Film Hub staff swim the Serpentine for MediCinema

Still from the film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Film Hub staff gracefully accept Bill Murray onto Team SwimFAN


A collection of colleagues from across the BFI Film Audience Network are busy donning their wetsuits and swimming caps, in training for this year’s Swim Serpentine event in London’s Hyde Park.

On Saturday 16 September, five members of staff from various Film Hubs around the UK have joined forces to help raise funds for a charity close to their hearts, MediCinema. It runs permanent cinemas in hospitals to help patients and their carers escape the isolation of their wards and illness, and enjoy a few hours of normality.

Why we’re taking on the challenge

Image of Lis Spencer

Lis is feeling brave

“Cinema gives us a sense of wonder and an opportunity to escape our normal lives, which is especially important when your normal life is spent in a hospital bed. I hope we can raise as much money as possible to enable MediCinema bring the wonder of film to loads more people. Just got to get to brave the cold water now!”
– Lis Spencer, Strategic Development Manager, Film Hub South East.

“I completed Swim Serpentine last year, raising more than £500 for MediCinema. I hope our collective Team SwimFAN efforts this year can push us over the £2000 mark. Research has shown that the distraction of watching a film in a dedicated cinema setting can significantly reduce people’s perception of pain, so we want to help MediCinema expand its cinemas into more hospitals across the country to reach more people, and provide them with memorable cinema experiences.”

Annie Mannion swimhat

Annie at last year’s event

– Annie Mannion, Coordinator, Film Hub South East.

Film Hub staff in Team SwimFAN:

  • Paul Bowman, Film London
  • Annabel Grundy, Film Hub North
  • Tiffany Holmes, Film Hub South West / West Midlands
  • Annie Mannion, Film Hub South East
  • Lis Spencer, Film Hub South East

Please sponsor us!

See what Team SwimFAN will take on:


“MediCinema enables patients and their families to feel better with film. We do this by building, installing and running cinemas in hospitals and other healthcare facilities throughout the UK. These cinemas are custom-built using the latest technology so they look and feel just like a mainstream cinema. The only difference is they’re specially designed for a healthcare setting so whether a patient is in a wheelchair, attached to a drip or even unable to leave their bed, there is a place for them.”

– Statement from MediCinema

MediCinema’s star supporters

Celebrities who support MediCinema charity include Kate Winslet, Ewan McGregor, Thandie Newton, Damien Lewis, Mike Leigh OBE, Daniel Day-Lewis, Nick Frost and many more stars of the screen, including Kevin Spacey:

“As a Patron of MediCinema, I know how important it is for patients in hospital to be able to change the way they look at their world – and what better way to do this, than through the magic of film.”

For further information and images, please email:
Annie Mannion, Coordinator, Film Hub South East