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£1.3M BFI FAN COVID-19 Resilience Fund for UK Independent Exhibition Sector Now OPEN

National Lottery funding through the BFI Film Audience Network available to members of the UK-wide network in critical need due to the COVID-19 crisis.

London, Wednesday 15 April 2020: The BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) today opens the BFI FAN COVID-19 Resilience Fund, making £1.3m of National Lottery funding available to the exhibition sector across the UK, which is in critical financial need as a result of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. BFI FAN – a unique collaboration of eight Film Hubs managed by leading film organisations across the UK – is offering emergency relief for small and medium sized audience facing organisations with a particular focus on venue based exhibitors. The Fund is being administered through each of Film Hubs, working with the BFI, and the deadline for applications is Wednesday 6 May 2020. 

Ben Luxford, Head of UK Audiences, BFI, said:

Our entire industry is feeling the ramifications of COVID-19, but financially the exhibition sector is one of the most immediately hit. These innovative, creative businesses, often run on limited resources by dedicated and passionate people, exist to bring rich and diverse films to audiences across the UK. We hope this Fund will help them survive and retain their staff, so they can continue their vital work.

Exhibitors and festivals have faced immediate closure and cancellations, presenting them with unprecedented challenges. Many businesses are at risk of permanent closure and making staff redundant. The Fund sees the BFI working with the Film Hubs to repurpose BFI FAN National Lottery activity funding to alleviate some of this pressure.

Accessible to all FAN Members across the UK, eligibility is outlined in the Fund Guidelines, and those interested in applying are encouraged to contact their local Film Hub to discuss their position bfi.org.uk/fanresiliencefund.

The Fund is part of a package of support from the BFI for individuals and businesses that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis. This includes a number of new funds, repurposing £4.6m in National Lottery funding to target specific areas of the sector including freelancers and producers, as well as the exhibition sector.

The BFI is also leading an industry-wide Screen Sector Task Force, and working closely with Government to ensure all of the ramifications and wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19 on the sector are considered, and can help shape measures to address them. The BFI has up-to-date industry advice for the sector at bfi.org.uk/supporting-uk-film/covid-19-answering-questions-screen-sectors.

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Iris Productions – Available for Free Online!

Organisers of Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival have today (9 April 2020) confirmed they are making three short films from the Iris archive available for free on their YouTube channel. The films are all directed by women who have made short films with the £30,000 Iris Prize, sponsored by the Michael Bishop Foundation.

The focus on successful Iris Prize female filmmakers is presented in anticipation of the world premiere of Lara Zeidan’s A Beautiful Form to See, starring Alicia Agneson (Vikings). The eleventh Iris Production will screen as part of the 2020 Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival in Cardiff on opening night – Tuesday 6 October. Director Lara Zeidan, from Lebanon, will be in Cardiff to introduce her film which is described as a hypnotising celebration of the female gaze.

The focus goes live today (Thursday 9 April 2020) on the Iris Prize YouTube Channel with Dee Rees’ Colonial Gods. In May we’ll be sharing Daisy & D by Arkasha Stevenson, and in June Susan Jacobson’s Wild Geese will be available.

In September we will also be sharing a short film on the making of A Beautiful Form to See, which includes interviews with both Lara Zeidan and Alicia Agneson, in anticipation of the big screen premiere in Cardiff this October.

Berwyn Rowlands, Festival Director, commented:

One of the primary reasons for Iris to exist is to get more people to see LGBT+ stories. I hope that this focus will combine our enthusiasm for October’s film festival in Cardiff with the reality of today, when people have more time on their hands to access content during this period of physical distancing and lockdown.

The mix of films is truly astounding. We have always been proud of the fact that the Iris Prize is a very rare opportunity for filmmakers to do whatever they would like to do. These are the stories they want to bring to the screen, without any interference from a funder or financier.

As we progress during the focus, leading up to the festival in October, we will also have a chance to discuss and contextualise the work by sharing memories of producing these films in Cardiff and the surrounding area.

