Our vision is to inspire a new generation by presenting film and film culture in new ways which make it an essential and compelling part of learning, understanding, and valuing ourselves and the communities in which we live.

The following are key film exhibition priorities for Film Hub Midlands:

  • Engaging with Children and Young People

We recognise the important role early cinema visits have on the health of the exhibition sector both now and in the future. By engaging with children, families and young people, organisations can introduce new audiences to their work and foster future generations of cinemagoers. When looking at activity regarding young people we encourage organisations to think about how it represents audience development within their contexts and intersects with other priority areas.

  • Accessing a wider choice of film

One of our key aims is to support everyone to be able to see the  widest range of film and moving image, including classic and international cinema, documentaries, TV and screen heritage and games. We are keen to support programmes and projects that are inclusive and reflect a diversity of lived experiences to broaden horizons and bring people together for communal big screen experiences.

  • Tackle social, economic, and geographic barriers

We want to improve access to screen culture for people across the Midlands by lowering barriers such as prohibitive costs, lack of cultural provision, lack of accessible screenings and threshold anxiety. We are particularly keen to support projects that engage audiences from working class backgrounds and projects engaging with disabled people, LGBTQAI+ people, Black, South Asian, South East and East Asian people and others of the global majority.

  • Engaging with heritage collections that better reflect the diversity of the UK

Providing audience access to screen heritage is a key component of a diverse and rich screen culture and deepens our understanding of both the past and present. We can support activities that showcase various types of screen heritage material. If your proposal includes archival material, please ensure you have contacted the relevant collection before seeking support from us.

Underpinning our work are the following cross cutting principles that all supported activity will need to address.

  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

    FAN champions everyday inclusion. We would like to see how your project will meaningfully contribute to diversifying audiences for the widest range of cinema and how it will broaden the range of stories represented on screen. Where applicable we also seek opportunities to tackle under representation in the exhibition workforce.

  • Environmental Sustainability

We are committed to minimising the negative environmental impact of the work we support and ask all members recipients to contribute to this aim. In your proposal, please summarise the steps you are taking to minimise the environmental impact of your activity and - where applicable – how you might improve audience awareness of the climate and biodiversity crises.

Our commitment to inclusion

  • BFI Diversity Standards

In line with the BFI Diversity Standards , we encourage activity aimed at, and/or co-produced with, under-represented groups. The Standards focus on under-representation in relation to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, sex, sexual orientation, and religion and belief (as they pertain to the Equality Act 2010), as well as socio-economic background, caring responsibilities and geographical location.

We are particularly committed to ensuring disproportionately affected audiences, such as disabled, those with a longstanding physical or mental condition, and those identifying as D/deaf or neurodiverse, can experience independent film and be welcomed into cinema spaces.

All Film Exhibition Fund proposals will be asked to demonstrate how their activity promotes inclusivity among audiences, on screen and – where applicable - in the workforce.

We ask that all proposals positively respond to the Standards, and priority will be given to proposals that do this in a clear and convincing way. Applicants should particularly focus on Standard D and how their proposal provides inclusive audience development opportunities and Standard E that requires evidence of conscious commitment and tangible actions to improve overall accessibility.

If your project requires additional accessibility requirements these are eligible to be added to your budget.

The Hub team is on hand to help Hub members to engage with the Standards, please get in touch for more information.

  • Responding to the Standards

Standard A - On screen representation: Tell us about your film programme; does it feature meaningful representations of lead characters and supporting characters from under-represented groups? Do the films feature themes, stories or locations not often seen in cinema?

Standard B - Project team: Tell us about your team; are key personnel representative of your local area and/or the project’s intentions? If your project involves recruitment or partnership working, are processes in place to ensure these opportunities are inclusive? Smaller project teams may wish to discuss volunteer/community participants and/or the filmmaking teams represented in their programme.

Standard C - Industry Access: Tell us about any professional or informal development opportunities; will the project team take part in training or mentoring programmes? Will your activity provide new employment opportunities or career progression for team members from under-represented groups? Will you be engaging community groups or participants?

Standard D - Audience Development: Tell us about your audiences; are you planning to engage under- represented groups? How will you do this - do you have a community engagement strategy or appropriate partnerships in place?

Standard E – Accessibility: Tell us about your accessibility plans; Is your website / venue accessible? Do you programme new release captioned films? What steps are you taking to make your events accessible and welcoming to disabled audiences?


Additional areas of focus

  • Prevention of Bullying, Harassment and Racism

Bullying, harassment and racism have no place in our industries, and we expect all organisations we fund to share our commitment to this principle.

The BFI and BAFTA have developed a set of principles and zero-tolerance guidance in consultation with organisations, unions and industry bodies across the film, television and games industry in response to urgent and systemic issues. 

These documents can be found in the BFI’s Bullying and harassment prevention hub. We ask all applicants to engage with these principles by, as a minimum, reading these documents and sharing them within your organisation.

All our funding agreements include a warranty seeking compliance with all applicable legislation and codes of practice relating to this matter.

  • Safeguarding

Projects involving children, young people or vulnerable adults should have appropriate safeguarding and child protection policies in place. Where relevant, you will be asked to confirm this in your proposal.

For more information on safeguarding, read the Guide to Safeguarding for Film Exhibitors published by our colleagues at Film Hub London

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