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New BFI Fund Aims To Bring Cinema Experiences To UK Communities

New and existing touring cinema operators can now apply to a new BFI fund worth £2m over four years, which aims to bring cinema experiences and more specialised and independent British films to communities across the UK.
The BFI has launched the first phase of its BFI Neighbourhood Cinema programme, worth up to £2m over the next four years (2013-17). Aimed at supporting the many communities in the UK who are unable to enjoy a cinema experience due to geographic, social, or economic circumstances, the BFI Neighbourhood Fund will boost audience choice and bring new film experiences to UK communities, no matter where they live.
There are already many touring cinema operators across the UK taking films (and the equipment to show them) into community venues. For phase one, which runs from February 2014 to January 2015, the BFI has allocated up to £300,000 to support these operators through the BFI Neighbourhood Cinema Fund. This will support new and existing touring cinema operators to bring community cinema activity, including film screenings and events, training for staff and volunteers and the licensing of films for exhibition, to areas without easy access to cinemas.
Tim Cagney, Deputy CEO of the BFI commented: "We want to encourage people to build a lifelong relationship with film, to boost audiences for a diverse range of films and ensure that film culture can be accessed and enjoyed by everyone, regardless of where they live. Building on the valuable work of the community cinema sector and organisations including the British Federation of Film Societies, the launch of BFI Neighbourhood Cinema marks an exciting stage in the roll out of Film Forever further helping communities across the length and breadth of the UK to enjoy the richness of the cinematic experience."
BFI Neighbourhood Cinema forms a key part of the BFI's pioneering UK Audience Fund, which brings a varied range of partners together to bring diverse and engaging film experiences to as many people as possible. As set out in its Film Forever five year plan, the BFI aims to increase the size, diversity and geographic spread of audiences viewing specialised and independent British films and BFI Neighbourhood Cinema will be important to achieving this goal.
Film Societies and community cinemas are a crucial and often thriving part of the UK’s film exhibition landscape, playing a key role in bringing a wide variety of films to audiences. The stability and growth of the sector depends on effective access to finance, expertise and equipment, as well as the access to a diverse selection of films in a timely and cost-efficient way.
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