Film industry training opportunities now open

Flatpack Film Festival vlogging workshop

Think you have what it takes to become the next vlogging star, or know a young person who does? Spaces are available at the Vlogging Workshop at Flatpack Film Festival in Birmingham on 8 & 9 April, and there are 3 places available for young people (16 – 24) from the South East. Find out how to apply.

You can watch a short video of feedback from the young participants from last year:

Inside Pictures 2017: Open for applications until 12 March

Film industry business training and leadership skills development programme, Inside Pictures, takes place between June 2017 and January 2018. Scholarships and bursaries are available. Apply now.

shortFLIX is a new initiative led by Creative England and National Youth Theatre for undiscovered filmmakers aged 18-25 who are not currently in full-time education, employment or training. Applications are open on the shortFLIX website until 8 March.

Modern Tales is a professional development initiative for emerging BAME, female and disabled filmmakers, and supports writers, directors and producers. Apply by 9 March 2017.

Data Driven Marketing – top tips for your cinema

Blog post by Annie Mannion

Annie Mannion headshot

Annie Mannion, Film Hub South East Co-ordinator

I’m privileged to be attending the Independent Cinema Office‘s Data Driven Marketing course in Leeds this week. I thought I’d use the opportunity to share some of the key lightbulb moments I’ve experienced while here, so far. In no particular order:

Young people: sadly, being in my mid-30s, I’m no longer defined as a young person (sob). But, when trying to find out how to attract and engage younger audiences to screenings, what I’d failed to realise until now was the wealth of people already available for me to ask. My friend’s daughter? The students eating their lunch on the bench outside my office? They’re right there. You probably have the same kinds of contacts at your disposal: GO ASK THEM. Chances are they’ll be able to tell you some really useful information about how to reach younger people at your venue.

Your ticket booking system: You can make quick wins by asking brief questions of those who are using your online booking system, without it seeming like you’re hassling them. Such as ‘How did you find out about this event?’ can tell you so much about the effectiveness and impact of your existing marketing efforts, and where you could focus your time and money in the future.

Find your receptive audiences for free: Log on to the Audience Finder website (it’s very quick and easy) and head to the Mapping section. Pop in your postcode and navigate the dropdown menus to identify the different audience segments in your town.  This screenshot identifies the top types of audiences for arthouse film – Metroculturals (just 5% of UK households) come first:

Arthouse film photo

What sort of people go to arthouse film?

Increase bums on seats: According to data from comScore (formerly Rentrak), 77% of UK adults say they DO visit the cinema. So, the audience is still there to engage.  They haven’t given up entirely. Your challenge is to make them go more often.

Simple ways to do this? Incentivise your audiences through membership deals, refreshments offers, say thank you for their custom, remind them of the ‘Last chance to see’ a film during the week it’s on, and send them a money-off voucher for their birthday (if you collect their birth-month information via your ticket booking system – and if not, build this in, for a marketing quick win).

A bit of useful information about the average cinema ticket booker:

  • books 6.4 days in advance of attending,
  • books 1.8 times per year,
  • spends £6.76 on each ticket, and
  • purchases 2.3 tickets per visit.

Dancing in the aisles at the Musical Matinee Club

“If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t leave the house.”

This was one of the compliments paid to Suzy Harvey, host of the Musical Matinee Club screenings series at the De La Warr Pavilion, by one of its regular visitors.

Dancing at the De La Warr Pavilion

A dance interval at the De La Warr Pavilion

Such is the value and escapism that the season at the Bexhill-On-Sea venue provides to so many who attend, including those with dementia, learning disabilities and their carers.

Image of Suzy Harvey doing team briefing

Suzy Harvey briefs the team before the screening

It’s easy to see why the regulars react so warmly to Suzy (pictured, sporting fake beard!). With many years’ experience of working with people living with dementia and care providers, and as a Giggle Doctor on a children’s ward, her energy and enthusiasm for the screenings rings out. She uses her skills to engage the audience with this particular set of  enhanced relaxed* film screenings,  encouraging reminiscence and laughter through the use of props and interaction.

