News and Opportunities: December 2019 round up

Posted on December 19, 2019 by Anna O'Connor

Categories: News Round-up

ICO news

  • In March 2020 we’re returning to BFI Southbank for our Spring Screening Days where we’ll be screening the best independent cinema set for release so you can pack your programme with great discoveries to entice new audiences and thrill existing ones! Early bird registration is open now.
  • This week we announced our 2020 national film tour, Second Sight, taking place February – May 2020. In association with LUX, the tour explores the legacy, methods, aesthetic strategies and histories of the UK’s Black Film Workshop Movement. All films are available to book on DCP. The new commissions are available with Audio Description and Caption Subtitles. Find out more and book now.
  • Our Data-driven Marketing course is back for 2020! From 21– 23 January some of the UK’s leading experts in digital marketing and audience analytics will be joining us at the Phoenix Cinema, Leicester for the third edition of the programme. Last chance to apply
  • Applications are open for FEDS, our ground-breaking scheme designed to give newcomers to the film industry the ultimate head-start. From March – December 2020 trainees will undertake office-based placements at the Barbican, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, HOME, Phoenix Cinema, Tyneside Cinema or with us at the Independent Cinema Office. The deadline for applications is Monday 6 January.
  • In November we launched our brand new online learning platform! First up is an online version of our popular Developing Your Film Festival programme, available for free for six weeks. Join our online learning community now!
  • We currently have a number of vacancies on the Board of Trustees. We are keen to attract new members who will be committed to the organisation and are able to give the necessary time, energy and dedication to help lead the ICO through the next stages of development. Find out more.
  • Don’t forget that we have a fantastic selection of Britain on Film on Tour archive programmes available to book, including the latest two titles, Welcome to Britain and Protest!


  • The first ever Film Hub South East Members Forum will take place on 5 February 2020 at BFI Southbank. Early bird registration is open & tickets are going fast! Book your early bird pass by Monday 23 December.
  • Calling all filmmakers! Our friends at Aesthetics Short Film Festival are looking for those driving film forward through inspirational and innovative works. Submit your work for a chance to screen at the 2020 event. Find out more and apply.
  • Through BFI FAN supported new releases you can still get access to marketing support if you book this year’s New Release titles We The Animals, Hail Satan? and Peanut Butter Falcon. Find out more.
  • Are you a young film programmer? There is a monthly newsletter in the South East for anyone working in venues that already host or would like to start a Young Film Programmer’s Group. To subscribe email Julia Andrews-Clifford at
  • Short Sighted Cinema CIC is now open for submissions for THE SHORTEST NIGHTS 2020, an annual collection of cutting-edge programmes celebrating the best in British short film. The deadline is 22 March 2020.
  • BFI Doc Society is the delegate partner for the BFI National Lottery funds for British documentary film and work alongside BFI NETWORK to support new filmmaking talent across the UK. On Friday 31 January they will host an afternoon of 1-2-1 doc surgeries and networking. Find out more and sign up.
  • Submissions for Open City Documentary Festival 2020 are now open. They’re looking for the most exciting and innovative non-fiction storytelling in short, mid-length and feature length documentaries, as well as cross-platform projects. Apply now.
  • Flatpack Film Festival (5-10 May 2020) is now accepting submissions. From short film to live performances and home videos, deadline 26 January. Find out more.
  • BFI NETWORK’s Insight New Producer Programme is now accepting applications. A nine-month professional development programme that aims to equip emerging producers with the confidence and ability to realise their creative and business ambitions. The deadline for applications is Monday 6 January 2020.

Good reads

  • The 2020 Golden Globes nominations were announced last week. Take a look at The Guardian’s full list of nominations for the 77th Golden Globe awards here.
  • We spoke to Lisa Wolfe from Carousel about Oska Bright Film Festival, the world’s biggest learning disability film festival; how it champions those who make great work and builds audiences who want to see it. Lisa offers tips on inviting and involving a more diverse audience demographic that includes people with learning disabilities, as well as providing information on how the Oska Bright team engages with film enthusiasts whether they are promoters, venues or film-makers. Read the blog here.
  • In a recent blog, ‘The FEDS experience’, we spoke to some of our FEDS alumni – Chris Kumar (2018), Rico Johnson-Sinclair (2017) and Delphine Lievens (2015) about their highlights from the traineeship and what they are currently up to in the sector. Read more.
  • Ben Roberts has been appointed the new CEO of the BFI. Read the full story.
  • The Guardian’s pick of the year’s top films released in the UK includes festivity, fun, horrors and heroes. Take a look at The 50 best films of 2019.
  • As featured in Screen International, read more about our Women’s Leadership participants in ‘UK’s Independent Cinema Office launches third Women’s Leadership programme’.
  • Read all about the Cinematic Predictions 2020 from leading professionals in the industry, including our very own David Sin, Head of Cinemas at the ICO.

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