Ideas for Implementing Sustainable Practise in Film Exhibition

We are committed to minimising the negative environmental impact of the exhibition sector and ask all our members and funding recipients to contribute to this aim.

This is a task that takes sustained internal work, which we are also undertaking ourselves as a part of Watershed. We believe that through sharing resources and learnings, reducing what we can, and supporting exhibitors with space for discussion and support as a part of our funding; we can make an impact.

Image c/o Electric Pedals


This guide takes you through some useful information that considers how to minimise the environmental impact of your activity, no matter the size of your organisation.

The BFI has several recommended resources that may be useful when planning around sustainability here.

A Biodiverse Big Screen: Film Hub Wales

With environmental sustainability also forming part of our BFI FAN funding criteria, our friends at Film Hub Wales put together a selection of films covering everything from sustainable farming to post-apocalyptic adventure – designed to support programming as you reopen.

Find the programming pack that includes the full list of titles here

Sustaining Creativity: Julies Bicycle

Julie’s Bicycle is a not for profit organisation which bridges the gap between the creative industries and sustainability, enabling the arts to create change.

Julie’s Bicycle has a huge range of online resources available for free from their Resources hub.

You can also listen to Alison Tickell, founder of Julie’s Bicycle, in conversation with Frieze Co-Founder Matthew Slotover about turning intention into action on Gallery Climate Coalition 

Green Cinema Toolkit: Independent Cinema Office

In the midst of the ongoing climate crisis, cinemas can act by taking measures to cut their energy use whilst playing a significant role in raising awareness, fostering new cultural practices and illuminating new pathways through the challenges ahead.

No matter the size of your venue or festival, you too can make a difference. The ICO’s Green Cinema Toolkit is for anyone working in film exhibition, from small independent exhibitors to larger cinemas and multi-arts venues.

Case Study: HOME 

Up in Manchester, HOME is committed to reducing environmental impacts. They have great comprehensive information on their page to their continuous practice, a good resource for knowledge-sharing on how communities, audiences, partners and stakeholders can take action be engaged. Read this ICO profile, or check out their webpage to find out more about activities, commitments, and initiatives that contribute to working towards a sustainable HOME.

Looking across the arts: Gallery Climate Coalition

The goal of the GCC is to facilitate a greener and more sustainable art world. Their aim is to collectively reduce the commercial art sectors carbon footprint by 50% over the next ten years (in line with the Paris agreement), along with near zero-waste practices.

The GCC website contains information on a range of issues that can also be applicable to exhibition; including shipping and travelling, packaging, energy and building management, recycling, and more.

Find out more

Image c/o of Lisson Gallery, John Akomfrah ‘Vertigo Sea’ exhibited at Arnolfini, Bristol

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