News & Opportunities: May 2020 round up

Posted on May 28, 2020 by Sami Abdul-Razzak

Categories: News Round-Up


  • The BFI has launched Japan 2020, a season celebrating over 100 years of Japanese cinema. The season has begun life on BFI Player, and will continue in cinemas once they are able to reopen.
  • The We Are One: Global Film Festival kicks off on Friday 29 May. The free, online festival will be available to watch on YouTube and will feature more than 100 films co-curated by 21 festivals including Cannes, Venice and BFI London Film Festival.
  • MUBI’s UK Cinema Fund has been extended until 14 June. Money raised from the fundraiser will be donated to the BFI FAN Covid-19 Resilience Fund, to help support independent exhibitors across the UK who have been impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
  • The Film and TV Charity has launched an online community platform to support the mental wellbeing of those working within the Film and TV industry. They have also set up the Community Grants scheme to help cover the costs for industry professionals to support each other during the coronavirus crisis.
  • Film Hub Midlands has launched Film Feels Connected, a season to explore ways to connect with audiences during lockdown. The season will highlight upcoming digital events, provide guidance for exhibitors interested in online activity and offer funding to enhance online events.
  • Under 30 and want to screen films in your community? Work with young people who’d like to set up their own cinema? Want to engage young people online so they can plan future events? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’ then you can apply for Cinema For All’s Next Gen online coaching programme. The deadline for applications is Sunday 31 May.
  • Cinema For All has also opened applications for their Sustain coaching programme. Sustain assists community cinemas with bursary support and online coaching, and is split into three strands for groups at different stages in their journey. The deadline to apply is 5 June.
  • Applications are open for Into Film’s Youth Advisory Council. Open to 10-18 year olds, YAC members influence key parts of the Into Film programme and ensure young people’s opinions and voices are heard.
  • Into Film has also launched two competitions for young people. Their Nature in Your Neighbourhood competition asks children and young people to create a short film which documents nature in their immediate surroundings. While their Big Dreams on Screen competition aims to inspire 7-12 year olds to think about their dreams by asking them to storyboard their dream, with the winning entry being made into a short film.
  • Cheltenham International Film Festival is running online from 8 June. They are offering the opportunity for UK cinemas to join as ‘virtual screening partners’ and take a 10% commission on any ticket sales purchased through their referrals. If you’d like to become a screening partner, you can email them at
  • The BFI has a new online offering to educate and entertain young people aged-18 or under. The programme includes bespoke film selections, filmmaking activities, and curriculum-based tasks to support families and carers currently home-schooling.
  • Submissions to the Grierson Trust’s annual British Documentary Awards close on Friday 29 May. You can find out how to enter here.
  • The British Deaf Association has set up SHARE, a platform which makes Deaf heritage accessible by preserving the BDA’s own vast Deaf visual archive and encouraging others to share their own.
  • BIFA has made their Unconscious Bias training programme free for screen sector workers to attend.

Good reads

Good watches

ICO news

  • We conducted a survey to gauge the independent sector’s views on industry proposals for reopening cinemas. Despite advice that cinemas could reopen in July, many independent venues are reluctant to do so, citing safety of staff and audiences as the main concerns. You can download the full report 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 sector.
  • Our REACH: Strategic Audience Development online course remains free to access 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.
  • Our Developing Your Film Festival online course is available to access for free for six weeks. A great opportunity for film festival professionals looking to build on their existing skills and gain new insights from some of the industry’s leading experts.
  • 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

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