Screening Days

ICO Autumn Screening Days 2023

10/11/2023 - 19/11/2023

Phoenix, Leicester

Join us for Autumn Screening Days 2023 – a hybrid event running at Phoenix, Leicester and online!

Do you work with film audiences? Do you want to watch the best upcoming indie and world cinema films? Screening Days is an in person and online event where we screen the key new titles in distribution so you can plan on how to get audiences for them.

Changes to Screening Days…

At this event, we’re holding the usual in-person preview screenings on two days only, Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 November, with a selection of films from the programme available online from Monday 13 to Sunday 19 November. We’re also holding a new in-person audience development day for theatrical venues on Friday 10 November.

Schedule: Friday Audience Development Day

Schedule: Saturday & Sunday in-person screenings

Read about why we’ve made these changes, which will continue at Spring and Autumn Screening Days going forward.

New to Screening Days? Watch our trailer to get a sense of what it’s like.

Not sure if Screening Days is for you? See our Eligibility section.

For all other details, scroll down or see our FAQ.


This event is now over. 

“A fantastic event”

“Great variety of films from many different countries”

“The quality of programming was impressively consistent”

Autumn Screening Days 2022 attendees

Am I eligible?

We want to welcome as many people as possible to our events while still protecting the work of filmmakers and distributors. Screening Days is for anyone who works or volunteers in a space that shows films and who helps encourage audiences to watch them, including front-of-house staff and young film programmers.

Please note though that our new audience development day on Friday 10 November is a focused event solely for people working in theatrical exhibition (i.e., staff of cinemas and mixed art venues that screen primarily on DCP). Read more.

If you’re in any doubt about your eligibility, please email us.

Support to attend Screening Days

Your regional Film Hub may be able to offer bursaries to support your attendance (see links below). If your organisation is not yet a Hub member, it is usually easy to register quickly and it’s free.

What to expect at Screening Days

Our Friday event for theatrical exhibitors

Alongside the usual screenings on Saturday and Sunday, we’re hosting a one-day event on Friday 10 November aimed at developing new audiences for independent cinema!

We want this day to be a springboard for genuine audience development and collaboration for venues from across the UK, with speaker sessions, workshops and networking opportunities creating a platform for focused problem solving and innovation.

Schedule: Friday Audience Development Day

  • Introduction to the Day – ICO’s team explains why we’ve gathered you together and offers a chance to get to know other delegates.
  • Problem-solving workshop – Here we’ll establish what’s working and what isn’t in your cinemas right now. We’ll be looking at audiences, programming, logistics and outreach, arriving at central questions and key concerns to address later in the day.
  • Industry Intelligence – The ICO programming team and arts consultancy Indigo will look at current trends in programming and audiences.
  • Case studies – We’ll hear from Octagon Theatres in Bolton on their successes bringing audiences back; Broadway Cinema on their strategic interventions and results; and digital design agency Supercool on improving ticketing workflow and website UX. 
  • Discussion: Next steps – We’ll finish off with a round-up of the day, setting up case studies and pilot projects to present at the next meeting, and taking requests for areas people are keen to learn more about / looking for ICO support in.

Our speakers: James Coleman, Managing Director at digital design agency Supercool; Kerry Radden, Associate Director at arts consultancy Indigo; Kate Wood, Cinema Programme Coordinator at Broadway Cinema, Nottingham; and Charlotte Rachwal at Octagon Theatre (Bolton).

This event is solely open to theatrical exhibitors (i.e., staff of cinemas and mixed art venues that screen primarily on DCP). We welcome programmers, marketers and anyone involved in any aspect of audience development, whether working at junior or senior levels. We also welcome freelancers and young programmers operating in theatrical exhibition. If you’re unsure of your eligibility, email us.

Registration will open at 9.30am, with sessions from 10am to 5.00pm at Phoenix, Leicester on Friday 10 November, followed by drinks.


Why have you changed Screening Days?

We want Screening Days to have the biggest possible impact on audiences for British independent and world cinema titles. Several factors have influenced our decision to reduce in-person screenings from three days to two and to add an audience development day on Friday for theatrical exhibitors.

Firstly, we have just had our funding renewed for another three years (in principle). While we are extremely grateful to the BFI for the continued support, we are operating at a reduced funding level of 25% and need to make savings, as well as bring in other sources of income.

