Screening Days

Screening Days March 2017

11/03/2017 - 13/03/2017

BFI Southbank, London

We’re delighted to be back in the BFI Southbank for our flagship event from 11 – 13 March 2017.

We’ll be taking over NFT1, 2 and 3 and screening the best independent cinema set for release from April to June 2017, so you can pack your programme with great discoveries to entice new audiences and thrill existing ones.

We’ll also be running workshops and networking sessions designed to give you practical tips and skills to aid your programming and marketing.

If you haven’t been before, here’s what past attendees say about ICO Screening Days:

The ICO’s acclaimed, flagship training course Cultural Cinema Exhibition 2017 is running alongside Screening Days and as part of the course, trainees will receive a free pass to Screening Days. Read more about CCE here.


Registration has now closed.


  • One-day pass: £25
  • Two-day pass: £44
  • Three-day pass: £60

ICO Screening Days is an industry event for people who work or volunteer in the film exhibition sector.  Your request for passes will be sent to the ICO for approval, you will then be sent an email with a link to pay for your pass(es) through the WorldPay secure banking site.  Once you’ve received your confirmation email, you’ll have five days to pay.  Please note that we have a limit of five attendees per organisation and that passes are non-transferable.

A full refund is available for cancellations up to Friday 3rd March 2017.

If you have any problems booking your pass(es) online email or telephone 0207 636 7120.

Discounts and funded passes

Full-time students can receive a 50% discount on passes.

BFI Neighbourhood Cinema is funding 10 passes for recipients of support from the Touring Fund and the Equipment Fund.

Passes are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and are limited to one per organisation. You will need your BFINC number to book passes; this can be found on the top right-hand side of your profile page on passes are now only available for Monday attendance.

For further information on BFI Neighbourhood Cinema email


A number of the Film Hubs are offering bursaries towards fees, travel and accommodation for their members to attend Screening Days. Please find details at the links below.

Film Hub North is unable to offer bursaries this time but can underwrite the costs of individual passes, with priority given to FHN members who have not attended Screening Days before. If you’re keen to take up this offer, please email to register your interest at the time of booking.

Being able to watch the films before taking a plunge and booking them … allows us to gain confidence in our programming ability and have better knowledge to share with our audience.

Trailer playlist

Capacity building sessions

We’ve put together a series of highly practical sessions over the course of the weekend to give you ideas you can implement whatever your venue size, location or goals; as well as the chance to hear from experts and network with other delegates.

Selling your cinema experience

The cinema no longer has the monopoly on film watching; how can exhibitors respond to this challenge? This workshop will focus on how to highlight the ‘cinema experience’ in your marketing. Besides the films on offer, how can you brand what your venue offers over staying on the couch?

Programming spotlight: discussion & drinks

Get into the nitty gritty of how to programme and market one of our Screening Days titles. Over drinks and nibbles we’ll host a discussion exploring the various ways to programme and position the film for your audience.

Meet the Critic

Do film critics have a responsibility to independent cinemas and our film culture? And if so, how should this responsibility manifest itself? Hosted by Watershed’s Film Programmer Mark Cosgrove, this candid discussion with a leading UK film critic will explore the relationship between programmers and critics.


BFI Southbank
Belvedere Road
South Bank

The main entrance to BFI Southbank is on Theatre Avenue (off of Upper Ground or The Queen’s Walk), between BFI Southbank and the National Theatre.


From Waterloo station (5-10min walk)

Turn left out of the station onto Station Approach, cross over York Square and York Road at the traffic lights. Turn left onto Concert Hall Approach, at the end of the road turn right onto Belvedere Road. Go past the Royal Festival Hall on your left, go past the Hayward Gallery on your left, and continue onto Upper Ground. Turn left onto Theatre Avenue. The main entrance to BFI Southbank is on your left.

