Digital Channel > Collaborative Working Across the North Puts Northern Filmgoers and Filmmakers Front and Centre

Collaborative Working Across the North Puts Northern Filmgoers and Filmmakers Front and Centre

As part of key changes to the UK-wide BFI Film Audience Network (FAN), the North of England is set to benefit from a share of over £4 million of National Lottery funding per year until 2022. Delivering on commitments outlined in its five year strategy, BFI2022, changes to FAN build on its success of ensuring the greatest choice of film is available for everyone.

In a brand-new partnership, we will work collectively with Showroom Cinema in Sheffield and Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle-upon-Tyne to lead Film Hub North, improving access to independent film for audiences across the North, by supporting cinemas, venues, local film clubs and film festivals.

Additionally, the National Lottery funding will see talent executives appointed to give support to new filmmaking talent in the North. This is in line with Film Hub North’s ambition to reflect the experiences and voices of the region, by ensuring all aspiring talent across Northern England can access support, as well as benefit from the full scope of funding and training opportunities available to develop careers across the screen industries.

Previously, Film Hub North’s remit extended from the North East to Yorkshire, whilst Film Hub North West Central delivered support for film exhibitors in Manchester and the Midlands. With these changes to the Hub boundaries, the North of England will now benefit from the combined expertise of those who have been instrumental in the successes of our venue, the Showroom in Sheffield (original home of Film Hub North) and Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The move also sees the appointment of Sally Folkard, based at here at HOME, and Anna Kime based at Showroom Sheffield, sharing the Strategic Manager role which is responsible for the strategic delivery of the Film Hub North aims in the North of England.

Holli Keeble, Chief Executive of Tyneside Cinema, said: “We are delighted to be part of the new collective leading Film Hub North alongside our partners in Manchester and Sheffield, developing audiences for independent film in a range of settings across our wider region. Tyneside Cinema is an important hub and resource for the region’s creative industries with a commitment to talent development. We know that by delivering a programme of rich and diverse content and fostering a spirit of openness in our approach, we attract local filmmaking talent, and we look forward to capitalising on that and proactively connecting with all those in our region with a passion for film. By locating the new talent executives in venues like ours, there is a huge opportunity to develop a network of spaces where creativity can truly flourish.” 

With a share of over £4million of National Lottery funding per year until 2022, Film Hub North is now the largest geographic area within the BFI FAN and will be instrumental in encouraging greater engagement with independent and British film, with a particular focus on reaching 16-30 year olds.

Our Director and Chief Executive Dave Moutrey commented: “We are delighted to be working with flagship venues Tyneside Cinema and the Showroom Cinema as part of this exciting partnership. The North has always been a place that inspires audiences, and we’ve long been known as excellent collaborators – we understand the importance of working together and supporting each other. There is a lot of talent in the North, and I am excited to see how much this will benefit in even further giving these voices a vital platform.”

As part of its four-year development plan, Film Hub North will not only fund film clubs, film exhibition venues and independent cinemas, but also local film festivals. As well as backing innovative audience development activity, to support creative risk-taking in the region.

Ian Wild, Chief Executive of Showroom Workstation, said: “We are proud to be part of such a diverse network of venues, festivals and film clubs, from flagship independent cinemas, to rural film societies that form part of the cultural fabric of their communities. Challenging film programming and risk-taking are of vital importance to the Film Exhibition sector and it is essential that these are supported, developed and championed and that audiences have access to exciting film content, regardless of location.”

Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund, said: “Central to BFI2022 is the cultivation of a richer diversity of those who are watching and making films in the UK. In BFI FAN we have a thriving network of audiences, curators and filmmakers, reaching across the whole of the UK and through all types of cultural spaces – from multiplexes through to film clubs – so by embedding a mission to develop film talent within it, we can offer an inspiring and inclusive environment where creativity can thrive. Thanks to all our partners who have worked tirelessly with us to build BFI FAN over the past five years, and welcome to our new partners; we are excited by the opportunity to connect more people across the UK with the infinite joy of film.”