Download your Quick Marketing Guidelines

Victoria here at Cobb PR!

Victoria ArcherCobb has recently been working with Film Hub South East on a few initiatives to help build cinema audiences in the South East.

As part of our work together, we’ve created some tailored Basic Marketing Guidelines [PDF],  specifically aimed you, the lovely members of Film Hub South East.

Included in the download are some handy tips for engaging with the right audiences, making your email newsletters stand out from the crowd and some hints on making your social media work harder for you. We also look at building relationships with journalists, tackling the media landscape and audience demographics.

The document is split into three sections:

  • PR
  • Social Media
  • Email Marketing

We hope you’ll find it useful but if you’ve got any questions then you can get in touch with me on 01273 208913. Please let us know what you think.

Watch upcoming film releases online

Film Hub Wales is offering all BFI Film Audience Network members, which includes Film Hub South East members, an opportunity to watch upcoming features and short films online.

Prevenge film still

Alice Lowe in Prevenge, available online now

To watch the films, all you have to do is sign-up to the Film Hub Wales website and follow the registration walk-through [PDF].

Once registered, you can watch a number of Welsh features, and see BFI FAN New Releases and shorts packages in full. You can also easily contact distributors to book them for your venue/organisation.

See films including:

  • Prevenge
  • Don’t Knock Twice
  • Love Is Thicker Than Water
  • A Dark Song
  • Moon Dogs
  • Mustang
  • Sonita
  • The Pearl Button
  • Best of Iris Prize
  • BFI Net.Work Shorts

We hope you enjoy the films and book them for your audiences, if you haven’t already!

(NB – All registrations are verified/approved by Film Hub Wales.)

Boost your programme with some free short films

DepicT film competition poster

Screening a short film alongside a main feature is an appealing added extra that could make all the difference between someone choosing your screening or heading to a rival cinema.

Watershed, Bristol, invites you to take advantage of the option to screen ‘DepicT! 2016’ – free of charge shorts available on DCP (or DVD). DepicT! is Watershed’s international short film competition as part of Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival (19 – 24 Sept 2017), challenging filmmakers from all over the globe to create tiny shorts of 90 secs or less.

The shorts in the DepicT! 2016 bundle are now BBFC certificated; screen them either in front of a feature film run or as you see fit. Watershed just asks that you report back with how many people attend, and let audiences know that the 2017 DepicT! call for entries is now officially open on  (entry deadline 3rd July).

  • LIVING U Dir: Ben Mankin | UK | 2016 1min 44 seconds Winner of The RPS Cinematography Award | WATCH the film
    In a run-down doctor’s waiting room… What lies beneath?
  • IMPACTS U Dir: Petra Balekic | Croatia | 2016 | 1 min 44 seconds Winner of Main DepicT! Award & Random Acts Special Mention |  WATCH the film
    What happens norms are broken by individuals?
  • PIG DREAM 15 Dir: Lee Charlish | UK | 2016 | 1 min 45 seconds DepicT! British Special Mention | WATCH the film
    Monsters don’t live under your bed; they live inside your head.
  • RUN BOY PG Dir: Meg Bagadion | Philippines | 2016 | 1 min 44 seconds  Winner of The DepicT! Audience Award | WATCH the film
    A missing toy throws a boy into a tantrum that changes his life.

How to book the free short films

To book the films, fill in this (very) short online form. For those of you that organise short film nights, note that the full 2016 shortlist and Best of DepicT! is available for bookings on DVD.

Dig into the archive and contact Clare Leczycki at Watershed if you’d like a specific selection of short films to screen.

Our top picks from Berlinale 2017

Look, there we are – red carpet at last!

Film Hub South East gang at Berlin Film Festival

Fighting off the paparazzi (From L-R: Beth Wilson, Annie Mannion, Malisa Sledmere, Lis Spencer, Rebecca Marshall, Emily Kyriakides)

We met up with some Film Hub South East member venues at #Berlinale2017. Together we’ve collated our tips for navigating your way around a major film festival, plus suggestions for forthcoming films you might want to programme at your cinema.

