Screening Days

Young Audiences Screening Days 2023

04/07/2023 - 06/07/2023

Depot, Lewes

Join us for Young Audiences Screening Days 2023 – our essential event for cinemas looking to attract and inspire young audiences.

Taking place online on Tuesday 4 July and in-person at Depot, Lewes on Thursday 6 July, this hybrid event gives exhibitors the chance to watch upcoming releases for young audiences (children to age 25) and take part in curated sessions designed to support their young audience development work.

We’ll be looking at the strategies independent cinemas can deploy to improve the representation of children in their audiences and young people in their audiences and workforce. We’ll also be championing the work of young people in exhibition.

See the schedule

Read about the films and sessions in our line-up.

New to Screening Days? Check out 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.


Registration for this event is now closed. Email with any queries about your pass.

Please note that:

  • Lunch and all refreshments will be provided free to those attending at Depot.
  • Passes are not transferable.
  • Films in the online programme will be available to stream from Tuesday 4 to Sunday 9 July.
  • Streaming is only available within the UK and our online platform Eventive restricts concurrent streams, so every viewer must have their own pass. See our FAQ for information on device compatibility.

“Excellent range of sessions”


Young Audiences Screening Days 2022 attendees


Vibes Only: Aesthetics-Led Programming in the Instagram Age

From Tumblr to TikTok, young people are using new means to uncover their next favourite film. Ignoring old hierarchies or methodologies — historical periods, national cinemas and film movements — this is an aesthetics-first approach to film discovery. By collaging cinematic imagery as a form of self-expression on Instagram, collating Letterboxd lists according to hyper-specific themes, or ‘aesthetics’ like ‘dark academia’, ‘lonely people in neon cities’, ‘the “good for her” cinematic universe’. How can cinemas respond to this ‘on vibes only’ approach in programming and marketing? Charlotte Ashcroft, Festival Co-Director of London Short Film Festival, will show — through her own programming and comprehensive examples — why redressing how you speak about films and offer them to young audiences can drive new audiences to your venue.

Welcoming (Back) Children and Families to Indie Venues

Whether you want to revamp your kids offer, or start welcoming families for the first time, this workshop will provide a platform to find your route to a consistent attendance, without having to host expensive workshops or rely on studio release schedules. You’ll leave with lots of road-tested tips from experts on inexpensive adaptations to your spaces and programme that convince parents to trust their kids will have a great time with you (and that kids see you as a fun time!).

Young People’s Cinema Careers: What Comes Next?

The last few years has seen a growth of schemes and programmes that give young people new access to careers and opportunities in exhibition. But how can we make these opportunities sustainable or a part of your regular working life? We’ll hear case studies of experiences in this area, before moving to an honest discussion about what’s working well and where focus is needed, as well as a space for sharing aspirations and potential collaborations. An opportunity to network with other early career cinema and festival workers and plot for the future!

Curating for Youth Audiences: Three Approaches that Work

How do you establish yourself above the digital noise and curate events that appeal to the many different sub-groups of youth audiences? In this session, South African-based film curator Mbali Mashaba, Founder of Behind Her Lens Visuals and Reel to Reality Festival, looks at three approaches to curation that have made real connections with audiences, without relying on established organisations or huge marketing budgets. She’ll lay out case studies of cinema organisations working with emerging artists, brand collaborations and multi-disciplines that can work at any level and reach a wide range of young people.

Engaging with LGBTQ+ Young People

Led by writer and filmmaker Michael Lee Richardson, this session will draw on his experience as a youth worker working with LGBTQ+ young people for over a decade, and look at how independent cinemas can meaningfully engage with schools and LGBTQ+ youth and community groups to make the cinema a safer and more welcoming space for everyone. Using case studies from Michael’s work programming for the SQIFF schools programme and Pride House Glasgow, it will highlight some of the most pressing concerns for LGBTQ+ young people today – using these as a jumping off point to explore some of the current issues around film programming for this audience (including increased scrutiny of LGBTQ+ identities) and suggesting ways to overcome them.

A Sucker For Subtitles

How do you promote an international film which isn’t dubbed and straight from Studio Ghibli? In this session, T A P E Collective – who have helped grow younger audiences for subtitled films through their curated programmes and distribution projects such as Cette Maison, Lingua Franca and the forthcoming Shabu – will talk about new ways to think about younger audiences and subtitled films, backed by data and their experience working with venues. Even if you’re regularly showing subtitled films at your venue, there are insights here that will help you grow the proportion of young people attending.

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 makes a direct contribution to selecting films or attracting audiences for them, including young film programmers (aged over 18) and front of house staff. If you’re in any doubt about your eligibility, just email us.

Support to join Young Audiences 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


Is this a hybrid event?

Yes. The first day (Tuesday 4 July) will be delivered entirely online. The second day (Thursday 6 July) will be delivered in-person at Depot in Lewes. Films in our online programme will be available to stream from Tuesday 4 to Sunday 9 July.

All online sessions will be recorded. In-person sessions will either be recorded, or notes taken. All recordings and notes will be made available to delegates after the event.

See our schedule for full details

How do I join online / at Depot?

You’ll be sent all details of how to access films and sessions online ahead of time.

If you’re attending at Depot on Thursday 6 July, come to our registration desk (close to box office) from 10.30am on the day. You will be issued with a badge which is your entry pass into all screenings and sessions.

What's the schedule?

How do I get to Depot?

Depot is (very!) close to Lewes train station. For a map and travel advice, see Depot’s website.

Are food and drinks provided?

Yes! All refreshments, lunch and evening drinks are provided free at Depot on Thursday 6 July.

You can also purchase food and drinks from Depot’s restaurant.

How accessible is the event?

We aim to provide descriptive subtitles on as many as possible films available online and screened at Depot. We will confirm which films will be available with descriptive subtitles as soon as possible before the event.

Online sessions will be live-captioned. Sessions will be recorded or notes taken where more appropriate, with recordings and notes circulated afterwards.

For details of physical venue accessibility at Depot, see their website.

Please state any access needs you have in your online registration. We will do our very best to support you and welcome you to the event.

If you have any other queries about accessibility not answered here, please email us at:

How do you curate Young Audiences Screening Days?

We curate the majority of the programme, but also hold a paid open call for guest curators for sessions and film programmes for all specialised Screening Days events (Inclusion and Diversity and Young Audiences Screening Days).

We do this to open up the events and to connect with practitioners we haven’t worked with before, inside and outside the film exhibition sector, who are doing important work.

Our open call for this event has now closed. To learn about future open calls when they’re launched, sign up to our mailing list.

If you have other ideas or suggestions about Screening Days, you can either send them to or if you prefer to submit anonymously, to our Screening Days Advisory Group.

What devices can I watch films on online?

We use Eventive for online streaming. You can watch 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.

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.

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