Training Courses

Programming Outside of the Mainstream - Lancaster


“Excellent day, very engaging speakers, and plenty of practical examples to help bring the topic to life”

“Great course – lots of ideas that I can take away and work with”

Want to develop a strong programme of films and special events that will delight your audience and keep them coming back for more?

New to film programming or looking to refresh your current range of films beyond the mainstream?

Thinking about how to develop a deeper engagement with your audience?

Take an afternoon out of your work schedule to reassess your programming and audience development strategy, learn new skills and gain inspiration from successful projects.

Return to work with up-to-date knowledge, fresh ideas and renewed confidence to help you create a high quality programme that will put bums on seats and develop loyalty in your audience.




£50 (£20 to exhibitors from the Northwest Vision+Media region; refreshments are included)

Who is the course for?

Staff of independent cinemas, film festivals, film societies and cross arts venues based in the North West who work in the following roles:

  • Programming
  • Audience Development
  • Education & Events
  • Managerial Staff

What will I learn?

  • Developing creative and cultural film programmes which will delight your audience and keep them coming back for more
  • How to source interesting and unusual films
  • Reaching audiences for non-mainstream film
  • Success stories of programming special film events in unusual contexts and the practical considerations involved

Course tutor: David Sin

David Sin is Head of Development at the Independent Cinema Office. From Derby’s Metro Cinema to the British Film Institute, where until recently he was Head of Content Development, David has 20 years’ experience in all aspects of film exhibition and distribution. From 1998 – 2002 he was Director of Cinema at the Institute of Contemporary Arts and at other times he has worked variously as a Consultant, Festival Programmer and developed a range of ground-breaking rural film projects.

Speaker: Ian Francis

Ian Francis is a Birmingham-based film curator, and a founding director of 7 Inch Cinema and the Flatpack Festival. After starting out in traditional festival programming he became increasingly interested in taking film out of cinemas and combining with other artforms, inspired not just by new technology but also by the itinerant showmen of film’s infancy. Ian has written on early cinema and animation for publications including Sight and Sound, Little White Lies and Electric Sheep.


Travel and accommodation

The nearest train station to the Dukes is Lancaster Rail, which is about a 10-15 minute walk away from the venue. If you are travelling by bus, Lancaster City Centre bus station is approximately 3 minutes walk. Car: if you are travelling from the South, leave the M6 motorway at junction 33 and take the A6 to Lancaster. Follow directions to the city centre and on joining the one way system, keep the in right-hand lane. You will see brown information signs for ‘Dukes Playhouse’. From the North: leave the M6 motorway at junction 34 and follow signs to Lancaster. On joining the one way system, keep in the left-hand lane and you will see brown information signs for ‘Dukes Playhouse’. There is also a bike rack on Moor Lane close to the entrance of the Dukes.

For hotels, see places to stay in Lancaster.


The Round entrance and foyer are fully accessible to wheelchair users. There is ramp access down the alley to the left of the main entrance, however the surface of the alley is cobbled. There is a doorbell by the ramp if the door is not open. There is then level access to the Box Office, bar, toilets and The Rake.  A limited number of car parking spaces for blue badge holders can usually be reserved in advance. An accessible toilet is available in each space.


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