2020/21 Film Exhibition Fund

The Magic Lantern © Mathieu Gasquet

We’ve invested £52,000 to help 15 Welsh independent cinemas and film festivals as they plan for reopening post Covid-19. Read all about them below.

The Film Exhibition Fund is made possible thanks to National Lottery funding, repurposed by the British Film Institute (BFI) via the Film Audience Network (FAN).

Project: The Sofa Cinema at TAPE

Organisation: TAPE (Old Colwyn)

Working closely with their partner organisations, TAPE will bring back weekly cinema screenings in support of their community. With a focus on social isolation, mental health and wellbeing, TAPE offers a variety of engagement and supportive programmes to help people stay connected.

There will be all sorts on offer, from new Welsh releases, to youth led events and a screening of Sanctuary in partnership with a new local dating agency for people with learning disabilities. TAPE is also home to the Coastline Film Festival, BFI Film Academy, large scale outdoor cinema events and the inaugural inclusion film festival. 

Project: Sinema'r Byd

Organisation: CellB (Blaenau Ffestiniog)

Gwallgofiaid Cellb will re-connect audiences in Blaenau Ffestiniog to the wider world, post Covid-19, by exploring culture and climate change on screen. They aim to create a safe space where the community can travel the world through film, at affordable prices.

They will start local with the history of Wales and take audiences to Patagonia, Latin America and beyond, where they will discover hidden languages and cultures. As a youth led enterprise, they work to expand access to the arts for young people in Blaenau but also support their elderly audiences through regular accessible screenings, forums and gift packs to keep them connected during isolation.

Project: Cinema Starts Again

Organisation: Dragon Theatre (Barmouth)

A safe steady approach to audiences’ return to the Dragon Theatre, Barmouth, through diverse, non-mainstream content. Using Filmbank’s booking deal to show eight films from January to March, they will offer 12 seats per screening with ‘bubbles’ in their stalls and balcony.

Films for older audiences, with smaller bubbles will be introduced, enabling both regular and new audiences to enjoy the cinema experience in Snowdonia again.

Project: Ymgysylltu, ymestyn, paratoi ac ail-agor (sinema)

Organisation: Galeri and Galeri Youth Project (Caernarfon)

Galeri’s reopening cinema programme will continue to develop accessibility, with a variety of relaxed screenings, LGBT+ youth led programming, the PICS film festival for young audiences, BSL supported marketing campaigns and the aim to become Makaton friendly by 2021. 

Galeri will also take part in a year-long pilot led by Film London called the Young Audiences (YA) Generation Scheme, a UK wide independent film ticketing scheme for young audiences aged 16-25.

Project: Re-opening of Neuadd Ogwen Film Programme

Organisation: Neuadd Ogwen (Bethesda)

Neuadd Ogwen, Bethesda, will be offering socially distanced film screenings, cabaret style, with table service for pre-arranged groups upon reopening. They will offer a safe, relaxed environment for extended households to reconnect and enjoy films together.

As Bethesda reaches its 200th birthday, audiences can expect some celebrations via home grown films from Wales as well as a range of family friendly, environmental and adventure themes.

Project: Out of the Black

Organisation: Canolfan Ucheldre Centre (Holyhead)

Canolfan Ucheldre will give their audiences a series of exciting, diverse and inspirational films screenings including the 6th SeeMôr Film Festival. 

The community will be able experience a range of different cultures and perspectives on screen, curated by a local programmer from a minoritised background, with lived experience. 

Project: Screening and Sharing - Wales and the World

Organisation: Wicked Wales Film / P&M Community Group (Rhyl)

Wicked Wales moved their youth led festival online in October 2020. A programme of short international films made by young people and the latest British and independent films to audience in Rhyl and beyond.

Schools and youth groups will have a menu of activities to choose from, including Into Film workshops and Welsh feature films. They are seeking out the young film makers in Wales through learning institutions, training organisations, industry and national partners to bring together a collection of films for a Wales only competition which will form part of a ‘Emerging Film from Wales’ day in March 2021.

Project: Big Screen Bub-L

Organisation: Memo Arts Centre (Barry)

Memo Arts Centre (MAC) in Barry, will create affordable ‘big screen Bub-L’ activities upon reopening. Visitors will experience the big screen in socially distanced bubbles, which have been created with accessibility and creative wellbeing in mind. Digital and craft activities will be available online and to take away, along with grown-up or family focused treat bags served to cabaret style tabled seats.

Project: Reconnecting with audiences through Welsh Film

Organisation: Savoy Theatre Monmouth

Occupying the oldest known theatre site in Wales, the historic Savoy Monmouth, aims to reopen for select cinema events from late October. They are working hard to reconnect with audience members during the pandemic and will present a selection of films with Welsh connections, for young and older audiences alike, including the BFI-backed films Saint Maud and Eternal Beauty.

Project: Reboot of Cinema Film Exhibition

Organisation: Commodore (Aberystwyth)

The Commodore in Aberystwyth is a family run cinema in a university town, offering many young people their first cinema experience.  They will bring a programme of mainstream, British and international film back to local audiences post Covid-19 to support local, rural, communities including young people from primary to student age.

Project: Re-lighting the Magic Lantern

Organisation: Magic Lantern (Tywyn)

The team will ‘Re-Light the Magic Lantern,’ presenting an exciting and diverse reopening programme of film from mid-October through to end of March, offering audiences an opportunity to discover life on the other side of the world, whilst also reflecting local people’s lives, loves and situations.

At least 50 Independent, British or World cinema screenings alongside a mainstream programme, will reflect and respect the diversity and desires of their audience. Having made adjustments to the space, they hope to offer accessible, greener, affordable events.

Project: Re-engaging with audiences through movies and memories

Organisation: Torch Theatre (Milford Haven)

The Torch hope to reignite passion for film and re-engage their diverse audiences, both old and new, encouraging a return to the cinema after being closed for over 7 months. Using digital and traditional marketing and their community networks, they aim to support and inspire underrepresented and vulnerable audiences whilst developing the next generation of cinema goers.

Audiences can expect a movies and memories strand, the Into Film Festival alongside their young ambassador’s programme and an eclectic mix of specialist themed seasons.

Project: New Beginnings at Theatr Gwaun

Organisation: Theatr Gwaun (Fishguard)

Theatr Gwaun plan to reopen as a cinema from mid-November, offering a refreshed film programme of 6 socially distanced screenings per week.

Reflecting on the diversity of their film programme, Gwaun will offer supported screenings of new releases and screen favourites, for those with barriers from travel, to cost, and wider social issues. Audiences can expect event nights, audience reviews and a chance to get involved in online forums.

Project: Best of WOW

Organisation: WOW Film Festival

WOW will open their twentieth anniversary festival on International Women’s Day with an online WOW Film Club screening and panel discussion led by Dr Nilu Ahmed. Their live festival of 10 – 12 films in Aberystwyth at and Kinokulture plus online events, will aim to reconnect with their loyal audiences and offer a ‘Pay What You Feel’ online programme of UK premieres and events to audiences anywhere in Wales and UK-wide.

They will run a ‘Best of WOW’ strand that can be voted on by the audience prior to the festival, allowing them the chance to directly influence the film programme. They will work with diverse and seldom seen audiences, such as refugees and asylum seekers, to co-create the events and run discussions alongside the films.

Find out more...

To find out more about how our Audience Development support works,
or to make an application, visit our support page.