Film Exhibition Fund 2021-22

The Film Exhibition Fund supports FAN members to resume cultural programming and engage a broad and diverse audience.

Film Hub South East supports film exhibitors to reach audiences with independent British and international film.

As part of the BFI’s UK wide Film Audience Network (FAN) our vision is to build a wider, more diverse cinema audience with a richer appreciation of British and international film.

FAN’s aims are twofold:

  • to develop a larger, more diverse, confident and sustainable audience for a wider range of independent British and international film – with a primary focus on the collective viewing experience
  • to create a stronger, more connected and confident sector for the distribution and exhibition of independent British and international film.

Whilst audiences are at the heart of everything FAN does, the sector’s ability to reach those audiences in a collective setting is entirely dependent on the sustainability of the cinemas, festivals, community venues and other organisations that make up the Film Audience Network. 

The Film Exhibition Fund will help restart the independent film exhibition sector and aid the recovery of cultural organisations across the UK. It will support exhibitors to resume audience development activity in line with FAN objectives, programme independent British and international film, and deliver screenings.

Key info at a glance

  • Total amount in fund: £143,212

  • Applications open: NOW

  • Activity window: May 2021 to March 2022


What is the Film Exhibition Fund?

The Film Exhibition Fund supports FAN members to resume cultural programming and engage a broad and diverse audience.

The key priorities of the fund are:

  • Cultural engagement
  • Developing young audiences (16-30)
  • Promoting inclusivity
  • Showcasing screen heritage

The fund is primarily aimed at Film Hub South East Members engaged in year-round audience facing activity, and regularly occurring activity such as film festivals where they are able to demonstrate an especially strong fit with FAN’s priorities.

Overall, priority will be given to those Hub members with a demonstrable track record of work that meets FAN’s objectives.

Hub members must be able to set out how they will address the BFI Diversity Standards.

Proposals must also demonstrate how they will operate safely during COVID-19, reference can be made to the UKCA’s guidance: Cinemas – keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19.

Activity supported by the Film Exhibition Fund can vary in length, scale and format – all delivery, however, should take place between May 2021 and March 2022. Members can apply for support for programming, marketing and associated costs.

The primary focus of the Film Exhibition Fund is in-person events that bring audiences together for a communal viewing experience. Projects involving online or hybrid events will be considered where this represents a valuable opportunity for audience development, will reach priority audiences that would not otherwise experience the film/s, or where it is not feasible to take place in-venue due to COVID-19.


Who can apply?

You must be a Hub member in order to access Film Hub South East funding opportunities. Hub membership includes organisations of various shapes and sizes, from community cinemas to festivals to multi-arts centres. If you are not yet a Hub member, click here.

How much can I apply for?

There is no minimum or maximum amount you can apply for, but the total amount available in the South East is £143,212. We expect the majority of proposals approved for this fund to be between £1,000-£10,000.

How to apply?

In the first instance please read through the fund guidelines. If you have any questions about your eligibility to apply, please email us.

After reading the guidelines, please download and fill out an application form, a budget form and an equality monitoring form. Once completed, email these forms to

The Film Exhibition Fund is a rolling fund so there is no set deadline. Please apply as early as you can, but at least six weeks before your project/activity is planned to begin.

If you have particular access requirements (e.g. easy read documents) and would like to submit your application in another way, please email us and we’ll be happy to discuss options.

If you have access requirements that mean you need assistance when applying for funds, you may be able to request financial support through the BFI Access Support Scheme – find out more here.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the guidelines or submitting a proposal, please get in touch with us. We’re happy to discuss your proposal before you submit it. Email us at:

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