Produced in partnership with Bexhill Dementia Action Alliance, and part-sponsored by Film Hub South East, the season features specially selected films that always include great songs, fun props and prompts to bring the action on screen to life in the auditorium.

Goody bags for all

My visit earlier this month was to see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, (and coming next is Mamma Mia, and High Society).

Props list for film

Contents of the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers props bag

Each audience member receives a goody bag of props connected with the film to use during the screening. For this film it contained a fake beard, to use to illustrate the brothers’ facial hair, plus other items to encourage interaction during the film – including coffee cups to bang together to mark when horses were galloping on the screen, and cotton wool balls to throw at each other as an impromptu “snowball fight” in the auditorium, to mimic the action onscreen.

During the interval, the audience is encouraged to stand up and dance to some music for a few minutes, something which many seemed to really relish.

Feedback from the events, both informally and from the audience surveys, is glowing. It’s easy to see why. I spoke to both Suzy Harvey and Ashley McCormick, Head of Learning and Participation at the De La Warr, about their experience of putting on the series of events, and they admit that the work involved in preparing the events is rigorous, but they both agreed it was well worth it.

A gift for your ears

You can hear more about how Suzy and Ashley and their colleagues put the Musical Matinee Club season together, including practical information about costings, marketing, briefing and training volunteers, and working in partnership with local organisations, on our forthcoming Film Hub South East podcast, Film Hubbub. Watch this space!

* Relaxed screenings are specifically designed to welcome people who may benefit from a more informal environment, including with those living with dementia and disabilities. Auditorium lights will be partially up throughout, there’s a relaxed attitude to noise, audience members are free to move around and come and go whenever they like. There is a quiet area in the Auditorium Foyer for anyone who needs a break during the screening.  Staff and volunteers have attended “Dementia Friends” awareness sessions, and will sensitively and respectfully welcome people living with dementia and their carers.

How Gregory’s Girl taught kids about science

Cinelive and BFI Education, with support from Wellcome Trust, joined forces to deliver a project exploring the science of human attraction, all inspired by the cult British classic, Gregory’s Girl.

What’s the Grey Matter with Gregory? incorporated the much-loved 1980s film Gregory’s Girl into screenings and workshops at nine locations across the UK, from Inverness to Canterbury.

Film Hub Scotland, Film Hub Wales and Film Hub South East helped to contact and engage school groups to attend, and the workshops combined the expertise of directors, science researchers, producers, venue managers, teachers, arts professionals, and educators.

“The lesson learnt by the pupils in terms of human behaviour and relationships will hopefully be reflected on by pupils and staff throughout their lives.” – Teacher, Swansea

See more about the project in the short video below, and if you’d like to develop a similar film-based initiative, do get in contact with us to discuss your idea.

What BFI2022 means for you

The British Film Institute (BFI) has announced its new five-year strategy, which responds to the comments of the national consultation carried out earlier this year.

BFI2022 will operate between 2017-2022 and is based on three key priorities:

  • Talent – Developing more creative filmmaking across different platforms, and financing emerging talent from outside of London.
  • Learning – A 10-year skills strategy with Creative Skillset, a manifesto for film in the classroom and a commitment to diversity.
  • Audiences – Grow engagement for young audiences, digitise archive British TV content, and launch a public searchable database of British film.
Amanda Nevill

Amanda Nevill, BFI’s CEO launches the strategy at This Way Up conference

How does BFI2022 affect Film Hubs?

  • The different Film Hubs around around the country will each take a lead role in targeting particular audiences, or running particular strands.
  • Talent executives will be posted to various locations in England to help filmmakers develop ideas and assist with distribution support.
  • A simple, more accessible Audience Fund, able to support distributors, exhibitors, festivals, multi-year projects and strategic partners has been created.
  • Greater devolution of decision-making and funding.