Colonial Gods, Director / Writer: Dee Rees

The focus starts, appropriately, at the beginning with Dee Rees. It was no surprise for those who remember her award-winning short, Pariah, which won the first Iris Prize in 2007, that Dee Rees was nominated for an Oscar ten years later. Following a meeting with Team Iris at Sundance 2008, Dee returned to Cardiff in October to sit on the Iris Prize International Jury, a tradition that continues to this day, with the winner of the previous Iris Prize taking a seat at the judging table. During her stay in Cardiff, Dee was able to reach out to members of the multicultural community of Cardiff Bay and her story started taking shape. The first Iris Production, Colonial Gods, premiered at the Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival in 2009 and the following year it screened in LA at OUTFEST Fusion and London’s BFI Flare. 

Colonial Gods can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/9rHXE9hAg-c

Colonial Gods is also available to buy on Boys on Film 9 – Youth in Trouble, from Peccadillo Pictures. You can purchase your copy here: peccapics.com/product/boyson-film-9-youth-in-trouble/

Other highlights in the focus include the online premiere in May of Daisy & D, written, directed and edited by Iris Prize winner Arkasha Stevenson. Daisy & D is close to the reality of a night Arkasha witnessed during a photo-journalism assignment.  The film explores the complicated love that can exist between two people in the most ugly of circumstances.  It’s dark and ugly to watch, if it wasn’t there would be something wrong.

The final online premiere in June will be Wild Geese, directed by Susan Jacobson and written by Katie Campbell and Kayleigh Llewellyn. Full of comedy and human vulnerability, this is a story of recovery and the redemptive nature of love. When Amy catches her husband in the act, she falls down a flight of stairs and wakes up with amnesia – believing she is 16 and that the year is 1999.

The main festival sponsors are: The Michael Bishop Foundation, Welsh Government, the BFI awarding funds from the National Lottery, Film4, Ffilm Cymru Wales, Pinewood Studios Group, Cardiff University, BBC Cymru Wales, For Cardiff, Bad Wolf, Gorilla Group, Co-op Respect, University of South Wales, Ministry of Sound and Cineworld.

The festival also works in partnership with BAFTA Cymru, Pride Cymru and Stonewall Cymru.

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Free 90 Day MUBI Offer for Your Audiences

For those of you looking to keep in touch with your audiences through streaming at this challenging time, MUBI are offering you the opportunity to share a 90 day free MUBI subscription with your members or newsletter subscribers.

MUBI have always been a champion of cinemas, for example, through their existing MUBI GO offer which extends the cinema-going experience to all of its members. With many cinemas now temporarily closing their doors, they are offering this partnership as a way of cinemas keeping contact with their audiences.

They can build a bespoke offer landing page with your logo and a customised URL that you can share with your members or newsletter subscribers. This could be a way to stay connected with your audiences and potentially invite them to join in watch-alongs of specific titles, promote donations or friends of schemes and keep independent cinema watching alive during this challenging period.

If you think this offer can add value to your membership, contact MUBI to find out the next steps.

For more information, please contact Irene Musumeci (imusumeci@mubi.com) or Stefana Dragan (sdragan@mubi.com)

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A Message to our Members on Covid-19

This page will continue to be updated with information and relevant links.

To all our colleagues and friends across the Film Hub Wales membership. We hope you’re well and keeping safe and healthy.

We want to share the following information, which you might need during coming weeks/months:

Hub Updates:

  • Our office
    In line with current medical advice, Chapter has had to make the difficult decision to temporarily close. During this time, calls will be diverted to us during office hours, so please call as normal.
  • Hub events
    The rural cinema event on the 28th March was postponed. We will be in touch in relation to any further planned events.
  • 20/21 funds
    We launched the repurposed BFI FAN Resilience fund. Recipients of grants can be found here. The Film Exhibition Fund is currently open with a deadline of September 30th.
  • Existing 19/20 funded projects
    If you have concerns about a current award with us for an ongoing project, please get in touch.
  • Talking to each other
    Members can access the closed Hub Facebook group and Slack group. You will need to fill in an updated membership form (if you haven’t already) in order to access this. If you can’t locate your Slack invitation, just let us know.
  • Reopening
    If you did not fill in our reopening survey, please do let us know when you have a date in mind to reopen. This will help with nationwide return to cinema campaigns.

