1. Introduction

Film Hub Midlands supports film exhibitors to reach audiences with independent, British and international film.

As part of the BFI’s UK wide Film Audience Network (FAN) our vision is to build a wider, more diverse cinema audience with a richer appreciation of British and international film. 

FAN’s aims are twofold:

  • to develop a larger, more diverse, confident and sustainable audience for a wider range of independent British and international film - with a primary focus on the collective viewing experience
  • to create a stronger, more connected and confident sector for the distribution and exhibition of independent British and international film.

2. About the Focus Fund

The Focus Fund is a new fund that we have introduced to offer bespoke and tailored support to those Film Hub Midlands members that are explicitly and proactively focused on reaching under-represented and diverse audiences. We are especially keen to work with those organisations that are led by people who are currently under-represented in the exhibition sector. Whilst you must be actively engaged in film exhibition, you do not need to be venue based to apply to this Fund. 

We are committed to ensuring that the breadth of our communities are able to enjoy a range of film and are working to tackle under-representation in the exhibition industry: be that on our screens, in the workforce, or among audiences. 

The fund will be responsive to the needs of the organisation that is supported, and aims to build confidence and ambition as well as to develop business plans, build resilience, and help to establish them as key exhibitors in the region by delivering new programmes of activity. 

Activity supported by the fund will vary in length, scale and format - all delivery, however, should take place between October 2021 and September 2022.

We’re asking members to submit an expression of interest, which can lead to financial support of up to £10,000, to cover staffing costs, organisational or audience development, programming, screening costs, marketing and associated costs. 

After submitting your expression of interest we will enter a consultation phase with a diverse panel of people, including members of the Film Hub Midlands advisory group. This phase will include clarifying your plans, as well as creating a budget.

3. Key info at a glance:

Total amount available: £ 30,000

Financial support: up to £10,000

Applications open: Monday 2 August 2021

Applications close: Friday 3 September 2021

Financial support confirmed from: September 2021

Activity window: October 2021 - September 2022

4. Focus Areas

We ask that your expression of interest must be focussed on one or more of the key priorities for Film Hub Midlands.

You can read these key priorities on our website, including our commitment to the BFI Diversity Standards, environmental sustainability, and bullying and harassment documents. 

All applicants will be asked to demonstrate how their organisation promotes inclusivity among audiences, on screen and in the workforce. We ask that all organisations embrace the Diversity Standards, and priority will be given to organisations that do this in a clear and convincing way.

5. Who can apply?

You must be a Hub Member in order to access Film Hub Midlands funding opportunities. Our Membership includes organisations of various sizes and shapes – from ‘micro’ cultural businesses and volunteer run community cinemas to festivals to multi-arts centres. To become a Member, fill in our Application Form. Please email us if you are unsure whether you are a current Member.

6. How to apply for support

If you have particular access requirements (for example easy read documents), would like to submit your expression of interest in another way or have queries about the process, get in touch with our team who will be happy to discuss this.

If you have access requirements that mean you need assistance when applying for support, you may be able to request financial support through the BFI Access Support Scheme. Find out more information here.

In order to apply you will be asked to submit a short expression of interest, the form will give you the opportunity to describe your activity and how it contributes to Film Hub Midland’s priorities. 

We will then have a consultation meeting with you and key members of the team. 

 7. Assessment criteria:

Your expression of interest will be assessed by the Film Hub Midlands team. 

We will specifically look at:

  • Activity eligibility: does the proposed activity meet the priorities and timescale of the fund?
  • Impact: what is the cultural ambition of the proposed programme? Are relevant partnerships in place to effectively deliver the activity?
  • Audience reach and impact - will the proposed activity reach FAN’s target audiences?
  • Organisational experience: is the organisation able to carry out the proposed activity, including delivering any agreed marketing, audience development and evaluation plans?
  • Legacy: what are the longer-term plans to continue to reach audiences?
  • BFI Diversity Standards: does the proposal clearly address the BFI Diversity Standards?

Please note that we expect this fund to be oversubscribed and may not be able to fund your activity even if it meets the criteria.

8. Decisions and Feedback

Unsuccessful Expressions of Interest

If you are unsuccessful in your expression of interest, you will be contacted by email. Being unsuccessful does not prevent you from accessing future Hub opportunities.

Successful Expressions of Interest

If your expression of interest is successful, the consultation may discuss any required amendments and wish to see a revised plan before confirming financial support. This process can take additional time. Activity timelines will need to accommodate this.

If there are no recommendations or amendments to be made, you will be sent a confirmation email setting out the terms and conditions attached to the financial support.

These will cover payment information, crediting guidelines and monitoring and reporting requirements. All supported activity will need to survey their audiences using our standard template - please bear this in mind when planning your evaluation strategies.

9. Complaints and Appeals

The funding decision is final. Inevitably applications will be turned down and applicants may be disappointed by this result. Formal appeals against the final decision will not be considered unless the applicant has good cause to believe that the procedures for processing the application were not adhered to, or applied in such a way as to prejudice the outcome of the application.

A copy of the Complaints and Appeals procedure can be found here.

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© Paul Stringer (www.paulstringer.co.uk)

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