We’ll update you on the finer details of these changes and what it means for Film Hub South East members when more information is available.

Improvements in diversity representation

The BFI’s CEO Amanda Nevill attended This Way Up conference in Glasgow on 30 November to present the strategy. In a summary of Nevill’s talk on The Bigger Picture website, Tara Judah noted: “Perhaps the most significant thing of all is that everyone – across the entire country – cited diversity as the biggest problem in the survey and, looking around the room, this is visibly evident. And so, what I think we can look forward to most is positive change in visible diversity onscreen, in the classroom, in cinemas and next year.”

Get in touch with questions

Thank you from all of us at Film Hub South East for your energy and engagement with all your projects we’ve been involved with so far.  We’re looking forward to continuing working with you over the coming year.

If you have any questions about the strategy, please email us.

You can read the full BFI2022 strategy on the BFI website.

Photograph of Amanda Nevill by Eoin Carey.

Welcome Beth Wilson

Meet our new Film Hub South East Administrator, Beth Wilson

Image of Beth Wilson

Beth Wilson is our new Hub administrator

I’m delighted to have joined the Film Hub South East team. As a British/Australian/New Zealander I love Andrea Arnold, Cate Shortland and Jane Campion equally.

I’ve been living in Sydney, Australia, for the past nine years and have been embedded in the Arts scene over there working for The Sydney Film Festival, The Sydney Theatre Company and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. I’ve always had a love of film, but my passion for engaging audiences in non-mainstream cinema grew out of volunteering and working at film festivals and a period as a film reviewer.

Now I’m back in the UK, and when I’m not working you’ll often find me in a cinema, watching the most depressing film available. But if I’m not there, I might be taking a nice countryside walk or investigating where to find the best Japanese food in Brighton.

I’m looking forward to finding out more about your organisations, societies and clubs and the great projects you are working on. Feel free to get in touch.

Meet our new Film Hub South East Co-ordinator: Annie Mannion

Annie Mannion headshot

Annie Mannion, Film Hub South East Co-ordinator

Hi! I’m really excited to be joining the Film Hub South East team to look after its digital channels, communicate with cinemas across the region, and help run events. My background is in journalism and since 2000 I’ve edited a broad range of both print and web titles, including a stint working in Chicago.

I come to this role directly from Macmillan Cancer Support charity, where I’ve worked in the Digital team for the past seven years. Most recently, I’ve also been working part time as marketing manager and events organiser for the Electric Palace – a boutique, 50-seater cinema in Hastings. Its annual Summer Music Season, hosted by David Quantick, is one of my ‘babies’, and I was also very proud to persuade the brilliant US musician and acclaimed author, Willy Vlautin, to join us for a guest appearance alongside the screen adaptation of his novel, The Motel Life.

Outside of work, my happy places are either in an old man’s pub nursing an ale and a cryptic crossword, or at the swimming pool – perhaps that’s one of the reasons The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is probably my all-time favourite film (though it’s a tough choice between that and Almost Famous, or A Mighty Wind…).

I look forward to meeting you all.

Feel free to email me about Film Hub South East.

This Way Up Conference

Film Hub South East member Carmen, who is spearheading the Depot Cinema in Lewis, went to This Way Up in Manchester in December 2015 with a Travel and Training Bursary. Here are her thoughts on the event…

THIS WAY UP conference
2-3 December 2015
HOME cinema Manchester


“THIS WAY UP is an excellent 2-day conference organised by Film Hub North and Film Hub Scotland aimed at all working in the film exhibition sector. Calling itself the ‘film exhibition innovation conference’, this year promised to enlighten, provoke and challenge, connect and share.
The idea originated from the need for the sector to explore how it can remain interesting to an audience that is continually confronted with better equipment (UHD TVs!) and films made by colonisers Amazon and Netflix. The hubs have managed to create a space where decision makers and programmers can brainstorm about new models and opportunities as well as discuss the changing environment. This environment started its dramatic change of course some years back when it opened it’s doors to live theatre and opera etc but equally film has found different platforms via pop-up screenings in all sorts of places, from museums to the outdoors.


