Dementia Awareness

“My husband’s dementia has excluded us from many activities with the general public but with dementia screening we feel safe enough to enjoy going to the cinema again. It has been liberating for us both as we cope with this isolating illness.” – Linda

In 2016, we started working to raise awareness of dementia in partnership with film exhibitors. Film Hubs across the UK offered training and support for projects of all sizes for audiences living with dementia, along with their families, friends and carers.

FHW initially developed a pilot project with Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, Pontio in Bangor and Clwyd Theatr Cymru in Mold, designed to offer regular screenings for audiences living with dementia.

The scheme expanded to Opening Doors diversity training days in February 2016. Over two days we offered a number of sessions designed to reach diverse audiences, one of which was the Alzheimer’s Societies’ Dementia Friend’s session.

The project gather more venues and culminated in a celebration of World Alzheimer’s Day, where venues across the country developed programmes and we welcomed Toki to FAN as the new Access Officer.

If you would like your venue to become more dementia friendly, take a look at our Dementia Awareness Stage One Tool Kit or our Dementia Friendly Screenings Guide (in partnership with the UKCA and Alzheimer’s Society) for handy advice to get you started.

The three venue pilot project aimed to develop a sustainable model of enjoyable and inclusive events that encouraged people with dementia, their carers and wider film audiences to come together to explore their love of film.

Together, we worked to identify existing audience members who would benefit from dementia friendly events and establish and develop relationships between audiences, venues and the wider supportive communities. Looking at existing projects across the UK, we aimed to pool existing toolkits and resources available to venues, helping them to become ‘dementia friendly’.

This 12 month film season (working in partnership with relevant specialist organisations) tested and refined approaches to: staff training; adjustments to the wider venue and auditorium environment where possible; types of film; most appropriate screening time; and how to communicate with audiences within the venue and in marketing materials.

This included an action research approach, which used feedback from audiences, venue and staff from the partner organisations to evaluate each event. This on-going evaluation will be used to refine and develop future events and passed on as advice to venues wishing to create their own programmes.

This project challenged social exclusion, bringing diverse audiences together to enjoy film. It provided opportunities for awareness raising for partner organisations. It includes a longer-term plan to develop a flexible scalable sustainable model, to create a network of venues and relevant support agencies, in wales and more widely across the UK.


The ICO invited Johnathan Llot, Film Programme Manager at The Dukes, to tell them how cinema can help people with dementia live a life more ordinary


World Alzheimer’s Month screenings in 2017 took place alongside the wider Film Hub Wales Dementia Awareness Project. All activities are delivered as part of the BFI’s FAN Inclusive Cinema Strategy.

In September 2017 and beyond, cinemas across the country, working with BFI FAN, led by Film Hub Wales, supported World Alzheimer’s Month 2017 with a series of dementia friendly screenings. Take a look at our infographic below to find out what we got up to. Double click to enlarge.


Participating Venues

39 venues across the country took part in World Alzheimer’s Month with 46 screenings of films ranging from classics like ‘Jailhouse Rock’ to new releases like ‘Victoria and Abdul’. Find all the venues on our Twitter List here!

“We had a hugely successful dementia friendly film screening during World Alzheimer’s Month. The audience loved the film, Meet Me In St Louis, and joined in really enthusiastically with the interval sing-along led by Welsh National Opera and supported by Canu Conwy, the staff choir of Conwy County Borough Council. Huge thanks to Film Hub Wales for helping us with funding for this screening and the forthcoming ones in 2017.” – Joann Rae, Theatr Colwyn.

Welsh participating venues for World Alzheimer’s Month and a wider programme of Dementia Friendly screenings and events included:


Image: Ivor James, at the Dementia Friendly screening of ‘Viva Las Vegas’, Memo Arts Centre, Barry. © Jon Pountney



We created a press release to promote the activities, and generated over 17 items of press and broadcast coverage.

Here are some highlights:

Welsh cinemas screen dementia-friendly films to help people reconnect with memories –


Image: A Dementia Friendly screening of ‘The Sound of Music’, Chapter Arts Centre.






On September 22, 2017 Chapter Arts Centre Cardiff organised a day of film, information sessions, awareness raising and more to celebrate World Alzheimer’s Month, which included a dementia-friendly screening of ‘The Sound Of Music’, with a warm-up by Goldies choir and an interval of tea and biscuits. Cecilia McAleavey, 61, from Radyr, attended with her mother and wrote a blog for us about why dementia-friendly screenings are so important. Click here to read.

Screening Guide

Image: A Dementia Friendly screening at Theatr Colwyn.






Our Dementia Friendly Screenings Guide launched on Wednesday October 18, 2017, at Hackney Picturehouse.


Find out more...

For further information on Dementia Awareness or the BFI FAN Inclusive Cinema Strategy click here