing needs of our sector. Driven by our belief everyone should have access to screen culture – from experiencing a diverse range of films in cinemas through to creating original screen works and a chance to forge careers – we are supporting these fantastic partners so they can bring those opportunities to local communities and people of all backgrounds, across the whole of the UK.“

The £15.2m that have been recently announced aims to address a number of primary objectives of the BFI’s National Lottery Strategy. These include seeking to:

  • empower children and young people to develop their own relationship with a wider range of screen culture – as viewers, creators or as part of the future workforce
  • ensure people across the UK can access a wider choice of film and the moving image, including stories that authentically reflect their lives
  • tackle a range of social, economic and geographical barriers for UK audiences
  • support the skilling up of the exhibition workforce so venues are better equipped to thrive in an increasingly challenging marketplace
  • open up opportunities to those who want to express their creativity through stories on screen and support and nurture their careers
  • encourage innovation and back a wide range of stories that wouldn’t otherwise be told
  • open up equitable and more visible routes into the sector

A collaboration of eight leading venues or film organisations representing the UK nations and regions, the BFI Film Audience Network supports a stronger and more connected approach to growing audiences for UK and international film on the big screen. FAN has over 1,700 members comprising cinemas, festivals, mixed-arts venues, community cinema and film archives, which can access training, funding, programming support and network opportunities.

BFI NETWORK exists to support, develop and champion new and emerging filmmakers across the UK. Working with partners, NETWORK has an on-the-ground presence in every UK nation and region, led by BFI NETWORK Talent Execs, to connect with and deliver support to new and emerging filmmakers. BFI NETWORK offers funding for short films and first feature development, as well as a range of professional development support to writers, directors and producers.

BFI Film Academy Plus, the newly named UK-wide in-venue education offer, helps connect 16-25 year olds with opportunities to pursue their love of screen culture and learn how to set about a career in the industry. Funding will enable venues across the UK to provide locally tailored support packages such as masterclasses, screenings and bursaries, helping them to learn more about the film industry, watch cultural cinema, become familiar with their local venues and develop skills as independent filmmakers, film curators or film industry new entrants.

The BFI National Lottery Funding Strategy aims to build a diverse and accessible screen culture that benefits all of society and contributes to a prosperous UK economy. At its heart are three core principles: equity, diversity and inclusion, so everyone can develop a meaningful relationship with screen culture, regardless of their background or circumstances; UK-wide, so that everyone across the four nations of the UK should be able to experience and create the widest range of moving image storytelling; and environmental sustainability, from reducing the BFI’s own carbon emissions to supporting wider industry efforts to get to net zero and address biodiversity loss.

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