There are also new funding priorities from BFI Screen Culture 2033 around the urgent need for the sector to engage new audiences, and we want to invest meaningfully in this work.

Subsequently, alongside reducing the screenings you’re familiar with to Saturday and Sunday, we’re also hosting a smaller, one-day event on the Friday preceding Spring and Autumn Screening Days that is specifically aimed at theatrical venues (i.e., cinemas and mixed art venues that screen primarily on DCP) and developing new audiences for independent cinema. Read about the Friday event.

We highly value what film societies and community cinemas do and the audiences they reach, many of which are otherwise absent from cinema screens and the arts more generally. However, our funding is specifically to support the work of theatrical venues and their audience development goals.

In addition, one of the benefits of the pandemic has been the growth of our online platform. Our data shows that Screening Days delegates are now watching more films than ever before, and we’re also able to reach people who can’t attend in-person.

While we obviously don’t think there’s any replacement for watching films on the big screen, the online platform has made it possible for people to catch up on titles they missed over the weekend at home, and attendance is now markedly lower on Mondays, as many of you are already taking advantage of this opportunity.

We hope you’ll still have an incredible time at our Autumn and Spring events, meet new people from across the sector and the country, and keep plotting about ways to help audiences find the best films from around the world. We don’t plan on changing that!

What's happening on Friday and can I attend?

On Friday 10 November we’re running a smaller in-person day at Phoenix for theatrical exhibitors aimed at developing new audiences for independent cinema. Read more.

This day is solely open to theatrical exhibitors (i.e., staff of cinemas and mixed art venues that screen primarily on DCP). We welcome programmers, marketers and anyone involved in any aspect of audience development, whether working at junior or senior levels. We also welcome freelancers and young programmers operating in theatrical exhibition. If you’re unsure of your eligibility, email us.

When can I see the schedule?

Schedule: Friday Audience Development Day

Schedule: Saturday & Sunday in-person screenings

The online film programme will be available from Mon 13 to Sun 19 November inclusive.

When will I get full event info?

We’ll send you the in-person schedule as soon as possible before the event and shortly beforehand, you’ll receive a PDF event pack with all details including film descriptions, instructions on how to join at Phoenix and/or online, a full schedule, and a participant list.

If you are attending in-person at Phoenix and would like a colour hard copy of the printed pack, you can purchase one in our online ticketing to collect on your arrival (we no longer print packs for everyone to avoid unnecessary waste). 

What pass type should I buy?

Generally, we ask people to purchase an organisational pass if they’re representing an organisation at the event; with discounted passes for freelance workers (freelance pass), those aged between 18-30 (young person’s pass) and those who are of working age but currently unwaged and/or who would not otherwise be able to attend (supported pass).

If you don’t qualify for the supported pass, but need financial support to attend, you may be able to apply to your regional Film Hub for help. More details.

As a bit of background: Screening Days pass costs are already highly subsidised, and we need to bring in a certain amount of income from pass fees to unlock the higher level of public funding needed to run the events.

So, while we want to support people to attend in any way we can – especially at the current moment – our fees are crucial to our ability to continue holding Screening Days events.

Email: with any other queries about your pass.

Can I switch my pass type after registering?

Yes, you can switch your pass type from in-person and online to online only, or vice versa while capacity allows. Email us at: to do so.

Please note that the in-person event usually sells out, so if you hope to attend at Phoenix, we recommend booking an in-person and online pass in the first instance.

How many films are available in-venue and online?

There are 25 films in the final programme.

All films will screen at Phoenix, Leicester (12 on Saturday, 13 on Sunday) and we aim to make at least 12 titles from the programme available to watch online too from Mon 13 to Sun 19 November.

We confirm if films will be available online as well as in-venue as they are announced. However, please note that we reserve the right to pull any titles from online and/or in-person if we have problems around the delivery of materials closer to date.

What devices can I watch films on online?

We work with Eventive to deliver our online events. You can view films on Eventive on a laptop, tablet (e.g. iPad), phone, Chromecast and Airplay from your device, and via HDMI connector to your laptop. However, please note that you can’t currently watch on devices with a Linux or Chrome based operating system (e.g., Chromebooks). In general, it’s a good idea to test your set up before streaming the films – you can do that on Eventive’s compatibility page. We offer a support email service throughout the event.