Government Guidance and Funds:

  • Welsh Government announce cultural recovery fund of £53 million. Check your eligibility to apply here. Applications open from mid September,
  • Welsh Government guidance for the re-opening of cinemas and guidance for multi-purpose community spaces here,
  • Cultural and heritage organisations to be protected with £1.57 billion support package,
  • Welsh Government test, trace, protect guidance,
  • Welsh Government – A traffic light roadmap setting out how Wales could exit the coronavirus lockdown (May 2020) here,
  • Measures for freelancers and the self-employed here,
  • 2020 budget information here,
  • Advice for employers here,
  • Welsh Government have announced a support package for small businesses, which you can read about here with update on 1.1 billion funding available announced here.
  • Monday November 9th, the Welsh Government have announced the Lockdown Business Fund
  • The Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee has written a report on the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the arts sector can be found here. (June 2020)
  • Wednesday January 13th, applications for the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF) – Sector Specific Grant are now open.

BFI:

Partner Funds and Advice:

  • Arts Council for Wales: The cultural recovery fund is open for applications until September 9th 2020.
    Information for those working as artists, freelancers and in publicly funded cultural organisations here.
  • Find all sorts of articles from BFI FAN Members and Hubs on The Bigger Picture,
  • Independent Cinema Office: Drive-in cinemas in post-lockdown UK (May 2020) here,
  • Film Hub NI: Drive-In Cinema – the answer to getting our film fix soon? (May 2020) here,
  • Film and TV Charity
    If you have individuals working with you who are suffering financial loss, or just need someone to talk to, there is a very helpful service from the Film and TV Charity.
  • Cinema For All 
    Covid-19 advice for Community Cinemas can be read here. Results of their volunteer-led cinema focus groups can be read here (June 2020).
  • UKCA
    The UKCA published safeguarding guidelines for the reopening of cinemas and safeguarding guidelines for the re-opening of drive-in cinemas (June, 2020) you can also check for regular updates and UKCA members can access HR advice.
  • Screen Skills 
    Updates and online learning here.
  • CICAE
    Useful advice for cinema operators here.

We will update you as soon as we have any new information and we are on hand to help if we can do anything to support you. Our utmost concern is that you are all well and that we can work together to keep cinemas, festivals and events running in the long term.

The Film Hub Wales team

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Make your independent cinema a destination for Student Art Pass members with tickets for £5 or less!

To raise the profile of the existing youth ticketing schemes at FAN member venues we’ve developed a new partnership with the Art Fund’s Student Art Pass which aims to give independent cinemas in the UK some additional profile.

COLLABORATIVE OPPORTUNITY

If you have a ticket offer of £5 or less for 16-25 year olds (or if your general ticket offer is £5 or less) they’d like to profile your cinema and offer to their student membership. The partnership will run for a year from the 25th February and will continue if successful. All we need to add your cinema to their offer is details about your venue, your ticket prices and a lovely image! Venues will be added on a rolling basis over the year but the more we have on board by the 25th February the better.

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Cardiff Animation Festival announces His Dark Materials, Bob’s Burgers, Moominvalley and more!

Cardiff Animation Festival 2020 will run from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th April at Chapter, an independent arts hub and cinema space in Cardiff. Cardiff Animation Festival passes are on sale now, with a limited number of reduced-price Early Bird passes available at cardiffanimation.com/2020-passes

Cardiff Animation Festival has added further announcements to their April lineup, including masterclasses and Q+As with key talent behind His Dark Materials, Bob’s Burgers, Moominvalley and The Rubbish World of Dave Spud

The four-day celebration of animation for everyone will showcase some of the best animation from all over the world for adults, families and filmmakers.

