Screening Days

ICO Screening Days - July 2016

02/07/2016 - 04/07/2016

Showroom Workstation, Sheffield

If you want to see films that could make your programme stand out and bring in new audiences, come to our upcoming Screening Days.

Showing films being released from July to October 2016, this industry event is for anyone in programming, marketing and education staff of cinemas, film festivals and film societies.

Returning to the Showroom in Sheffield in July, our renowned preview event will give you first-hand knowledge of upcoming releases so you can select, market and get audiences in your venue.

Especially for this event, we’ll be showing a number of the best family films for your cinema over the summer holidays, as well as our usual strong line-up of art house, independent and world titles.

You’ll also have the opportunity to listen to expert speakers and case studies on programming and marketing children’s film; as well as networking and exchanging ideas with peers, exhibitor organisations and distributors.

Often the promotional material for a film can be highly misleading so it’s invaluable in assisting programming choices

Screening days delegate

Trailer playlist


Film is one of the most democratic art forms and starting a relationship with it early in life creates a lasting connection. That’s why the ICO is committed to making sure that more young people see a rich selection of films from around the world and why we’ve themed this Screening Days around young audiences.

We’ve got some great sessions lined up on Monday with leading specialists on the role of world cinema in children’s lives, attracting millennials: the ‘holy grail’ of audiences, the rewards of working with young people and developing partnerships with local schools.

KEYNOTE: What stories do we want to tell our children?

Our keynote will be delivered by Dr Becky Parry.  She will be speaking about the role of world cinema and narrative film in children’s lives, and explaining from her own findings why showing children a rich diversity of films is key for their intellectual, cultural and emotional development.

With a background in film exhibition, Dr Parry is currently a Research Fellow on cultural and creative education at University of Nottingham and the author of Children, Film and Literacy.

Making an impact with millennials: how to make young people regulars at your venue

The ways to reach young audiences seem never-ending and ever-changing.  How do you make an impact when you’re encouraging people to take a risk on something different?  How do we attract elusive ‘young audiences’ to cinemas and, in particular, to watch world cinema?

‘£3 tickets for 16 to 25 year olds, 45 minutes before the film starts’.  This offer from the BFI proved a big hit when it was introduced last year.  Sebastian Stern from the BFI will show you how you can combine a good offer with excellent marketing to crack the difficult task of engaging younger audience members for the first time AND retaining them.

Youth programming: The rewards (and risks!) of giving young people a voice in your venue

Offering young people the opportunity to develop their own programme in your venue is a unique and meaningful way to build younger audiences.  Ashley Dick will present her experience of being part of a youth programming group, how the scheme was established, how it functioned and whether it achieved its aims of engaging with young audiences.

Ashley is a film programmer and filmmaker based in Glasgow.  She trained in programming and audience engagement with Glasgow Film’s Pop-up Programmers.

Making strong connections with Into Film

Into Film has a range of services that cinemas can utilise and engage with, from new release and education resources, to helping build relationships with local schools.

Come and find out more from regional Education Manager Andy Partington and Programme Manager Kirsten Geekie.  The session will cover:

  • How Into Film can help build relationships between cinemas and local schools;
  • Film and curriculum linked resources as well as new release video content and how cinemas can use these;
  • How to run a film literacy workshop; and
  • Case study of the recent season Greater Manchester On Film Festival which brought together a range of venues to deliver film events for children, families and young people.


The event will be held at the Showroom Cinema which is on Paternoster Row in Sheffield’s Cultural Industries Quarter and is just across the road from the railway station.

It is 10 minutes walk from the main bus interchange on Pond Street.

To plan your journey by bus visit or call 01709 515151

To plan your journey by train visit or call 08457 48 49 50

There is some on street parking on Paternoster Row and Shoreham Street and car parks in the vicinity include Q Park on Charles Street, Sydney Street Car Park and Sheffield Station Car Park.

For more parking info see

Hotels (Sorted by distance)

Hotel Novotel Sheffield Centre
Rooms from £64
Distance to Showroom: 0.2 miles

Jurys Inn Sheffield
Rooms from £80
Distance to Showroom: 0.3 miles

Best Western Cutlers Hotel
Rooms from £41
Distance to Showroom: 0.4 miles

Mercure St Paul’s Hotel and Spa
Rooms from £81
Distance to Showroom: 0.5 miles

Premier Inn Sheffield City Centre
Rooms from £43
Distance to Showroom: 0.6 miles

Ibis Sheffield City
Rooms from £41
Distance to Showroom: 0.7 miles

Copthorne Sheffield Hotel
Rooms from £84
Distance to Showroom: 0.7 miles

Holiday Inn Royal Victoria
Rooms from £51
Distance to Showroom: 0.8 miles

Harley Hotel
Rooms from £39
Distance to Showroom: 1.0 miles

Hilton Sheffield Hotel
Rooms from £63
Distance to Showroom: 1.4 miles

Sheffield Metropolitan
Rooms from £42
Distance to Showroom: 1.5 miles

Leopold Hotel
Rooms from £55
Distance to Showroom: 1.9 miles

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

Why Attend?

Exhibitors who have already attended 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.


Who can come to Screening Days?

Screening Days is for programmers, organisers, audience developers, education officers or marketers from cinemas, film societies, film festivals and any other venue whose primary purpose is exhibition of films to the public. If you’re not sure if you’re eligible, just ask us:

I'd love to go, but it's too expensive for our budget.

Speak to your local Film Hub. They may be able to help you with a bursary for passes, accommodation and/or travel. If you’re a member of BFI Neighbourhood Cinema (and it’s free to join), we have ten free passes for members.

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 6:00pm each day.

Where are the screenings held?

Screenings will be held in Cinema 1, Cinema 2 and Cinema 3 on Saturday and Sunday, and in Cinema 1, Cinema 3 and Cinema 4 on Monday.

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.

Is there somewhere to get drinks and food onsite?

Yes! The Showroom has an award-winning restaurant on site. Click here to see their menu.

Opening hours:

Monday to Thursday: 10am-10pm (Food to 9pm)
Friday 10am ’til late (Food to 9pm)
Saturday 11am ’til late (Food to 9pm)
Sunday 12pm-10pm (Food to 4pm)

How accessible is the Showroom?

All public areas of the Showroom Cinema and Workstation are accessible to people using wheelchairs and their staff are trained to provide assistance. The Showroom has an infrared hearing loop facility in the cinema for delegates with a hearing impairment. In-ear headsets and necklace amplification devices are available from the Box Office on request. For further details please visit Showroom’s website.

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

Our primary aim is to showcase the widest possible range of independent, world and art house titles set for release in the following quarter; but we’re also focusing particularly on films for children at this event. We’re bringing you a selection of the best independent children’s cinema coming into distribution so you’re empowered to make informed choices for young audiences during the summer holiday months. Alongside screenings, you’ll also have the opportunity to listen to expert speakers and case studies around the programming and marketing of children’s film.

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 – 6pm.  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?

As the Screening Days events usually sell out, 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. Distributors and the ICO 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?

The next Screening Days events will be in October – November 2016, and March-April 2017.  Dates and location to be confirmed soon.

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