BFI to invest $8 million in audience engagement projects – Deadline

The British Film Institute (BFI) will award $8m (£6.48m) in cash prizes to 17 organizations as part of the first run of its new National Lottery Audience Projects Fund.

The cash prizes comprise a combination of long-term funding pacts spread over three years to support short-term projects, focused on expanding and increasing the diversity of film audiences across the UK.

Thirteen awards are for multi-year projects running until March 2026. The fund will support six venues and four festivals, three audience development organizations over three years and four awards for short-term activity.

The BFI stated that the 17 projects aimed to generate 46.7 million admissions across the UK and represent support for 203,846 screenings, of which the BFI stated that 91,357 screenings (45%) would be accessible. Of the 17 awards, 11 have been given to organizations based outside London and South East England, although all awarded projects will have activity outside the region.

List of awardees:
Multi-Year Award (April 2023-March 2026)

  • Broadway cinema awarded £480,000 for ‘Browder’ – Nottingham’s Broadway cinema will undertake targeted marketing initiatives and partner with community organizations to develop audiences who currently have little engagement with the venue.
  • Home awarded £555,000 to ‘rebuild a diverse audience’ – focus on opening venues to a greater range of audiences that are representative of Manchester’s population, funding growing partnership work, changing work practices , and will support new programming /. Marketing Initiative.
  • Phoenix Leicester awarded £270,000 for ‘MyPhoenix 2026’ – a major capital project to see Phoenix rebuild its audience after Phoenix 2020, through a newly created outreach role, new partnerships and guest curators to engage new, young and Will expand its reach to a diverse audience. as well as a commitment to increased access to ensure more people in Leicester have access to the film.
  • Queens Film Theater awarded £270,000 for ‘Priority Audience’ – Belfast’s QFT will undertake a comprehensive audience research project to better understand its audience and their relationship with the venue. It aims to use this to include more diverse audiences in its programme, and will invest in expanding its youth audience initiative, LUMI.
  • Showroom Cinema awarded £480,000 for ‘The Other Country’ – Sheffield’s showroom will transform the way work is done and activities in a long-lasting and meaningful way, whilst increasing youth viewership and engagement with local communities With a focus, particularly from disadvantaged communities and socio-economic backgrounds with less traditional engagement. It will also focus on building its audience for comfortable/accessible screening.
  • Watershed awarded £585,000 to ‘improve audiences – with inclusion at the centre’ – Bristol’s Watershed new marketing as part of cinema communications strategy to engage younger and more diverse audiences in its program and will develop and test promotional initiatives.

Festivals and Special Events:

  • Arts Alive in Shropshire and Herefordshire awarded £180,000 for ‘Flix in the Sticks – Reaching Out…’ – Two new part time roles for the festival to engage new audiences in specific areas of Shropshire and Herefordshire Outreach and Digital Marketing). New and innovative marketing approach.
  • Reclaim the Frame awarded £420,000, ‘Reclaim the Frame with Me’ – focusing on those who are currently underrepresented amongst Reclaim the Frame audiences, significant focus on reaching a wider audience in the UK Will go The funding will also support new approaches to marketing, promotion and outreach, while increasing its impact across nations and regions.
  • The Carousel Project was awarded £363,000 for ‘Oska Bright Film Festival’ – a UK tour to support two editions of the Oska Bright Film Festival as well as showcasing the work of learning-disabled and autistic people. The Festival will work with partner venues to ensure they welcome learning-disabled audiences as well as providing mentoring and opportunities for new programmers and regional assistants.
  • Tongues on Fire awarded £105,000 for ‘UK Asian Film Festival 2023-2026’ – The festival will invest in additional curatorial expertise and marketing activity to rebuild audiences, particularly through its Celebrating Womanhood strand.

Audience Initiative:

  • Cinema for All awarded £520,440 for ‘building diverse grassroots audiences through the power of affordable, local, volunteer-led cinema’ – community cinema through a range of initiatives aimed at ensuring everyone Enabling cinema to grow and expand the sector is access to a cinema experience, breaking down barriers for people in under-provisioned areas, providing the skills and resources needed to support cinema within the community; and support the sector in addressing their environmental impact.
  • Independent Cinema Office (ICO) awarded £1,329,999 to ‘support exclusive film screenings to wider range of audiences’ – focus on supporting venues to support ICO to undertake a number of initiatives for the independent exhibition sector To identify gaps to focus on. Engaging audiences with your locations and new approaches to achieving this. This includes ICO programming service, ICO Screening Days and Market Intelligence.
  • YourLocalCinema awarded £114,000 for ‘YourLocalCinema Audience Development’ – YourLocalCinema’s website provides up-to-date information on screenings titled to D/Deaf audiences, funding it to include foreign language titles and support the organization Enhances to enable you to play a stronger role. UK-wide discussions about accessible screening.
  • Short Term Projects (April 2023-March 2024)
  • Derby QUAD awarded £70,000 for ‘New World of Cinema’ – a new marketing approach at QUAD Guest programmers and community in Derby to give new and existing audiences access to the latest schedule of new releases, seasons and festivals Will focus on partnership.
  • Flatpak Festival awards £90,000 over 12 months to ‘Open Up’ – to help develop Flatpak’s working practices and programming/marketing activity to reach new audiences through a unique program of screenings and events supported the 17th edition of the festival for
  • StoryFutures awarded £66,000 for ‘Virtual Reality Hubs Network’ – StoryFutures is setting up a Virtual Reality Hub network to present VR work in five theaters and cultural venues across the UK. As part of the wider Storyfutures immersive storytelling program of activities, 21 diverse, engaging VR experiences will be available to audiences by autumn 2023, which will also be available in 17 UK libraries. The funding will also support local marketing activities, a package of VR content and a workforce development program to help venues feel confident exploring new forms of screen-based exhibition.
  • Tyneside Cinema has been awarded £150,000 for the ‘Tyneside Cinema Audience Development Project’ – connecting representative audiences with the venue, to establish a sustainable approach to audience and program development. The funding will help Tyneside to carry out data-driven research with the aim of drawing up a long-term ambitious audience development plan to reach the identified audience.