Audiences will get a chance to step into the many worlds of His Dark Materials, and learn how the show’s many creatures were animated. Produced in Cardiff, the hit television show produced by Bad Wolf and New Line Productions for BBC One and HBO, based on the novels by Philip Pullman and starring Lin Manuel Miranda launched to 7.2 million viewers in November, making it the most-watched new British show on any channel in five years. Brian Fisher and Eliot Gibbins, the show’s heads of Creature Effects, will take Cardiff Animation Festival audiences behind the scenes, showing how traditional puppetry, cutting-edge VFX and a sprinkling of Dust combined to bring daemons and armoured bears to life.

Cardiff Animation Festival’s 2020 theme is “green”, and as part of an exploration into how to make the festival more green, this year’s programme will feature a virtual guest. Welsh animator Simon Chong will join the festival via video link from LA, where he now lives and works as a Director on Fox’s Bob’s Burgers after his fan-made Bob’s Burgers and Archer crossover animation got him noticed by show creator Loren Bouchard and landed him a job on one of the most-loved animated series on television around the world. Simon will give an insight into his unconventional career, and what it’s really like to work on your favourite show.

On Sunday 5th April, festival-goers will be invited to step into the magical Moominvalley, with a rare chance to see episodes of the animated show starring Matt Berry and Rosamund Pike on the big screen. A Q&A with Episode Director Avgousta Zoureldi will give audiences of all ages a chance to learn more about the making of Gutsy Animations’ beautiful TV adaptation of writer-illustrator Tove Jansson’s classic stories about the Moomins.

Ed Foster, creator of Illuminated Films’ hit animated CITV comedy The Rubbish World of Dave Spud, will tell the story of his 16 year journey from student film to directing his own series, and the origins of underdog, unlikely hero and unwitting creator of chaos Dave Spud and his family. With a voice cast featuring Gina Yashere and Johnny Vegas, and animation by Cardiff’s Cloth Cat Animation, the show’s ratings have been far from rubbish since its launch in September.

Following her recent Skwigly article responding to new statistics on inclusion and diversity in the UK’s VFX and animation sectors, animation art director and illustrator Tanya J Scott will chair a discussion on inclusion in the animation industry, with a panel of animation and VFX creatives discussing how we work towards a fairer and more diverse workplace.

Events in partnership with ScreenSkills will give new and emerging talent a chance to network and learn from established professionals across the animation industry. Young audiences will get to meet and learn from animators and sound designers with a schools programme in partnership with Into Film. Cardiff’s long-running Iris Prize LGBT+ Film Festival will bring a selection of some of their favourite Iris Prize-nominated animated shorts to Cardiff Animation Festival.

The festival will screen its selection of 118 animated short films in competition across seven themed programmes for adult audiences and two for children. Themed programmes will focus on mental health, neurodiversity, our relationship with our environment, and will feature animated comedy, documentaries and experimental animation, including many of this year’s Oscar- and BAFTA-nominees. Maryam Mohajer, winner of this year’s Animated Short BAFTA with her film Grandad Was A Romantic, which is also screening in competition, will share insight into her work with a talk hosted in collaboration with Creative Mornings Cardiff on Friday 2nd April.

Rounding off a day of short films, education, careers and industry events on Thursday 2nd April, the festival will celebrate its launch with Cardiff Animation Nights. Run by the CAF team since 2014, Cardiff Animation Nights brings some of the best animated short films from around the world to Kongs in Cardiff City Centre for free every two months. This month’s Cardiff Animation Nights event saw record audience numbers, with 230 people coming together to enjoy independent animated short films.

Cardiff Animation Festival 2020 is funded by Ffilm Cymru Wales and Film Hub Wales, as part of the BFI Film Audience Network (FAN) and sponsored by Cloth Cat Animation, Picl Animation, the University of South Wales, Cardiff Metropolitan University and by the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Fund with contributions from UK animation productions.

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