Open Call

Access up to £10,000 for audience-facing activity within the South West region.

The Audience Development Open Call aims to support film festivals, networked activity and ambitious audience development initiatives that invite and inspire audiences across the region to understand and enjoy the past, present and future of cinema in all its forms.

Compass Presents Monty Python & the Holy Grail at the Minack Theatre as part of BFI Comedy Genius. © Steve Tanner Photography

Access up to £10,000 for audience-facing activity within the South West region.

The Audience Development Open Call aims to support film festivals, networked activity and ambitious audience development initiatives that invite and inspire audiences across the region to understand and enjoy the past, present and future of cinema in all its forms.

What is the Open Call?

We are inviting proposals for activity that works towards the vision that cultural cinema is for everyone, everywhere. We are particularly interested in activity that contributes to breaking down barriers to engagement and recognises the quality and value of difference.

The available support is aimed towards sustaining and expanding existing provision as well as instigating new activity that corresponds to the BFI2022 priority areas as outlined below.

Activity must be focussed on one (or more) of these priority areas:

  • Young Audiences: Developing young audiences, defined by BFI as those aged 16 to 30.
  • Diversity, Inclusion & Access: Activity aimed at, and/or co-produced with, under-represented groups. Ensuring that a wider range of people regardless of age, race, sexual orientation or socio economic background – including those living with a disability – can shape and experience cinema-going.
  • Reach and Cultural Engagement: Maximising the number of audiences engaging with titles and/or increasing the cultural depth of their experience. We will seek to support activity across a range of rural and urban settings.
  • Screen Heritage & Archive Film: Engaging more people in screen heritage and archive films, with a particular focus on national and regional collections.

What kind of activity will be supported?

We anticipate Open Call project applications to be for £1,500 and above, and fall into one of the three areas of activity outlined below.

NB. For smaller scale projects (£1,500 and under), we recommend you apply for the Audience Pitch Pot, a simple way to access additional support for new or existing projects and screenings, assessed on a fortnightly basis.

  • Film Festivals:

We aim to support a broad range of audience-facing film festival activity in the South West from community provision to sustaining the ambition and reach of larger regional film festivals.

We intend to support a portfolio of film festivals across the region that will deliver a vibrant and diverse range of cultural film beyond the mainstream, showcase a complementary range of genre specialisms and reach diverse audiences. This strand of support would include programmes as part of the annual/bi-annual festival or year round activity such as pop-up screenings delivered by the film festival organisation.

In selecting which festivals to support we will prioritise those that can demonstrate significant audience impact, offer a high quality cultural programme, provide audiences with enhanced opportunities to engage with cultural cinema beyond the mainstream and create added value through partnership working and legacy.

  • Networked Activity:

This strand is aimed at supporting collaborative activities or sharing of best practice in audience development across two or more venues or festival organisations, with a focus on the BFI2022 priority areas.

Activity in this strand might include a touring programme of features or shorts with talent attached travelling to multiple venues or festivals or shared marketing and promotional assets to capitalise on a regional or National press opportunity. This strand would support activity across a rural touring network or a partnership project across multiple sites in the South West. Top-up support can be applied for where pilot projects supported through an earlier round of open calls demonstrate the potential to have a wider impact across the Hub.

  • Ambitious Audience Development Initiatives

This strand is aimed at supporting larger scale audience development initiatives with a strong focus on at least one of the BFI2022 Priority areas that demonstrates the potential to have significant audience benefit. This activity would be ambitious in scale and have realistic audience outcomes. This might be launching a new young person’s ticket offer in tandem with a series of high profile events or working with diverse or marginalised communities, giving them a voice and opportunity to share in the design and programming of events. We encourage members to identify partner organisations to work with in order to maximise the impact of projects.

*Please read the full guidelines for details of costs the Film Hub can and cannot support.


Film Hub South West is committed to inclusion and have adopted the BFI’s Diversity Standards, recognising and acknowledging the quality and value of difference and working towards reducing under-representation in the following focus areas: disability, gender, race, age and sexual orientation as they pertain to the Equality Act 2010, as well as seeking to ensure that people from lower socio-economic groups are better represented.  Priority will be given to proposals that clearly seek to address the criteria as outlined in the Standards.

How to Submit your Proposal

This is an annual open call with a fixed deadline for submissions. Please see timetable below for 2019 dates.

We ask applicants to submit a draft submission online with a broad outline of planned activity and the amount requested to express interest before submitting a full application.

To apply for support we ask you to:

  1. Please read the full guidelines before making an application to ensure your activity fits the eligibility criteria and investment priorities outlined.
  2. Complete an income and expenditure budget outlining the costs of your activity
  3. Complete the Online Application Form, uploading your budget to the form
  4. Applicants are asked to complete a Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Summary at final submission.

Following the draft submission deadline the Film Hub Team will provide feedback on your proposal or meet with you to help shape a proposal that supports the development of the organisation and delivers against the priorities of the BFI2022 strategy.

The Final Deadline for completed submissions is the 15th March 2019.


Timetable for the Open Call in 2019

16th December 2018             Open Calls Guidelines Published

1st February 2019                  Deadline for draft proposals

15th February 2019                Deadline for Feedback to be given to applicants

2pm 20th March 2019           Final deadline for submissions

1st April 2019                           Decisions announced

9th April 2019                          First Instalments paid out

  • Film Hub South West Open Call Guidelines 2019 - 2020 Download
  • Film Hub SW Budget Template 2019 Download
  • Open Call KPI Summary 2019 - 2020 Download
  • Open Call Application Form 2019 WORD Download

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