How accessible is the event?

We aim to provide DS (Descriptive Subtitles) on as many films as possible online and in-person.

For films shown online, where distributors can’t supply DS, we create them if we receive film materials in enough time to do so. For films shown in-person, we are limited by whether distributors can supply DS on DCP at the time of their screening. We will confirm all details as early as we can before the event.

See Phoenix’s accessibility page for details of venue accessibility.

Please let us know if you have any accessibility requirements in your online registration.

If you have any other needs or queries about access not answered here, email us at:

How do I get to Phoenix?

Phoenix is in Leicester’s Cultural Quarter in the city centre, about a 10 minute walk from Leicester railway station. For local travel information, see Phoenix’s website.

Can I get food and drinks at Phoenix?

Tea and coffee will be provided during morning registration and you’ll be able to buy quick drinks during breaks.

Phoenix’s Café Bar is open from 11am each day.

We will hold a drinks reception after the final films of the day on Saturday 11 November.

How do you select films for 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 higher profile titles so delegates can assess their suitability for programming.

Our goal is to provide you with the opportunity to see the widest possible range of high quality films to help you broaden and diversify the programmes in your venues.

Selected films may be contextualised with introductions and discussions on how they might best be programmed to maximise their potential for audience development.

Films will be announced on this page as they are confirmed. Full film descriptions and booking details will be circulated to registered delegates before the event in our PDF delegate pack.

Why do you run Screening Days?

Good question! We run Screening Days for a few key reasons, best summarised as: ‘To help UK cinemas better serve all their possible audiences’. We focus the events on screenings and discussion because:

  • We want cinemas across the UK to be able to make informed decisions about the films they programme, so audiences can see the best titles from around the world. That’s hard if you haven’t actually been able to watch the films and can’t afford to rely on expensive festival trips or distributor marketing materials.
  • We think independent cinemas are best when their programming stands out. Screening Days aims to support ambition in cinema programming .
  • We want to have useful conversations about what it’ll take to build a stronger independent cinema sector. Gathering people in the sector together helps us identify common problems and find shared solutions.
  • We want to support independent distributors by helping their films find an audience in independent cinemas.

What we hope to achieve:

  • Cinemas more regularly choosing films in our programme of independent British and world cinema titles and expanding the types of films they show.
  • Cinemas attracting a wider range of people to those films.
  • Attendees gaining a wider professional network and feeling part of a community.
  • A wider group of people feeling that they can participate in film exhibition.
  • Independent distributors feeling they’re able to play their films more widely from having been included in the programme.

Can I talk about the films I see at Screening Days?

You’ll be able to discuss films with other attendees during the event. However, due to our agreements with distributors, it’s important not to discuss the films you see at the event in online spaces (e.g. social media, blogs), even if your comments are positive and even if the film has already screened elsewhere. If you’d like to talk about the event in general on social media, though, please do! You can find us on TwitterInstagram or Facebook with the event hashtag #ScreeningDays.


We take piracy very seriously. Please do not record, copy, share or stream films from our online platform, which are provided only for film exhibition professionals that meet the entry criteria. We have advanced security measures in place including forensic watermarking that will allow us to prevent and track piracy. If you are found to be in breach of these terms, we will take any and all legal measures available.

Code of Conduct

Whether on or offline, we want our events to be fun, inclusive spaces for film professionals. We expect people attending and working at them to maintain this code of conduct so that they stay that way. Harassment and bullying have no place at ICO events.

Examples of inappropriate behaviours that contravene our code of conduct include offensive comments, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of events, aggressive behaviour, inappropriate physical contact and unwelcome sexual attention.

If someone behaves inappropriately towards you or you witness something inappropriate, please report it to a member of ICO staff or email us. Your complaint will be treated with discretion. We are happy to help and can help report inappropriate behaviour to the authorities where necessary or address the problem ourselves where more appropriate. We reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone who does not comply with our code of conduct. This code of conduct applies both in-person and online.

If you would like to speak to an independent organisation about an issue, the Film and TV Charity have a free and confidential 24-hour helpline available on 0800 054 00 00.

Supported by

The event is delivered with the support of the BFI, awarding funds from the National Lottery.

With thanks to our sponsors

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