Bringing your community together through film

There are a wealth of valuable, vibrant organisations operating in the FHSE region, developing and delivering dynamic work with local community groups. The aim of this scheme is to further enhance the work of these groups by providing resources to encourage and support the development of a film screening programme.

Showing films in your community brings people  together to share an amazing experience. If you are working or volunteering in one of the South East’s vibrant community groups, we want to help you make film part of the work you’re doing. You don’t need any experience of working with film to take part in this scheme and we are offering skills and support to help you.

Research shows that the audience for independent and world cinema films doesn’t reflect the diversity of the UK population, particularly in terms of ethnic origin and those who consider themselves to have a disability. We want to change that, and working with amazing community groups to help them bring film to their activities is one of the ways we’re going to do it. As a partner to your community group, we are offering financial support and our expertise.

The goal of Film Hub South East is to develop new audiences, focusing on the groups laid out in the BFI Diversity Standards, which directly address disability, race, age, gender, and sexual orientation, as well as acknowledging the need to better include people from lower socioeconomic groups in film industry engagement (which includes industry employment, on-screen representation and audience make-up).

How does the scheme work?

We want to work with groups in the South East region who work with one or more groups identified in the BFI Diversity Standards (including BAME people and people with disabilities). Your group will work with someone who is experienced in film to help create film screenings that your group will love. We will also help you with initial investments in starting up.

Your film consultant can help you with every aspect of the film side of the process: copyright, logistics, finance and marketing. Your goal is to focus on bringing your audience to these events, and plan for how you could make film a regular part of your activity in the future. You know your audience, so film programming choices will always be made in partnership with you.

What support is offered?

What support you’re offered is based entirely on what your group specifically needs and what you want to achieve with a film project. In some cases we will also cover costs related to showing films e.g. film hire costs and marketing. The support could help you to put on your own screenings or partner with a local cinema/ community cinema to arrange screenings together.


What is the BFI Film Audience Network?

The BFI Film Audience Network (or FAN) was originally set up in 2012, using funds from the National Lottery, to support a stronger and more connected approach to growing audiences for British and international film on the big screen.  It divided film exhibition activity in the UK into regions, each led by a regional Film Hub.

From 2017, FAN is part of the BFI’s five-year plan BFI2022 and central to BFI2022’s commitment to give everyone, everywhere in the UK the opportunity to enjoy and learn from the richest and most diverse range of great British and international filmmaking, past, present and future.

The priorities for FAN under BFI2022 are to:

  • Increase access to a wide range of independent British and international film for audiences – especially those outside London;
  • Extend engagement with BFI supported activities across the UK and enhance the quality and cultural depth of audience experience;
  • Increase access to the UK’s screen heritage especially via the BFI’s National Film and TV Archive and those of the regions and nations;
  • Enhance the quality of audience-facing activity, deepen knowledge and build capability in its membership, and;
  • To do this with a particular emphasis on increasing the diversity of audiences and boosting the number of 16-30 year old’s engaging with film activity.

What is Film Hub South East?

Film Hub South East is the Hub region for the South East of England.  Geographically it has grown from the previous iteration of FAN and now covers the following local authority areas: Bedfordshire, Bracknell Forest, Brighton and Hove, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, East Sussex, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Luton, Medway, Milton Keynes, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Peterborough, Reading, Slough, Southend-on-Sea, Suffolk, Surrey, Thurrock, West Berkshire, West Sussex, Windsor and Maidenhead and Wokingham.

From 2018, Film Hub South East is managed by the Independent Cinema Office (ICO), the UK’s national agency for the development and support of independent film exhibition.

What do we mean by "South East"?

The Film Hub South East region covers the counties of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Norfolk, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Surrey and Sussex. We are thrilled to be able to work with cinemas, film festivals, film societies and community groups across the region to realise our vision for the South East.

What does Film Hub South East do?

Like all of the regional Film Hubs, Film Hub South East works on behalf of the BFI and in partnership with its members to deliver specific outcomes in its region against the priorities listed above.

Who is eligible for this scheme?

This opportunity is available to organisations in the FHSE region that currently have a strong, demonstrable relationship with, and who are running activities for, one or more groups identified in the BFI Diversity Standards.

Applicants must have an interest in starting and / or developing their film programme and a member of staff nominated to take a lead on the project.

You do not need to have the space or equipment to show films already as where appropriate we will match successful applicants with partner organisations already showing films.

How do I submit?

Download a expression of interest form, and once completed, please email to

How will a decision be made?

Each proposal will be assessed by two members of senior ICO staff, who will then discuss and finalise the decision.

Do I need to do anything in return for receiving this support?


Audience surveys

BFI FAN is funded with money from the National Lottery and one of the central goals of National Lottery funding is that money goes towards valuable projects and benefits all members of society. In-line with this, BFI FAN aims to develop more diverse, confident and sustainable audiences for British and international film. All projects supported through BFI FAN (including any project supported through this scheme) will need to collect information on their audiences to see if this aim is being achieved. A standard audience survey has been devised for this iteration of BFI FAN, which will need to be used to collect information on audiences who attend any BFI FAN supported event.

The collated information from the audience surveys will need to be submitted in your reporting.


You will be required to submit a final report within one month of completion of your project, and you will need to carry out audience surveys. Full details and guidance on this will be provided.

What do I do if I have further questions about submitting an expression of interest?

Please ensure you have downloaded and read through the full guidelines in the first instance. If you still have a query, please contact Film Hub South East via or 0207 636 7120.

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