So far this year we’ve welcomed 39 new members – film exhibitors large and small – from across the South West, building on our community of over 100 existing members, and linking them to a national network of eight film hubs across the UK – the BFI Film Audience Network.
Together we’re able to share best practice, knowledge and insight, and support our members to put on new, exciting, and brave audience development projects.
We have picked out just a few of our new members who have already taken advantage of the many benefits membership of the Film Hub has to offer, which includes Merlin Cinemas, Portsmouth Film Society, Fleet Films, Town Hall Arts, Trowbridge and Portsmouth No. 6. Here’s how they’ve been using their membership so far.
We are excited to welcome Merlin Cinemas, which includes 11 cinema venues across the South West, as a new member of the Film Audience Network. Merlin cinemas will be joining with venues across the UK to participate in the National Lottery Cinema Day, opening the doors of their cinemas On Sunday 30th September to reward National Lottery players with FREE cinema tickets.
The day is being organised by Camelot (the operator of The National Lottery) in partnership with the BFI and the Film Audience Network to showcase the contribution they and the National Lottery make to film in the UK. It’s a great opportunity for cinemas to welcome new audiences to their venue for free and to benefit from a National PR and marketing campaign. To find out who else is taking part visit: https://www.cinemaday.co.uk/
Portsmouth Film Society already do great work with a year-round programme of international and specialised film, including outdoor cinema events and one-off special events. After joining they gained support from the Film Hub through our Pitch Pot, and were able to work with Portsmouth City Council and Kings Theatre Portsmouth to pilot a series of Dementia Friendly screenings. This provided accessible cinema for those living with Dementia in the City, and fits with the Hub’s ambitions to increase and improve diversity, access and inclusion in film exhibition across the South West.
We were pleased to support Fleet Film to broaden their regular programme of foreign language films to include an additional screening of the touching and inspiring films in the Encounters Deaf Shorts package. This was an opportunity to attract new audiences, particularly from the local D/deaf community to Fleet Films and build meaningful relationships with local support organisations DeafPlus and the Guildford Diocese, through guest speakers at the event.
With support from the Film Hub’s Beyond Boundaries programme, Town Hall Arts, Trowbridge are working with Lorena Pino to curate ‘Getting Together Through Films’, a community cinema project that aims to build a bridge between people from around the world who live in the area, using film as a resource for a better mutual understanding. Lorena will be using the power of cinema as a universal language to reach out to African, West Indian, Asian and Middle Eastern communities and create a discussion around different cultures. Getting Together Through Films creates a safe environment to start a dialogue and share ideas from the films and conversation is enriched by the personal experiences of those in the audience and how they relate to the stories on screen. Films screening in this season include Horace Ové’s 1975 film, Pressure, Britain on Film: South Asian Britain and the award-winning documentary, Gaza Surf Club. The cinematic experience will be expanded with a taste of new flavours from different cuisines and music!
Coming up at No.6 Cinema is an exciting silent cinema season, Battleships of the Silent Era, right at the centre of Portsmouth’s world famous Historic Dockyard. Together with South West Silents and the National Museum of the Royal Navy, they will present four films (two with live accompaniment) in a mini silent season over three evenings. This fascinating archive, recently digitised in a way never possible before, will give audiences an insight, as well as plenty of sea-faring action, into the silent film world of the Battleship. Find out more about this season here.
These are just some examples of the diverse events you can put on with help from the various types of support offered by Film Hub South West. Whether it’s reaching out to people living with Dementia, putting on special screenings for the Deaf community, creating a conversation around cinema, or bringing Screen Heritage to life whilst engaging the youth of today, these projects are enabling members to grow their audiences and to build support for independent and international cinema.
Film Hub Membership is completely free, and you can explore the range of support on offer here
For other Film Hub South West case studies, follow this link.
Attend film events with bursaries for travel, accommodation, enrolment or accreditation costs