Screening Days

ICO Screening Days - March 2020

07/03/2020 - 09/03/2020

BFI Southbank, London

We’re delighted to be back in the BFI Southbank for our flagship spring event from 7 – 9 March 2020.

We’ll be taking over NFT 1, 2 and 3 and screening the best independent cinema set for release from April to June 2020 so you can pack your programme with great discoveries to entice new audiences and thrill existing ones.


Registration for Spring Screening Days is now closed as the event has sold out.

Please email us with any queries or to go on our waiting list for a pass. 

A full refund is available for cancellations up to Friday 21 February 2019.

To stay updated on future Screening Days events, join our mailing list

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

Getting the most out of your data

From 1.15pm, Saturday 7 March , NFT 3

We’re delighted to welcome Jonny Tull, audience strategy, film programming, and distribution consultant to Spring Screening Days. Jonny will lead this informal session highlighting all the audience data venues may already have at their disposal and how to use this most effectively to make better informed marketing decisions.

This session is designed for theatrical cinemas who want to learn more about getting the most out of their data, and in turn achieve bigger and more engaged audiences.

Cinema For All – My Community Cinema presentation

From 1.00pm, Saturday 7 March , NFT 3

On Sunday, Cinema For All will deliver a short presentation of their new website.

Brought to you by Cinema For All, and developed from the BFI Neighbourhood Cinema site, uk is a new space for community cinemas to host online profiles, upload information about their groups, upload their upcoming screenings, and connect with the wider community cinema sector.

Film Hub South East Networking Lunch

From 1.00pm, Mon 4 March, Blue Room (far end)

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 are a member of Film Hub South East and would like to attend, please RSVP to:


BFI Southbank
Belvedere Road
South Bank

The main entrance to BFI Southbank is on Theatre Avenue (off 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

The nearest underground stations are Waterloo (Bakerloo, Northern, Jubilee and Waterloo & City lines) and Embankment (Circle and District lines). The nearest main line rail stations are Waterloo, Waterloo East and Charing Cross.

Planning your journey

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


The Wellington Hotel
Approximate rate per night: £157 – £187
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.2 miles

Premier Inn London Waterloo
Approximate rate per night: £65 – £126
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.3 miles

Premier Inn County Hall
Approximate rate per night: £66 – £134
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.3 miles

ibis London Blackfriars
Approximate rate per night: £107 – £146
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.5 miles

Travelodge London Southwark
Approximate rate per night: £56 – £148
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.6 miles

Travelodge London Central Waterloo
Approximate rate per night: £139 – £199
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.6 miles

Days Hotel Waterloo
Approximate rate per night: £118 – £139
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.8 miles

Holiday Inn Express Southwark
Approximate rate per night: £176
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: £256 – £337
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.8 miles

ibis Styles London Southwark
Approximate rate per night: £219 – £266
Distance to BFI Southbank: 0.9 miles

Premier Inn London Southwark
Approximate rate per night: £169 – £176
Distance to BFI Southbank: 1 mile

Grange Portland Hotel
Approximate rate per night: £178 – £322
Distance to BFI Southbank: 1 mile

Travelodge London Vauxhall
Approximate rate per night: 135 – £191
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 in the morning at the ICO desk, where you will be issued with a badge which is your entry pass into all screenings and sessions.

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. We may also run some additional activities, which will be confirmed closer to the event.

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 click here. If you have any further enquiries about accessibility at the event please contact us.

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:

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.
  • 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. Please note that passes are limited to four per organisation and are strictly non-transferable.

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