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Practical Programming [#PP15]

  • Would you like to develop a fresh programme in your cinema but want to be sure of a healthy audience turnout?
  • Do you run a film festival and want to diversify the type of films you show AND the people coming to them?
  • Do you want to run a film event but don’t have any experience with marketing and delivering a successful show?


The Studio, Birmingham and HOME, Manchester
Runs over 6 months with meetings on 23-25 September 2015 and 3-4 March 2016
£350 (+VAT)= £420

Our Practical Programming course will help you develop an innovative, structured, well-attended film programme.

You will come together with programmers from across the UK to workshop a programming idea for your venue, work with industry experts to shape it, then return to your venue to develop it.

Along the way, you’ll receive guidance from a dedicated advisor so that you provide the best programme possible.

This course is delivered in partnership with the BFI Film Audience Network and Creative Skillset.

Who is the course for and what are the entry requirements?

  • Film exhibition professionals (film festivals, cinemas, community screens etc) who would like to create a new programming initiative, or develop an existing one

  • Availability of programming space for your initiative
  • 1 year + programming / exhibition experience

What will I learn?

  • Shaping a programme: how do you create a clear idea that audiences will want to attend and that works with your venue’s audience?
  • Developing an audience: how do you take risks and retain audiences?
  • Sourcing films from distributors and understanding formats and technical requirements
  • Understanding your audience: how to analyse your audience and understand how they will respond to your programme
  • Working with your team: how to project manage your programme so your marketing, operations and management teams are on board
  • Who is leading the course?

    The course will be lead by Catharine Des Forges and David Sin of the Independent Cinema Office.

    How is the course structured?

    The course will run in three modules:

  • Module 1: Participants will study practical skills for delivering a successful programme and develop their programming concept. (23- 25 Sept 2015 in Birmingham)
  • Module 2: off-site project development from October - February with advisor.
  • Module 3: Participants feedback on their experience with their programming, sharing learning experiences. (3 - 4 March 2016 in Manchester)
  • Please see course overview for more detail.

    How do I apply?

    The deadline for applications has now passed. Please contact if you are interested in securing a final place.

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Want to work in film exhibition?

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Independent Cinema Office

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ICO is a registered charity No. 1109053