Over 140 film exhibitors around the UK have received a share of £759,159 to boost cultural programming and activities to engage diverse audiences as lockdown restrictions ease. The BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund supports activity to re-engage audiences with collective, big screen film experiences at film festivals, mixed arts venues, and both community and traditional cinemas around the UK. This particular strand of support has been made available via BFI‘s National Lottery funding to the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN).

BFI FAN is a unique collaboration of eight Film Hubs managed by leading film organisations across the UK, who each distribute the funding in their region or nation. The BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund will enable FAN Members to deliver a broad range of programming once they restart, ensuring excellent British and international independent cinema is available to audiences all over the UK. Other priorities of the fund are incentivising exhibitors to embed inclusion and environmental sustainability into their approach to reopening, post closure during the pandemic restrictions.
The BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund was also supported by a donation from global streaming platform MUBI. The total figure awarded to Film Hub Scotland members of £220,000 includes additional funding from Screen Scotland as announced in early November. Film Hub Wales announced Film Exhibition Fund awards totalling £52,000, also in November.

The BFI is also working closely with DCMS to administer the £30m allotted towards independent cinemas in England from the Culture Recovery Fund. Further awards are expected to be announced this month.

We’re committed to the big screen experience. Thanks to support from the National Lottery and our industry partners, we’re really happy to be able to support so many of the UK’s independent venues and community cinemas to bring a broad range of programming to their audiences. These cultural spaces across the UK are at the centre of their communities, so with this fund we hope that these film exhibitors will be in a stronger position to restart activity and programme films, seasons and deliver festivals that everyone is able to enjoy

Ben Luxford, BFI Head of UK Audiences

19 projects received support in the Midlands, with a total of £136,666:

ArtReach, £5,000
Birmingham Indian Film Festival, £3,334
Black Arts Forum, £5,170
Black Country Touring, £4,440
Bonington Theatre, £2,600
Borderlines Film Festival, £8,700
Derby QUAD, £7,500
Kinokulture, £9,956
Light House Media Centre, £7,000
Live and Local/ Big Picture Show, £5,000
mac Birmingham, £10,000
Media Active Projects, £10,000
Northampton Filmhouse, £6,600
Phizzical, £7,000
Telford & Wrekin Council, £2,800
The Northern Light Cinema, £3,500
Unseen Cinema, £8,720
Victoria Park Productions, £8,400
Wem Town Hall, £3,792

Everyone at the Northampton Filmhouse is so excited about Shockwaves [a dynamic season of films and events celebrating the best in emerging filmmaking talent from around the world] and bringing the best new British and international debut films to our audiences. We are really grateful to the BFI and the Film Audience Network for providing such vital support during these difficult times so that we can continue to showcase innovative filmmaking, which is at the heart of our programme

Jade Turner, Cinema and Festival Programmer and Curator Northampton Filmhouse