From Charing Cross (10 – 15min walk)

Turn left out of the station onto Craven Street. At the bottom of Craven Street turn left onto Northumberland Avenue. Near the bottom of Northumberland Avenue take the stairs up onto the Hungerford Bridge. Once you have crossed the Hungerford Bridge take a left along Jubilee Gardens (along the River Thames). Walk along the river, passing the Royal Festival Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Hall on your right. You will walk underneath Waterloo Bridge, the BFI Southbank is on your right just after the bridge. The main entrance to BFI Southbank is on Theatre Avenue – walk past BFI Southbank and go round the building to the right, the main entrance is on your right.

By car

Parking is available under the National Theatre (offer Upper Ground), under the Hayward Gallery or in front of the Shell Centre. The Congestion Charge applies.

By train/underground

Nearest underground stations

  • Waterloo (Bakerloo, Northern, Jubilee and Waterloo & City lines)
  • Embankment (Circle and District lines)

Nearest main line rail stations

  • Waterloo & Waterloo East
  • Charing Cross

Planning your journey

Use Transport for London’s (TFL) Journey Planner service and live travel news

Hotels (By Distance)

The Wellington Hotel
Approximate rate per night: £102 – £174
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.2 miles

Premier Inn London County Hall
Approximate rate per night: £76 – £137
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.3 miles

Premier Inn London Waterloo
Approximate rate per night: £90 – £131
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.3 miles

ibis London Blackfriars
Approximate rate per night: £78 – £109
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.5 miles

Travelodge London Southwark
Approximate rate per night: £55 – £93
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.6 miles

Travelodge London Waterloo
Approximate rate per night: £58 – £75
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.6 miles

Tune Hotel
Approximate rate per night: £84-104
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.6 miles

Days Hotel Waterloo
Approximate rate per night: £84 – £99
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.8 miles

Holiday Inn Express Southwark
Approximate rate per night: £95 – £143
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.8 miles

The Bridge Hotel
Approximate rate per night: £67 – £118
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.8 miles

Mecure London Bridge Hotel
Approximate rate per night: £114 – £144
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.8 miles

ibis Styles London Southwark Rose
Approximate rate per night: £98- £147
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.9 miles

Premier Inn London Southwark
Approximate rate per night: £71 – £136
Distance to BFI Southbank: 1 mile

The Portland
Approximate rate per night: £100 – £172
Distance to BFI Southbank: 1 mile

London City Hotel
Approximate rate per night: £124 – £199
Distance to BFI Southbank: 1.1 mile

Travelodge London Vauxhall
Approximate rate per night: £54 – £81
Distance to BFI Southbank: 1.6 mile

Rosebery Hall
Approximate rate per night: £45 – £80
Distance to BFI Southbank: 1.9 miles

NB. The ICO does not endorse any of the above hotels.

Why attend?

Exhibitors who attend Screening Days know the difference it makes.

That’s why staff and volunteers of cinemas, mixed arts venues, film festivals, and film societies attend again and again. But if you haven’t come before, here’s five reasons Screening Days could be invaluable for you…

  • Screening Days make your programming decisions easier: watching our amazing selection of the upcoming films lets you get clear on whether a film is right for your venue and how to make it work best in your programme.
  • Screening Days are efficient: finding time to watch films in the busy and divided schedule of a film programmer is hard. Screening Days lets you cover a lot of ground with amazing access.
  • Screening Days simplify marketing: knowing what audience you’re trying to target becomes much easier once you know the film directly and who in your community would want to come and see it.
  • Screening Days gives you access to key industry players: we often have representatives from the BFI, Cinema for All, Film Audience Network and Filmbankmedia, as well as many major distributors in attendance. Screening Days is your chance to hear about funding, technology and opportunities that can mean just as much as what you put on the screen itself.
  • Screening Days is a forum to share knowledge: gathering together this number of exhibitors in one place means you can keep up with developments from peers and learn from what is working for them.


How do I register on the day?

Registration will be held from 8.30am each morning, at which you will be issued with a badge for the day(s) you are attending. This will be your entry pass into all screenings. The registration area will be staffed by the ICO throughout the event.  We’ll be on hand to offer advice on topics including programming, distribution, audience development and much more.

Can I leave my luggage somewhere?

