The Independent Cinema Office (ICO) is the national support organisation for independent exhibitors of all kinds including cinemas, film festivals and film societies.
We act as programming advisors, distributors, consultants, development agents, and providers of training and other services. We have spent almost a decade developing successful models in this sector, building capacity to bring a wider range of films to a wider range of audiences.
In the last 9 years 87% of the exhibition sector has engaged with at least one of the ICO’s services. We have delivered partnership projects with some of the biggest arts centres in Europe, for example the London Children’s Film Festival at the Barbican, as well as some of the smallest festivals and film societies in the UK.
Complementing our wide ranging connections with the exhibition sector, we also have excellent working relationships with all UK distributors (including a sub-licensing archive deal with Studio Canal), a range of international sales agents and a number of independent producers. We have worked in partnership with organisations such as the FDA, First Light, BAFTA, Europa Cinemas, the Guardian Culture network, Cineworld, Frieze, and the Tate. We have extensive regular contacts in both the film and art press and all our distribution projects have received extensive national press coverage. Our training programmes include speakers from organisations as diverse as the Royal Opera House, Radio 4’s Front Row, the Berlinale and Warner Brothers. Our relationships have thrived through our reputation for delivering high quality, successful projects.
The ICO is a unique organisation in specialised cinema – our business model is based on an integrated approach whereby our work with distributors allows us to secure previews for screening days; our consultancy work enables us to gain insight into different business models which we can then share in our one to one surgeries; our training programmes draw on our relationship with the commercial industry and our distribution projects benefit from our relationship with cinemas, film festivals and film societies.
Our distribution projects have achieved growth of 300% over 8 years for specialised film in the UK, success achieved through experimentation and experience – understanding what tools are required at the beginning of projects to make them succeed.