Screening Days

ICO Screening Days - March 2019

02/03/2019 - 04/03/2019

BFI Southbank, London

We’re delighted to be back in the BFI Southbank for our flagship spring event from 2 – 4 March 2019.

We’ll be taking over NFT 1, 2 and 3 and screening the best independent cinema set for release from April to June 2019 so you can pack your programme with great discoveries to entice new audiences and thrill existing ones.


Please note that this event is now SOLD OUT. 

Early bird prices (available until Friday 18 January 2019)

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

After 18 January, prices will rise to:

  • One-day pass: £30
  • Two-day pass: £50
  • Three-day pass: £70

In addition, we have a Young Persons’ pass for 18-30s replacing our previous student rates:

  • YP One-day pass: £12.50
  • YP Two-day pass: £22
  • YP Three-day pass: £30

Being able to see a film makes a huge difference when it comes to programming and for programmers, who work in the regions and who can never get to the regular distributor press screenings in London, ICO Screening Days are the most invaluable connection with upcoming releases.

Screening Days delegate

Capacity-building sessions

Theatrical Marketing: Best Practice

From 1.15pm, Saturday 2 March

Would you like to gain insight into strategic thinking behind theatrical marketing campaigns? At this lunchtime session on Saturday 2 March, we are offering theatrical exhibitors the chance to hear from Christina De Rienzo, UK Theatrical Marketing Manager, STUDIOCANAL UK and Avalon Lyndon, Director of Theatrical Marketing, MUBI about how they plan their theatrical marketing campaigns and what kind of assets they find most successful in attracting audiences. Lunch will be provided. RSVP here before the event or at the ICO desk on the day.

Have you ever thought of hosting an outdoor screening?

From 1.15pm, Saturday 2 March

Due to the success of outdoor/drive-in screenings in the UK over recent years, please join Filmbankmedia to discuss the way non-theatrical screenings have reached new audiences, how to host your own outdoor event and book a screening through Filmbankmedia. Filmbankmedia’s UK Sales Manager Emily McDonald has over 13 years’ experience within the non-theatrical film industry and works closely with some of the UK’s largest outdoor screening providers. In this short session, she will share her knowledge and experience on how to make your outdoor screening a success. Lunch will be provided. RSVP here before the event or at the ICO desk on the day.

Learn about BFI Film Audience Network Support for New Releases

From 1.20pm, Sunday 3 March

This year, BFI FAN will continue to support four new release films, selected by representatives from BFI FAN, BFI, Into Film and the ICO. Anyone can submit a film for consideration and they particularly welcome submissions from exhibitors. At their session on Sunday lunchtime, Film Hub South West will give exhibitors in attendance a background to FAN New Releases, discuss the line-up for 2019 and outline the array of support available to exhibitors nationwide, including marketing assets. Lunch will be provided. Visit the BFI FAN desk in the Blue Room before Sunday lunchtime to RSVP.

Young Programmer's Networking Opportunity

From 5.30pm, Sunday 3 March

Are you under 30 and involved in the programming of films for a venue? Come and meet with the BFI’s Film Audience Network’s Young Audiences Coordinator Moira McVean, have your say in the Network’s plans for developing young audiences for independent film and connect with your fellow delegates. RSVP here before the event or at the ICO desk on the day.

Film Hub South East Programming Group Exhibitor Sessions

From 1pm, Monday 4 March

We are delighted to invite members of Film Hub South East attending Screening Days to a networking lunch in the Blue Room on Monday. If you would like to attend, please RSVP here before the event or at the ICO desk on the day.

In addition, we will be holding an Exhibitor Session for Film Hub South East members following lunch, at which Simon Ward, former Deputy Director of the ICO and now Director and Programmer of the Palace Cinema, Broadstairs, will discuss successful audience development. To attend this session, please register online here.


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


Nearby hotels (by distance)

The Wellington Hotel
Approximate rate per night: £148 – £174
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.2 miles

Premier Inn London Waterloo
Approximate rate per night: £96 – £128
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.3 miles

Premier Inn County Hall
Approximate rate per night: £143 – £176
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.3 miles

ibis London Blackfriars
Approximate rate per night: £206 – £216
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.5 miles

Travelodge London Southwark
Approximate rate per night: £144 – £194
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.6 miles

Travelodge London Central Waterloo
Approximate rate per night: £155 – £209
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.6 miles

Days Hotel Waterloo
Approximate rate per night: £127 – £149
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.8 miles

Holiday Inn Express Southwark
Approximate rate per night: £198
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.8 miles

The Bridge Hotel
Approximate rate per night: £64 – £107
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.8 miles

Mercure London Bridge Hotel
Approximate rate per night: £270 – £315
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.8 miles

ibis Styles London Southwark
Approximate rate per night: £250 – £300
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.9 miles

Premier Inn London Southwark
Approximate rate per night: £159 – £182
Distance to BFI Southbank: 1 mile

Grange Portland Hotel
Approximate rate per night: £157 – £199
Distance to BFI Southbank: 1 mile

Travelodge London Vauxhall
Approximate rate per night: 139 – £184
Distance to BFI Southbank: 1.6 mile

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.

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 at BFI Southbank.

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

There is 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.

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’s 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 four members of my organisation attend?

Our Screening Days events have been selling out for the past few years and we now limit the number of passes per any one organisation to four. This is to ensure that the largest possible number of organisations can attend Screening Days to maximise their benefit across the film exhibition sector.

As we only screen three films at any one time, you will still be able to see all of the titles shown.

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 (and must have done so in the year to date).

Is there any support available for me to attend?

The Film Hubs may be able to offer support in the form of bursaries towards fees, travel and accommodation for their members to attend Screening Days. For further information and/or links to contact your local Hub to enquire, see below:

Why haven't I received an additional email approving my passes?

As mentioned during online registration, our registration process has changed. In the past, we requested payment after approving your registration, and you would receive a separate email to confirm your passes were approved.

Now, we take payment from your account immediately when you book your passes and you will only receive one automatic booking confirmation email at this point. If you don’t receive this email, please check your junk/spam folder.

If there is any problem with your eligibility we’ll contact you within five working days to refund your fees, but otherwise you may assume your registration was successful.

If you have any queries or issues booking your pass, email

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.

Our events code of conduct

  • We want our events to be fun, inclusive spaces for film professionals. We expect people attending and working at the event to maintain our code of conduct so that it can stay fun and inclusive. Harassment and bullying have no place at ICO events. Be mindful of others’ experience and think before you speak or act, so that everyone can have a pleasurable and productive experience.
  • Examples of inappropriate behaviour that contravenes our code of conduct includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, aggressive behaviour, inappropriate physical contact and unwelcome sexual attention.
  • If you feel uncomfortable, or someone behaves inappropriately towards you, or you witness something inappropriate, please report it to a member of ICO staff or email Your complaint will be treated with confidence and discretion. We are happy to help you 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 helpline available on 0800 054 00 00. It operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

Terms and conditions

ICO Screening Days is an industry event for programmers, organisers, audience developers, education officers or marketers from cinemas, mixed arts venues, film societies, film festivals and any other venue whose primary purpose is exhibition of films to the public.

Supported by

Subscribe to our mailing list

What would you like to receive emails about? *
* indicates required