Anna Higgs, Executive Producer of successful films like Ben Wheatley’s High Rise, gave the first keynote speech and was pleading for a more lenient approach to theatrical windows. She underpinned by demonstrating the financial success of A Field in England that was distributed at the same on every platform and was still a box office hit. The attitude being that rather than fighting the audience wishes, to try and work with it.

I attended a panel discussion about gender equality in film – this time not addressing the lack of female filmmakers but the representation of women on film. The main topic of conversation was the Bechdel test* and whether it should become a standardised classification for films. The drawbacks of the test were highlighted, the main ones being that a positive rating does not tell you anything about the quality of the film nor that it is feminist or even that it conveys an understanding about women. Furthermore there are films were women play the lead role but because of the test’s reductive premise, don’t pass the test (Madame Bovary, Ex Machina). Equally there are examples where women play a minor role but still passes passes the test because of some ‘normal’ interaction with another woman (Steve Jobs).

So whether the Bechdel test is the answer is still very much up for discussion but it is important to have that discussion and I will certainly raise this when the Depot is up and running.

* This is first mentioned in a comic strip by US writer Alison Bechdel in which she asks whether a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. I learned about an interesting spin-off of this concept where a similar test asks the following question about a film: ‘are non-white people talking to each other about anything else but crime?’. Food for thought.”

BFI LOVE screenings in decadent setting in Royal Pavilion

CINECITY and Brighton Royal Pavilion present four days of films for the LOVE season from the BFI.

Music Room
Brighton’s Royal Pavilion was conceived as a ‘pleasure palace’ for the Prince Regent and thus makes a sumptuous and fitting backdrop for a season of films about love. This four-day pop-up event in the Music Room screens titles chosen to reflect the location. 26-29 November, 2015.

The Programme:
Tickets includes a glass of white wine on arrival served in the Banqueting Room. Screenings start 30 minutes after published event times.

Thurs 26 Nov, 6pm
Dir: Alfred Hitchcock. With: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes. US 1958. 123 mins.

Fri 27 Nov, 6pm
Dir: David Lean. With: Julie Christie, Omar Sharif, Tom Courtenay, Alec Guinness. US-UK 1965. 200 mins.

Sat 28 Nov, 6pm
Dir: Stephen Frears. With: Daniel Day-Lewis, Gordon Warnecke, Saeed Jaffrey, Roshan Seth, Shirley Anne Field. UK 1985. 93 mins.

Sat 28 Nov, 8.15pm
Dir. Sally Potter. With: Tilda Swinton, Billy Zane, John Wood. UK 1993. 93 mins.

Sun 29 Nov, 6pm
Dir: Max Ophüls. With: Joan Fontaine, Louis Jourdan, Mady Christians, Art Smith. USA 1948. 87 mins.

Sun 29 Nov, 8.15pm
Dir: David Lean. With: Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard. UK 1945. 83 mins

Tickets are available to purchase through the Brighton Pavilion website
£19 Full price
£14.95 Members
£12 Concessions
There are also a limited number of free tickets available for CINECITY Festival pass holders.

Oska Bright Film Festival: 9th – 11th November

Idiotas - man and dog

Not long to go until the Oska Bright Film Festival (9th – 11th November) takes over the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange for three days of screenings. Expect comedy, horror, animations, music videos and a whole lot more at the most out there film festival on the planet!

The festival ends with an awards ceremony where award-givers include the BFI, Adult Swim, Warner Brothers and Andrea Arnold.

Oska Bright is the original international festival of films made by people with learning disabilities. It is produced, managed and presented by a learning disabled team.

Festival Passes (£15), Day Tickets (£4) and Group Tickets (£30 for up to 10 people) available.

mock up 9 preview