Top five benefits of ICO Screening Days

The Independent Cinema Office regularly holds screening days for exhibitors across the UK. Over the course of three days, up to 25 upcoming independent features are screened for programmers alongside workshops and networking sessions. Film Hub Wales members are eligible for bursaries to attend.

We asked some bursary recipients what the benefits of attending ICO Screening Days are:

Emyr Glyn Williams is the cinema co-ordinator at Pontio in Bangor. He says that viewing the films ahead of release gives you confidence in booking them:

“Prior knowledge of the quality of the films is essential,” says Emyr. “It creates confidence in the cinema programme. I literally cannot wait to share some of these titles with our audience.”

Visiting ICO Screening Days is a great opportunity to speak with other venues from across the UK. Rhowan Alleyne from Wales One World Film Festival attended for this very reason:

“I hoped the opportunity to network with exhibitors and industry professionals would forge working relationships with new partners,” says Rhowan. “As a result of discussing the film ‘Difret’ with other delegates, I have great confidence in marketing the film to WOW Film Festival’s audiences.”

As well as screening upcoming releases, ICO offers training workshops for exhibitors. Annie Grundy from Magic Lantern in Tywyn attended one such workshop on improving accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing audiences:

“The best part of the weekend was the session I went to on making your cinema more welcoming to deaf and hard of hearing people,” says Annie. “I learned about the difference in access needs for deaf BSL users and hard of hearing communities. I came away inspired to try a few things out at the Magic Lantern.”

Angie Dickinson from Pontardawe Film Club says attending ICO Screening Days also encourages your own professional development.

“The event is a great opportunity to increase critical analysis skills,” says Angie. “You spend the entire weekend either watching or talking about film.”

Seeing films ahead of release can inform not just bookings, but marketing and education activities around screenings. Matt Beere is the Learning and Participation Manager at Chapter, Cardiff, and he used the ICO Screening Days to help develop a Lifelong Learning project commissioned by Film Hub Wales.

“Over the course of a day and a half I was able to see 4 films which would work very well for the initiatives I am looking to develop,” says Matt. “I will be using my knowledge of these films to develop workshops and engagement activities that can be rolled out to other venues. I will also develop an online training toolkit to empower and train smaller venues to create their own activities.”

Apply for a Bursary

Visit our bursaries page for more information. If you’re not yet a member, you can become a member here.