News & Opportunities: April 2020 round up

Posted on April 30, 2020 by Sami Abdul-Razzak

Categories: News Round-Up

ICO news

  • We conducted a survey to evaluate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the exhibition industry and understand how cinemas can survive in the immediate crisis. You can download the full survey results here.
  • To aid those affected by the Covid-19 crisis, we have collated a list of the support & resources available to cinemas and people working within the exhibition industry.
  • We have extended free access to our REACH: Strategic Audience Development online course until 30 June 2020. If you’re looking to grow your audience and bring new people into your venue, then you can access this course by emailing us at and requesting the link.
  • Film festival professionals looking to build on their existing skills and gain new insights from some of the industry’s leading experts can access our Developing Your Film Festival online course for free for six weeks.
  • Remember we have lots of free online resources to help you evaluate your current strategy and consider future initiatives. These include our recently launched guide to Developing Visually Impaired Audiences and Green Cinema Toolkit.
  • As ever, we’re here to help and support you. Get in touch at


  • The BFI FAN Covid-19 Resilience Fund has been launched with the intention of helping FAN members respond to the financial impact of the Covid-19 emergency, maintain connections with audiences during the closure period, and be in a position to reopen and re-engage those audiences once the crisis has passed. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 6 May 2020.
  • MUBI has launched the UK Cinema Fund to help support independent exhibitors across the UK who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Money raised from the fundraiser will be donated to the BFI FAN Covid-19 Resilience Fund.
  • The Grierson Trust is now open for entries to the 48th British Documentary Awards. The deadline for submissions is 29 May 2020 and is open to documentaries which have been screened between 1 June 2019 – 31 May 2020.
  • Tickets for this year’s This Way Up conference in December are now on sale. This annual two day event brings together exhibitors from across the country to connect with one another, learn from industry colleagues and share their thoughts on film in the UK today.
  • BFI NETWORK, Encounters Short Film Festival and Watershed Bristol have teamed up to launch #shortitout, a challenge to create a 90 seconds or less short film from your home. Check out their website for inspiration and resources to help make your short.
  • If you’d like to use this time to brush up on your digital marketing skills, then there’s a wealth of opportunities to help you do so. The Arts Marketing Association has made their programme of upcoming webinars free to attend, the Digital Culture Network has started a webinar series on Google Analytics, the Audience Agency has a hub of digital resources and FutureLearn has 100s of free online courses on a variety of subjects.
  • Audience strategy consultant Jonny Tull is undertaking a survey of the sector to seek insight into how exhibitors may react after social distancing restrictions are lifted. The survey is open until Monday 4 May, if you’re running or programming a cinema and would like to complete it you can do so here.
  • The month of May is home to both Deaf Awareness Week and Mental Health Awareness Week, and you can find links to resources, tips and advice for improving d/Deaf access in film on the Inclusive Cinema website, as well as resources and ideas to connect with people during the coronavirus crisis here. They have also made four of their favourite talks from last year’s This Way Up conference available to watch online.
  • Cinema For All has released its annual Community Exhibitor Survey Report, and are offering three extra months of membership when you sign up or renew during the lockdown period.
  • Aged between 16 and 25 and thinking of a career in film programming? The BFI is looking for submission previewers to help them review submissions to the 2021 BFI Future Film Festival.
  • Considering ways to engage with your audience during this period of closure? Together Films has launched a series of webinars to help organisations transition to digital offerings.
  • Applications remain open for the LUX Curatorial Fellowship (deadline 1 May) and the FLAMIN Fellowship (deadline 5 May).
  • Cinema Technology Community has compiled a list of considerations for exhibitors ahead of reopening.
  • Social distancing measures have forced many festivals to go digital. Visions du Réel is live until 2 May, Flatpack Festival kicks off Friday 1 May, as does Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival.
  • ComScore has launched a webinar series on the impact of Covid-19 on the UK & Ireland exhibition sector.

Good reads

Good watches

Want to pitch for the ICO blog?

We’re always open to receiving pitches for our blog. If you have an idea for an article, please read our guidelines.

Subscribe to our mailing list

What would you like to receive emails about? *
* indicates required