Training Courses

FEDS 2017: Film Exhibition, Distribution & Sales Trainee Scheme

06/03/2017 - 27/10/2017

Barbican, London

Are you passionate about film and want to work in the industry, but are struggling to find your way in?

FEDS is a scheme that gives you the ultimate head-start in film.

With an eight-month paid traineeship at a film exhibition company, as well as mentoring and industry expert advice, you’ll leave with a CV that will put you top of the list.

We are looking to recruit ambitious trainees from across the UK who can display these attributes:

  • A passion for film
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills
  • Experience of using Microsoft Office packages and email
  • The ability to work as part of a team
  • A desire to learn


06/03/2017 - 27/10/2017


Barbican, London

LUX, London

Flatpack Film Festival, Birmingham

Showroom Workstation, Sheffield

Queen's Film Theatre, Belfast

About the scheme

Trainees will undertake an office-based placement in an independent film exhibition company (read more here about what these companies do).

This scheme is specifically designed to redress the imbalances in representation in the film industry. We will prioritise applications from people who are Black, Asian and ethnically diverse and those who consider themselves to have a disability, currently both underrepresented groups in the film industry workforce (of which 4% is made up of people who are Black, Asian and ethnically diverse and less than 5% is made up of people who consider themselves to have a disability).

What’s involved

  • Placements will commence on Monday 6 March 2017 and run until Friday 27 October 2017 (34 weeks)
  • Placements are available in a range of organisations across the UK
  • Trainees will work full time (defined as 35 hours per week) in placement organisations, and will regularly attend training sessions with other trainees to further enhance their employability skills and knowledge of the film industry
  • Trainees will be paid a monthly training allowance equivalent to the London Living Wage (at the time of writing, £295.05 per week and exempt from tax and National Insurance)
  • Trainees will be entitled to 16 days annual leave, subject to agreement with their placement organisation
  • Travel bursaries will be available to help trainees attend industry training sessions.

Trainees must….

  • Be new entrants to the film industry i.e. not have more than twelve months industry work experience (be it continuous or discontinuous/paid or unpaid).
  • Be UK residents and eligible to work in the UK.

100% of 2016 FEDS Trainees said they would recommend FEDS to someone they know.

Types of roles available

Exhibition companies (cinemas and film festivals)

Film exhibition is essentially another term for cinemas and film festivals. The exhibitor’s role in the industry is to select films they want to screen and attract audiences to watch them. They focus on bringing new films to audiences.

Applying for a role in exhibition will mean you are based at an independent cinema or film festival and your activities may include:

  • Liaising with filmmakers and distributors to acquire the rights to screen films
  • Inviting and handling talent attached to films for events held around their screenings, such as Q&As, events and press junkets
  • Researching audience trends and helping develop new audiences for film content
  • Marketing films you have programmed by creating posters, newsletters, webpages and social media posts
  • Developing outreach programmes and events to better connect to your venue’s local and regional community and to develop and support specific audiences
  • Utilising the latest projection technology to present films to the public in the unique environment of the cinema auditorium.

Our own website is a good place to start when looking at the overall activity of the exhibition sector, along with the websites of your favourite cinemas or film festivals. Read more about working in film exhibition.


A film distributor acquires the rights to release a film in a particular territory and is then responsible for the marketing of that film domestically, with the ultimate aim of maximising a film’s commercial potential. To this end, distribution companies:

  • Set a release date for the film
  • Decide the method by which the film is to be exhibited: either theatrically (through cinemas), or for home viewing (DVD, Blu-ray, video-on-demand, download, television broadcast)
  • Create marketing materials; manage press relations and arrange promotional screenings (such as exhibitor screenings and the premiere) to raise awareness of the film
  • Physically distribute the film to theatres and retail outlets ahead of the film’s release

Placement roles available

Barbican, London
The Barbican is a renowned arts venue in London. Based in the Barbican Cinema department, the trainee will learn about creating cinema programmes and co-coordinating film festivals and seasons. They will liaise with marketing, press and technical teams and learn about all logistics including booking and scheduling films, film transport, writing copy and budget management. They will learn about the daily running of an arts venue cinema, take part in meetings and workshops, and have to opportunity to manage special events.

LUX, London
LUX is an international arts agency for the support and promotion of artists’ moving image practice. The trainee will learn how film distribution works through fulfilling distribution orders, capturing and encoding works from and to a variety of formats, coordinating festival submissions and film transport. A lot of the role will be online-based such as uploading new works to the website, updating artist pages, images and text as well as responding to customer enquiries. There will also be an opportunity to learn about marketing and preparing materials for new works.

Flatpack Film Festival, Birmingham
Flatpack is a festival which takes over venues across Birmingham every spring, bringing 14,000 visitors into the city to explore film and the moving arts. Since spring 2016, Flatpack has been working with the BFI Film Audience Network on Assemble, a project to help build a more thriving, connected film community across the West Midlands. This traineeship offers the opportunity to be involved in the Festival team for first three months and the Assemble team for the final six months. The trainee will assist with and learn about event programming and delivery, technical production, marketing and budget reporting.

Queen’s Film Theatre (QFT), Belfast
QFT is Northern Ireland’s leading independent cinema showing a wide range of world, classic, independent and documentary film as well as delivering a comprehensive range of learning and outreach activities. The QFT is also currently the lead organisation for Film Hub NI, part of the BFI’s Film Audience Network. This traineeship is based in the cinema’s marketing department and focuses on developing core skills and knowledge of running and administering a venue, along with work on a specific QFT project to research and build student engagement with the venue.

Showroom Workstation, Sheffield
Showroom Workstation is a full-time independent cultural cinema providing a high quality cultural film programme to the people of Sheffield and surrounding area. It is home to many festivals, including Sheffield Doc/Fest, and screens films from all over the world, archive, new releases and multiple special seasons and projects.  This traineeship is based within the Programming and Audience Development department offering the chance to programme films, coordinate events, produce communications and build engagement with the venue.

Supported by:

Subscribe to our mailing list

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