Through the BFI Film Exhibition Fund Film Hub South West has awarded over £97,000 to South West exhibitors to support diverse programming and bring audiences back to the big screen.
The BFI FAN Film Exhibition Fund (awarding over £750,000 UK wide) has been made available via BFI’s National Lottery funding to the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN).
19 film exhibitors across the South West region have received awards to boost cultural programming and activities to engage diverse audiences as lockdown restrictions ease.
The fund is the latest sector support initiative from the Hub and our colleagues across the BFI Film Audience Network, and was launched in August 2020 with the aim of supporting a wide cross-section of exhibitors to resume screenings and reconnect with audiences.
The activity supported by the FAN Film Exhibition Fund demonstrate that the exhibition sector in the South West remains creatively ambitious and committed to developing audiences for cultural cinema, even in the face of considerable challenges. In addition to screening the best independent cinema within their communities, funding awardees will undertake focused work on engaging young people, diversifying the South West’s film culture and celebrating screen heritage.
Receiving FAN Exhibition Fund money is a gamechanger for us at The Roses. It will support us to transform our cinema programme and experience of the venue for children and young people, and help us engage and develop a new generation of audiences for British and independent film. A huge thanks to the BFI FAN. Jessica Brewster, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury
We are dizzy with delight at being able to promote a host of amazing films by BLACK* women directors - and not the usual suspects. Thank you FAN for allowing us to FLY! a little Higher with the profiles of brilliant BLACK* women directors Akulah Agbami, Sheba Soul Ensemble
This fund, and the continued support of Film Hub South West, will have a transformational impact on Trowbridge. At a time when cinemas are cutting back their screenings, we’ll be creating a regular independent film programme at the heart of Trowbridge’s iconic Town Hall. We can’t wait to welcome people in to experience high quality, mind-expanding cinema in our beautiful and unique building. David Lockwood, Trowbridge Town Hall
While the FAN Film Exhibition Fund is now closed, members of the Film Hub are still able to access small-scale support for online and in-venue screenings via our rolling pitch pot, which awards up to £1,500 for audience development activity.
Beyond these funds, the Hub continues to provide its exhibitor network with a range of advice, mentoring and peer support including fortnightly meet-ups on Zoom to connect and share.
More information about the nationwide impact of the FAN Film Exhibition Fund is available via The Bigger Picture.
"The first professional trip out of Bristol since March last year was to London to catch up on films. I have been eager to re-engage with festivals; so decided London Film Festival would be my first tentative re-emerging steps."
Films, stories and music from more than a dozen countries and the premiere of its own first self-made film will be on offer when Afrika Eye - the South West’s biggest festival of African cinema and culture – returns to venues across Bristol and beyond from November 8th to 16th.
We invite all our Members to join our 2021 Annual Members Forum. We want to hear what is and isn’t working, explore your ideas for the future of the Hub and wider BFI Film Audience Network