Film Exhibition Fund 2023-24

The Film Exhibition Fund supports FAN members' cultural programming and the engagement of a broad, diverse audience.

N.B We have allocated all the available funding for the Film Exhibition Fund for this financial year 2023-24.  To keep updated on when funds will open for funding for 2024-25, please sign up to our mailing list.

The BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) reaches out across the UK to ensure people have the maximum possible opportunity to watch and enjoy a broad screen culture, regardless of location or circumstance.

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.

As part of FAN, Film Hub South East (FHSE) has been awarded funding from the BFI National Lottery to support the region’s film exhibitors in their efforts to deliver against the priorities set out in the BFI’s Screen Culture 2033 strategy. The Film Exhibition Fund helps strengthen the independent film exhibition sector, supporting organisations that screen film to a public audience, from cinemas, mixed arts venues, film festivals, film societies and community groups to maintain and grow an inclusive sector.

Key info at a glance

  • Applications are now closed for the financial year 2023-2024. Sign up to our mailing list to find out when we open funding for the 2024-2025 financial year.

  • Total amount in fund: £194,000

  • Activity window: April 2023 to March 2024


What is the Film Exhibition Fund?

The Film Exhibition Fund supports FAN members’ cultural programming, and the engagement of a broad and diverse audience.

The key priorities of the fund are:

  • To create opportunities for children and young people to experience a broader screen culture
  • To support public access to a wider choice of film and moving image, including stories that reflect their lives
  • To tackle social, economic and geographic barriers for audiences engaging in a broad and diverse screen culture.

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.

Activity supported by the Film Exhibition Fund: over £3k can vary in length, scale and format. Delivery of supported projects should take place between April 2023 and March 2024, unless a multi-year project has been discussed with the Film Hub South East team. The Film Exhibition Fund: under £3k has reduced application requirements and reporting expectations. It is intended to support activity in any format that is relatively short in length and/or small in scale, with delivery taking place between April 2023 and March 2024. 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. This includes, in addition to more standard programming, screen heritage projects and broader screen activity with an interactive focus, which is a new area of consideration. Projects involving online and hybrid events will be considered where this represents a valuable opportunity for audience development, to reach priority audiences that would not otherwise experience the film/s.


Am I eligible?

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 ask for?

We have two streams as part of this fund — one for proposals for under £3,000, and one for proposals over £3,000.  For the Under £3K stream you can apply for support up to £3,000.  For the Over £3K stream you can apply for support from £3,000 upwards.  There is no maximum amount that you can apply for in the Over £3K stream, however we expect that the majority of approved proposals will be between £3,000 – £10,000. The total amount available in the South East Film Exhibition Fund for 2023-24 is £194,000.

How do I submit a proposal?

In the first instance, please read through the guidelines for either the Film Exhibition Fund: under £3k or the Film Exhibition Fund: over £3k. If you have any questions about your eligibility to apply, please email us.

After reading the guidelines, please download and fill out a proposal form and a budget 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 four weeks before a Film Exhibition Fund: under £3k project/activity is planned to begin, and six weeks before a Film Exhibition Fund: over £3k project/activity. 97% of last year’s proposals were successfully awarded.

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:

Subscribe to the Film Exhibition Fund 2023-24 mailing list

Please note, this list is primarily for people working or volunteering in cinema and film exhibition in the South East region.

If you are a filmmaker in the South East, join the BFI NETWORK South East Newsletter.

If you are a young person aged 16-25, join the Young Film Network South East Newsletter.

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