There will be a space for delegates to leave luggage. Please note luggage is left at the owner’s risk.

When do the screenings happen?

Screenings run between 9:00am and 5:30pm each day.

Where are the screenings held?

Screenings will be held in NFT1, NFT2 and NFT3.

Will there be any other activities in addition to the screenings?

There will be a drinks reception on Saturday evening for delegates to meet and network with fellow colleagues, to catch up on the all-important films of the day. There will also be a series of workshops and networking sessions designed to give you practical tips and skills to aid your programming and marketing.

Is there somewhere to get drinks and food onsite?

Yes!  Refreshments will be available to purchase from the delegate area.  You can also visit BFI Southbank’s café bars, Benugo bar & kitchen and The Riverfront. Click here for further details and opening hours.

How accessible is BFI Southbank?

The main BFI Southbank foyer and box office entrance is on Theatre Avenue, by the National Theatre at street level.  There are stairs and a wheelchair accessible lift to gain access to the main foyer.  For full details on the accessibility of the BFI Southbank building please visit the ‘Access information’ page on the BFI website.

How do you select films for the programme at Screening Days?

We work closely with distributors to select independent, world and art house cinema that will be released in the following quarter. We focus on titles that are unlikely to have a vast marketing budget so need the keen curatorial eye and advance notice that a viewing at Screening Days can provide for your programme. We also occasionally include titles with higher profiles, particularly in the lead-up to awards season, which we believe delegates will be keen to see in order to assess suitability for their programmes. Our goal is to provide you with the opportunity to see the widest range of films so you’re able to broaden programmes in your venues, and we hope the Screening Days programme reflects that.

Why can't you release the schedule earlier? I want to make sure I see certain films.

We always try to finalise the schedule as soon as possible so you can plan ahead. Unfortunately, we are limited in how far in advance we can do so. Because distributors offering us their films often haven’t determined their schedule in advance, or are waiting on delivery of the materials, we often receive final confirmations quite close to the event. Then, in order to evenly space the films across the different screens, we need to carefully schedule the films, which takes time.

Why aren’t there more or longer breaks?

We try to give you as many breaks as possible between films and usually have morning, lunch and afternoon breaks, but are restricted by the availability of the screens and the length of the films.  Most cinemas can’t take out their evening public screenings due to conditions set by distributors, and so they don’t disappoint their local (paying) audience.  This means we can only screen films between 9am – 5.30pm.  We try to keep in mind that the main purpose of the event is for you to be able to see as many films as possible.

Why can only organisers, marketers and programmers attend?

The purpose of Screening Days is to encourage strong audiences for a more diverse selection of films. Programmers, organisers (e.g. the most senior person in a community screen, members of the selection committee of a film society) and marketers are the people in a best position to both select films and advocate for these films in their venues. We are often oversubscribed, so this is the fairest way to ensure that key staff get the opportunity to attend.

Why can only five members of my organisation attend?

Following the sell-out of our Screening Days events in 2015, we are limiting the number of passes for any one organisation to five. This is to ensure that the largest number of organisations are able to attend the event. Attendees must also be engaged in one of the following roles within their organisation: programming, marketing, education, audience development, or on the selection committee of a film society/club.

How frequent do my screenings need to be for me to attend?

Our funders for Screening Days, in addition to the distributors that lend us their films, now stipulate that exhibitors must hold 12 or more screenings per year to attend.

Can I tweet or share reviews or comments on the films in public?

No. While we appreciate your enthusiasm (or otherwise) for films you see at Screening Days, the terms that we receive the films under completely prohibit any social media or film forum discussion of films in the Screening Days programme, however positive it is! Distributors monitor social media channels for discussion of the films. Please do feel free to discuss the films in person with other delegates, and if you’d like to talk about the event in general on social media you can find us at @ICOtweets #ScreeningDays.

When will you be hosting the next screening days and where?

We’re putting together our applications for funding to deliver the next series of Screening Days events for 2017-18.  We hope to be able to announce the new series of dates and locations in March 2017.

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