Independent Cinema Office Blog

News and views on the world of independent film

Posts from April 2017

News Round Up April 2017

Posted Thursday 13 April 2017 by Duncan Carson in News Round-up

London Line 373

ICO News

As ever, LOTS going on with ICO this month. Can't stop, won't stop!

Opportunities and Calls for Submissions

  • The BFI have launched their revamped Audience Fund, now replacing the distribution, film festivals, programming development and Neighbourhood Cinema funding. If you want to boost screen and audience diversity and inclusivity, get applying! 
  • The BFI Film Audience Network want to hear about how your venue is doing in developing accessible cinema. Whether you're well on your way or need support or have questions, it's well worth filling out their short survey as it will help shape the support they can offer in the coming years. Deadline Monday.
  • Scottish exhibitors should check out Film Hub Scotland's Atomic scheme which offers £1,000 (from a total pot of £10,000) for projects to broaden audiences and increase engagement with a diverse range of cinema. Good goal, good money: get applying by 15 May.
  • Speaking of cold hard cash to do make your dreams come true, Filmbankmedia have relaunched their Innovation Fund. Two awards of £3,000 and £2,000 are available for film societies old and new who want to try new things. Equipment, workshops, working with new groups and more: this is your chance to go above and beyond.  
  • The full line up for the essential Black Film British Cinema conference is now online and there's some heavy hitters in the mix.

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Why I'll be returning to Young Audiences Screening Day in 2017

Posted Thursday 6 April 2017 by Ellen Reay in General

We’re holding a Young Audiences Screening Day in May, full of films to entice young audiences into your venue and sessions on how to develop your offer for children, teens and young people. For a taster of the event, check out this post by Roseanna Dias, Watershed’s Engagement Projects Coordinator, who attended our Screening Days at Showroom in July 2016 (which had a similar focus on cinema for young audiences via films and sessions) for her top 3 reasons why you should attend this time!

1) FILMS - finding films suitable for young audiences and families, outside the mainstream, is hard. We programme family films during the schools holidays and steer clear of big blockbusters getting loads of screen coverage and there isn’t always a big indie title like Moomins On The RivieraSong Of The Sea, or Bristol-fave, Shaun The Sheep The Movie. We have to look out for smaller indie titles too, think about how to (re)frame repertoire, shorts and archive packages. When you aren’t able to go to European film festivals, UK screening days that shine a light on films for young audiences and families are invaluable for finding new titles to get excited about.

My Life as a Courgette

2) MARKETING - Seeing films means you can pitch them just right to family audiences, who, understandably want to have extra info about what the film is about, what ages it is most suitable for, are there any things they need to be aware of ahead of bringing their kids along. Sometimes, after seeing a film, you’ll decide that it just isn’t that relevant for your audiences even though it looks and sounds like a kids film (for instance, the upcoming Swiss-French stop-motion animation My Life As A Courgette, which after our marketing team saw it at another ICO Screening Days, we felt was more suited to young teen audiences than families). Building up that trust of your organisation and your programme with family audiences is really important for ongoing audience development. Planning add-on activity to complement a film is also made easier, more enjoyable, and being more informed and inspired means you hopefully get more interesting results.

3) NETWORKS - the screening day is a good opportunity to touch base with colleagues from across the country and across the industry. Even though there are loads of films to watch, there’s the inevitable nattering before and after any title. But more than talking through the merits and pitfalls of what’s screening, chat about things you’ve done this year, things you’re doing at the moment and things you really really want to do. It’s good to share, connect, find potential collaborators or just get advice. After talking to other family programmers about the difficulties of finding good quality new non-mainstream kids films at last year’s screening days, I came away feeling relieved that it wasn’t just me who was finding it hard and empowered: we could help each other out throughout the year, and continue to share titles and approaches. I also met a rep from Children’s Cinema Club and we’ve since screened many of the films they support to screen, including beautiful French/Danish animation Long Way North as part of a Christmas season for families exploring brilliant female leads.

This blog post was originally published on the Film Hub SWWM's blog.

The ICO Young Audiences Screening Day takes place at Showroom Workstation in Sheffield on Fri 5 May 2017. Register now, before the deadline on Friday 14 April 2017.


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