Our annual report 2020-2021

Our annual report is a great way to get a snap shot of the work we’ve been doing in the last twelve months.

Download our annual report below:

The past year has seen the cinema exhibition industry face unprecedented challenges and uncertainty. Like the rest of the world, we’ve had to adapt our way of working and the types of projects we could deliver, with venues closed and many staff on furlough. Despite these challenges, our main goal of ensuring everyone in the UK has access to life-changing cinema remains the same and at the forefront of everything we do.

We hope you enjoy reading about all of our projects from the last twelve months, but here are some of the highlights:

  • The ICO produced two influential surveys (The Impact of COVID-19 on the Exhibition Industry and Reopening Cinemas – The Independent Way) highlighting the concerns of independent exhibition at a national level. This evidence was used to lobby for more government support for the sector.
  • We developed an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion action plan for our activities and organisation. A living document, this plan will evolve with the ICO, the wider sector and the world at large.
  • ICO live online training programmes were attended by over 120 film exhibition professionals from nearly 100 organisations and 19 countries.
  • 774 students enrolled on our online learning platform, which has been used by over 1.4k students to date.
  • Across two Virtual Screening Days events we welcomed 664 unique delegates from 326 unique organisations – our highest ever attendance for any event.
  • More than 50% of films screening at Virtual Screening Days were by people of colour and disabled directors.
  • We programmed the first online edition of Borderlines Film Festival, which saw 15,814 admissions with tickets bought across 800 different postcodes.
  • Our ICO programming network has grown to 29 cinema clients.
  • We awarded £229,000 in emergency funding to exhibitors in the South East in our capacity as Film Hub South East.
  • We welcomed over 1270 attendees at our BFI NETWORK South East and Young Film Programmer online events programme.
  • In total, so far we have funded 38 filmmakers across the South East as part of BFI NETWORK South East.
  • We answered 1,500 enquiries and advertised 180 film exhibition roles on our free online jobs board – the only service of its kind.
  • We published 39 blog pieces, with blog pages receiving over 31k page views and over 20k unique views to date.
  • Our new online guides have been downloaded 1,552 times so far.

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