Beth Wilson, Film Hub South East: My top three films

  1. God’s Own Country (UK, Francis Lee)
    Beautiful, visceral and ultimately heart-warming; what more could you ask for from a rural romance?
  2. Vazante (Brazil, Daniela Thomas)
    This black and white, period piece set on a struggling diamond mine in 1820s Brazil is breathtaking to look at and watch. While the explicit acts of violence are largely off-screen, a terrible sense of unease accompanies this tragic tale from Brazil’s colonial past. Check out this review from BFI.

    On Body and Soul film

    On Body and Soul’s main characters

  3. On Body and Soul (Hungary, Ildikó Enyedi)
    This quirky love story set in an abattoir, proved to be a festival favourite amongst the jury and audiences alike. The unconventional leads are so appealing and although I was sure as to how the film was going to end, the journey along the way was joyfully unpredictable.

Other titles to look out for: Félicité , Requiem for Mrs J, Werewolf and Spoor

Roger Gibson, Chichester New Park Cinema: My top three films

  1. Spoor (Polish/Czech A.Holland)
  2. The Other Side of Hope (Finland/Kaurismaki -35mm!)
  3. The Party (UK/Sally Potter)

Emily Kyriakides, Lighthouse (and member of FHSE Management Board):

A major highlight was watching God’s Own Country by Francis Lee, which I loved! Having followed his shorts over a number of years, it was wonderful to see this very accomplished debut feature on the big screen, beautifully telling a powerful, but tender gay love-story set in a tough, no-nonsense farming community in Yorkshire. Highly recommended viewing when it is released by Picturehouse!

See a clip from God’s Own Country:

God’s Own Country also features some archive farming-in-action footage from Screen Archive South East – worth knowing for connecting a forthcoming screening of the film with related archive content.

Annie Mannion, Film Hub South East: Programming picks

One for Almodóvar fans: Pieles (Skins) (Spain, Casanova) A series of vignettes interweaving the stories of a handful of social misfits, including a lot of lilac, a mermaid fetish, and some truly unforgettable characters – one in particular, which still makes me chuckle!

Pieles stands out from the crowd thanks to its radical aesthetic and bold themes. The characters are lovable and the chapters range from the comically absurd to the morosely heart-wrenching,” – The

Newton cast

Newton’s main cast and director at Berlinale

For a series of Indian, comedy or political films: Newton (Germany, Masurkar)
This refreshing, gentle comedy about a government clerk on election duty in the conflict ridden jungle of Central India won the Art Cinema award for the Forum section at Berlinale. The great thing about seeing Newton at the festival was the opportunity to hear directly from the director and cast themselves after the screening during a Q&A about their experiences making the film, and the meticulous planning involved.

For a season on unusual romances and/or autism: Don’t let the brutal slaughterhouse surroundings distract from the poetic and tender love story that plays out in On Body and Soul. If you’re programming about diversity issues, then it might be useful to know that one of the couple displays many autistic tendencies, some of which help inform the direction of the plot, and some with amusing consequences.

Malisa Sledmere, No6 Cinema, Portsmouth

“Although it is hard to decide which films to choose at the beginning, the buzz about which films are the best and worth seeing soon starts to get around. I usually asked other queuers what they had seen and what they recommended and by this process the list of films to ‘must see’ gets tighter and better as time goes on.”

“For me seeing some of the festival films was very useful. At No6 we have for a long time wanted to screen a more diverse range of films than the ones that are available through the regular distributors, but I would never dare to screen a festival film just from a trailer. I would definitely want to see it in its entirety before deciding to take a chance on it and being at the festival would enable us to make the best  choices.”

More Berlinale picks from the Film Hub network

Watershed Cinema Curator Mark Cosgrove picks his four to watch out for from Berlinale 2017, plus a full run down of the In Competition films.

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.